It has been possibly the worst kept secret in the mobile phone market, but now it is official: Apple today unveiled its upgraded iPhone with support for faster 3G networking. What did surprise many, however, is that the new version of the popular smartphone will be available for a dramatically lower price, starting at $199 for the 8GB model to $299 for the 16GB model.

Besides 3G connectivity, GPS has been thrown into the mix too - a long-awaited feature that is crucial for the device's improved tie-in with Google maps. It will also include the new App Store (when it becomes available "in a few weeks' time"), providing users with native applications in a variety of categories including games, news, sports, health, travel, and more.

In nod to enterprise users, the new iPhone will also boast key features such as support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync to provide over-the-air push email, contact and calendar syncing. Other changes include a slimmer design, a flush headphone jack, improved audio, and superior battery life of 300 hours of standby time. The launch is scheduled to kick off on July 11 in 22 countries, with 48 additional countries to follow in the next few months.