The months-long wait for news of the next U2 album has come to a rather abrupt and surprising end after the band today released their thirteenth album 'Songs of Innocence' completely free of charge on iTunes.

Listen to the album here.

Despite statements to the contrary prior to the event, U2 performed at the launch of the new iPhone 6 and subsequently announced that every iTunes customer could download the album with no cost.

“This will be the largest album release in history. Over a half-billion people own it. Right now,” an Apple spokesman said at the event.

Rumours had circulated in recent days that U2 would release an album exclusively on the new iPhone and while these rumours ultimately proved to be untrue, they did hint at a partnership of some kind with Apple.

A secretive music video shoot on the Samuel Beckett Bridge at the end of August was rumoured to be of U2 and an Apple product. It now appears these rumours might have had substance to them.

'Songs of Innocence', which according to journalist Neil McCormick is "an album of big, colourful, attacking rock with fluid melodies, bright anthemic choruses and bold lyrical ideas", will receive a physical release on October 13th. 

'Songs of Innocence' tracklist:

The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)
Every Breaking Wave
California (There Is No End To Love)
Song For Someone
Iris (Hold Me Close)
Volcano, Raised By Wolves
Cedarwood Road
Sleep Like A Baby Tonight
This Is Where You Can Reach Me Now
The Troubles

 See the video below for more information on the new iPhone 6.