Apple

Full commentary from Steve Jobs iPhone 4 keynote at WWDC 2010

Get a full run-down of the Steve Jobs WWDC 2010 keynote when Apple announced the iPhone 4. Here is my live commentary, along with a full wrap-up and photos.

12:30PM Pacific - Final wrap-up:

We heard most of the stuff we expected from Apple's announcement of the iPhone 4 at WWDC 2010:

  • New form factor and design
  • New CPU (Apple's A4)
  • New high-resolution LCD (960x640 "Retina" display)
  • Front-facing camera with video calling software
  • An upgraded 5 megapixel camera with LED flash
  • Better battery life thanks to a larger battery and the efficiency
  • Cost will remain the same: $199 for 16GB and $299 for 32GB
  • Release date is June 24

However, there were also a few notable surprises:

  • Wireless antenna placement has been redesigned, with the antennas now integrated into the metal side plates; this could improve call quality and battery life
  • AT&T is ready for upgraders this time, announcing it will allow many existing iPhone customers to upgrade before the end of their contracts
  • Apple renamed the iPhone OS to "iOS"
  • A three-axis gyroscope was added to enable greater motion-sensing

For more details on these and other developments from the keynote, take a look at my full report and commentary below, based on my live blog from the event on Monday, June 7.

For instant analysis of tech news, follow my Twitter feed: @jasonhiner

11:54AM Pacific: Steve put up the same slide he used during the iPad announcement about Apple being a company that is functioning at the intersection of technology and liberal arts. It's actually a pretty appropriate visual for Apple, which isn't an engineering company in the same mold as Google or Intel or Microsoft, for example. Apple is much more interested in developments "higher up the stack," so to speak. In other words, Apple is interested in the bits that are closer to the user, and less interested in the stuff under the hood, accept when it makes a tangible impact on user experience. In an era where consumers are driving technology spending much more than in the past, that's probably the primary reason why Apple is outperforming rivals such as Microsoft right now. [For more on this topic, check out this ZDNet article: With artsy vibe, Apple's Jobs pushes iPhone parity out of rivals reach.] 11:52AM Pacific: As some of you may know, Cisco calls its operating system the IOS. Apparently, Cisco licensed the name "iOS" to Apple to use for its now mobile OS. 11:46AM Pacific: The iPhone 3GS will be reduced to $99. Apple is also making its own case for the iPhone 4 for $29. The iOS 4 will be available for the iPhone 3G and 3GS as a free download on June 21. It will also be free to iPod Touch owners (in the past they had to pay $10). 11:42AM Pacific: Here's the pricing for the iPhone 4. It's the same as the 3GS. $199 for 16GB and $299 for 32GB. Comes in two colors: black or white. June 24 is release day. Pre-orders start on June 15. AT&T is going to allow customers to upgrade early. Jobs said, "If your contract expires any time in 2010, you are immediately eligible for a new iPhone 4 at the same $199 or $299 prices if you top up your contract 2 years." 11:40AM Pacific: Apple is going to take FaceTime to a standards body to try to make it an Internet standard. I appreciate the gesture toward openness, but here's a better idea: Just partner with Skype. 11:37AM Pacific: Video calling (FaceTime) only works over Wi-Fi and only works iPhone-to-iPhone. Sorry, but that's pretty lame, even for a first foray into mobile video calling. 11:34AM Pacific: Jobs calls Apple designer Johnny Ive on the iPhone 4 and does a mobile video call. Looks pretty good, but the Wi-Fi interference in the room causes it to be pretty laggy. Jobs accuses people of not turning off their Wi-Fi. Apple has named the video calling feature FaceTime. So will Skype video calling work? I think that's what most people are thinking.

