Apple Leaves Fans Waiting for iPhone 4.0

CUPERTINO, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Apple ( AAPL) unveiled its new iPhone operating system, which takes aim at Google in mobile advertising but left fans looking for signs of a new iPhone version waiting.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs kicked off the iPhone OS 4.0 introduction show with a few round numbers Thursday: 450,000 iPads sold, 600,000 iBooks downloaded, 4 billion apps downloaded to date, and seven new iPhone features unveiled, called "tent poles" during the presentation.

The 450,000 iPad total is a bit troubling since it means Apple has sold only 150,000 more devices in the past four days. On Monday, the company said 300,000 iPads were sold on the first day. The iPad sales numbers, while solid, are far shy of some of the more aggressive forecasts for the new device.

According to bloggers at gdgt covering the event, Jobs emphasized the joy the device seems to bring people who buy it, flashing pictures of a girl gleefully opening an iPad box.

Tech watchers who were awaiting more details of a fourth version of the iPhone to run on the new iPhone operating system were left empty handed, however. New iPhones have accompanied the three prior operating system upgrades.

The first big new feature on the iPhone OS 4.0 is multitasking, says Jobs. Prior versions of the software did not allow multiple applications to run at the same time similar to how people use their computers.

Apple demonstrated how applications like Internet calling service Skype can work while a user tries to book restaurant reservations on OpenTable ( OPEN).

Moving on. Jobs insisted on calling each new feature a tent pole. That begs the question: Do these Apple guys ever get out of the office?

Tent pole No. 2: Folders. The new software will let you organize files into folders. Huge.

Tent pole No. 3: Email. The iPhone's email inbox can now handle mail from multiple services including Microsoft ( MSFT) Exchange and Yahoo! ( YHOO), apparently.

Tent pole No. 4: iBooks. Apple has polished its book sales service and says it has thrown in a free copy of Winnie the Pooh.

Tent pole No.5: Enterprise. Apple has added some more security -- maybe to let business network operators trust the iPhone a little more. The actual advance isn't clear since Cisco's ( CSCO) VPN has been a part of the iPhone's security system from the get go.

Tent pole No. 6: Gaming. The iPhone always had games, but now there are social games presumably able to connect you to similarly-skilled gameplayers. Think of it as a matchmaker for game geeks.

Tent pole No. 7: iAds. And there you have it -- Apple's big step onto Google's ( GOOG) turf with mobile ads. Jobs says this is aimed at application developers who want to load ads and reap more revenue from their apps. Jobs pointed out that ads inside applications are an area where search engines -- read: Google -- can't reach.

Jobs concluded his presentation saying the iPhone OS 4.0 will be available this summer for the latest versions of the iPhone and iPod Touch only, not older devices. The operating system will be coming to the iPad in the fall.

There was no mention of a new version of the iPhone.

Going into the show at Apple's Cupertino headquarters, tech fans were wondering when and where the fourth version of the iPhone will land.

With the three year exclusivity agreement at AT&T ( T) expected to expire soon, there has been some hot speculation about a CDMA version or Verizon iPhone in the works. But in recent weeks, the likelihood of a Verizon iPhone has diminished as Verizon and Apple appear to be unwilling or unable to strike a deal.

Without a new iPhone to sooth expectations, Apple shares started to dip after the show ended. Apple shares were down a buck to $239.60 in afternoon trading Thursday.

--Written by Scott Moritz in New York.

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