OK, so I've sat through the WWDC 2010 keynote speech, sifted through the tech specs and checked out the hot sheets to see what others are making of Apple's latest creation. Time for a verdict ...
Evolutionary, not revolutionary.
Let's begin by stating the obvious. The iPhone 4 is a nice bit of kit. Visually it's different to the older iPhone lines, which in some way makes the older devices obsolete from a "cool" perspective. The iPhone 4 will redefine in people's minds what the iPhone looks like. In one fell swoop, Apple knocked aside the older iPhones and created a whole new strata of "coolness" for those to whom such things matter have to aspire to (and pay up).
There are some neat new features in the iPhone 4 too. The improved camera and better screen are certainly nice, but a phone with a camera on it is nothing new, and a slightly better screen is nothing more than the result of the technology getting better. That said, the 326 pixels per inch is certainly an engineering feat and I'm sure will look stunning (until users slap a screen protector on it, or get it covered in fingerprints).
Then there are those metal bands on the case acting as antennas. Sure, it's cool and geeky, but it's performance that will matter. Unless Apple can put numbers to the actual signal improvements that this change creates, it's little more than a gimmick.
The better battery is certainly much needed, but I'm sure that it won't be enough for folks on the move. Battery life never is.
Then there's the A4 processor. It'll make the iPhone 4 faster, but just how much faster remains to be seen.
Then there's the gyroscope, adding a new dimension to the iPhone's ability to detect movement. This will see application within games, but probably not much beyond that.
HD video and editing ... nice, but hardly ground breaking or essential.
Video calling, again is interesting, but nothing new, and on the iPhone 4 it's currently crippled to WiFi only and that alone makes the feature feel unfinished and sort of rushed.
Oh, and it's thinner ...
More than anything I see the iPhone 4 as being a tool not only to invigorate those who haven't yet bought an iPhone to do so, but to also re-invigorate those already on a 3G, 3G or even 3GS handset to step up to the plate and buy into the new iPhone.
I've no doubt that the iPhone 4 will be a huge success for Apple, with the company selling millions of them. I'm also pretty sure that, despite having been around for years, that the iPhone 4 will do to video calling what the original iPhone did to mobile browsing.
In all honesty, Apple didn't need to do anything that revolutionary with the iPhone 4. The company is selling millions of iPhones (and iPads) as it is and this latest handset is little more than a stepping stone.
Put simply, it's all Apple needs to maintain forward momentum.