Apple unveils iPhone 4, touts 'FaceTime' video chat
New iPhone goes on sale June 24, Apple to take pre-orders June 15 (see video, below)
Computerworld - Apple today unveiled the iPhone 4, touting it as the "biggest leap" since the company's original model of 2007 and saying it would go on sale in the U.S. and four other countries on June 24.
"This is more of the kind of enhancements they usually do, and none of them is a blockbuster, but I agree that it's the biggest step since the  iPhone," said Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research.
The debut of the iPhone 4 and the availability date for iOS 4, the new name for what the company had called iPhone OS 4, came at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which CEO Steve Jobs kicked off Monday in San Francisco.
Jobs covered several of the new smartphone's and operating system's features, including a much sharper display, Apple's new iAd mobile advertising platform, and video capture and video chat.
The last was saved for Jobs' now-famous "One more thing..." near the end of his time on stage, when he placed a video call to Jonathan Ive, Apple's head of design. "You know, I grew up with the Jetsons and video calls," Jobs said to Ive. "And now it's real."
Dubbed "FaceTime" by Apple, the video chat feature works only between iPhone 4 smartphones, and during 2010, only via a Wi-Fi connection on each end. "We need to work a little bit with the carriers" before video calling can migrate to cellular data networks, Jobs admitted.
"They're positioning this as completely divorced from all the other video chat that's out there," said Gottheil. "They're positioning this as something completely different from, say, the Skypes of the world." Even so, Gottheil expects that Apple will provide video chat links between the iPhone and its desktop-bound Mac OS X client, iChat, in the near future.
"Apple wants to build a wall around [its] own ecology," said Gottheil.
The 32GB iPhone 4 will sell for $299; a 16GB model will go for $199. Both will be sold by Apple and AT&T at brick-and-mortar and online stores, and at Best Buy and Wal-Mart stores. Apple is also retaining the 8GB version of the iPhone 3GS, and starting June 24 will sell that older model for $99.
All iPhones sold in the U.S. require a two-year commitment to AT&T service. AT&T, however, will waive its usual contract restrictions and allow any current subscriber who would be due for an upgrade in 2010 to purchase an iPhone 4 starting this month.
Apple will take pre-orders on the iPhone in the U.S., France, Germany, Japan and the U.K. beginning June 15, and start selling them in those same countries nine days later.
"People are going to go out and buy this thing in droves," said Ken Dulaney, an analyst for Gartner Research. "Apple will get not just the additive buyers, but also the repeat customers," he said, pointing out the waiver AT&T is giving subscribers.
- Apple's CarPlay vs. MirrorLink: Is there a need for both?
- Apple's CarPlay to spark mobile apps war in your car
- iTunes is almost as big a biz as OEM Windows
- Icahn says 'I can't' and stops $50B fight over Apple stock buyback
- Lenovo-Moto deal's impact on Apple? Zip
- Office 365 turns one, but success is tough to tally
- Everyone bets on bigger iPhone for '14
- Apple's iPod business collapses as revenue becomes a rounding error
- Update: More than 1B smartphones were shipped in 2013
- Cook admits Apple blew the call on the iPhone 5C
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Pay-as-you-Grow Data Protection: IBM Tivoli's Full-featured Data Protection Suite for Small to Medium Businesses IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery gives small and medium businesses the opportunity to start out with only the individual solutions...
- Streamline Data Protection with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) has been an industry-standard data protection solution for two decades. But, where most competitors focus exclusively on Backup...
- Simplify and Consolidate Data Protection for Better Business Results Learn about IBM® Tivoli® Storage Manager Operations Center, which provides advanced visualization, built-in analytics and integrated workflow automation features that leapfrog traditional backup...
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data...
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All Macintosh White Papers | Webcasts