Everything You Need to Know About iPhone 4

Steve Jobs took the stage in San Francisco this morning to announce the long-rumoured iPhone 4. It’s a fantastic upgrade to the iPhone lineup, incorporating a brand new design, and a range of new features. We also saw another demonstration of the iPhone OS 4 (now iOS4) operating system, highlighting the additions we’ve covered previously on iPhone.AppStorm.

In this article, we’ll be exploring exactly what you can expect to see in the brand new iPhone 4, including a stunning new design, FaceTime video calling, the gorgeous “Retina Display”, and HD video recording. Intrigued? Read on.

Completely Redesigned Hardware

There wasn’t much to note in terms of the hardware difference between the iPhone 3G and 3GS, so today’s brand new hardware design is obviously the most striking change in the new model. I was always a big fan of the aluminium design, and am pleased to see it make a reappearance.

The new enclosure consists of an aluminium border surrounding the iPhone case, and a glass front and back. It’s more or less identical to the photos released by Gizmodo in April, though looks far more appealing in Apple’s high-key press images.

The metallic frame surrounding the iPhone actually functions as the phone’s antenna – something fairly innovative in mobile phone design. Inside the phone, you’ll find the same A4 chip as included in the iPad. This means that performance should be lighting fast, and allows for some of the impressive new features seen below.

This thing is thin. Touted as the thinnest smartphone available on the market, the specs are as follows:

  • Height: 4.5 inches (115.2 mm)
  • Width: 2.31 inches (58.6 mm)
  • Depth: 0.37 inch (9.3 mm)
  • Weight: 4.8 ounces (137 grams)

iPhone 4 is also the first phone with a built-in three-axis gyroscope. This leads to vastly improved motion gestures and far greater precision for playing games. I can’t wait to see what developers do with this.

Last, but not least, the phone now has two microphones to help suppress background noise when making a call.

Improved Camera & HD Video

The iPhone’s camera has received a welcome upgrade, now with an in-built LED flash, a bump up to 5 megapixels, and the ability to record high definition video (720p at 30fps). This is a major addition, and not something to be taken lightly. It allows the iPhone to compete with a completely different category of other devices.

Low light photography is also made easier with the addition of an advanced backside illumination sensor, delivering great-looking video in both bright and low-light settings.

Apple also announced iMovie for iPhone, a stripped-down version of their desktop video editing software for making the most of your high resolution footage. This will be a seperate purchase through the App Store, and is priced at $4.99.

FaceTime Video Calling

Video calling has long been the territory of science fiction, but today makes the move towards reality – albeit in a slightly limited fashion. FaceTime is Apple’s name for their new video calling application, making the most of the forward facing camera in the new iPhone 4.

You can flip between either of the iPhone’s cameras, and show the person at the end of the line what you’re seeing, or what you look like. Calling also works in portrait or landscape.

It looks stunning, but comes with a number of limitations. You’re only able to use the service over Wi-Fi (Apple are working with carriers to bring it to 3G next year), and it works solely between two iPhone 4 devices. This is something of a shame, as it would have been great to see one-way video calling compatibility with older iPhone hardware.

Incredible “Retina” Display

The new hardware sports a brand new “Retina Display“, with a remarkably high resolution. The actual screen size is the same size as the 3GS, though the resolution is 940×640. It looks stunning on screen, but I imagine that you need to experience it first-hand to really appreciate the improvement over the previous design.

Older iPhone applications are simply scaled up to this new resolution, and should appear exactly the same as they do on older hardware. If they use standard iPhone UI controls, these will be displayed as the new “retina resolution”.

The glass used in front of this display is hardened to a greater degree than that found in the 3GS, and also features an oil-resistant coating that helps keep the screen clean (I’m really looking forward to trying this out).

Improved Battery Life

Battery life is always an issue on a mobile device, and it’s a big challenge for companies such as Apple. They’re taking another step in the right direction with the iPhone 4, using a MicroSIM to allow more room for the battery, meaning that it lasts longer than ever.

