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What is new about the iPhone 4By Tom Manners 8 June 2010 | Categories: news
Yesterday at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California CEO Steve Jobs officially announced the existence and details behind the much rumoured, iPhone 4.
Unfortunately for Apple however the primary details behind the device were leaked after a prototype model was sold to technology news website Gizmodo recently for $5 000. Nonetheless the anticipation amongst Apple fans yesterday was electric and, according to many, Jobs did not disappoint.
Among the most significant announcements was that, what Apple fans expected to be called the iPhone OS 4.0, has been officially named iOS4 and now applies to all touch devices manufactured by Apple including the iPad and the iPod touch. It will be available for free to download on 21 June on all devices.
In terms of design the iPhone 4 is 24% thinner than its predecessor the iPhone 3Gs and adopts a more box like structure, which is similar to that seen in the Gizmodo leak. Very little has changed regarding external features apart from the fact that the volume buttons are now split.
In terms of processing power, Apple has refreshingly opted to fill the iPhone 4’s insides with the same mysterious A4 on chip processor found in the iPad. This reportedly conserves energy while running at a stock frequency of roughly 1 GHz, which puts it in line to take on Qualcomm’s secret weapon – the Snapdragon processor.
The iPhone 4 also brings with it a brand new display. Referred to as ‘Retina Display’ it measures 3.5", supports multi-touch and will offer a resolution of 960 x 640 which supports HD content at 720p.
Apple’s arguably poor camera decisions in previous iPhone models have also been addressed in the iPhone 4. The new device features a 5 megapixel sensor with an LED flash, as well as five times digital zoom and tap to focus options. It also has a front facing option which will enable video calling through an application dubbed FaceTime. At this stage it only works via Wi-Fi.
In addition to this Apple has also opted for a larger battery which, when combined with the effectiveness of the A4 processor, should offer up to 7 hours of talk time on 3G networks.
But is it any good?
Overall the iPhone 4 looks like a winner. Apple has, throughout the lifetime of the device, steadily targeted a number of weak points in its armour such as camera functionality and battery life. We would however, still like to see multitasking incorporated into the device but, based on Apple’s recent exploits with the iPad and now the iPhone 4 this seems highly unlikely.
The iPhone 4 will be released in the US and a handful of other territories on 24 June. No word regarding a local release has yet been given.
Given Gizmodo’s continued involvement with the iPhone 4 and its pre-release leak it is interesting to note the publications' thoughts on the device now that all the details are in the open.
In an article entitled ‘Should I buy an iPhone 4’ Gizmodo lists the pros and cons but eventually concludes on a decidedly neutral standpoint by suggesting that only those who are eligible for an upgrade in terms of their mobile contract should consider an iPhone 4.
The author was quick to point out however that both Android and Windows Phone 7 are looking good in terms of competition and urged Apple fans to consider these options before taking the leap into the next generation of iPhone technology.
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