Apple iPhone 4

June 8, 2010 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | Camera Phones | 12 Comments | |
News image

Apple has officially launched the iPhone 4, which features a back-illuminated 5-megapixel CMOS sensor, a LED flash and 720p HD video recording. The extra slim smartphone actually has two cameras - the second one being a front side unit that allows one to take self-portraits simply, albeit in VGA resolution only. The main, rear-facing camera is capable of shooting 5 megapixel stills and HD movies at 30 frames per second, and features tap focus - in other words, you can tell the camera what to focus on by simply tapping the subject on the iPhone’s 3.5”, 326ppi Retina Display. Two things that are basically standard features on today’s compact cameras but are missing from the Apple iPhone 4 are optical zoom and image stabilisation. The iPhone 4 makes do with a fixed lens, offering only 5x digital zoom (which is still an improvement over the iPhone 3Gs). Geotagging, on the other hand, is on board for both photos and videos. Available from 24 June, the iPhone 4 comes in two versions (16GB and 32GB), priced at $199 and $299, respectively.

By the end of July, the iPhone 4 will be available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Apple Press Release

Apple Presents iPhone 4

All-New Design with FaceTime Video Calling, Retina Display, 5 Megapixel Camera & HD Video Recording

Thinnest Smartphone Ever

SAN FRANCISCO—June 7, 2010—Apple® today presented the new iPhone® 4 featuring FaceTime, which makes the dream of video calling a reality, and Apple’s stunning new Retina display, the highest resolution display ever built into a phone, resulting in super crisp text, images and video. In addition, iPhone 4 features a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, HD video recording, Apple’s A4 processor, a 3-axis gyro and up to 40 percent longer talk time—in a beautiful all-new design of glass and stainless steel that is the thinnest smartphone in the world. iPhone 4 comes with iOS 4, the newest version of the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, which includes over 100 new features and 1500 new APIs for developers. iOS 4 features Multitasking, Folders, enhanced Mail, deeper Enterprise support and Apple’s new iAd mobile advertising platform. iPhone 4 will be available in the US, UK, France, Germany and Japan on June 24, starting in the US at just $199 for qualified buyers with a two year contract.*

“iPhone 4 is the biggest leap since the original iPhone,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “FaceTime video calling sets a new standard for mobile communication, and our new Retina display is the highest resolution display ever in a phone, with text looking like it does on a fine printed page. We have been dreaming about both of these breakthroughs for decades.”

FaceTime is as mobile as your phone, so you can see your loved ones and friends anywhere there is Wi-Fi. Using FaceTime is as easy as making a regular voice call, with no set-up required, and you can instantly switch to the rear camera to show others what you are seeing with just a tap.

Apple’s stunning 3.5 inch Retina display has 960 x 640 pixels—four times as many pixels as the iPhone 3GS and 78 percent of the pixels on an iPad™. The resulting 326 pixels per inch is so dense that the human eye is unable to distinguish individual pixels when the phone is held at a normal distance, making text, images and video look sharper, smoother and more realistic than ever before on an electronic display.

iPhone 4 is the thinnest smartphone ever—9.3 millimeters—with an all-new design and build quality like no other mobile device. The front and back are made of aluminosilcate glass, chemically strengthened to be 30 times harder than plastic, more scratch resistant and more durable than ever. The front and back glass have an oil-resistant coating that helps keep it clean, and encircling iPhone 4 is a highly finished stainless steel band made of a custom alloy that is forged to be five times stronger than standard steel.

iPhone 4 features a new 5 megapixel autofocus camera with a 5x digital zoom, a backside illuminated sensor and built-in LED flash that allows you to take amazing pictures even in low light and dark environments. iPhone 4 lets you record and edit incredible HD video and the popular tap to focus feature now works while recording video. You can use the iPhone 4‘s LED flash for both still photography and video recording. The new iMovie® app for iPhone lets you combine movie clips, add dynamic transitions and themes and include photos and music, and users can buy it for just $4.99 through the App Store right on their phone.

iPhone 4 is the best mobile device ever for games and entertainment, with access to tens of thousands of games and entertainment apps on the revolutionary App Store. Every iPhone 4 has a built-in 3-axis gyro that when combined with the accelerometer provides 6-axis motion sensing such as up and down, side to side, forward and backward and pitch and roll, making it perfect for gaming. Developers can access the gyro using the new CoreMotion API to make games and other apps that go well beyond what other mobile devices offer.

iPhone 4 comes with iOS 4, the newest version of the world’s most advanced mobile operating system. With over 100 new features, it includes Multitasking, Folders, enhanced Mail, deeper Enterprise support and Apple’s new iAd mobile advertising platform. With Multitasking, users can now instantly switch between any of their apps while preserving battery life. With Folders, users can easily organize their apps into collections by simply dragging one app on top of another. A folder is automatically created and named based on the category of apps selected. Users can change the name of any folder at any time. In addition, users can now customize their lock and home screens with an array of supplied wallpapers or with any of the photos on their phone.

