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. Frederick Tennant

      Wake up and smell the coffee!

      Apple old tech with ground breaking OS in a sexy package, thats what people want. Slim is sexy fat is ugly

      if you watch the show check how many people was online during the speach and you might understand why he asked to turn the dam things off if you was a techie.

  1. That Awful Puppy

    Nice, with just one giant fail

    Ever seen the pictures from that 12 MP camera? Yes. They suck. All they do is take up memory.

    Otherwise, a pretty decent article with some nice insight.

    See also:

    Needs moar megapickles, as the fine gentlemen of /p/ would say.

  2. Yves Kurisaki


    I'm no fanboy, but we're not just talking functionality here. I still have to see the first Android phone that doesn't completely suck in the battery department. What's the point of having the latest amazing features and some more if you can't even look at the phone or it drains. And don't get me started on the monstrosity that is the 'Android app market'. I've got 6 months left on my phone contract. Android and the handset makers will have to do a lot better to move me away from the iPhone.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    iPhone mini?

    I was hoping Apple would announce a budget, mini version of the iPhone. That would certainly reach into a new sector of the market and fill the requirements for people that feel carrying the current model in their tight jeans pockets uncomfortable!

  4. Pavlovs well trained dog

    Reg readers vs the rest of the world

    I'd imagine the typical (is there such a thing) Reg reader would froth and gnash his/her teeth at the iOS geek lock out and that seems to be evident in the reporting in the publication

    so for most here, Android's a clear winner

    for the rest of the world who see phones as appliances or fashion statements or tools or trinkets of delight I don't think the lock-out factor means a thing.

    Neither does 5, 7, 8 or 12 MPs in the camera.

    1. Citizen Kaned


      and they are bloody amazing! depends on the camera. the ones i saw were from a £6k pro digi camera and are astonishing.

      remember that high MP just means much more room for graphics bods to work with (i.e. zomming in and photoshopping) and print much larger images at a decent DPI.

      but i agree that standard joe doesnt need anything over about 5mp but with decent quality. i still find most digi cameras have a lot of noise. i need a new one for my upcoming safari to kenya <excited> never been to africa :)

    2. fatchap


      Even better would be really small phone with no screen or buttons that would just dial a small selection of contacts at random.

      1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

        MIssed the point I think

        Think the OP was referring to the 12MP photos generated by whichever phone it was that was referenced in the article (I've forgotten which already)

        But yeah, assuming more MP makes worse pictures is wrong. Just take a look at some of the >40 MegaPixel Hasselblads - They chuck out some (huge) images in fantastic quality.

        It all comes down to a combination of

        Pixel Count

        Sensor Size

        ISO Range (high ISO often leads to more grain)

        As well as a load more more technical aspects.

        It's rampant consumerism that has allowed the 'more megapixels is good' mindset to proliferate.

      2. Tim Hale 1

        Well there you are then!

        I'd expect a camera like that to have a good lense and a big sensor. Two important factors in cameras whether or not they're on a phone.

        IF you have a tiny sensor and a plastic lens, all the pixels in the world aren't going to get you a decent picture.

        The megapixel myth is finally starting to die and it can't go fast enough.

      3. Mark Spooner

        Great Idea!!!!!!!!

        Voice dialing only. Configured from a web-site. It could actually sell.

      4. That Awful Puppy
        Thumb Up


        Right. My bad, I meant pictures from that 12 MP phone camera.

        Although I like my 10 MP DSLR just fine - shot with an EOS 7D the other day, with its eleventyhundred megapickles, but the tonality was just wrong, and don't get me started on user interface - Canon could learn a lot from Microsoft, and I hate Microsoft's UI design.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. januaryfirst

      smaller package

      Agreed, even if it had the 3GS's internals wrapped around a smaller package.

    4. david bates


      My Nexus usually reports approx 50% battery left when I plug it in at night. Thats with a mix of calls, surfing and games. It seems to charge in just a couple of hours as well. Mind you, I dont have the screen on full or GPS on unless Im using them.

    5. ml100

      Android doesnt want YOU

      No manufacturer of Android based smart phones is trying to sell to Apple fanbois!

      That's like Jehovahs Witness going door to door in Iran. If you are ignorant enough to jump on that bandwagon you'll never see sense.

  5. Richard Cartledge


    People don't want big megapixels on phone cameras. Even 5mp is excessive for a pea sized lens. 12 of the SONY is utterly ridiculous. All you get on many phones (and compact cameras) is a large file with a meagre 2 megapixelish quality image.

  6. Paul 93

    Well i'm hoping at least....

    ... it will be a better phone, now the antenna is somewhere near the outside of the device.

    And although not a popular view on el reg, some people actually don't want to be able to configure everything, as they are either not bothered or too stupid to do so. I think I'm falling into that category, and I want one as its shiny, and matches my macbook pro.


  7. The Original Ash

    I just looked at new phones

    iPhone is still ludicrously priced on ludicrous tariffs. I'll get a Samsung Galaxy S. 4" AMOLED screen? Oh yeah baby, gimme some o' that lovin'...

