back to article Superslim iPhone 4 enough to fend off Android?

Apple CEO Steve Jobs duly stood up at the company's World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco this week to introduce the long-awaited iPhone 4. This has become almost as much of a June tradition as Wimbledon tennis, but there was a clear difference this time around. To a far greater extent than on the previous three …


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  1. James Hughes 1

    Nice article

    I agree, I think Apple are going to have a hard time fending off Android based handsets - there are multiple manufacturers of it, so the installed base should increase very quickly, and that will drawn the App developers. Also, multiple manufacturers means, hopefully, faster development of the OS itself, meaning Apple will need to really pull out the stops just to keep up.

  2. Henry Blackman

    Unintelligent review

    There is little to no facts in this article, and clearly the author hasn't seen the phone, so should not make comment on the iPhone 4 screen. Nor does the author reference the sales number error by Sprint, which makes the Evo less popular than he suggests. Nor, does the author reference the battery nightmare of the Evo.

    IT people like to focus on features, 5mega pixel this, 12 mega pixel that-but consumers know that, for example, those numbers are meaningless. The 3MP camera in the 3GS is significantly better in many scenarios than much higher MP cameras in other phones. Apple focuses on results, not acronyms much to their dismay, but given the 4 isn't even out yet, leaves much to actual usage.

    Let's remember the things IT people value, are not the things everyone else does.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Battery life, battery life

    You would think that correcting the poor battery life would be a priority for Apple, but by skipping the AMOLED option they have missed a good opportunity to save some power..

    The comparable, but much cheaper, Nokia N8 seems to have a similar battery life quoted but with a smaller battery. Why is that? Well it uses an AMOLED screen. Although, the fact that Symbian uses a micro kernel contributes most of the power efficiency.

    1. RichyS


      Quite agree. I think the wireless 'consultancy' that claims to have authored this drivel is aptly named here. They need a rethink themselves.

      Every article I have read from someone who has actually seen the screen says it's amazing. So, it's not acronym compliant by not being AMOLED. But other than giving geeks a hard on, is AMOLED actually fit for purpose yet? From what I've seen, I don't think so. Pretty much unusable outside, and the Nexus One uses dodgy pentile sub pixels, and thus isn't really giving the high resolution it's pretending too. The high pixel density, good contrast of IPS panels (close to AMOLED), zero air gap and usability outside for me are much better than some fancy acronym.

      Have to agree that the EVO sales snafu is amusing!

      Android's nice enough. And it's doing okay in certain sectors (like the lower end of the market populated by this magic age group the author talks about). You can bet they'll all get iPhones when they can afford one!

      Oh, and do most smartphones really have front facing cameras? Last time I checked, only the EVO and certain Symbian phones had one. And most of those Symbian phones aren't really smartphones, just jumped up feature phones with no touchscreen or keyboard.

      And somebody who thinks they're a technology consultant is still buying into the megapixel myth? How about taking a look at the size of the pixels on the iPhone 4 sensor, or the fact that it uses a back illuminated sensor. These things matter far more than megapixels. Or put it another way, show me a high megapixel Moto Droid photo, and then try and explain why it's much worse than a low pixel count iPhone 3GS photo.

      And finally, where did Rethink get their data from stating that Android is doing better internationally than in the States? All the data I've seen is to the contrary.

      As far as opinion goes, this was the opinion of an idiot.

      1. Steve the Cynic Silver badge


        "Oh, and do most smartphones really have front facing cameras? Last time I checked, only the EVO and certain Symbian phones had one."

        My 18-month-old Samsung Omnia (i900) has one. And it's WinMob6.1...

        1. RichyS
          Gates Horns

          @Steve the Cynic

          Does WinMob 6.1 /really/ count as a smartphone?

          1. Big-nosed Pengie


            Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb,

        2. Tim Hale 1

          It's not the size...

          it's what you do with it that counts.

          Lots of phones have front facing cameras, generally speaking no-one uses them. There are, of course, exceptions. The thing is, can Apple make video calling mainstream?

          Me, I don't know. I would like to think that we're finally catching up with sci-fi a little more and video calls will become if not and every day occurance, at least no unusual.

          Ironic that the carriers have tried to get us video calling for years and now it might happen they seem to be running away (that was my impression from the key note, I have no corroborating evidence).

          Still no fecking flying car though.

        3. garbo

          And even my 3 yr old N82...

          has a front camera, 5 MP Carl Zeiss back camera - with Xenon flash. So the iPhone 4 is an upgrade, magical experience? Maybe, for earlier iPhoners.

      2. Neoc
        Thumb Down


        "Oh, and do most smartphones really have front facing cameras? Last time I checked, only the EVO and certain Symbian phones had one."

