The New iPhone

"That was so cool," said Michelle Stone, a conference attendee from Pasadena, Calif.

But perhaps the most impressive use of the new iPhone on display was the medical application, which would allow doctors and patients to see medical digital scans on their iPhones in color and intricate detail.

"The medical imagery is an incredible tool," said Glenn Martin from Ft. Pierce, Fla.

After the demonstrations, Jobs took the stage again to unveil the new features of the iPhone, including a slimmer design, better chip technology, and global positioning technology that allows users to track themselves as they drive.

"I don't know if I'll ever use that feature," Stone said. "But I want it."

In fact, Stone said she was texting her husband -- on the "old and now outdated" iPhone she's had just since February -- that she's ready for the newest version.

Jobs explained one of the challenges for Apple was to get the iPhone into more countries. And while the initial rollout is for 22 countries, Jobs had a global map flash behind him, and to the tune of "It's a Small World," highlighted one by one, the 70 countries he eventually hopes to reach with the iPhone.

Jobs said he listened to consumers' complaints about data download speed, and waited to use the 3G technology until it was better designed so as not to drain the battery. Now, with its faster speed, Apple is positioning the iPhone to compete with the ever-present BlackBerry and become not just a cool gadget, but a workplace tool used for PowerPoint presentations and downloading documents.

The new version will be a free upgrade to current iPhone users. But Jobs hopes the lower price tag of this latest version, which he introduced with a drum roll, will bring a whole new wave of consumers to Apple.

"It was a bit more than we were expecting," Martin said after listening to Jobs' address. "Especially the price tag."

Jobs' ability to surprise even the Apple faithful is clearly what keeps them coming back for more. One almost expected the crowd to hold up their lighters and ask for an encore.

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