iPhone 4 OS is the ‘killer feature’

It is Apple’s new smartphone operating system and not hardware features that will be the iPhone 4’s killer selling point in the handset wars, according to research by Top10.com.

Last week saw Apple unveil the fourth iteration of the iPhone to an expectant world. Alongside the design, Apple showcased brand new Apple software, dubbed iOS4, which promises to transform the smartphone experience for buyers of the latest model, as well as the current generation iPhone 3GS.

iOS4 contains over 100 new features and improvements, perhaps the biggest being the ability to multitask and run multiple apps at the same time.

Of the 200 respondents to an online survey, almost half (50%) said that operating systems are the key factor they consider when choosing a new smartphone. This was more than twice the number (21%) for whom price is of paramount importance.

In a further endorsement of Apple’s approach to smartphones, which are marketed extensively on the range of applications or ‘apps’ available, 14% of the sample cited the selection and amount of apps on offer as their main concern when buying a handset.

And surprisingly, considering the beefed-up camera and video features on the iPhone 4, only 3% of respondents cited imaging capabilities as important.

Harry Jones, Director at Top10.com, said: “The iPhone 4’s improved operating system comes hard on the heels of Google’s “FroYo” – the latest version of its Android platform – and is exactly what is required for Apple to see off the next wave of Android phones.

“The rise of the robots has been the tech story of the last 12 months, with massive sales for the likes of the Android-powered HTC Desire and the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10. Clearly Apple are feeling the heat, but they look set to maintain their position with this week’s announcements.”

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