Blog: The iPhone 4 – what can be said that hasn’t been said elsewhere?

Jonathan Morris
June 8, 2010

It’s easy to write a blog that is witty and makes you think ‘that’s spot on’ (not that I am sure this achieves either of these aims), but it’s all been said before.

Apple is Apple. It has its fanboys and it now has a growing number of people who are firmly anti-Apple. The recent spat with Adobe has only helped fuel the fire, with more and more people starting to feel the need to move away from Apple and make a stand.

But then, Steve Jobs comes along and launches the iPhone 4. This time around, we already knew what it was going to look like. We’d even seen the phone from the inside, yet it was still a typical Apple launch where everyone went mad. Even more mad than when Steve had to ask everyone to turn off their Wi-Fi connections so he could continue showing off the phone.

Steve even managed to reinvent things – like HD video recording and being able to take decent photos with a camera that has a flash – including video calling, with a cheesy name called ‘FaceTime’. After reading Apple fans justify the lack of 3G video calling for years, based on the fact that nobody wanted to use such a feature, it will be amusing to see them all now finding a newfound love for something that actually isn’t wanted by most people.

Of course, Apple has made its video calling service different. They’ve made it work only with the iPhone and over Wi-Fi, which means there’s none of this low frame rate nonsense that 3G provides. We may now have high-speed data offering download speeds of 7.2Mbps and beyond, but video calling has never advanced beyond 64Kbps. It’s why the frame rate is terrible, the images incredibly low resolution and the audio is awful.

Sure, the networks did a bad job with video calling that didn’t help either. They priced it out of the market, just in case someone had actually thought to give it a try. Apple can at least be credited with making it look quite sexy, but I still say nobody will use it. Except the fanboys who will take pleasure in demonstrating it on the ‘Retina Display’.

And what of that display? Well, if you’ve ever had the pleasure to see Motorola’s AURA mobile phone, with its 300dpi round display, you’ll have seen what a high definition display like this can do. Apple has gone beyond that, and there’s no doubt that this is going to have the ‘wow’ factor that will sell the iPhone to any doubters who might be swaying between the iPhone 4 and, say, an HTC Desire.

Even if HTC can get the same screen on its next device, it won’t have the name ‘Retina Display’. Once again, Apple has scored big.

Multitasking is sold as a system that works, and implies that it doesn’t anywhere else. Anything else that offers multitasking does so at the expense of battery life, security, reliability and anything else that they want us to believe. Another score, even if it is a bit below the belt.

Then there was a recap of all the nice new features of iOS 4 (iPhone OS was clearly too long-winded) and a snazzy video about how the casing now incorprates the antenna and holds the phone together with toughened glass. In theory, you need the most basic of exterior protection, which keeps the phone looking slim at just 9.3mm.

In the back of my mind, I know that it would be quite easy for the likes of HTC, Samsung, Motorola or Sony Ericsson to use a similar display and produce an Android phone to make the iPhone 4 look dated. But, that’s what a fanboy would say. The truth is, whatever anyone else does, it will – once again – look like the competition playing catch up.

The iPhone 4 deserves to do well. It will be loved by anyone that has one, and people will accept the compromises you make by going with Apple. However, this time around, those compromises are significantly reduced. I have a feeling that everyone is going to want to have a go with the new iPhone – and none of the UK networks will find it very hard to shift huge volumes.

So what is my conclusion on the iPhone? Well, may I redirect you to the opening paragraph. There are those that will buy one on June 24th and those that won’t. But, I will add, those that won’t are doing so purely for the same reasons used to attack fanboys – that of being totally blinkered.


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