You can get up to 7 hours of talk time on 3G (14 hours on 2G), 300 hours of standby time, 6 hours of 3G internet use, and up to 10 hours of Wi-Fi internet use.

Is media your thing? You’ll be able to keep going for 10 hours of video, or up to 40 hours of audio. To say that this is impressive would be an understatement!

iOS4

Apple altered the name of their iPhone OS to “iOS” today, something far more appropriate considering the range of devices the operating system is used on. Is this trampling another of Cisco’s trademarks? Time will tell…

The new operating comes with a huge range of new features – too many to go into detail in this post. Fortunately we’ve covered these extensively in the past. I’d recommend reading 7 Features to Get Excited About in iPhone OS 4 for the highlights of what to expect.

Tethering

Although the iPhone has supported tethering for a long time, AT&T have only now started enabling it for their customers in the USA. You can take a look at their recent pricing announcement to decide whether the extra money is worthwhile. There are a few other options available to you as well, a couple of which we highlighted in a recent article.

This didn’t make up part of the keynote, but we assume that it’s functionality you might like to know about now that it’s available!

Sizes, Pricing & Availability

So now we come to the two crucial questions. When will the new iPhone model be available, and how much will it cost? Apple have chosen to follow the same pricing as in previous years, following what has proven to be a very successful model. The iPhone 4 is available in two different sizes, and two different colours. These are:

  • iPhone 4 16GB White: $199
  • iPhone 4 16GB Black: $199
  • iPhone 4 32GB White: $299
  • iPhone 4 32GB Black: $299

If you’re more than happy with a slightly older model, the iPhone 3GS will soon be available for the bargain price of $99. These figures assume that you’re happy to sign up to a standard two year contract with AT&T.

The iPhone 4 will be going on sale in five countries (USA, UK, Germany, France and Japan) on the 24th June. Pre-orders are being taken from the 15th, and Apple are happy to notify you when you can submit your order. iPhone 4 will be rolled out to 88 other countries by September.

If you’re more interested in the software update for your existing iPhone, you’ll be pleased to know that it will be available free for all iPhones and iPod touch devices on June 21st. There are a few older generation iDevices that it doesn’t work with, so be sure to check whether yours is supported!

Side Note: Bumpers for iPhone 4

Apple has also announced a range of cases for the new phone, called “Bumpers”. They look pretty vibrant and stylish, and are due to launch around the same time as iPhone 4.

Will You Be Buying One?

The obvious question to ask is whether you think the upgrades and additions announced today are worth forking over your hard-earned cash for. Has Apple successfully lured you in with their swanky new hardware, or will you be content with the free software upgrade?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments either way!


  • Shellie

    I will be definitely getting one. Apple really outdid themselves on this model and I believe it is worth the upgrade fee I will be paying. It looks like my hubby will be getting my 3Gs real soon!

    • Adrissa

      I want a pink one or green but besides that they are no different from a normal iphone, i am only fourteen but still it isnt much of a leap in tech. maybe I dont understand as much as you do?

      reply

      Ada xx

  • http://www.joseairosa.com José P. Airosa

    I will most likely buy one as soon as they’re out. This is not like a 3G->3GS, this is a whole new Phone!

    Looking forward to seeing one on my hand :)

    • Adrissa

      WHY????????????? it is not a new fone

  • Robin Lundgren

    First time I really REALLY wanted an iPhone. This is sweet!

  • http://www.the10most.com Jan Waldeck

    Now I’ll finally leave Verizon behind… I was waiting to buy the iPhone because of this new model, now the wait is over! :)

  • http://www.inventador.com.br Renato Alves

    OMG.

    Time for upgrade. ;_;

  • Laurence Wilks

    I’m going to get one because I’ve waited until now to take the plunge but this model looks to have been worth waiting for!

  • http://www.willwoodgate.com Will

    Excellent writeup. I’m not much of a phone person, so wont be running out to get one. But it is very pleasing to see the direction Apple are taking now. Evidently they are listening to what people want and taking time to implement these new features properly first time round. A real kick in the teeth for other companies.

  • jay

    Yes, I’ll get one. I have the 3G now and am pretty ready for something new.

