iPhone 4 unveiled at WWDC 2010
As unveiled today by Steve Jobs at the World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), the latest Apple smartphone, the iPhone 4, has a new glass and aluminum enclosure and a highly improved 3.5 inch (89mm) screen with a heretofore unheard of 960x640 resolution - 326 pixels per inch is the most in any smartphone. The same Apple A4 processor that ships on iPads and a front facing camera for "FaceTime" video calls over Wi-Fi are also new key features.
FaceTime works only between iPhone 4 models. It makes use of both the rear and the front-facing cameras for video calls.
At just 0.37 inches (9.3mm) thick, the iPhone 4 is 24 percent thinner than the iPhone 3GS, which makes it pretty svelte but it also makes it incompatible with most every old case and coddling accessory designed around the bigger, rounded housing of the previous iPhone (bring on the upsell).
Its new rear camera system now boasts 5 Megapixels, up from the 3 Megapixel camera of the previous model. It also comes with an LED flash and can record high definition (HD) video with 720p resolution at 30fps (frames per second).
Jobs also announced iMovie for the iPhone, the video editing component of the new camera system, which will be sold separately for $4.99. iMovie for iPhone integrates transitions, titles, geolocation and five themes.
Aside from the new enclosure camera and screen, the focus on this year's model is a larger battery with 7 hours of 3G talk, 10 hours of Wi-Fi browsing, 40 hours of music or 10 hours of video (or any combination thereof, obviously).
Apple has also beefed up the accelerometers for the iPhone 4, the motion sensing components that use tilt, shake and orientation as inputs. "We're adding a 3 axis gyro," explained Jobs as he demoed the sensors by playing a virtual game of Jenga. "And we tied the gyro and accelerometer, compass, and gyro together for six axis."
That such functionality is identical to that found on the videogame controllers for PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii is no coincidence. "It's perfect for gaming," added Jobs.
The iPhone 4 will run on iPhone OS 4, which will feature multitasking and the ability to group apps within folders. iPhone OS 4, which the company renamed to iOS4, will also come with the new Apple iAd mobile advertising system built in, pitched as an additional revenue stream for developers.
The good news is that iOS4 will be available to existing customers on June 21st and unlike in past OS rollouts, iPod Touch users will get it for free.
There was no mention of any of Apple’s desktop or notebook computing initiatives or any news on OS X despite the fact that WWDC is a developer-centric event. With iPhone, iPad and now iAd and iOS, it's easy to forget that Apple used to sell computers.
The iPhone 4 will be available on June 24 in the US with pre-ordering available starting June 15. The iPhone 4 is expected to launch in Canada in July, though no official date has been announced.
Product images courtesy of Apple