11:33AM Pacific: Steve Jobs is doing his classic "One more thing..." act. He's the PT Barnum of tech. Quite the showman. 11:24AM Pacific: Now Jobs is talking about iAds, the advertising platform for the iOS (iPod, iPhone, and iPad). These are in-app ads. Jobs said they are doing it to help developers make money and produce an advertising experience that is less intrusive and more interactive. By the way, Apple will also make a little money from this. Coming July 1. 11:19AM Pacific: The iOS 4 "Golden Master Candidate" will be available to developers today. However, Steve failed to announce when it will be available for users, saying only that "it will be out soon." 11:16AM Pacific: Glad to see Jobs is playing up improved enterprise features for the iPhone OS, including better data protection, better device management, wireless app distribution, multiple Exchange accounts (thank you), support for Exchange Server 2010, and SSL VPN support. I'll look for more details and follow up with an article on this. 11:13AM Pacific: In talking about multi-tasking (which is being added with iOS 4), Jobs said that like copy-and-paste Apple won't be the first to do it but will be the first to do it right. He's taking some jabs at Android on this, and that's fair because Android's battery life can get pretty ugly with some of the apps running in the background. We'll see how badly iPhone suffers from the same thing. I suspect the story won't be as simple as Jobs would like us to believe. 11:10AM Pacific: Apple is renaming the iPhone OS and calling it "iOS" and announcing iOS 4 (the release that they detailed back in April). 11:06AM Pacific: Jobs comes back on stage after the iMovie demo and says that his team has figured out why the demo crashed. There were 570 Wi-Fi base stations in the room (all of the journalists with their Mi-Fi hot spots). He actually told them to turn off their devices and put their laptops away. Yeah, that's going to happen. 11:00AM Pacific: Apple also announces iMovie to the iPhone 4 (for $4.99) so that you can quickly edit your clips into a finished video. I don't think I'd want to edit much video on a smartphone, but it looks fairly well executed.

10:58AM Pacific: Here are the specs on the upgraded iPhone 4 camera: 5MP, backside illuminated sensor, 5x digital zoom, LED flash, and HD video recording (720p at 30 fps). Those are pretty strong specs. It actually makes the iPhone an even bigger threat to eliminate the need to carry a separate point-and-shoot, and/or a Flip Video camera—if the iPhone 4's battery life holds up well enough. 10:56AM Pacific: Time to talk about photography. Remember it's not all about megapixels. It's also about the quality of the sensor and the software, and the iPhone does pretty well already, even though it's hardware specs lag other devices like the Nexus One. 10:54AM Pacific: Another interesting tidbit: Apple is adding a three-axis gyroscope. That plus the accelerometer gives the device 6-axis motion-sensing. This is mostly for gaming but it's a pretty cool addition. The developers in the audience went nuts over it. 10:52AM Pacific: Jobs jumps on the battery life issue, saying, "Because we've made the battery bigger and the A4 is so good with power management, we've improved the battery life. 7 hours 3G tak time, 6 hours 3G browsing, 10 hours Wi-Fi browsing, 40 hours of music, and 300 hours of standby." (quote via Ryan Block) 10:50AM Pacific: Pretty cool. Apple is actually showing off a "cracking open" photo of the internals of the iPhone 4 to show how packed it is inside. It uses a micro-SIM (like the iPad) because "we needed the space."

10:49AM Pacific: The iPhone 4 is indeed powered by the Apple A4 processor (same one that runs the iPad). That should help iPhone battery performance, as I noted in my article yesterday. 10:46AM Pacific: The display on the iPhone 4 will be 960x640, so it's finally catching up with some of the Android devices (and passing most of them). 10:42AM Pacific: Wow, Steve Jobs' demo failed and froze up. The demo iPhone 4 says it "could not activate cellular network." Jobs is not happy. He may have exceeded his limit on the new AT&T data plan. ;-) 10:39AM Pacific: New iPhone has a much higher resolution screen with 326 pixels per inch, which will make text and images much sharper. Of course, I have to wonder how it will affect battery life? 10:38AM Pacific. The name of the product is apparently just "iPhone 4."

10:35AM Pacific: Now, this is big. Apple has changed the way it is doing the antennas in the iPhone. The radio antennas are now integrated into the metal side-plates of the phone. It will be very interesting to see if it holds a signal better for phone calls AND uses less battery life because poor antennas result in using more power. 10:34AM Pacific: Jobs says new iPhone is now the thinnest smartphone on the planet. Thinner than the Nexus One? I bet it's pretty close. 10:33AM Pacific: He shows off the "all new design." It is indeed the same device that Gizmodo bought and showed off. 10:31AM Pacific: Jobs claims that the 2010 iPhone will be "The biggest leap since the original iPhone." He loves hyperbole, though.

