Apple confirms Jobs will kick off WWDC with keynote

Focus of the Worldwide Developers Conference will be iPhone, iPhone, and more iPhone

Apple this week confirmed what everyone has expected for months: CEO Steve Jobs will kick off the company's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco on June 9 with a keynote address.

Analysts and users alike expect Jobs will use the stage to announce a next-generation iPhone capable of connecting to faster 3G-based data networks.

Jobs' keynote is scheduled for 10 a.m. PDT on the opening day of the five-day conference, Apple said in a statement.

Evidence that Apple will soon launch a new iPhone has been mounting, with the company posting out-of-stock notices on its US and UK online stores, and sales representatives admitting that the company's retail stores have also sold out of both iPhone models.

Several mobile carriers have also recently announced deals with Apple to sell the iPhone in new markets, including Australia, Egypt, India and Italy. Some of those deals were non-exclusive, a first for Apple, which until last week had partnered with only one carrier in each country. In exchange for the exclusive right to sell the iPhone and service contracts to customers, those carriers agreed to share subscriber revenues with Apple.

Jobs is also expected to tout iPhone 2.0, the major firmware update announced earlier this year that will let users download and install third-party applications to their iPhones; he may also provide a more definitive availability date than the generic "late June" that the company has previously set.

Developers have been working with the iPhone SDK (software development kit) since Apple unveiled the tools in early March. WWDC, Apple's biggest developer-centric conference, will host a separate track of events for iPhone developers.

WWDC runs June 9-13 at San Francisco's Moscone West center.

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Gregg Keizer

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