Steve Jobs announced today the latest version of the iPhone during the 2010 WWDC opening keynote. Rumors had the phone being called "iPhone HD" or "iPhone 4G." Both turned out to be wrong, but each close in their own right. The name is simply enough, iPhone 4. Leave it to Apple to go with simple when just about any other company would have called it something like "iPhone XR1" or "iPhone 2010." iPhone 4 is simple and to the point. It's still an iPhone and I think that's what Apple is trying to tell the world. Last years iPhone 3Gs was as complicated as I think we will ever see an iPhone name. I'm not surprised, the MacBook Pro has been that since it took the place of the PowerBook. Apple just keeps it simple.
While the name is simple, the phone - not so much. No one outside of Apple, possibly a few clandestine government intelligence agencies and a couple of two bit thieves have gotten their hands on the iPhone 4; so it is way to early to say if it is as Magical as Steve Jobs proclaims, but from the specs it sure seems to be a winner. While the old Professor enjoys himself some great Apple kool-aid now and again, he's been around long enough to know that hype and marketing don't make a great product - even at Apple. Let's run down what we do know, and leave what we don't know for another day.
- New Design (Glass Front & Back)
- New Antenna System (Built into Frame)
- Wi-Fi 802.11N (Also B/G - N at 2.4Ghz Only)
- Retina Display - 960x480 326ppi (Double iPhone 3Gs)
- 800:1 Contrast Ratio
- 5 Megapixal Camera (Back-lit Sensor for Low Light)
- Video Recording up to 720p HD (30 Frames Per Second)
- Capable of Playing 720p Video
- LED Flash for Camera & Light for Video
- A4 Processor (Same as in the iPad - Twice as Fast as iPhone 3Gs)
- Front Facing Camera (Standard Def)
- FaceTime Video Conferencing (Wi-Fi & iPhone 4 to iPhone 4)
- 3 Axis Gyro
- Extra Mic for Noise Canceling
- Bigger Battery (7 hrs Talk Time, 10 hrs Video)
- White or Black
- IOS 4 - Multi-tasking / Folders / Local Notifications and More
There is more to a mobile phone that just cool specs. A mobile phone can have lots of cool technology and fail miserably as phone or even as a device. The iPhone has done a very good job of straddling technology, usability and phone calls (AT&T issues aside). It's been late to the game with simingly simple ideas like "cut & paste" but figured out a way, in the Apple Professor's opinion, to do it better than anyone else on a phone. Many users would rather have a feature that worked well, than to just have a feature.
Several of the features in the iPhone 4 will put this idea to the test, as Apple is again late to some of the parties. Android,for example, already is doing video conferencing. Many of the smart phones out today have multi-tasking and folders. A 5 megapixel camera is last year's news for most smart phones, 8 megapixels is the new 5 megapixel. An LED flash, is also old news along with 720p HD video. The test for Apple is will they again do it better than everyone else and make everyone else re-think how they do it? Apple obviously thinks so. While the specs give the impression of Apple following the crowd, it looks more like Apple is doing it "The Apple Way."
Over the next few weeks more and more facts will get leaked or will simply become known. Then on July 24th the world will learn the truth. I expect hundreds of thousands of iPhone 4's will hit the streets by the 25th and the blogosphere will be awhirl with lovers, haters and those that simply say - "I don't care!"
But hey, what you really want to know is just one thing - How much will it cost? New users and those who qualify for an upgrade can get one for either $199 (16 gig) or $299 (32 gig) in the United States. International pricing should be announced soon. The process for upgrading with AT&T and the cost involved will be discussed later in another post.
Finally, if you were hoping for Verizon to get the iPhone, keep on hoping. Verizon runs a CDMA market and the Professor thinks it will be a while before Verizon or Sprint get their hands on the iPhone. I'm not the only one thinking that either, GSM is the predominate cellular technology in the world today and the iPhone is a worldwide phenomenon.
There are a lot of great reasons to get an iPhone, and the iPhone 4 gives you even more great reasons. The Apple Professor predicts iPhone 4 will be a big hit, and I'm sure not one soul would bet me it won't.