Apple has previewed iPhone OS 3.0, showing off several much-requested features such as copy-and-paste functionality and automatic updates.
The new OS has over 100 new features, Apple said, including MMS support and the ability to search the iPhone and to read and compose emails in landscape.
However, the new OS won't support video recording, which is found on many mid-range phones or for Flash-based websites.
The company has also previewed the iPhone 3.0 SDK, which adds over 1,000 new APIs. The new SDK adds features such as in-app purchasing ability, a push notification service and iPod library access.
Developers will have the ability to embed Google Mobile Maps, as well as add peer-to-peer connectivity to their applications - which Apple said will be particularly useful for mobile games.
Members of the iPhone Developer Program have already been given access to the iPhone OS 3.0 beta and the updated SDK, Apple said.
The OS will likely be available to consumers in Q2. iPhone users will be able to upgrade to the new OS for free, but iPod touch users will have to pay $9.95 for it.
Apple has kept silent on the prospect of launching new iPhone models this year. It has sold more than 30 million iPhone and iPod touch devices so far.
The company was the third-largest smartphone maker by sales in 2008, Gartner revealed earlier this month, and its market share more than doubled to 10.7%.
Apple shares on the NASDAQ climbed 4.4% yesterday to $99.66.