Today at WWDC, Steve Jobs unveiled the long-awaited and already-leaked iPhone 4 — which is not the “iPhone 4G,” as was anticipated. Here are the highlights:
The design of the iPhone has been completely overhauled. Gone is the soap-shaped smartphone of… well, yesterday. Instead, we have a sleek new ultra-thin device shaped not unlike a 2001 monolith, with rounded edges. In essence, it looks like a miniature iMac. It’s high-density glass on the front and back, with stainless steel around the sides. The phone’s antenna is built in to the metal siding — just one of many clever innovations that allow the new device to be so incredibly compact. It’s 34% thinner than the iPhone 3Gs, but a hair heavier.
Inside, it packs an Apple A4 processor, the same ultra-fast processor that saves on battery power, that’s inside the iPad. Even bigger news is the super high-res display, which Apple has named “Retina Display,” because it’s a higher pixel count per inch than the human eye is capable of detecting. They’re also adding a 3-axis gyroscope, which Apple speculates should lead to better games. A bigger battery and the new processor equate to a longer battery life, which Apple claims is up to 7 hours of talk, 10 hours of video or web browsing, 40 hours of music, and 300 hours of standby.
The built-in cameras — yes, two of them — are set to revolutionize the way the iPhone is used, because the main camera takes better quality pictures and video, and the front-facing camera allows for “FaceTime,” which is basically video phone capabilities. FaceTime is limited to WiFi (no 3G yet), and only works between iPhone 4’s, but it looks as slick and impressive as everything else Apple does.
Apple has decided to give the iPhone operating system its own name — something that’s more descriptive than just its use in the iPhone itself. Since the OS is being used in the iPad and iTouch, and no doubt Steve sees it as the foundational base of the future of his company, the new name is “iOS,” making this new version iOS 4.
iBooks is coming to the iPhone with iPhone 4, as is iMovie, with a surprisingly robust movie editing software suit for such a small device. iMovie for iPhone will be available as an app in the iTunes store (man, that’s a lot of “i”s in one paragraph) for $4.99. iBooks will be a free download.
For the first time, Apple is making the iPhone available in a color other than black. A white version is being made as well, and both versions will be available starting June 24th in the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, and Japan. Pricing is set at $199 for 16GB and $299 for 32GB.
Apple is hyping it as if it’s as big a revolution in smartphones as the original iPhone. But what do you think? Is it a must have?