        Well, that's weird - both HTCs I have owned in the last 10 years have had front-facing cameras. In fact, most of the smartphones I looked at before settling on my HTC Touch HD had front-facing cameras.

        Pot, kettle - do your own research before accusing others of not doing theirs.

    2. Sampler

      Unintelligent response

      This is an IT site so really it should focus on the things IT people value?

      1. RichyS

        Re. Unintelligent response

        Well it's a shame that IT people don't value usability.

        That could explain why the UX for most bits of enterprise software is so shit. I mean, no one needs training to use Amazon or eBay; why the feck is it deemed okay that users need training to submit their expenses via a SAP portal.

        Bloody geeks.

        1. Tim Hale 1
          Black Helicopters

          And who provides the training...?

          Why the people who supply the software, or the people who paid those people money to be acredited trainers.

          I agree with you that things should be simple, but sometimes that's not the goal:

          Charge for the software

          Charge to install / setup the software

          Charge for training

          Charge to administer the software

          Charge for support

        2. John 62

          eBay training

          people do buy books on how to buy and sell on eBay. But the point about enterprise software stands.

    3. MattWPBS

      You noticed...

      The piece where it says "Opinion" rather than "Review" then?

    4. hahnchen

      This is an iPhone article

      I'd be surprised if the author would just concentrate on the Evo's sales or no sales blip. It's pretty irrelevant given that the phone has sold out - I'm surprised they could even get that wrong. It's clearly not just IT guys that are buying Android phones.

      How long is it until Android devices start sporting Apple's new screen? After all, it's not Apple's technology. But I haven't seen the new iPhone either, so I guess that means that any analysis is impossible.

    5. Annihilator

      re: battery life

      So... they made the battery bigger, and reduced the power consumption of the overall chipset. That's not prioritising power?...

      AMOLED wouldn't give the "prettiness" of the iPhone display. Take your Nokia N8 outdoors into bright sunshine and spot the difference.

      Besides, Apple allegedly approached Samsung for an AMOLED technology and found their supply capability to be limiting.

    6. Ben Tasker Silver badge


      You've just partially written what I was about to post;


      If you want to tell me specs, then tell me more than MegaPixels.

      MP means absolutely F*ck all to Image Quality

      Whats the sensor size?

      Whats the ISO range?

      Whats the point in having a 12 MegaPixel camera if the sensor is so small and the ISO Range so poor that everything in grainy? I could print a Picture on the side of a house with a high enough pixel count, but why would I want to if the picture is shite?????

      My little gripe for the day, and one I'm sure I'll repeat (yet again) in the future


      On the subject of results...

      Apple might "focus on results" but those results are shoddy. That's the

      real problem here. A diverse group of Android competitors means that

      there will be a device to cater for every user. It won't merely be the Apple

      centric one-size-fits-all approach. This approach is a problem for computers

      and it will become a problem for mobile devices.

      At best, the camera in a 3GS phone merely sucks less.'

      It's a poor thing to fixate on.

      The "Apple focuses on results" rhetoric rings hollow when you consider how

      poor it's basic media support is and what a bother getting it onto the device

      can be.

    8. Anonymous Coward

      Battery life - AMOLED

      Actually AMOLED doesn't consume less power, if you were to display a mainly white screen then power draw is actually 10 times that of LCD TFT.

      So I think Apple have actually done there homework here.

      The life of AMOLED is shorter as well in terms of colour brightness which starts to deteriate after 3000 hours.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    What iTards fail to understand

    Is that Android allows all the big boys to make iPhone killers very easilly.

    This has already been demonstrated by HTC, Samsumg Sony Erricsson and Google. This is just of the first wave of iPhone killers. All of them immensely good, with iPhone killing featuresets, and a marketplace of currently equal, but soon to be outclassing proportions.

    Where the trend WAS that people picked iPhone because the app store was better stocked, now what everyone in the Open Handset Alliance is making their own iPhone killers, the situation has now reversed in just under 18months...

  5. Neil 6


    Is the width (or slimness!) really a FEATURE? Come on that's pushing it a little.

    HTC Desire with Android is an absolutely astounding phone, Apple have been caught up if not overtaken with the latest smartphones.

  6. Brian 62

    megapixels - dead horse

    Can we please stop harping on the "low megapixels" thing? Everyone who's been in tech for at least 10 years knows that the megapixel race is well and truly bogus, and higher pixels actually result in WORSE picture quality. Jobs even addressed this in the keynote by describing how they made the pixels bigger to help maintain image quality.

    It's now only left up to the Press (you guys) to stop perpetuating this myth, even when you do it only in a list of bullet points to try to make the list look more impressive.

