After all the hype, speculation and leaks, Apple introduced its next-generation smartphone at WWDC Monday and the iPhone 4 boasts some serious improvements over previous versions. Read on after the jump for a thorough breakdown of Apple’s latest iPhone.
The device features a radical redesign – it’s about what we expected from the leaked shots but looks much more polished in the final version. It’s the thinnest smartphone in the world, Apple says, at 9.3 mm thick (24% thinner than the iPhone 3GS). It’s made of glass and steel, and Jobs likened it to an old Leica camera. As expected, there’s a front-facing camera and along the edges of the iPhone 4 there are a few slits which are part of an integrated antenna system. This is the first time I can remember Jobs actually addressing iPhone reception woes on stage.
With devices like the EVO 4G and Samsung Galaxy S hitting the market, the iPhone’s screen is looking somewhat cruddy. Well, the iPhone addresses this issue by including a display that Apple CEO Steve Jobs is calling the best in class. Dubbed “Retina Display,” the 3.5-inch screen has 326 pixels per inch, and an 800:1 contrast ratio (which is 4x that of the 3GS). This approaches the look of paper for text and videos, and the demos showed during the keynote looked very, very good. Jobs also said existing apps will look better out of the box but with a little fine-tuning, app makers can make vibrant programs.
The iPhone 4 will also be powered by the A4 chip that’s inside the iPad. If you’re worried about power consumption, Apple has thrown in a bigger battery and promises 7 hours of 3G talk, 40 hours of music and 300 hours of standby. You’ll also be able to surf the web faster on WiFi networks as it has the 802.11n WiFi chip inside.
Just as the first iPhone brought accelerometers to the forefront, the iPhone 4 may change the game again with a gyroscope. This enables developers to create motion-controlled apps that have 6-axis motion sensing, and I’m sure game makers are just itching to get their hands on this.
As expected, the iPhone 4 will have a 5-megapixel camera with an LED flash. While not in the same megapixel range as the Droid Incredible, Apple said it focused on the image sensors instead of just raw megapixels. It also said the backside illuminated sensor should ensure great shots.
Oh, that camera can also do 720p HD recording at 30 frames per second. You’ll be able to do some light editing on the device with the included editing software, or you can get fancy with transitions and titles with the new iMovie for iPhone app.
Another big feature of the next iPhone is that it will have the next generation of the company’s mobile software. Just don’t call it iPhone OS 4.0, as it has been renamed iOS 4. This makes a lot of sense as this also powers the iPad and I’d expect many of Apple’s products to eventually shift to this platform.
This firmware update includes more the 1,500 new hooks for developers, the much-vaunted multitasking, a unified inbox with threading, folders and stronger enterprise features. Apple is also playing nice with Microsoft, as the Bing search engine will be a choice on the device but Google will stay the default. This is another small, but telling sign that Apple and Google are heading for a showdown. The iOS 4 “Golden Master Candidate” will be available to developers today.
Those wanting to get their mobile reading done will be happy to know that Kindle app for this, too.
The new software also mean more ads in your apps thanks to the iAd platform. While this may seem lame at first, it helps developers monetize programs, which could lead to more free apps for us. The ads should be rich-media ones that take advantage of the hardware, and Apple has already signed up companies like Sears, JCPenny, Target, Best Buy, DirecTV, TBS network, and Disney.
It wouldn’t be a “Stevenote” without a patented “one more thing,” and this time it was the much-expected video-calling on the iPhone 4. This isn’t exactly a new feature, as many users in Europe, Japan and Korea have been capable of this for years but it’s still relatively new in the United States. The EVO 4G is making a big push with this feature but the iPhone 4 could push it to the mainstream. Apple’s “FaceTime” will work between iPhone 4 devices over WiFi only but the company is working on getting cellular providers behind it.
So, when can you get it and how much? Apple’s iPhone 4 will come in white or black and it will cost $199 for the 16 GB model and $299 for the 32 GB model. AT&T users will be able to get the new customer price if your contract expires any time in 2010, although the new phone will be subject to the new data plans. The handset goes on sale June 24, so start lining up Apple fans.
With devices like the EVO 4G, Galaxy S, Droid Incredible and iPhone 4, we’re set up for a great summer for smartphone users. How say you, IntoMobile readers? Are you getting the next iPhone or is the competition too good? Sound off the comments!