The new iBooks® app will be available for iPhone 4 as a free download from the App Store and includes Apple’s new iBookstore, the best way to browse, buy and read books on a mobile product. The iBooks app will sync your current place in a book, along with any bookmarks, highlights and notes you have created, between copies of the same book on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch®. iBooks users can also now read and store PDFs right in iBooks. There are now over 60,000 books available in the iBookstore, and users have downloaded over five million books in the first two months.

More than five billion apps have been downloaded from the revolutionary App Store and more than 225,000 apps are available to consumers in 90 countries. Almost 100 million iPhone and iPod touch users around the world can choose from an incredible range of apps in 20 categories, including games, business, news, sports, health, reference and travel.

iPhone 4 delivers an amazing seven hours of talk time on 3G networks, up to 10 hours of web browsing on Wi-Fi and up to six hours on 3G, and up to 10 hours of video playback and up to 40 hours of audio playback.** iPhone 4 is powered by Apple’s new A4 processor that provides exceptional processor and graphic performance along with long battery life. iPhone 4 features a second microphone and advanced software to suppress unwanted background noise for improved call quality when in loud places. iPhone 4 also offers 802.11n Wi-Fi networking and adds quad-band HSUPA to provide 7.2Mbps downlink and 5.8Mbps uplink capability.***

Pricing & Availability
iPhone 4 comes in either black or white and will be available in the US for a suggested retail price of $199 (US) for the 16GB model and $299 (US) for the 32GB model in both Apple and AT&T’s retail and online stores, Best Buy and Wal-Mart stores. iPhone 4 will be available in the US, France, Germany, Japan and the UK on June 24 and customers can pre-order their iPhone 4 beginning Tuesday, June 15 from the Apple Online Store or reserve an iPhone 4 to pick up at an Apple Retail Store. iMovie for iPhone will be available on the App Store for just $4.99 (US).

Also on June 24, a new iPhone 3GS 8GB model will be available for just $99 (US). iOS 4 software will be available on June 21 as a free software update via iTunes® 9.2 or later for iPhone and iPod touch customers.****

iPhone 4 will roll out worldwide to 88 countries by the end of September. iPhone 4 will be available by the end of July in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

*Qualified customers only. Requires a new two year AT&T rate plan, sold separately.

**Battery life depends on device settings, usage and other factors. Actual results vary.

***Speed is dependent on cellular network capability.

****iOS 4 is compatible with iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, second and third generation iPod touch (late 2009 models with 32GB or 64GB). Some features may not be available on all products. For example, Multitasking requires iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 or third generation iPod touch (late 2009 models with 32GB or 64GB).

Apple ignited the personal computer revolution with the Apple II, then reinvented the personal computer with the Macintosh. Apple continues to lead the industry with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system, and iLife, iWork and professional applications. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced its magical iPad which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.

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12 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 chuck

and this is related to photography - HOW?!

10:48 am - Tuesday, June 8, 2010


waste of webspace...

and money...

11:00 am - Tuesday, June 8, 2010

#3 Norway Photos

Well, the camera looks way better than on 3Gs.

11:36 am - Tuesday, June 8, 2010

#4 Hans Benndorf

The camera on my I-Phone 3Gs is garbage and so is the video.
Cramming 5mp onto that crappy sensor certainly does not
improve IQ on that camera. I like the I-Phone for other reasons,
but I won't upgrade to the G4 version. It's not much in it (for me)
Apples slick marketing will suck a lot of sales out of devotee
fan boys and girls though.

1:28 pm - Tuesday, June 8, 2010

#5 Brian

The sensor is backside illuminated (and I think larger as well), so from what I understand, though it crams more pixels in, the IQ should be improved. I saw a couple sample images taken with the iPhone 4 yesterday and they both looked pretty incredible for a phone. Here's one:

3:08 pm - Tuesday, June 8, 2010

#6 Steve Solomon

Well, in my opinion, this example of photo quality is about as good as a basic 5 Mpixel point and shoot (under optimal lighting conditions), but in no way replaces a DSLR for those who know photography. For a we shot or email attachment, I'm sure it is fine. IMHO, NO "phone camera" can substitute for a dedicated DSLR if "true photographic quality" is needed...the optics and sensor quality cannot be the same....Laws of Physics!

4:31 pm - Tuesday, June 8, 2010

#7 David V.

@Hans Benndorf: YMMV.

