Going in to the keynote of today’s Worldwide Developer Conference, pretty much everyone knew Apple would be rolling out its fourth generation iPhone. But the Cupertino-based company still managed to spring a few surprises on the crowd.
The iPhone 4, which goes on sale June 24 – will have a host of new features, including the ability to shoot high definition video and easily edit it on the phone. The device will record video at resolutions of up to 720p, shooting at 30 fps – making the new iPhone a possible tool for guerilla video shoots from indie filmmakers.
The company also plans to offer its iMovie program as an app for just $4.99, letting users quickly edit films shot on their iPhone and upload it to the Web.
Apple also will dramatically increase the quality of the iPhone’s screen, offering what it says is four times the quality of the iPhone 3GS. The new device is capable of resolutions of 960 x 640, according to CEO Steve Jobs.
Preorders for the system begin June 15. The iPhone 4 will come in black and white (the first time Apple has offered a color option) and will cost $199 for 16GB version and $299 for 32GB model. (Existing 3GS phones will drop to $99.)
The device will be 24 percent thinner than existing iPhone 3GS devices – and AT&T (which continues to be the exclusive cellular partner of Apple) is allowing any 3GS owner whose contract expires this year to upgrade to the new phone without penalty.
Many of Apple’s revelations about the new iPhone came out several weeks ago, when a blog came into possession of a prototype of the machine and detailed many of the components and new features, including an newly created processor chip from Apple (called the A4), dual cameras (which will let the phone do video chats), 802.11n Wifi capabilities and an improved camera (5 MP – up from the 3MP camera in the 3GS model – and with a flash).
Other announcements meant as suprises were fairly common sense. The iPad’s popular iBooks app is coming to the iPhone. (Five million eBooks were downloaded to the iPad in that device’s first 65 days on the market.) And Netflix, which has seen tremendous success with the iPad, will introduce an iPhone version of its app this summer, allowing subscribers to stream films directly to their phones (via both Wifi and 3G).
Addressing one common complaint about the iPhone, Apple said the iPhone 4 would have dramatically improved battery life – boasting 7 hours of 3G talk, 6 hours of 3G Web browsing, 10 hours of WiFi Web browsing, 10 hours of video, 40 hours of music and 300 hours of standby.