10:30AM Pacific: He quotes Nielsen US smartphone market share numbers. RIM 35%, iPhone 28%, Windows Mobile 19%, Android 9% 10:30AM Pacific: Jobs wants to start with some market numbers. This is where he starts taking shots at Android. 10:28AM Pacific: Time to talk about the next iPhone. 10:26AM Pacific: This event is off to a slow start. Steve Jobs is back on stage, after sharing the spotlight with a few app developers. 10:22AM Pacific: Zynga comes on stage to announce Farmville for the iPhone, in order to help destroy the productivity of professionals everywhere. :-) 10:19AM Pacific: Netflix CEO Reed Hastings comes on stage and announces Netflix on-demand is coming to the iPhone this summer. This is a nice thing for business travelers, even if it is on a small screen. Of course, the question is whether AT&T's network will handle it. Better hope for good Wi-Fi at your hotel. 10:17AM Pacific: Jobs was also being defensive in talking about Apple's support for an open platform. He said, "We support two platforms at Apple. Two. The first is HTML5, a fully-open, uncontrolled platform that is forged and defined by standards bodies. We fully support HTML5. Apple's browsers are in the lead in terms of supporting the full HTML5 standard, and we are behind this 100%. It is fully open." 10:14AM Pacific: Jobs says that the entire App Store now has 225,000 apps, 15K apps are submitted every week, and 95% are approved within 7 days. Jobs repeated his recent statement that apps are rejected for three reasons: 1.) Doesn't function as advertised by the developer, 2.) Use private APIs, 3.) App crashes. 10:10AM Pacific: Apple is adding the ability to view PDFs to the iBooks app. There are a ton of third party apps that already let you do this and Apple really should have put it on there from the beginning. The third party apps will also let you do wireless transfer to the iPad. 10:07AM Pacific: Apple reports that there are 8,500 native iPad apps now available. That number is growing quickly. I just saw that 6,000 native iPad apps were available last week. [See my new gallery: 101 screenshots of useful Apple iPad apps] 10:04AM Pacific: Jobs is starting by talking about the success of the iPad. He says Apple is selling an iPad every 3 seconds with 2 million sold overall (a widely published sales number). He said the iPad is available in 10 countries (that's not much). It will be availabkle 10:00AM Pacific: Steve Jobs comes on stage to open WWDC 2010. They have 5200 attendees from 57 countries.

9:52AM Pacific: While we're waiting, take a look at my article Battery life: The next iPhone's top priority. It's not very flash, but it's the biggest development I'm looking for today. It's the one thing (besides greater carrier availability in the U.S.) that would make the biggest difference for professionals who use the iPhone. 9:48AM Pacific: Again, rather than just doing raw play-by-play of today's event, I'm going to be providing color commentary, with an eye on how the developments and announcements will impact business users and IT departments. 9:43AM Pacific: I'll be interested to see if Steve Jobs takes any direct shots at Android today. Google went after iPhone and Apple pretty hard at Google I/O last month. 9:35AM Pacific: As I said on Twitter earlier, with Apple's WWDC, Microsoft's TechEd, and IBM's Innovate all running this week, it's a hot week to be a software developer. 9:33AM Pacific: The event starts in 30 minutes. Beyond the big Gizmodo stolen iPhone 4 incident, not a whole of information has leaked out about what to expect today, other than the fact that we know the fourth generation iPhone will be unveiled.

Pre-event information

I will be providing live commentary of the Steve Jobs keynote on Monday at 10AM Pacific / 1PM Eastern when Apple will be announcing the details of the fourth generation iPhone. Rather than doing a full play-by-play (which you can get from my colleagues at ZDNet and CNET), I will be summing up the most important developments and offering color commentary on what it means for business users and IT.

If you'd like to see an example of the format I will use, take a look at the live commentary I did of the Google I/O keynote in May.

If you've come to this post before the event has started, here are some articles worth checking out prior to the event:

About Jason Hiner

Jason Hiner is Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He's co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks.

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