  7. Tom Harvey

    Easy Peasy

    "To a far greater extent than on the previous three occasions, Apple faces some real challenges in the smartphone world"

    Ye, cos having the Number 2 smartphone handset makes things real hard compared with entering an established market, dominated by RIM and MS?!?

    No insight, just waffle that is guaranteed page hits. Can I have my click back please?

  8. Andrew Moore Silver badge


    "Stainless steel for strength. Glass on the front and back. Integrated antennas, and extraordinary build quality," was Jobs' boast.

    He then went on to add "People have literally died bring this product to market"...

    1. Fat Jez

      re megapixels - dead horse

      Absolutely. As long as the quality of the lenses on any of the current mobile phones remains as it is, there is no point in increasing the megapixel count.

    2. RichyS


      Well, they've had two years to create an iPhone killer and still haven't managed it.

      What makes you think that's changing now?

      Android's nice enough, but the whole UX still doesn't match that of the iPhone.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      @ Brian

      "Jobs even addressed this in the keynote by describing how they made the pixels bigger to help maintain image quality."

      Maybe you should go back and rewatch the keynote. Jobs boasted that they kept the pixels the SAME SIZE, *NOT* bigger.

      I'll agree that megapixels aren't everything. dSLRs are long safe from being replaced by a phone anyways.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Close but ne cigar pas, innit

        The lenses aren't the only dealbreaker, the pissy little sensors too- areal density is too high, which is why you get an increase in noise as you crank up megapixels on the same size sensor.

        I'm not expecting a micro 4-3 phone with a lens mount any time soon, though :)

      2. Rob

        AC's point...

        ... is that 'Droid is open in that other manufacturers can use and customise the OS to their needs and model of phone. The amount of different models from different manufacturers at different price points is going to be the key that kills iPhones dazzle and 2 years is not really that long in the mobile phone market which has fits of innovation before it all goes quite for a year or 2.

        Don't get me wrong the iPhone will carry on but without diversity from Apple, Android is sure to overtake it on the numbers game due to saturation. Android must also be doing something right as I have come across a number of people who have opted for a 'Droid phone who previously weren't interested in smartphones which suprised me (takes a lot to surprise me).

        The one thing I do agree with in the article is that Apple need to carry on with their innovation if they want to retain their place in the phone market, even a poster on here mentioned they were expecting to see a 'nano' phone at a cheaper price point. The 4G sounds great with glass and steel but what will that do to the cost per unit and the final retail price to the consumer?

        1. Tim Hale 1


          Cost per unit? No idea

          Cost to consumer? I would expect the retail price to be more or less the same as the last model.

        2. Ben Tasker Silver badge

          Thank You

          Thought I was the only one annoyed by this. Clearly I'm not as irritable as I was beginning to think I might be!

      3. uhuznaa

        @Anonymous Coward:

        "Maybe you should go back and rewatch the keynote. Jobs boasted that they kept the pixels the SAME SIZE, *NOT* bigger."

        He said they kept the pixels the same size as on the old 3 MP camera, making the sensor bigger rather than the pixels smaller. They *are* larger than on most (or all) other smartphone cameras with the same or higher MP count.

        That being said, the sensor is still pathetically small compared to "real" cameras. But there is not much you can do about this in a smartphone, a bigger sensor would require more depth for the lens and there is just no room for that. Things like backside illuminated sensors help a bit, though. Every little bit helps here. Except more megapixels of course.

      4. JEDIDIAH

        Wrong point of view here...

        The real question here isn't quite so much when Android is going to kill

        Apple's smartphones but when are the non-phone features on an iDevice

        going to make speciality devices moot. Others that have complained about

        specs cited in isolation have stumbled onto the dirty little secret that smart

        phones make crummy cameras. They also make crummy media players.

        They also make crummy web browsers. They also make pretty crummy game

        machines. We put up with that because we all need phones and having

        something else built in means that something is available even if it is mediocre.

        My media player of choice is an Android because it is open, has gobs of space

        and plays anything SD natively. So even if the wife drags along the iphone or

        the ipad, my Android is coming along too.

        So are the real cameras.

        The real question is whether or not there will be some sort of vendorlock

        keeping apple phone users tied to apple when those contracts expire.

        Just like Windows an DOS in the past, it's not so much about how good

        stuff is but whether or not you will be out in the cold for using something else.

        Compatability is king, especially in a web being pushed to discard open web

        technology for highly proprietary "apps".

      5. Geoff Campbell


        In a spirit of genuine enquiry (yes, I know, normal service will be resumed shortly, but let's go with this for now):

        Can you tell me how the iPhone UI and facilties are better than Andoid? I currently have a Samsung Galaxy, which is stuck on Android 1.5. It's absolutely gorgeous, despite the OS being little more than a technology demonstrator, and the CPU being a bit slow. I was going to upgrade to an HTC Desire after reading up on the advances in Android v2.1/2.2, but I'm open to persuasion if the new iPhone really is that good?