    Have they done pre-order before for the iPhone? If so, how does that come down? Pre order and I’ll have it by launch day? No more waiting in line??

  • jay

    Still wish it’d have a microSD slot. And charging by mini-usb.

    Also will all my apps from the 3G work on the new one, or since the resolution is different will the authors have to update?

    • http://lickynee.com/ lickynee

      It looks exactly the same, it just uses 4 pixels as one.

  • http://www.jonwallacedesign.com Jon Wallace

    It’s taken till version 04 for me to want one, and feel that its a real contender to the other phones on the market – but Mr Jobs you now have my custom and I will be purchasing this version, the previous 3 were not up to scratch – this one finally hits the mark!

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  • http://twitter.com/creatiaus Ryan Doss

    I have to agree i’ve waited for this version in order to purchase my first iPhone.. I have had an upgrade available for 2 months now .. been the longest two months ever .. HA – woot

  • David

    I will be getting one as soon as it comes out, yes. I currently have a Blackberry, and my girlfriend uses the iPhone 3GS – I’m due an upgrade with Vodafone here in the UK, so held out until now… launch dates are even sooner than I thought, so am pleased!

  • http://witharock.com Dan P

    Nope.

    I guess I just too high standards for Apple Keynotes, and have been quite disappointed lately.

    I don’t need video. I have a real camera to take pictures and HD video with. And its always on me. Gyroscope & else — a bunch of small additions. This isn’t a new phone. Theyre just packing a couple cool gimmicks into the old one, and then squishing some more.

    Only improvement I can say is an actual apple step forward is the improved screen resolution.

    Doesn’t warrant shelling out the cash, and certainly not leaving a network I’ve never had problems with for AT&T for 2 years.

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  • http://Matthamilton.com.au Matt

    I just bought an iPad! Now steve comes out with this for me to buy?!?! nah – I don’t think I will, already have an iPhone and while this looks good, for what I use a phone for (email on the run mostly), my iPhone does just that.

    As Dan P said, there are a lot of little things that have been added but esentially it’s just the power of an iPad with the inconvenience of a small screen!

  • Tony H.

    Hi,

    Someone knows if there’s a version for CDMA???

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  • http://zayyes.com ริงโทน

    yehh!! i’ll buy one 55

  • http://hector-lee.com Hector Lee

    Didn’t Apple announce the sides as steel instead of aluminium? I heard that in the iPhone 4 video too.

  • Bryan

    I’ll be getting one, and it will be my first iPhone so I’m very excited. My wife has a 3GS and I would love it if it was feasible for her to upgrade her phone with a contract renewal. I’ve heard there are going to be generously discounted upgrades, but haven’t heard a monetary figure yet–anyone know?

    At any rate, I think this smokes anything out there right now. One thing–isn’t the metal band stainless and not aluminum? Or was the tweet from Macrumors incorrectly reported? Anyway, no matter–it looks fantastic. With HD video I won’t have to carry around an extra gadget, worry about tapes or (god help us) mini-DVD discs or being able to transfer it over to my Mac. So they certainly have changed the game. Again.

  • David

    iPhone 4 will be awesome. Can’t wait.

    Little correction. The fram is steel, not aluminum according to the video on apple.com

  • Dean

    The phone is great but AT&T are killing it for me, losing unlimited data on a data greedy device is insane. They just porked the 3G iPad user by dropping unlimited data, now trying to pork the loyal mac fan boys as the iPhone comes out. Apple open this device up other cell networks.

    Shame on you AT&T

    • jay

      Will existing customers with iPhones who have unlimited data be grandfathered into unlimited data if they upgrade? This is kind of a hangup for me….

  • Vinod

    Its not aluminium but a steel border which functions as an antenna. That’s what I understood.

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  • http://www.petruszka.com Marcin Petruszka

    It’s not aluminium – it’s stainless steel. It serves as an antenna and building frame for the phone. Check out what Ive has to say aboout it in the official videos :)

  • Com Ctrl6

    There are a few mistakes in your writeup:

    1. “The new enclosure consists of an aluminum border surrounding the iPhone case, and a glass front and back.”

