Apple announces iPhone 4

CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the new smartphone at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco

By , IDG News Service |  Personal Tech, Apple, iPhone

Apple CEO Steve Jobs on Monday announced the fourth-generation iPhone during a keynote speech at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.

The smartphone will be priced at US$199 for a model with 16GB of storage and at $299 for a 32GB model, with two-year smartphone contracts. AT&T iPhone customers in the U.S. are eligible for that pricing if their contract expires any time in 2010.

The iPhone 4 will ship on June 24, with pre-shipment orders starting on June 15. The iPhone 4 will ship initially in the U.S., France, Germany, the U.K. and Japan. By the end of September, it will be available in 88 countries.

The iPhone 4 sports a new look and is the thinnest smartphone, he said. At 9.3 millimeters (0.36 inches) thick, the new iPhone is 24 percent thinner than iPhone 3GS, Jobs said.

The phone has a 3.5-inch display that will show images at a 960-pixel-by-640-pixel resolution. The phone includes a sharper display that will show four times as many pixels in the same amount of space as earlier iPhones.

The new smartphone also has about 100 new features, including a front-facing video camera and a new camera system. The phone will support UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunication System) and GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) 3G networks, and has Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS capabilities. It has a Micro-SIM tray on the side.

The phone has improved battery life over its predecessors, including seven hours of talk time and six hours of Web browsing time through 3G networks. It also offers 10 hours of browsing through Wi-Fi networks, 10 hours of video and 40 hours of music.

The phone will include an Apple-developed A4 chip, which includes an Arm-based processor, which should help it run faster. It also has improved graphics capabilities. The new iPhone will be able to record 720p video at 30 frames per second, Jobs said.

Apple announced the iMovie video-editing application for the iPhone, which will be available later this year for $4.99. Users will also be able to read e-books through the iBooks application, with the ability to download the same e-book to other devices, including the iPad or iPod Touch, at no extra charge.

The phone will run the Apple iOS4, which was previously released as iPhone OS 4.0 beta in April. The new OS enables true multitasking, which allows multiple applications to run at the same time. Previous phones were able to run only selected applications such as e-mail at the same time.

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