    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Slimness is a feature

      for those who carry it in a pocket.

    5. david bates

      I worry about slimness

      The Nexus is fairly thin, and with that big, vunerable screen I have to be careful which pocket it goes in - certainely not the back pocket, and often not the hip in case I flex it. I never had to worry about my chunky N73 flexing.

    6. The Original Steve



      Epic phone. Played with the 3GS for about 20 minutes before ordering the Desire and I'm sure I made the right choice.

      Slimmer, "better" screen (I've yet to see it) and a gyro... <sarcasm>wow</sarcasm>

      The Desire IS the iPhone with more options, freedom and power. Apple have 12 more months on top then it's the turn of the Android.

    7. Tim Hale 1


      Well it was for the RAZR!

    8. Frederick Tennant

      Why Kill The iphone?

      What iTards fail to understand Is that Android allows all the big boys to make iPhone killers very easilly.

      But the real question is why kill the iphone, it has saved the smartphone market. HTC, Sony Erricson, Windows had done nothing with smartphone technology, (and dont get me started on the tiny pen we had to work with) only the Tech boys used them as the general public soon got board with that. The smart phone market was almost dead when enter stage left Apple and its OS.

      So Joan of arc and apple have something in common?

      Apple OS gave smart phones to the masses. Just go into a pub or any public place and see how many are out there, Yes Sony HTC and the others can produce a better spec phone, but why did they wait until now to pull their fingers out?

      Software, its nice to get all my software for my phone from one site, Im not sure about the others but this works for me and it takes the guess work out finding software the old fashioned way. New phone looks nice, but nothing new just old tech used right.

      I could go on but its boring now.

  9. Mike Cardwell


    "Now, at least, the handset has a front-facing camera - present on most smartphones for video calls"

    Present on "most smartphones"? That's a load of bull crap. *some* smartphones have front facing cameras, the vast vast majority don't. No Android phones have a front face camera for example...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Except EVO maybe?

      Blame the competition and their time machines.

    2. david bates

      My Nexus does indeed not have a front facing camera...

      ...but then, its not in any way, shape or form something that I consider when I buy a phone. My N73 had a front facing camera, which in three years of onership I never, ever used. No-one has ever video called my from their phone either.

      I'd prefer they used the space for something useful.

    3. l3v5y


      A few years ago, every smartphone released outside the US had a forward facing camera. Lots don't know, as it's utterly pointless!

    4. ml100

      Step out of your back yard for a moment

      Almost every smart phone in UK since 2004 has had a front facing camera. The real issue is that nobody wants to make video calls. Its just the USA that lags behind in network features because you have such a fragmented and under invested infrastructure.

      The original premise of 3 network in UK was all about video calling, now its never mentioned.

      The real power of Apple is to popularise a feature that nobody ever cared about before. If they can make video calling de rigueur then it will benefit the whole industry. [Perhaps not the consumer in any way]

      ...doubt it though

  10. Anonymous Coward

    re Unintelligent review

    Utter BS, twisted to suit the argument of the day. Consumers blindly assume more megapixels mean better pictures. Only the techies know better...

    1. Tim Hale 1
      IT Angle

      Not 'techies'

      Photographers and camera geeks know better, regular IT techies don't.

  11. regviewer

    Slim and Video Calling won't help

    Consumers don't care much if you've made the phone a fraction less slimmer - it's very hard to tell and it's slim to the naked eye the way it already is. Video Calling won't help either. HTC EVO 4G can run Video Calling with it's front-face camera on both the network running at 4G AND WiFi; iPhone 4 is limited to just WiFi. And with WiFi issues plaguing the iPhone 4 during Steve Jobs presentation, there might just be a wave of major WiFi hardware issues on the iPhone 4 waiting to get in the hands of eager consumers.

    1. Tim Hale 1

      Fail Fail

      Consumers care about how slim it is when it's in their hand. From the pictures it seems to be noticably thinner.

      Video calling will 'help' if Apple can make it popular, sure the EVO can do it but does anyone use it? Think about how many people outside of geeks knew anything about MP3 before the iPod, not many. Apple made digital music popular and mainstream and if they can do that with video calling I expect a lot of this kind of conversation:

      I need a phone that can do video calls!

      You've already got one.

      No I don't, this one's old and busted.

      No, see that little black dot on the front of the phone? That's a camera.

      Oh. I did not know that.

      And suggesting that the iPhone 4 may have WiFi problems because of a swamped network suggests more than a little bias.

    2. BingBong

      fail on you

      The wifi issues were A LACK OF BANDWIDTH in the room nothing else [due to the sheer number of "mifi" access points in use] which meant the web page loading was slow.


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