Need to Know: iPhone 4

iPhone 4

So what was launched last night?

Steve Jobs took to the stage at Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco and unveiled the next generation of Apple's smartphone device, the iPhone 4.

Thrilling name. So what are the new features?

Jobs claimed this version was "the biggest leap since the original iPhone."

Headline features of the device include a five megapixel camera up from 3.2 in the last one including a flash and 5x digital zoom, and a front facing camera for video conferencing.

On the inside, the smartphone has been given a new, more powerful Apple A4 processor and microSIM, as well as a much improved battery life, according to Jobs' claims. The casing also includes an antenna inside for better reception.

Extra features continue with the addition of HD recording and a gyroscope. Finally the device will be 24 per cent slimmer than the last incarnation.

How did these features compare to the rumours?

In general the rumour mill was proved right. The camera, both front and back, processor and increased battery life had all been predicted although much of this came from a leaked prototype rather than guesswork.

However, there were a couple of added extras. The casing with the antennae was quite a surprise, as was the release of iMovie for just $4.99 in the App Store. But the biggest shock was how soon the release date was, as we all thought we would have to wait around for ages.

Don't leave us in suspense, when will it be available?

The iPhone 4 is set to be launched on UK shores on 24 June.

Even in the UK?

Yes! Jobs pledged last night that the release date would be the same internationally as it was in the US. Those getting the device on 24 June aside from the UK and US are France, Germany and Japan. Other countries will follow suit in July, with the iPhone 4 being available in 88 countries worldwide by September.

Will it be exclusive to one network this time?

No. Although O2 always had the exclusive before, many other operators have got on the Apple bandwagon and as a result will also be offering the latest version of the device.

So far confirmed we have O2, Vodafone and Orange, with Carphone Warehouse providing the phone on contracts for all three.

But what will it cost?

This is where the information is lacking right now.

O2's UK chief executive (CEO), Ronan Dunne, has confirmed the company will be offering a "limited time special upgrade offer" for customers who already have the iPhone on the O2 network, but pricing has yet to be revealed.

Again with Vodafone and Orange, the only details we have are they will carry the device, but no tariffs have been specified as yet.

Will the iPhone 4 be better for business users though?

The iPhone has increasingly become more of a business phone, with the usual email and web capabilities, but also with increasing numbers of apps hitting the market aimed at the business user on the road.

We think the main draw, from the business aspect, is the front facing camera, as video conferencing when you are on the go could be great for those meetings you can't get to.

Also the improved battery life if it proves to be true will be great for those using battery draining business apps.

However, the camera and processor improvements will probably be of more benefit to consumers.

That said, the real draw for business users will be the arrival of iPhone OS 4, which will bring with it lots of enterprise-friendly features including better data encryption, mobile device management, support for Exchange Server 2010, multi-tasking capabilities and the ability to create and manage folders like you do on the desktop. This will be available as an update to iPhone 3GS users from 21 June.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.