Apple's iPhone 4 to hit UK on 24 June

Apple's iPhone 4 to hit UK on 24 June

Summary: Steve Jobs has introduced the new iPhone, which has the highest display resolution of any smartphone and will be sold through three UK operators

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Apple has unveiled the latest version of its smartphone, the iPhone 4, and UK operators are lined up to release the device on 24 June.

The iPhone 4 was shown off on Monday by Apple chief Steve Jobs at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2010. Orange, Vodafone and O2 will carry the handset in the UK, although local pricing has not yet been announced. In the US, the device's cost will start from $199 (£138) on a two-year contract.

The device has what Apple calls a 'retina display', which at 960x640 pixels is the highest-resolution touchscreen yet to be used in a phone. The previous iPhone had a 480x320-pixel resolution with a density at half the iPhone 4's 326 pixels per inch.

The new version also has a forward-facing camera for video calling, using an application Apple calls FaceTime. Proposed as an industry standard by Apple, FaceTime will at launch work only over Wi-Fi.

"iPhone 4 is the biggest leap since the original iPhone," Jobs said in a statement. "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."

The handset is 9.3mm thick, with both front and back being made of aluminosilicate glass — according to Apple, this substance is "chemically strengthened to be 30 times harder than plastic". A stainless steel band, which has the handset's antennae built into it, encircles the iPhone 4.

The iPhone 4 uses the same Apple A4 chipset that debuted in the iPad. According to the company, this processor allows for seven hours of 3G talktime, six hours of 3G web surfing and up to 40 hours of audio playback. A second microphone for noise cancellation — already a feature of handsets such as Google's Nexus One Android phone — is also included. For connectivity, it has 802.11n Wi-Fi and quad-band HSPA with a 7.2Mbps maximum downlink and 5.8Mbps maximum uplink.

The device's camera has been upgraded from 3 megapixels to 5 megapixels, and has gained an LED flash that can be kept on for high-definition video recording. The camera has a back-illuminated sensor, which aids low-light photography. The phone also has a three-axis gyroscope, to make the device more sensitive and accurate when judging movement.

In addition, the new handset will get the iBooks e-reader app, which is already available for the iPad.

The iPhone 4 is also the first to use the new version of Apple's smartphone operating system, now renamed from 'iPhone OS' to 'iOS', in a nod to the fact that the operating system now powers iPads as well as iPhones. The company has licensed the iOS name from Cisco, which uses IOS for its Internetwork Operating System.

On 21 June, iOS 4 will be made available for earlier incarnations of the iPhone including the 3G and 3GS, albeit with cut-down functionality. It includes multitasking, bringing Apple's smartphone OS in line with rivals such as Android and Symbian. It also features folders for apps, support for multiple Exchange accounts and Exchange Server 2010, SSL VPN support, encryption and wireless app distribution for enterprises.

The operating system also introduces Apple's mobile advertising platform, iAd. Due to launch on 1 July, the platform gives developers the ability to create video advertising for iPhone users. According to Apple, companies such as Best Buy, Nissan and Disney have already committed $60m for advertising on iAd in the second half of this year.

Also on Monday, the mobile advertising company Greystripe announced a collaboration with Adobe to provide a cross-platform advertising network that will see Flash-authored ads delivered across Android, the iPhone and the iPad. According to Greystripe, this approach will allow for ads that are "priced at a fraction of the cost" of iAd ads, while permitting a greater variety of formats.

Topics: Mobility, Smartphones

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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2 comments
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  • So to sum up:
    1. Higher resolution screen than current generation Androids. Nearest competitor is the Super AMOLED unit found in the Samsung phones (better colour but fewer pixels):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1HppPKVBKc
    2. Still no Adobe Flash support vs Android has Flashlite and soon official Adobe flash.
    3. Multi-tasks now, but screens just a bunch of icons vs configurable widgets (does the clock icon still always show 10:15 still on iPhone?)
    4. Camera flash similar to mid range Android now.
    5. Thinner than Android phones (tradeoff is no removable battery).
    6. No microSD slot, but more flash built in.
    7. Processor, 1 Ghz ARM from Samsung branded as A4, similar to Snapdragon units in Android (also 1Ghz ARM).
    8. No 4G.

    I think that's about sums it up.
    guihombre
  • hey...

    1. Pretty damn high resolution for a phone.
    2. Not really Apple's call. So far they have managed to ship a few betas for one OS. WebOS is desperately waiting for a release none forthcoming from Adobe. Flashlite is not flash. The battery life goes way down when running Flash - advantages?
    3. Battery life is pretty impressive even when multitasking.
    4. Camera flash yes but a damn impressive camera. How's the video editing going on Android these days?
    5. But the trade off is that with the battery and the CPU you don't NEED to swap it out.
    6. And the Apps can live in all of the memory. And it has 512megs of RAM.
    7. Similar but seems to get a hell of a lot more out of the custom designed chip than the Android copies.
    9. There are a small number of 4g areas in the State and the EVO takes around 6 minutes to connect to the 4G when in range. Apple will ship a 4G network device when there is like a 4G network to connect to.

    YUP it sums it up if you ignore all the real progress that has been made.

    How many evos got sold the first weekend? 3x the number of previous Android phones shipped as claimed or just 1x the number as corrected?
    jgpmolloy