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The iPhone 4. BYO unicorns and puppies.
Steve Jobs has announced the iPhone 4 at his WWDC keynote. The phone will come in 16GB and 32GB versions in black or white, costing $199 and $299 with an extended or new AT&T contract. Apple will take pre-orders on June 15, with the iPhone 4 shipping on June 24 in the U.S., France, Germany, the U.K., and Japan. In July, 18 more countries will get the new phone.
The fully redesigned hardware is built around a glass front and back with a stainless-steel band between the halves. Beyond its classic looks, the iPhone is packed full of hardware improvements including a high-resolution screen, gyroscopic sensor, improved battery life, and a second camera that faces the user for video calls.
The iPhone 4 is the thinnest smartphone yet, at 9.3mm; it's 24 percent thinner than the iPhone 3GS.
Aside from its new looks, the screen marks the most visible update. Apple has developed what it calls a "Retina Display," since the screen is packed with 326 pixels-per-inch. Apple says that 300ppi is the physical limit that a person practically distinguish and that the updated screen has the same perceived definition as a printed book.
The 3.5-inch display runs at 960-by-640 pixels, 78 percent of the pixels available on the iPad. It's built around IPS technology for a wide range of color and an 800:1 contrast ratio, 4 times better than the iPhone 3GS.
What ppi can Superman see?
The iPhone 4 adds additional sensors versus the 3GS, including a three-axis gyroscopic sensor. Jobs gave a demonstration showing how, when combined with the compass and accelerometers, the iPhone 4 senses six-axis movement. It should be great for gaming.
The camera sensor gets a boost to 5MP, but it keeps the same physical size as in the iPhone 3GS, making it more sensitive in low light. Jobs said that other improvements help take better low-light pictures, including an LED flash.
The iPhone 4 captures video at HD, up to 720p at 30 frames-per-second. You can tap certain parts of the scene to change the focus. After capturing footage, iMovie for iPhone lets you make simple edits anywhere. The software will be available separately for $4.99.
A front-facing camera can capture the iPhone owner in self-portraits. Jobs closed the keynote giving a video-call demonstration with Johny Ive. The software, called FaceTime, works on a Wi-Fi connection between two iPhone 4 handsets. Users push a button to switch into video mode after placing a standard 3G voice call. You can switch between the cameras within a call to show off your surroundings to the other person. FaceTime is built on open standards; while it's iPhone 4-only now, maybe it'll work with future software and devices.
Powered by the Apple-developed A4 chip, the iPhone 4 boasts a long battery. Apple says it'll get 7 hours of life talking on 3G, 6 hours with 3G browsing, 10 hours surfing on Wi-Fi, 10 hours playing video, 40 hours playing music, or 300 hours in standby.
Old and new friends.
The iPhone 4 runs with quad-band HSDPA, getting up to 7.2Mbps download speeds and 5.8Mbps uploads. It includes the other technologies on the iPhone 3GS: Bluetooth, 802.11n Wi-Fi, GPS, and up to 32GB of storage. Unlike the prior phone, an additional mic helps cancel out background noise in calls.
Jobs made no mention of Verizon in his keynote. Prior U.S. iPhone owners who have an AT&T contract set to expire in 2010 will be eligible to buy the iPhone 4 at its subsidized price. The iPhone 3GS will continue to be sold in an 8GB configuration for $99.