iPhone 4: “Changes everything, again” — well, not really

The 4th iteration of the JesusPhone is upon us. What, then did you think of the news?

I’m working on the basis that the vast majority of you have already sat and watched the numerous liveblogs or have just watched the Jobs keynote (it’s live here) so I won’t go through the minute detail. No. Instead I will tell you what I think.

I’m half impressed.

Well, if I allow myself to jump into iFanboy mode, I can, for a few minutes, suspend disbelief. A 5-megapixel camera, a better battery, HD video, ‘FaceTime’, Fisher Price multitasking — it’s all incremental and it’s all, as a package, impressive.

Nothing blew me away. Nothing at all. And that’s not because much of it had been leaked by Gizmodo.

Oh I’m looking forward to seeing some of the refinements in the flesh — especially the nice looking screen. I will definitely have one when the UK operators release them come June 24th.
But I couldn’t help wincing at FaceTime. I really couldn’t. Especially when, in the video (see the link before) one of the Apple senior executives was on screen lauding this super innovative new technology.

“You can even show the other person what YOU are seeing,” he explained, not far from rapture.

Yeah, well we’ve had this feature for years. I mean, even the N95 had two cameras and video calling facilities. Years.

The key is that Apple is marketing it, so it will doubtless be a super success. Indeed the whole device and the constituent related services (iTunes, bookstore, Apple’s retail presence), everything is beautifully integrated with as little friction as possible.

Oh Nokia could have delivered ‘FaceTime’ (which only works over WiFi right now) at any point in the last 4-5 years. Just it’s customers didn’t want it. Or anything like it. Unless it came with a per-minute billing function. How long ago was it that Nokia, at the request of Orange (if memory serves), delivered wifi-capable N95s with a firmware version specifically prohibiting the use of wifi?

Yet again Apple have taken publicly available technology concepts and made them slightly better (“zero setup”).

It’s very smart. I’m delighted that the iPhone 4 is — or appears to be — an incrementally better product. I think it will definitely appeal to consumers, especially the legions of existing iPhone customers.

I am frustrated at the lack of progress from other competing firms. However I am hopeful that this ‘lack of progress’ view is all in my mind. The new N8 arrives soon from Nokia with specs to blow away much of the marketplace. Samsung formally release their first Bada device out to the market very shortly. Even Vodafone have been busy improving their Vodafone 360 devices and services. Then we’ve got the Android pros — HTC is always one to watch (I really like the way they innovate and interate quickly) and we shouldn’t forget newly reinvigorated Motorola and the mighty Sony Ericsson (their Android X10 Mini is sure to win tons of fans). We will need to see what RIM have up their sleeves too.

I will certainly be putting my name down on the list for an iPhone — probably from Orange. If anything, I want a new iPhone to stand out from the crowds of South East based hordes sporting 3G and 3GS versions.

What about you? Are you going to be upgrading or switching to iPhone? Impressed by yesterday’s announcement?

Posted via email from MIR Live

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

10 replies on “iPhone 4: “Changes everything, again” — well, not really”

i’m not overly impressed with the new iPhone 4. i’m disappointed that it doesn’t have live widgets on the home screen. although video call capability is good to have (i’ve had it for years and used it only a few times) the iPhone version is practically useless because it only works over wi-fi, my nokia does video calls over 3G and I hardly use it, can you imagine when it only works over wi-fi? that’s absurd to even show this off, i can’t believe people aren’t laughing at that, i am. the multi-tasking is another deal breaker because it’s not full multi-tasking like on my nokia.

i might still get one because i’ve never had one and because i’ve been let down by nokia the last couple years with basically no innovation software wise and the next Symbian 4 device is not due until next year, so until then i will give this iPhone 4 a try.

The only surprise was the inclusion of the gyroscope – that should give TomTom's hardware team some sleepless nights.

The highlights for me are the pixel density of the display, the HD capture at 30fps (and yes, it's looks to be perfectly smooth) and iMovie, I can't wait to see how well iMovie performs with those 720p clips.

Apple aren't really innovating here, they are taking existing smartphone features, 'Noddy-ifying' them and adding the usual Apple based 'swish and pizzazz'. It's a bit lazy, but hey, it's what they do.. they'll sell millions, people will want the new model. People will coo at the fact they can multitask, do video calling, and take 5MP photos whilst flashing it around like a it's a slice of fried gold. Us phone geeks will just nod politely and ignore the fact that we've been able to do it for years.

I was following the announcements closely yesterday just to see what Apple had up its sleeves and i must say that visually the devices looks cheap especially from the pictures that i have seen, i think i need to see one up close and personal. I think one issue for many people especially on Orange and Vodafone is the fact that alot of new/old customers have recently upgraded to their “new” iPhone only to yet again be met with the latest device from Apple world and most probably not be able to upgrade until next year and i think they will feel quite cheated.

I think i have read on one of the many websites that O2 have promised a “special” offer for people in commitment already but have not released details unlike AT&T have so it will be interesting to see what the other networks do in reaction to this, let the battle begin!

1) your right its just a marginal improvement, however its a good worthwhile improvement thats still miles ahead of anyone else. 2) 30% is pure spin and tonka toy multitasking (but at least it will work). should have called it good enough multitasking. 3) the killer screen is really something to behold. industry leader for at least the rest of 2010 i gather. 4) if you think nokia or other oems will do as well.. FORGET IT. Nokia has lost the plot and only releasing mediocre mobiles at best. 2007-2010 what has the oems done for high tech.. almost ZIP. AMOLED screens ok, nice, carriers are still trying to block WIFI around the world. Mobile markets severely fragmented, disjointed, and lackluster. Apple owns the roost again until end of 2010 at best and perhaps well into 2011… sadly…

No device is perfect. The lack of a Free MobileMe option is an issue for me.
Also the fact that neither Apple or Google are part of GSMA is a big issue as it balkanise features (RCS for example).
However, Apple has the best screen and touch technology, the best App market and a web browser that is as good as Chrome.
I will buy the iPhone 4. I was tempted by HTC and Android but Apple still has the edge at the moment.

All of these new features should have been included in the first iphone ever. I am still not buying one but good for Apple for finally making an approximation to a smartphone.

I think this phone has now catched up in specs to what is already on the market, obviously its the biggest leap since the original, because that phone didnt really have much on it in the first place!

Ive noticed that on:

o2 UK it says Thursday 24th June
On Vodaphone UK it says 'coming soon'
Orange UK it says 'coming soon'

Would this mean its going to launched on different days to different networks?

I reckon they'll all get it on the same day… or perhaps o2 might get a little bit of a head start. Since they got exclusivity first, they have had special treatment in the past.

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