  8. Anonymous Coward


    I'm still not sure why cameras are a big issue, I can't remember the last review of a Canon that stated "Well it's not a very good phone..."

    1. Red Bren

      Thanks for that!

      If it wasn't for the ban on hot drinks in our office, I'd be mopping coffee out of my keyboard.

    2. Anonymous Coward


      I was thinking of doing a camera review tonight, I think you've just given me a good criticism to use for whichever camera (Nikon vs Canon) doesn't fit my prejudices!

      Thanks, have a pint

    3. Al Jones

      I usd to agree

      Until work gave me a Blackberry that has a phone. I'm surprised how often I use it.

      See something interesting in a shop, but I want to do some more research online when I get home, so I take a photo of the label.

      Need to get the serial number off the back of the machine, but can't get my head into that small space - stick the phone in there and take a photo of the label.

      See an interesting personalized license plate in the parking lot - take a snap, just because I can, and I have a camera right there.

      See an amusing sign on the street - take a snap, just because I can, and I have a camera right there.

      See a poster for an upcoming event that I might want to go to - - take a snap, so that I can look up the details when I get home, and I have a camera right there.

      Need to make a note of any error codes or messages that come up where a screen print won't work (a Blue Screen, when you're in the BIOS, on the login screen, etc).

      If you ever need to talk someone at a remote site through the process of doing a hard reset of a box in a remote server room, it's very handy if you took a snap of that rack the last time you were there, and can add labels and e-mail it to them before they press the wrong button.

      Need to root around on the bosses desk while he's at lunch - take a photo of it first so that I can put everything back the way it was :-)

      And then there's the requisite photo's of various small children, animals, colourful sunsets etc, a couple of videos taken at the fireworks, the sort of snapshots you take with a cheap and cheerful digital camera. So I never would have picked a phone because it had a camera, and I'd never use my phone when I wanted to take a "photograph" rather than a "snapshot", but it's turned out to be a surprisingly useful tool to have available.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    too small

    3.5" corner to corner to so yesterday, retina detaching ppi notwithstanding. Next upgrade I want an HTC Evo or at the very least a Desire.

  10. SteveCo

    Hands Off!

    Is it less safe to have the antenna on the outside of a phone, actually touching your hand?

  11. MarkOne

    re: Battery!

    My HTC Legend lasts much longer than my old iPhone 3GS, and it's way more functional too.

    I get day and a half out of the HTC with moderate use. I was lucky to get a day out of my iPhone.

    Of course when the iPhone battery needs replacement, you throw the phone away, or pay Apple silly money to replace it. When the HTC needs replacing, you just clip the back off....

    Android excessive battery consumption is a myth created by Apple iTards who have little else to cling to... ("that Multitasking in Android MUST SURELY kill the battery")

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Why in the hell are you comparing your current model phone to the previous model of iPhone in an article talking about the launch of a new iPhone model? What is the relevance? Just so you can slam the iPhone?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not a fan but...

    ...I do like the style of the new phone very much. Was never keen on the rounded back shape of the <3 models, looked a but toy like whereas the new model looks very good indeed.

    Saying that, can't stand the way they operate so am still looking at something like the Desire (even though iit's more rounded) although the resolution and quality of the iPhone 4 screen is really tempting...

    And, as everyone else has said, who cares about the number of pixels on the camera. It's the size and quality of the sensor that matters, not its resolution.

  13. It'sa Mea... Mario
    Thumb Up


    Pleasant lack of / reduction in Anti-Apple-just-for-thr-sake-of-it posts in this thread.. without it being all fanboi posts either..

    Hope I haven't just spoke to soon..

    Do agree with Tom Harvey way up above, this article is purely for click generation and lacking anything worthwhile.

  14. Frank Long

    And Nokia?

    Besides from a single insignificant mention, the author manages to completely ignore the biggest player in the global smartphone market.

    While Blackberry may be the big boy in the the US, Nokia have ~37% of global smartphone sales, significantly more than Apple RIM and even Android.

    When combined with their partnership with Intel, surely they must be taken into consideration when discussing the smartphone market.

    They are the lowest cost mobile hardware manufacturer in the world, even the manufacturers making clone phones in China can't beat them on price. They have been written off a number of times before (When RAZR emerged, the beginning of 3G, when SE rose on the back of the T610 and P800...) only to come back.

    While Maemo/Moblin might not appear to be serious contenders, only a fool would write off an alliance between Intel and Nokia so quickly, especially when it's based upon completely open standards and vast distribution channels.

    They may not provide the greatest user experience (although people seem to forget that in the late 90s, early 2000, Nokia was the gold standard in usability), but they will produce cheap phones with great features that work well enough for most people.

    Apple and RIM have their own walled gardens, which means they will probably maintain the gains they've made, but they're both premium producers the vast majority of people who can afford their phones have them already. Most of the population can't afford their price premium (cf the PC market) so that's likely to end up a battle between Android and Moblin. Both Linux. huzzah for open standards.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Customer Loyalty

    Many people are comparing Apple's output to HTC's output. Eight months ago I was the proud owner of new HTC Hero - Android 1.5 I think it was. Since then, we've seen new Android phones released with v1.6, v2.0, v2.1 of that particular OS. Despite many noises that my little Hero would be receiving an OS upgrade (at one time to v1.6 and recently to v2.0) I'm still waiting.

