Apple iPhone 4 and AT&T metered data
Long-term, AT&T's new data pricing will likely be lowered as they bring on advanced and higher capacity technologies
Published: 10 June, 2010
You have to love the ritual: Every June at the Mac Worldwide Developer's Conference in San Francisco, Steve Jobs delivers a keynote address. For the past few years, he used this opportunity to announce the next iPhone as well as to give an update on a few other products. And, when it's a big announcement, he likes to wait until the end of his talk and say, "Oh, and just one more thing" (which usually brings cheers from the audience). Steve used this year's occasion (Monday, June 7th) to announce the iPhone 4 - the fourth model of the iPhone since it began to ship three years ago in June 2007.
Enhancing rich media is clearly the focus of the new iPhone, which introduces a much-improved digital camera, video capture in HD, and a forward-facing camera to enable video calls. The new iPhone supports AT&T's next generation of high speed wireless data communications called HSUPA (high speed uplink packet access) to provide 7.2Mbps downlink and 5.8Mbps uplink capability. HSUPA finally brings faster data communications speeds to AT&T's network (along with much broader coverage).
The iPhone 4 is a lot thinner at 9.3 mm, and that's very cool because thinner handheld devices feel better in your hand. The metal band on the side of the iPhone 4 is actually part of the wireless antenna.
The iPhone 4 has a new high resolution display that Apple calls the Retina Display - delivering 3.5" diagonal, 960x640 pixels (326 pixels per inch), and a solid 800:1 contrast ratio (that's a 4x improvement). The iPhone 4 digital camera is now 5MP with 5x digital zoom, and the video can capture HD movies at 720p at 30 frames per second (fps).
Other new features in the Apple iPhone 4 include delivery of Version 4 of the iPhone OS -- now branded as iOS4 -- that includes multi-tasking (allowing users to do multiple things at the same time, such as listen to music while browsing the web or playing a game). Multi-tasking is even more important for the iPad where users desire to open and interact with multiple applications at the same time.
Folders now available on the home screen are actually very useful because people are downloading an array of applications. Folders allow you to group your apps by whatever category you'd like to use. And, Apple added threading to email which is really helpful - you can each email exchange between you and someone else in one place. Outlook 2010 will have this same feature.
And, yes, Steve did his famous "Just one more thing" by announcing FaceTime - video calling over Wi-Fi that will likely now become popular, especially with the younger crowd. Apple will support FaceTime with 3G later. FaceTime is a nice addition, but I think he should have kept the famous closing to announce something really big such as signing on with Verizon Wireless or coming to peace with Adobe over Flash.
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