Apple has unveiled its latest magical device built by suicidal Chinese workers—the iPhone 4. It squeezes four times as many pixels into the same-sized screen. It’s made out of glass and steel, with antennas wrapping around the sides of the phone. The phone runs on the iPad’s A4 processor. It has a front-facing camera for video chat, which will work only iPhone to iPhone and only over a WiFi connection at launch (Apple says it has to work things out with carriers before enabling video chat over cellular data networks).
Apple claims the phone is 24 percent thinner than the current iPhone, making it the world’s thinnest smart phone. The iPhone 4 has a bigger battery than its predecessor and Apple promises much improved battery life. A better camera and sensor on the back of the phone allow for 720p video recording. The company also added a gyroscope to the existing package of sensors (accelerometer, light sensor, GPS, compass) that could make for novel ways of interacting with the device.
That’s the hardware. The software is Apple’s iOS 4 (renamed from iPhone OS), which will bring a bundle of important features to Apple’s flagship device. Those include limited multitasking, folders to help organize all those apps, the iBooks store and more.
Like Google, Apple is planning to bring ads to your phone in a big way. The two companies have been bragging at their respective developer conferences about how exciting their ad platforms are, but the story is less exciting for consumers. Prospective phone buyers should take screen size into consideration, knowing that some fraction of that limited real estate is going to try to sell them a car.
The iPhone 4 comes out June 24 and will cost $199 (16GB) or $299 (32GB) in black or white. An 8GB 3GS (last year’s model) will sell for $99.
More from Apple here. —PZS
Apple has unveiled its new iPhone 4 after a couple wild, unprecedented months of leaks. Sure, it looks exactly like we expected it to (Steve compares it to an old Leica camera), with a glass front and back, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts, kids. The stainless steel band that goes around the phone is an antenna system, while also providing the main structure of the phone, though it’s plugged into the same old GSM / UMTS radio you all know and love—there’s a reason they didn’t call it the iPhone 4G. There’s also of course that front facing camera we were all anticipating, a rear camera with LED flash, and a new high resolution display that doubles the pixels in each direction (960 x 640) for a 4X overall pixel count increase—Apple calls it a “Retina Display.” It’s rated at 326ppi, which Apple claims is beyond the human eye’s limit of distinction. Check out an example of the new screen up against the iPhone 3G after the break. Similar to the iPad, it’s an IPS display, offering 800:1 contrast. Naturally, it’s still the same old 3.5-inch size. Under the hood is the A4 processor that runs the iPad. Despite the new engine (and the 25% thinner chassis [Apple says 24 percent]), Apple managed to make the battery slightly larger, and the new handset is rated at 7 hours of 3G talk, 6 hours of 3G browsing, 10 hours of WiFi browsing, 10 hours of video, and 40 hours of music. Oh, and that WiFi? It’s 802.11n now. The camera has been bumped to 5 megapixels, with 5X digital zoom and a “backside illuminated sensor,” which now can also record HD video at 720p / 30fps.
Courtesy of Apple