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Iphone Cellphones Handhelds Upgrades Apple

Apple Announces iPhone 4 1184

Posted by Soulskill
from the saw-that-one-coming dept.
In a keynote presentation today at WWDC, Steve Jobs officially unveiled the iPhone 4. It's powered by an A4 chip, has a glass front and back, and has stainless steel around the edges, which turns out to be part of the antenna system. The new iPhone uses what Jobs called a "Retina display," running at 960x640, or 326 ppi. The battery is also bigger, with a corresponding increase in battery life. The iPhone 4 supports 802.11n, has two mics for noise cancellation, and a three-axis gyroscope, which allows rotation and precision that accelerometers can't match. The iPhone 4's camera is using a 5-megapixel backside illuminated sensor, which Jobs said does better at low-light photography. It also records 720p video at 30 frames per second, with tap-to-focus. In addition to this, they've created an iMovie app, which allows users to easily edit videos on their phone. Several live blogs of the event, with pictures, are available. The device ships in the US on June 24. Apple's product page has been updated with specs and a video. Read on for more details.
Update: 06/07 18:34 GMT by S : Steve's "One More Thing" this time around: FaceTime, live video chat from one iPhone 4 to another. It is Wi-Fi only at the moment, but they're working with carriers to expand that in the future.
Jobs says the iPhone 4 OS is being renamed "iOS4," since it isn't just focused on phones anymore. The release candidate will be made available to developers today. He demonstrated multitasking, a unified email inbox, and folders for apps. In the App Store, you can expect to see an iPhone version of Netflix soon, as well as Guitar Hero and FarmVille. Jobs also announced that iBooks, the ebook application for the iPad, would be getting a few upgrades. Users will soon be able to make notes, and a bookmark button is on the way. It will put bookmarked pages into the book's table of contents. iBooks is also gaining support for viewing PDF files. On top of that, it won't be just for the iPad anymore; it's coming to the iPhone and iPod Touch as well, and it will sync between devices.
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Apple Announces iPhone 4

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  • by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Monday June 07, 2010 @02:29PM (#32486860)

    One of the nuggets they slipped in there was that it was a Quad Band phone. Previously it only worked on AT&T's 3G frequencies.

    One can hope.

  • Gizmodo (Score:5, Funny)

    by yakatz (1176317) on Monday June 07, 2010 @02:29PM (#32486870) Homepage Journal
    Anything about this being the same as the Gizmodo prototype?
  • by eaddict (148006) on Monday June 07, 2010 @02:29PM (#32486874)

    None of which would have happened had Android not shown up.

    • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Monday June 07, 2010 @02:34PM (#32486942)

      None of which would have happened had Android not shown up.

      You're right! It's good for Android that Apple is around. :D

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by vivek7006 (585218)
      720p HD video recording is great. I wonder how this will affect Flip-HD pocket camcorders category.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I disagree.

      Apple would have done this anyway to drive sales. Every time Apple comes out with a new or upgraded product, they sell like hotcakes - people who have the "old" version pony up even more money to buy the new version. I think the folks who jumped from the iPhone to Android are a very small minority and the rest of the Android crowd are folks who wouldn't have bought Apple anyway.

      Jobs is a marketing God!

      • by ubrgeek (679399) on Monday June 07, 2010 @02:54PM (#32487248)
        I'm one of those people. I'm an Apple whore and buy pretty much anything Apple puts out (with the exception of the iPad - I don't see the need for one - and Apple TV - no smartcard) but finally gave up my iPhone and switched to the Droid. There were two reasons: One, I hate AT&T service. It's terrible (so far, Verizon has been _much_ better) and two, I can't type worth crud on a touch screen. I find myself increasingly using my phone for email when I travel and the keyboard, even with chiclet keys, makes it much easier (and faster) for me to type. Toward the end, the iPhone pretty much became a portable gaming device and I didn't really need one of those. So while the new iPhone is sexy, it's just not something that would fit my needs.
      • by cgenman (325138) on Monday June 07, 2010 @03:23PM (#32487774) Homepage

        I don't know if I'd agree with this. If you look at the smartphone market at the time the iPhone launched, things were pretty barren. Similarly, the iPod was entering a market that didn't understand that no matter how much capacity you might have, you still need to fit into people's pockets. The iPhone 3G covered a major weakness in the original iPhone (2g browsing really, really sucks). Jobs brought to the market something that people wanted, and made the interface simple enough that it just works. That's a pretty good accomplishment.

