Apple to preview new iPhone software

An Apple iPhone is shown with the Beejive IM (instant messaging) software during "CES Unveiled," a media preview event, at the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada January 5, 2010. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc is set to host an event on Thursday to show off the newest operating system software for the iPhone, as the company prepares for a widely expected launch of its next-generation smartphone later this year.

Apple sent an e-mail invitation to the media for a gathering at its corporate headquarters in Cupertino, California, on April 8, offering “a sneak peek into the future of the iPhone OS.”

Apple launched the iPhone in 2007 and has sold more than 40 million devices so far. Most analysts expect the company to launch a fourth-generation iPhone sometime this summer.

Shares of Apple were up .7 percent at $237.64 in midday trading on the Nasdaq.

Reporting by Gabriel Madway; editing by Gunna Dickson