Boom! If you thought everything about the iPhone 4 was known after its infamous leak a few months ago, you couldn’t be more wrong. Steve Jobs took the stage at the World Wide Developers Conference 2010 (WWDC) to introduce the device, along with all the features that come with it and iPhone OS4 (now renamed iOS4, but more on that in a minute).
The iPhone 4 ships June 24 for $199 (16 GB) and $299 (32 GB) in either black or white. Any AT&T user whose contract expires in 2010 is eligible for an upgrade.
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After toting some stats, including iPhone’s three times greater market share than Android, Steve Jobs dove straight in to what’s been on everyone’s minds: the new iPhone. Called iPhone 4, it packs a ton of new features.
The design of the device consists of two pieces of glass on the front and back, with a steel band around the side. While the pieces of glass are gorgeous, the actual boost to signal strength comes from the steel, which is separated in to two pieces. The bands, or lines, that break the piece of steel serve as part of the antenna system. It also features separate hard volume buttons, a micro-SIM slot (tinier than normal SIM cards) and a pair of microphones, one for voice and one for canceling noise. The phone measures 9.3 mm and is 24 percent thinner than the current iPhone 3GS.
Jobs spoke about eight total points concerning the new iPhone 4. The first was the design. The others were:
- Retina Display: a display with four times the pixel density of the current iPhone’s screen. It has an 960×640 display and totals 326 pixels per inch (ppi), which is more than the human eye can discern, so this baby should be gorgeous. It lets current App Store apps scale automatically but allows for further improvement when small touches to app code. In addition, text, images and video all look ridiculously good.
- A4 Chip: the same chip behind the iPad is powering the next-gen iPhone 4. It’s a tiny chip, which, combined with the micro-SIM card, allows for a bigger battery. Jobs quotes the new iPhone as getting 7 hours of 3G talk, 6 hours of 3G browsing, 10 hours of WiFi browsing, 10 hours of video and 40 hours of music. Standby time is rated at 300 hours.
- Gyroscope: when combined with the accelerometer and compass, this provides six axis of motion, ideal for gaming and use in apps. Jobs demoed a Jenga-like game where bricks were added by rotating the phone around.
- Improved Cameras: the iPhone 4 comes with a 5 megapixel camera and backside illuminated sensor, which combine to offer crisp pictures. An LED flash is also along for the ride. Focusing is still a tapping affair. That wasn’t all for the camera, as it was also announced it’ll record video at 720p and 30 frames per second (fps). The icing on the camera cake is an iPhone version of iMovie, Apple’s Mac-based video editing software. It allows users to edit and create entire films, then send them in a variety of formats with a single tap. The app will cost $4.99 from the App Store.
- iOS 4: the operating system behind the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad is renamed to simply iOS. Demoed earlier this year, the OS is shipping to developers the Gold Master (final) version today. In addition to multitasking and folder support, Apple has gone and added Bing! to the list of search providers. Not much else to it: clearly a subtle jab at Google.
- iBooks: the book-reading app that debuted on the iPad is coming to iPhone 4. It will support the same features as the iPad version, and be able to view PDFs. In addition, all book bought through the iTunes store will be viewable on any Apple device.
- iAds: a fully fleshed out advertising system designed to give developers more income to create better and cheaper ads. They are totally interactive and frankly, blow Google’s text-only ads out of the water. iAds willl debut on devices starting July 1.
After rounding out the eight points, Jobs did his legendary “One more thing…” and announced video chat for the iPhone 4. Named FaceTime, it will only work iPhone 4 to iPhone 4 and require WiFi (until next year). The service utilizes a front-facing camera, although the rear camera can also be used. It supports a huge range of codecs and will be an open standard.
The new iPhone 4 ships June 24 and comes in two flavors: $199 for 16 GB and $299 for 32 GB. Any AT&T subscriber whose contract expires in 2010 is eligible for an upgrade, a huge coup by Apple to say the least. Two colors will be available: black and white, much like the current 3GS. Speaking of the 3GS, the pricing on it drops to $99.