        And if you think that every apple product sells like hotcakes, you're missing quite a few. As a short list.

        iTV ( that useless thing that isn't quite an Xbox 360 )
        Motorola ROKR ( anyone remember Apple's pre-iPhone phone? )
        eMac ( like a rehashed iMac, but long after laptops made them irrelevant )
        Pippin ( that useless computer / video game console that wasn't quite a Playstation )
        20th anniversary macintosh
        Mac Cube
        Mac TV
        Quicktake ( a digital camera / giant blob of plastic )
        Newton ( a PDA before PDA's existed ).
        eMate ( a netbook based upon Newton before netbooks existed )

  • by Jason Quinn (1281884) on Monday June 07, 2010 @02:30PM (#32486876)
    Never before have I wanted a product so much but will not buy do to Apple's draconian policies.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Don't. You know that euphoria you have when you're watching porn and then after you're done jacking off you feel guilty about it. This is the same thing only instead of a woman's skin, you're jacking off to steel, glass an silica. If you go over the top and buy it, you'll wont' just feel guilty, you'll feel like an idiot.

    • by MBGMorden (803437) on Monday June 07, 2010 @02:38PM (#32486996)

      Just get an Android phone. From a hardware perspective, the newest Android phones like the Droid Incredible are pretty close to this (or even exceed it in a few areas still), and they don't have the draconian policies. My bet is that HTC will soon leapfrog Apple once again (afterall, this thing just barely bests the Incredible, which has been out for a month or two) pretty soon. My next upgrade isn't due until this December and I'm guessing there will be some REALLY nice stuff out by then (I know HTC will have jumped one iteration by then, but I'm crossing my fingers on them being two iterations forward by then).

      • by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Monday June 07, 2010 @03:16PM (#32487640)

        From a hardware perspective, the newest Android phones like the Droid Incredible are pretty close to this (or even exceed it in a few areas still)

        I just got an htc EVO 4G on Friday, and I'm actually not feeling any buyer's remorse, even post-iPhone 4, which is nice. I DO like the iPhone 4's pixel density, but it's much smaller than the EVO 4G's 4.3" display, which is one of the main reasons I got the phone I did. I don't know what the pixel density is, but the quality of the text is flat-out amazing, so I've got no complaints there. The EVO 4G has a higher resolution main camera, and the front-facing one doesn't require WiFi to do video chat. I've not messed much with the camera on my phone yet, so I don't know the quality of it, as megapixels aren't everything. The EVO has dual LED flash; not sure about the new iPhone. You'd think with Apple basing their business around iPhones and iPads, that they would've announced some kind of tethering or hotspot capability for them to work in concert, but I didn't see anything like that announced (might've missed it). I guess if you have an iPad w/o 3G, you can just get an EVO and turn on its hotspot and not have to deal with AT&T. :)

        To me, the deal-breakers with the iPhone 4 are _still_ being restricted to AT&T (insane), and of course, the draconian developer policies (which DO affect users, even though most users never know it).

        Android phones evolve MUCH quicker than Apple's, especially htc (and to a lesser extent, Motorola). We'll see 1.5gHz Android phones this year, and quite possibly the dual-core phones will start trickling out in Q4, as well. Hopefully by this time next year, we'll have 720p displays on LTE-enabled phones, as well. The new chipmaking process shrink coming to the industry at the end of the year will enable processor to sip much less juice than they do now, so battery life should get better as well, though that will be dependent on the eternal struggle with faster chips, too, so we'll see. Fun times! Computers are much less interesting right now, tech-wise, than cellphones.

    • by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Monday June 07, 2010 @02:42PM (#32487070)

      So Apple is out, as well as Sony.
      I agree with your sentiment, I really do want some of these products, but I'm fed up with the companies that present them.

      I'm in the market for several new products:

      1. Smartphone
      I want to ditch AT&T and would like something that is as flexible as my older generation jailbroken iPhone. (VNC, Strong developer base, etc)

      2. eReader
      Though eInk displays are pretty much all the same, anyone have any luck with an eReader that isn't Sony but lets you have flexibility with the device?

      3. A non-rented media recorder
      ie: Non-Tivo and non-TV company owned. Is MythTV really the only option right now?

      4. Unicorns.
      I mean, as long as I'm asking I might as well get it all out there.

  • by Pecisk (688001) on Monday June 07, 2010 @02:34PM (#32486944)

    ...when you can announce that your document viewer will support PDFs and everyone is in the awe :)

  • by Beelzebud (1361137) on Monday June 07, 2010 @02:35PM (#32486954)
    This is going to revolutionize the way we use iphones! Apple has done it again. All Hail Steve!
  • by bjartur (1705192) on Monday June 07, 2010 @02:41PM (#32487064)

    Now you can switch your default search provider to Bing!

  • by proxima (165692) on Monday June 07, 2010 @02:48PM (#32487146)

    The maximum storage capacity of the iphone maxes out at 32G, while the ipod touch goes up to 64G. I suppose that's comparable to the HTC's incredible maximum capacity of 40G (via 8 GB internal and 32 GB microsd card), but it's unfortunate that there isn't a larger option. The iphone really seems capable of replacing many mp3 players for reasonably sized collections, but with apps and music it's not hard to hit 32G.

    And, of course, it would really kill Apple's profit margins to actually offer an SD slot...Oh well.

