With a possible June 7 launch, Apple raises iPhone expectations

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) likely will unveil the next version of its popular iPhone June 7, and the event may well serve as the next chapter in the increasingly heated battle between Apple and its erstwhile partner Google.

The iPhone vendor today announced CEO Steve Jobs will hold a keynote presentation June 7 at 10 a.m. PST to kick off the company's Worldwide Developers Conference. The company said its annual conference sold out in a record eight days to more than 5,000 developers. And though the company didn't provide any further details, Jobs has historically used the event to unveil the company's annual iPhone upgrades. (The device typically has gone on sale a few weeks after.)

What's interesting this time around, though, is the increasingly heated rhetoric between Apple and Google, and the possibility it could spill into Jobs' presentation. When the first iPhone launched in 2007, Apple and Google appeared to have a solid working relationship--Google's Maps service forms the basis for the iPhone's location services--but that rapport appears to have soured following Google's entrance into the smartphone playground with its Android effort.

Indeed, Google executives during the company's I/O developer conference last week seemed to take jabs at Apple at every opportunity, including putting the company's Android 2.2 platform up against Apple's iPad for a number of demonstrations.

It seems Jobs is ready for battle, though, based on what appear to be his weekend email responses to industry watchers. (The veracity of Jobs' occasional emails is hard to pin down, though Apple hasn't denied their authenticity.)

According to Fortune Tech, Jobs promised that "you won't be disappointed" when asked whether Apple would counter Google's recent Android upgrades. And according to Gizmodo, Jobs said there's "not a chance" that Google will surpass Apple on the technology front.

Of course, hovering over Apple's expected iPhone unveiling is whether the company will retain AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) as the exclusive carrier for its iPhone. While industry pundits have tea leaves pointing to both outcomes, new research from Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty indicates a pent-up demand among Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) subscribers for the popular touchscreen smartphone. According to AllThingsD, close to 17 percent of Verizon subscribers are "very likely" to purchase an iPhone if it's offered on the Verizon network. That's notably higher than the 14.6 percent of current AT&T subscribers who show interest in the current iPhone.

For more:
- see this Apple release
- see this AllThingsD post
- see this Fortune Tech article
- see this Gizmodo post

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