I have a 3GS, and its image quality with reasonable lighting is quite fine. On par with an 2003-era 3MP camera, I'd say. It doesn't have a flash and the UI isn't great (except for the touch-to-focus bit: That's awesome), which makes a dedicated camera better for actual shooting... but I always have it with me.

iPhone 4 doesn't reduce the pixel pitch (unlike other phone lines that have moved to 5 and even 8 MP sensors), and the back-illumination sensor suggests that the per-pixel quality should actually improve over the 3GS. I doubt the LED flash is going to be any more useful than other LED flashes (I think even the small flashes on dedicated compact cameras are mostly useless), but it's presumably no worse either.

All-in-all, I suspect that I won't buy another dedicated compact camera in the future: I find the improved handling just not worth the bother considering how well iPhone does (and perhaps other phones).

Right now, I still invest in SLR gear, but I'm hoping that the image quality (high-ISO mostly) of the medium-size fixed-lens cameras will improve to make that obsolete as well (it's not looking that promising, to be honest).

10:57 pm - Tuesday, June 8, 2010

#8 rob

Whoever thinks that the photo image quality is gonna make or break sales of this gadget is out of his/her mind. Whoever compares it's image quality to a dSLR is just retarded.

People! If you want to do some photography, forget about ANY phone-camera, even if it features 50 megapixels...

There is a strange culture of whining about anything and everything when it comes to Apple products. Perhaps you were happier with Microsoft's products?! Get a grip on reality, people...

11:42 pm - Tuesday, June 8, 2010

#9 Steve Solomon

David, I agree with your comments on the iPhone 3Gs image quality. However, I am too much of a "sharpness and detail" nut to rely on any phone camera, even the new technology on the iPhone 4. It seems to me that the physical size of the optics in particular, not to mention the image-processing characteristics of a multi-function sensor, would make even low end DSLR quality virtually unattainable on a phone camera. I therefore would rely on phone cameras only for "snapshots" for online or email use, and not for serious photography. I know there are some who say that a true "artist" can produce "art" from even a lens-less pin-hole camera, and to them I say, Sure, that's indeed possible, because "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder". However, for the kind of detailed product work that I do, this equipment would be lacking simply due to the laws of physics. Just my 2 cents.

11:51 pm - Tuesday, June 8, 2010

#10 David V.

@Steve Solomon:
Oh, definitely, I think phone cameras cannot touch DSLRs wrt. image quality. I think they cannot even touch medium size cameras (say a G11 of Canon and others in that class).

When I said "compact", I meant cameras like Canon's Elph series. Event that class of cameras still has tons of imaging advantages over the phone (e.g., true optical zoom and just better picture-taking ergonomics). However, for me, the raison d'etre of compact cameras is that I can always have them with me, and the iPhone camera certainly achieve that, while offering sufficient image quality when compared to the compact cameras.

1:28 am - Wednesday, June 9, 2010

#11 uumode

Apple has dominated portable music players, sure it isn't the best sound quality on the move, non compressed CD sees to that. Apple now have virtually dominated the phone market or at least the smart phone.

Next port of call is to muscle in on the portable games console market, with better and larger screen, finger touch interactivity, motion sensor - and GPS along with full time connectivity for multiplayer and always available App store with low price ticket games....oh and you can listen to music as well, and it looks to seriously unsettle Nintendo DS and Sony PSP.

The latest iPhone is probably the tip of the ice berg regarding dominance in casual, point and shoot cameras possibly posing a threat to Canon/Samsung/Nikon etc.

Apple could lead this specific area while the other camera manufacturers pale into insignificance in 5-8 years time.

Just like the transition from film emulsion to 'instant' digital made traditional processing and printing becoming old fashioned. People will be able to share their geo tagged, post processed photos in various Apps via email, upload directly to Flickr, movies to YouTube, images to FaceBook etc while being able to respond to updates or comments. This new phase of 'social photography' and desire to share - an extension of the over the coffee table holiday photos scenario, will become the tour de force. Apple are best placed to achieve that, in network bandwidth arrangements and mobile connectivity, Apps, GPS, screen quality and size, touch screen flexibility and slick OS.

Canon and Nikon will find it very difficult implement connectivity into their cameras, (or the uptake will be low if it is seen as duplicating your existing phone connectivity and contract), along with social network interfaces, eg. Facebook in Apps or HTML browser (not just upload, the ability to comment and view friend interactions)

...Apple has the easier task I'd say.
iPhone 5 might see this realised, and a camera without a network connection might seem like a dinosaaur for 'social photos' in specific.

12:57 am - Thursday, June 10, 2010

#12 AA

So do you think it's stupid to put a protective case around this new iPhone, if the whole edge is supposed to an antenna? LOL

8:21 am - Thursday, June 10, 2010