Apple introduced the newest version of its iPhone yesterday, hoping to stay a step ahead of a growing cast of rivals like Google in the red-hot smartphone market.


Chief Executive Steve Jobs sketched out the new iPhone 4 with more than 100 new features to a packed room at the company’s developers’ conference in San Francisco.


The iPhone 4 comes with many features that analysts expected, including a better display and a front-facing camera that could potentially be used for videoconferencing. It is 24 percent slimmer than the current 3GS model.


Apple’s shares had fallen as much as 1.5 percent in early trading before bouncing back with the broader stock market. They were holding steady in late trading.


Few had expected major technological advancements from the 3GS.

Still, the iPhone remains the gold standard in the smartphone market, and Apple’s product launches are the most closely watched events on the technology calendar.

The iPhone has been a huge success since debuting in 2007, boosting Apple’s margins, transforming the company into one of the world’s leading mobile device makers and setting the competitive landscape in a smartphone battle that will play out for years.

Though gaining share globally, it faces a slew of new competitors, including Motorola and HTC, designing high-powered handsets based on Google’s Android software. But many analysts believe Apple may have also struck gold with its newest gadget, the iPad, which could provide another growth engine to complement the iPhone.