iPhone 4 announced, launching June 24 for $199 with new FaceTime video chat

Digg this! Apple has unveiled its new iPhone 4 after a couple wild, unprecedented months of leaks. Sure, it looks exactly like we expected it to (Steve compares it to an old Leica camera), with a glass front and back, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts, kids. The stainless steel band that goes around the phone is an antenna system, while also providing the main structure of the phone, though it’s plugged into the same old GSM / UMTS radio you all know and love — there’s a reason they didn’t call it the iPhone 4G. There’s also of course that front facing camera we were all anticipating, a rear camera with LED flash, and a new high resolution display that doubles the pixels in each direction (960 x 640) for a 4X overall pixel count increase — Apple calls it a “Retina Display.” It’s rated at 326ppi, which Apple claims is beyond the human eye’s limit of distinction. Check out an example of the new screen up against the iPhone 3G after the break. Similar to the iPad, it’s an IPS display, offering 800:1 contrast. Naturally, it’s still the same old 3.5-inch size. Under the hood is the A4 processor that runs the iPad. Despite the new engine (and the 25% thinner chassis), Apple managed to make the battery slightly larger, and the new handset is rated at 7 hours of 3G talk, 6 hours of 3G browsing, 10 hours of WiFi browsing, 10 hours of video, and 40 hours of music. Oh, and that WiFi? It’s 802.11n now. The camera has been bumped to 5 megapixels, with 5X digital zoom and a “backside illuminated sensor,” which now can also record HD video at 720p / 30fps.

On the software front, applications will automatically get high resolution text and buttons as part of iOS 4 (the OS previously known as iPhone OS 4), and with “a little bit of work” developers can make their entire app compatible with the new resolution display. Developers will also get access to a new gyroscope, giving devs “six axis” motion control between the gyroscope, accelerometer, and compass, with a new “Core Motion” API to deal with it all. Users won’t be left out in the cold, however: they can mess around with that new HD video using a brand new iMovie app, if they shell out $4.99 for it. If anyone’s feeling particularly frisky, iOS 4 even lets you switch your default search provider to Bing. Last but certainly not least, that new front camera is enabled for video chat using the new “FaceTime” feature. It’s a WiFi-only (for now) video calling feature that works from iPhone 4 to iPhone 4 with “no setup” involved, and can flip over to the rear camera if your grandparents get tired of your face.

The phone will be available in white or black, retailing at $199 for the 16GB model and $299 for 32GB. They go on sale June 24th, and AT&T will be giving some extra grace upgrade timing — up to six months early. The 3GS will be dropped to $99 and the 3G will disappear completely. Pre-orders start in a week, with 5 countries at launch (US, France, Germany, UK, Japan), with 18 more following in July. Apple will also be selling a first party case for $29, and a dock for the same price. PR is after the break, promo videos can be found here, and we got hands-on right here.

article from: Engadget

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