Apple Unveils iPhone 4 [Updated]

Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the company’s next generation iPhone during his World Wide Developers Conference keynote presentation on Monday. The new version of the combination iPod and smartphone looks like the images that leaked to the media, includes a front-facing camera for the first time, and is called iPhone 4.

iPhone 4 includes over 100 new features such as a camera with LED flash on the back, a new form factor that’s about 24 percent thinner than the iPhone 3GS, a glass front and back, and a new higher resolution display. Mr. Jobs called the iPhone 4 “the thinnest smartphone ever.”

Apple’s new iPhone 4

The metal band that comprises the iPhone 4’s edge also works as part of the built-in antenna system, and the new model relies on the same style microsim card used in the iPad.

The new 3.5-inch 960x640 pixel display uses IPS technology for a wider viewing angle, and offers an 800:1 contrast ratio. The iPhone 4 also runs Apple’s own A4 processor, like the iPad.

According to Apple, the iPhone 4’s new battery offers up to seven hours talk time, six hours of 3G Internet browsing or 10 hours on Wi-Fi, 40 hours of music playback, 10 hours of video playback, and 300 hours in standby mode.

Apple’s iPhone 4 also supports 802.11n Wi-Fi connections, where previous models supported 802.11g. The new iPhone also includes a built-in gyroscope along with an accelerometer and compass, offering six-access movement sensing.

The new model includes a 5 megapixel camera with a “backside illuminated sensor” that should let more light reach the camera, a 5x digital zoom, and support for HD video recording at 720p and 30 frames per second. To go along with the improved camera, the new iPhone will also include a special version of iMove for in-phone video editing priced at US$4.99.

The new iPhone will also include the company’s iBooks ebook reader. Users will be able to sync their books, bookmarks, last page read and notes across all of their iBooks-compatible devices.

Mr. Jobs surprised WWDC attendees with the news that the new iPhone supports video calls, too. The feature requires a Wi-Fi connection, supports portrait and landscape modes, and uses the iPhone 4’s new front-facing camera. According to Mr. Jobs, the feature will be Wi-Fi only while Apple sorts out details with cell service providers for 3G support.

Apple is calling its video chat feature FaceTime and is working on making it an open  industry standard.

The new iPhone 4 will be available in black or white, and will be priced at $199 for a 16GB model and $299 for a 32GB model with a two-year contract. AT&T is also offering upgrade eligibility to any iPhone owner with a contract that expires in 2010.

The iPhone 4 will be available in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany and Japan on June 24. Apple will begin taking pre-order sales on June 15.

The iPhone 4 will be available in 88 countries by the end of September.