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6 Highlights From the iPhone 4 Announcement: No Surprises Here

Well, it looks like that prototype found in a Redwood City bar was the iPhone 4 after all. Today, Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the new device at the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference, even though we had all seen it before. There were virtually no surprises, but here are some of the highlights that were confirmed:

It's Thinner

The new iphone will be way thinner than the 3Gs -- around three-quarters the thickness. Jobs claims it will be the thinnest smartphone on the planet.

Two Cameras

It has a five megapixel camera on the back with a flash and 5x digital zoom. It also records 720p high-definition video. There's another camera on the front. This, of course, will allow great features like video chat, which Apple calls "FaceTime." Jobs demonstrated this capability, but said it will only work over WiFi from iPhone 4 to iPhone 4 this year.

Best Screen Possible

Jobs went crazy about the iPhone 4's new screen, which is called "retina display." He explains that it has 326 pixels per inch and says 300 is the limit the human retina can distinguish. In other words, it reaches the pinnacle of how good a screen's resolution can be. Jobs thinks this screen sets the new standard for the next several years, and computers won't come close.

Better Battery Life

According to Jobs, the new iPhone will allow seven hours of talk time -- 40% more. It would also provide six hours of 3G browsing and 10 hours on WiFi.


This was probably one of the most interesting kernels of information. Although Google will remain the default search engine, you can now use Bing instead (Yahoo was already an option.). Is Apple finally beginning to see Google as a worthy competitor and distancing itself?

No Verizon

What was noticeably absent from the iPhone 4 presentation? There was no big announcement that Verizon would be a service provider for the device. Any current iPhone owners unhappy with AT&T will have to continue to grudgingly use the company.

Pricing for the iPhone 4 will be $199 for the 16GB and $299 for the 32GB -- the same as the current pricing for the 3Gs. It will be on sale June 24th in four countries; in July it will hit 18 more -- ramping up to 88 countries by September.

Basically, what Apple unveiled today was an upgraded iPhone, with little shock or awe. That's partially due to the spoiler we already got through the lost prototype. But even without it, there was no sort of incredible new functionality. It's a little sleeker, a little more functional, and a little prettier -- but without a clear game-changer.