Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference kicked off this morning with Steve Jobs keynote. The highlight of the conference is the impending release of the new iPhone, dubbed the iPhone 4. Here's a breakdown of the hardware upgrades to this generation of the iPhone:
- The camera has been upgraded to a 5-Megapixel model with a 5x digital zoom. It also records HD video at 720p as well (30 fps). The iPhone 4 comes with a LED flash on the rear camera which can stay on during video recording. Video can be edited within the new iMovie application as well ($4.99). Apple also stressed that their "backside illuminated sensor" would improve picture quality rather then increasing Megapixels on the rear camera.
- The iPhone 4 also comes with a front facing camera for self-portraits or the "FaceTime" video chat tool. Facetime is only compatible over Wi-Fi in 2010, but Apple is in talks with carriers to work over their existing networks. During the video call, you can switch between either camera (rear or front). You can also switch between portrait or landscape view during the call.
- The display on the iPhone 4 is has four times the pixels per inch of the previous model, specifically 326 ppi. Apple is calling this technology Retina Display. This will allow for much sharper text in the iBooks application as well as a much improved web browsing experience.
- The iPhone 4 comes with a gyroscope. In combination with the accelerometer, this expands the range of motion to 6-axis. Steve used a demo of a virtual Jenga game to show how the device handed 3-dimensional object control. Applications that take advantage of the expanded range of movement will likely come soon after the launch of the phone.
- The iPhone 4 is nearly 25% thinner than the 3GS measuring in at 9.3mm. By comparison, the very slim iPod Touch is 8.5mm thick. It’s certainly not as light at the Touch though. The weight is almost identical to the iPhone 3Gs.
- The iPhone 4 uses the speedy A4 processing chip that's found inside the iPad. This means a more responsive user interface and quickly application loading time. The battery capacity has slightly increased as well. (7 hours of talk time, 6 hours of 3G browsing, 10 hours of WiFi browsing, 10 hours of video, 40 hours of music, 300 hours of standby time) Also, the Wi-Fi adapters have been upgraded to 802.11n.
- In addition to the hardware upgrades, iOS4 will be rolling out with the new iPhones. (It's also going to be a free upgrade for the iPhone 3G, 3Gs and the iPod Touch). iOS 4 brings multitasking, folders, a unified email inbox, the Bing search engine and many other features to the various mobile Apple platforms.
Entertainment apps were also announced at the conference, the most notable being Netflix for the iPhone. Netflix has been a wildly popular on the iPad and iPhone usage will have an even greater impact on their subscriber base. If you have both the iPhone and the iPad, the Netflix app will remember where you stopped watching a video on either device and pick up on the other device right where you left off.
No confirmation is available regarding the ability to do the same with your home theater, although it should work across all devices assuming it’s controlled from the software side. The application is rolling out in Summer 2010 for the iPhone / iPod Touch platform.
The iPhone 4 comes in two colors, black and white, and two sizes, 16GB and 32GB. The 16GB will be priced at $199 (with contract) and the 32GB at $299 (with contract). Both will be released on June 24th. The iPhone 3G is now discontinued and the iPhone 3Gs is falling to $99 with contract.
Also, AT&T announced today that they will be pushing up upgrade eligibility for users with contracts expiring in 2010, meaning you may be able to upgrade sooner. You can read more about the upcoming iPhone release at Apple's official website here: Link
Any updated information on the rumored revision to Apple TV wasn’t released in the keynote, nor was information on camera-enabled iPod Touches. We will be watching the remainder of the WWDC for info regarding other Apple devices used in your home theater. Check back with us after June 24th for an in-depth review of the iPhone's capabilities.