As it was widely expected, Apple today introduced the newest version of its iPhone, hoping to stay a step ahead of a growing cast of rivals like Google in smartphone market.
The announcencement was made by Apple's CEO Steve Jobs at the Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco.
The new iPhone 4 features FaceTime, which makes video calling a reality, and Apple's new Retina high-resolution display. In addition, iPhone 4 features a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, HD video recording, Apple's A4 processor, a 3-axis gyro and up to 40 percent longer talk time?in an all-new design of glass and stainless steel that is the thinnest smartphone in the world. iPhone 4 comes with iOS 4, the newest version of the company's mobile operating system, which includes over 100 new features and 1500 new APIs for developers. iOS 4 features Multitasking, Folders, enhanced Mail, deeper Enterprise support and Apple?s new iAd mobile advertising platform.
iPhone 4 will be available in the US, UK, France, Germany and Japan on June 24, starting in the US at just $199 for qualified buyers with a two year contract.
"iPhone 4 is the biggest leap since the original iPhone," said Steve Jobs, Apple?s CEO. "FaceTime video calling sets a new standard for mobile communication, and our new Retina display is the highest resolution display ever in a phone, with text looking like it does on a fine printed page. We have been dreaming about both of these breakthroughs for decades."
With FaceTime, users can see their friends anywhere there is Wi-Fi. Using FaceTime is as easy as making a regular voice call, with no set-up required, and users can instantly switch to the rear camera to show others what they are seeing with just a tap, Apple said.
Apple?s 3.5 inch Retina display has 960 x 640 pixels?four times as many pixels as the iPhone 3GS and 78 percent of the pixels on an iPad.
iPhone 4 is the thinnest smartphone ever - 9.3 millimeters - with an all-new design. The front and back are made of aluminosilcate glass, chemically strengthened to be 30 times harder than plastic. The front and back glass have an oil-resistant coating that helps keep it clean, and encircling iPhone 4 is a highly finished stainless steel band made of a custom alloy that is forged to be five times stronger than standard steel.
iPhone 4 features a new 5 megapixel autofocus camera with a 5x digital zoom, a backside illuminated sensor and built-in LED flash. iPhone 4 lets users record and edit HD video and the popular tap to focus feature now works while recording video. Users can use the iPhone 4?s LED flash for both still photography and video recording. The new iMovie app for iPhone lets users combine movie clips, add dynamic transitions and themes and include photos and music, and users can buy it for $4.99 through the App Store right on their phone.
Every iPhone 4 has a built-in 3-axis gyro that when combined with the accelerometer provides 6-axis motion sensing such as up and down, side to side, forward and backward and pitch and roll, making it perfect for gaming. Developers can access the gyro using the new CoreMotion API to make games and other apps that go well beyond what other mobile devices offer.
iPhone 4 comes with iOS 4 mobile operating system. With over 100 new features, it includes Multitasking, Folders, enhanced Mail, deeper Enterprise support and Apple?s new iAd mobile advertising platform. With Multitasking, users can now instantly switch between any of their apps while preserving battery life. With Folders, users can easily organize their apps into collections by simply dragging one app on top of another. A folder is automatically created and named based on the category of apps selected. Users can change the name of any folder at any time. In addition, users can now customize their lock and home screens with an array of supplied wallpapers or with any of the photos on their phone.
The new iBooks app will be available for iPhone 4 as a free download from the App Store and includes Apple?s new iBookstore, the best way to browse, buy and read books on a mobile product. The iBooks app will sync users' current place in a book, along with any bookmarks, highlights and notes they have created, between copies of the same book on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. iBooks users can also now read and store PDFs right in iBooks.
iPhone 4 delivers a seven hours of talk time on 3G networks, up to 10 hours of web browsing on Wi-Fi and up to six hours on 3G, and up to 10 hours of video playback and up to 40 hours of audio playback. iPhone 4 is powered by Apple's new A4 processor. It also features a second microphone and software to suppress unwanted background noise for improved call quality when in loud places. iPhone 4 also offers 802.11n Wi-Fi networking and adds quad-band HSUPA to provide 7.2Mbps downlink and 5.8Mbps uplink capability.
iPhone 4 comes in either black or white and will be available in the US for a suggested retail price of $199 (US) for the 16GB model and $299 (US) for the 32GB model in both Apple and AT&T's retail and online stores, Best Buy and Wal-Mart stores. iPhone 4 will be available in the US, France, Germany, Japan and the UK on June 24 and customers can pre-order their iPhone 4 beginning Tuesday, June 15 from the Apple Online Store or reserve an iPhone 4 to pick up at an Apple Retail Store. iMovie for iPhone will be available on the App Store for just $4.99 (US).
Also on June 24, a new iPhone 3GS 8GB model will be available for just $99 (US). iOS 4 software will be available on June 21 as a free software update via iTunes 9.2 or later for iPhone and iPod touch customers.
iPhone 4 will roll out worldwide to 88 countries by the end of September. iPhone 4 will be available by the end of July in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
The new iPhone 4 faces a slew of new competitors, including Motorola and HTC, designing high-powered handsets based on Google Inc's Android software.
Apple to Debut iAds on July 1
Apple will also debut its iAd mobile advertising network on July 1 on iPhone and iPod touch devices running its iOS 4 software platform. iAds combine the TV advertising with the interactivity of Internet advertising. iAd will kick off with mobile ad campaigns from global brands including AT&T, Best Buy, Campbell Soup Company, Chanel, Citi, DirecTV, GEICO, GE, JCPenney, Liberty Mutual Group, Nissan, Sears, State Farm, Target, Turner Broadcasting System, Unilever and The Walt Disney Studios. Apple has iAd commitments for 2010 totaling over $60 million, which represents almost 50 percent of the total forecasted US mobile ad spending for the second half of 2010.
"iAd offers advertisers the emotion of TV with the interactivity of the web, and offers users a new way to explore ads without being hijacked out of their favorite apps," said Steve Jobs, Apple?s CEO. "iAds will reach millions of iPhone and iPod touch users - a highly desirable demographic for advertisers - and provide developers a new way to earn money so they can continue developing free and low cost applications."
iAd, which is built into iOS 4, allows users to stay within their app while engaging with the ad, even while watching a video, playing a game or using in-ad purchase to download an app or buy iTunes content.
Developers who join the iAd Network can incorporate a variety of advertising formats into their apps. Apple will sell and serve the ads, and developers will receive a 60 percent of the iAd Network revenue, which is paid via iTunes Connect.
iAds require iOS 4, which will be a free software update via iTunes 9.2 or later for iPhone and iPod touch customers. iOS 4 will work with iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and second and third generation iPod touch (late 2009 models with 32GB or 64GB).