    Correction: The new enclosure is actually a new stainless-steel alloy. Aluminum does not allow radio signals to pass through it. That’s why they used a steel alloy instead of aluminum. Also that’s why the iPad 3G has a black plastic bar at the top to allow the cellular signals to be pass through. The WiFi signal passes through the Apple logo, which is also made of plastic. Another example is the difference between WiFi reception of Mac Book Pros vs. Mac Books. Mac Books Pros have always had poorer WiFi reception compared to Mac Books, due to their aluminum enclosure.

    2. “… and the ability to record high definition video (720p at 30fps).”

    Correction: “Video recording, HD (720p) *up* to 30 frames per second with audio” (http://www.apple.com/iphone/specs.html)

    3. “… features an oil-resistant coating that helps keep the screen clean.”

    Correction: The 3rd generation iPod Touch and the iPhone 3GS screens already come with this “oleophobic coating” applied to their screens.

  • Com Ctrl6

    4. ” Is this trampling another of Cisco’s trademarks? Time will tell…”

    Apple has licensed the iOS name from Cisco. (http://blogs.cisco.com/news/comments/cisco_and_apple_agreement_on_ios_trademark/)

  • Lo

    Will I be buying one? DUH!!!!!

  • Brett

    “There wasn’t much to note in terms of the hardware difference between the iPhone 3G and 3GS, so today’s brand new hardware design is obviously the most striking change in the new model. I was always a big fan of the aluminium design, and am pleased to see it make a reappearance.”

    Stopped reading after this point. Hardware was vastly different between 3G and 3GS – or do you think the extra speed was a software thing? (Stagnant design does not equal stagnant hardware). Also, Apple has been very clear that they are using forged steel, not aluminum – big difference in durability and very important when talking about the new design.

    Obviously the author spent more time with the pictures of the new phone than the spec sheet/announcement.

  • Hassan

    Hey, This is great. Anyway we can get the iOS 4 now. There is a way to get it for MAC users but for windows user NO! Anyone know about it!?

  • http://www.justpad.net Justy

    yep, i buy one for sure, especially because of the camera – which should replace my casio one :)

  • zholy

    Many every time I see the iPhone 4 I get all excited!
    Im getting the white one, I have never owned an iphone before, but I do have an iPod touch and I seriously cant wait to get my dirty hands on ma new iphone4!!!!!

  • http://www.orgone-design.com Alex

    Bravo for technical change, but finally I prefered iPhone 3’s design

  • http://---------- Daiski

    I would like to see DAB (digital audio broadcast) in-built as well as the usual FM radio features. This is now a big market in Europe and Asia. (Digital shortwave would also be good but this is still a niche).

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  • diana

    i wont be buying a new iphone until it is 4g and has a better camera.

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  • matt

    how can i get one with telius can i? i havee towers around my house like on 2 minutes up the road like i live in ontario is there any way i can get one july 16th?

  • http://www.martinvaresio.com.ar/alicia-varesio-esmaltadora.html Martin

    I have never owned an iphone before, but I do have an iPod touch and I seriously cant wait to get

  • Pankhuri

    BlackBerry Torch or Iphone 4?

  • vikt26rus

    iphone 4 in Russia there are 1500 $

  • http://www.ultrasnow.de UltraSnow

    I have to admit, i was first against the iPhone 4, since i loved the design for the iphone 3gs. But the more i work with it, the more i feel in love with the improved design of the iphone 4. And now it comes : when the iPhone 5 is out, i will just trust Apple and upgrade :D

  • http://www.bettwaeschen.de Frank

    The Iphone4 is the one and only Phone for me. Thank you for the great Information

  • http://www.studiomk.com.pl Studio MK

    It is a toy ;) Ofcourse it’s can be very useful but is too expensive for a lot of people

  • Sanjay

    is there any possibility for the unluck the i-phone 4 serial no 81025jhuq45 IMEI no.01338000289546 i Had bought this phone from usa and i an in Nepal please help me

  • Sanjay

    it is not working in the network of Nepal DUE to AT&T so please what is the processer for using this phone

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