  • by dara (119068) on Monday June 07, 2010 @02:52PM (#32487214)

    I've been a proponent for 300+ DPI screens for quite a while. I never got to see the Neo Freerunner (282 DPI), but the Droid (265 DPI) looks good. Jobs is correct, from about about 10-12 inches viewing, this is what is needed to have the device seem like paper. My preference though is to take that high DPI to a bigger screen - say something like 1280x720 with 4.8" diagonal (308 DPI). New Snapdragons are supporting 1280x800 (not sure I like 16/10 better than 16/9 for phones - it is the standard for laptops these days), so hopefully we'll see some Android phones with these high DPI numbers soon.

  • by spammacus (805242) on Monday June 07, 2010 @02:56PM (#32487298)

    "a 5-megapixel backside illuminated sensor"

    Does that mean the sun shines out its backside?

    • by Maury Markowitz (452832) on Monday June 07, 2010 @03:20PM (#32487700) Homepage

      Worst name EVAR!

      A more accurate name would be "back-wired sensor". Like the human eye, older cameras had the wiring in front of the sensor elements. Back-illuminated ones have the wiring in the back. That gets you about 45% more light, because it doesn't have to make it past the wiring and transistors.

      Been around for a while, but only making its way into the consumer space recently. Basically boosts your low-light performance by roughly half. That means you can either double the number of pixels per space and still get the same performance (which is what apple did), or leave the spacing alone and make killer security cameras and astronomy sensors.

      In either event, this really is a major jump in camera tech. I'll be interested to know if they also used Sony's CMOS process for it.

      Maury

  • by FunkyELF (609131) on Monday June 07, 2010 @03:30PM (#32487934)

    From http://www.macrumorslive.com/ [macrumorslive.com]

    10:39 am Doing a live demo now.
    10:39 am Firing up both phones.
    10:40 am Zoomed in difference looking at home screen is remarkable. Apple had to get special projectors to show just how good this screen is.
    10:40 am Loading up NY Times next.
    10:41 am Loading slowly, "networks in here always unpredictable."
    10:41 am Steve asks everyone to get off WiFi to help him out, audience laughs.
    10:41 am NY Times still not loading on iPhone 4.
    10:41 am Switching to backups.
    10:42 am iPhone 4 now on AT&T, all kinds of error messages about not being connected to the internet popping up on iPhone 4.
    10:42 am Steve goes back to showing photos.
    10:43 am Difference is fairly amazing.
    10:43 am iPhone 4 slowly barely loads NY Times.
    10:43 am Steve apologizing again.
    10:43 am Asks Scott for any suggestions.
    10:44 am Someone shouts, "Try Verizon."
    10:44 am Steve concludes demo.

    • Re:I love this.... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Graff (532189) on Monday June 07, 2010 @06:54PM (#32490302)

      It was a pretty funny comment from the crowd, I laughed.

      Of course it turned out that there were something like 570 wifi base stations operating in the audience and it totally hosed the whole wifi network for the event. Since the iPhones were set to load their data over wifi rather than over the cell network it killed the demos. Once the organizers made people turn off their devices the demos went very smoothly. Funny how that works!

      • Re:I love this.... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by cyberworm (710231) <cyberworm@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @02:12AM (#32492846) Homepage
        I don't know a whole lot about wireless bandwidth, but one thing I did notice about this display is that the 3GS apparently had no problem loading the NYT website, while the iPhone 4 wouldn't load it. In my eyes it appeared to be more of a glitch with the hardware, rather than a problem with the network. Also, how else could the people in the audience use that same network (probably pretty slowly I'd guess) if the network were that saturated. At the very least even if it were a dead connection, why would you just keep your laptop open and connected while watching the presentation.

        For the price that people pay to go to the conference ('ve been to one) It's interesting that that many people would be on their computers during something that one would assume is fairly important. Were there really ~570 reporters liveblogging the event?


        I'm not Apple bashing, just pointing out what I noticed. Please don't mod me to hell.
        • Re:I love this.... (Score:4, Informative)

          by Graff (532189) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @09:53AM (#32495338)

          I don't know a whole lot about wireless bandwidth, but one thing I did notice about this display is that the 3GS apparently had no problem loading the NYT website, while the iPhone 4 wouldn't load it. In my eyes it appeared to be more of a glitch with the hardware, rather than a problem with the network. Also, how else could the people in the audience use that same network (probably pretty slowly I'd guess) if the network were that saturated.

          When you have an overloaded wifi spectrum like that usually what happens is that some devices manage to get a clean connection and some don't. It's very sporadic and unpredictable. It's not like every device's connection will fail. You might even have what looks like a good connection and then it will stall for no apparent reason.

          There are also several bands on which they could possibly be communicating and it could just be that the 4G and the 3GS happened to be on different bands at that point. The 4G's band might have gotten over-congested and there was still some room on the band that the 3GS was on.

          And, yes, there were a ton of reporters and people using devices in that audience. Wireless is great but it relies on the assumption that there will only be a certain amount of connections communicating at one time. Once you surpass that limit you get into the "odd things happen" zone.

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