Apple chief executive Steve Jobs unveiled the latest version of the company’s vaunted iPhone on Monday, hoping to beat back growing competition from phones running Google’s Android operating system.

Mr. Jobs described the phone as, “beyond a doubt, the most precise thing and one of the most beautiful things we’ve ever made” before highlighting a number of its new features.

Faster than the previous model

Mr. Jobs said the new phone is thinner and faster that the previous iPhone. Boasting a smaller, more efficient chip, the A4, it also has better battery life, allowing seven hours of talking, 10 hours of web browsing and 300 hours of standby.

The iPhone 4 boasts cameras on both the front and the back of its glass and stainless steel body to facilitate picture taking and video chat. Mr. Jobs said a new feature called FaceTime allows video chat over wifi with no setup required. The main 5 megapixel camera also records high-definition video.

The display of the iPhone 4 is also upgraded, featuring four times as many pixels as its predecessor.

The phone will be released in the U.S. on June 24 and will cost 199 dollars for a 16 GB model and 299 dollars for a 32 GB model. It will come in both white and black cases.

In a move aimed at undercutting Google’s dominance in search, Apple has added a search option from Microsoft’s Bing search engine.

“Microsoft has done a real nice job on this,” Mr. Jobs said.

The iPhone accounts for over 40 per cent of Apple’s revenue and the company has sold more than 50 million units since launching the device in 2007. The previous version, the iPhone 3GS went on sale in June 2009.