    Seems that HTC just don't care about existing handset owners and want to keep throwing out new phones with later OS versions, rather than make good on OS upgrade promises to those with earlier phones.

    At the very least with an iPhone, Apple are prepared to offer OS upgrades to the bulk of older iPhones. Even though they might not be able to offer all features to all versions, there's at least some benefit to existing customers from this. That builds loyalty.

    I won't be investing in another HTC phone - just to watch it be left behind in the scramble for the latest Android incarnation. Soon as iPhone 4 is available, the Hero is for sale.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    But in 6 months' time ...

    ... what will the newer Android phones be like?

    What will be the killer features or applications?

    It's a fast moving target for Apple, so catching up now might not be good enough.

  17. uhuznaa


    The hardware of that thing is not at all bad, I think. And the "only 5MP" is really tiring. It has a rather large sensor and lens, a backside illuminated sensor (which is a first in a smartphone as far as I know, not that any "tech journalist" would care) and seems to take quite good macro shots. Any smartphone maker putting such effort into the camera while giving up on the MP race has to be lauded. Everybody knows that piling megapixel on megapixel is a bad thing but obviously nobody has the balls to be the first to do something about it.

    The gyroscope is also something noone else thought of yet. The screen has not only high DPI, it has the touchscreen laminated to the LCD, which should help to minimize parallax problems and make it tougher. The battery seems to be really good, the design surely isn't shabby. 9.3mm is, well, good. No, the hardware is really fine.

    iOS starts to suck, though. When it comes to wireless syncing and file management and the like the OS is user-unfriendly in a way that is outright un-Apple. Things like "openness" are irrelevant here, the masses don't care, only geeks care.

    And can Apple fend off Android? Why, no. Never. One company with one or two devices can't fend off uncounted companies offering hundreds of phones and tablets with an OS they get for free. There are lower prices there and more options. Even *expecting* Apple to hold a majority of the market is madness. In fact, if they manage to keep a third of the market or so they will do really, really great. One could even say that the iPhone holds up that good today is either a miracle or most Android phones aren't really that good compared to the iPhone. Which Android smartphone exactly is selling bettter than the iPhone or even close?

    In the smartphone market Android will become what Windows was (or still is) in the PC market, there is little doubt to that. Expecting Apple to "fend off" all other Android phones together is like expecting Apple selling more Macs than all others selling PCs.

    1. Mr Brush

      Hero Eclair Update

      Rumoured to be hitting Europe on Jun 18th.

      I haven't felt the need for the update until I recently discovered a useful OpenGL API that isn't supported on 1.5

      I'm sure most people don't NEED the update, it's just one of those irrational things that people get into a 'must have it' frame of mind about. Like shiney new crud from Apple.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Hero Eclair Update

        And has been in the pipline since last year. People have used phrases like 'sense of entitlement' and suggesting that nobody really NEEDS an updated Android OS on Hero but as an owner of a Hero I'm afraid that simply isn't the case.

        For one thing, The changes between versions mean that apps developed for later OS releases aren't compatible with 1.5 so without the update owners of 1.5 based devices will be increasingly left out. Bug fixes and performance improvements are also needed. My keyboard has been sluggish from pretty much day one, after rooting and flashing a ROM based on the 2.1 update released to Asia performance has improved greatly.

        These devices are not cheap and people are often being tied to 18+ month contracts. If after 12 months support for the device is dropped they probably aren't going to be rushing to get another phone of the same brand come renewal time. I doubt I'll go HTC again and unless problems like fragmentation are addressed it probably won't be an Android handset either.

    2. Al Jones

      Adroid 2.1 has been released for the the HTC Hero

    3. Aylee


      My HTC Hero has been running Android 2.1 for the last month. Sure, I had to upgrade it myself, but it was hardly rocket science. The problem with Apple users is they expect to be spoon fed everything. I have no objection to Apple making things easier, but their user base seems to have stopped thinking for themselves.

      Sure, my year old HTC Hero is a little slow, but I have played with the iPhone 3GS and the HTC Desire, and the latter wins by a mile in terms of battery life, features and usability.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        "The problem with Apple users is they expect to be spoon fed everything."

        The problem with arrogant, offensive twats is they think they're better than everyone else.

        "I have played with the iPhone 3GS"

        And that's related to the new iPhone how?

    4. quick_beam

      Wow, a voice of reason...

      I totally agree with you, except to add that the size of iPhone's eventual marketshare depends on 1) how the smartphone market unfolds; 2) Apple's ability to push it's product through it's international channels; 3) it's ability to build on it's advantage on the apps front; 4) whether Android handset makers can sustain this pace of development while selling these many phones; and lastly 5) whether the Android strategy has the legs. No one has yet seen the future, not even Jobs. There is an obvious reason why Apple is choosing this strategy- it's a very profitable business. And the fiscal elements should not be overlooked, as it can sometimes be a deciding factor, ala Pre.

  18. Tony Paulazzo

    New Phone

    I've just got an HTC Desire. I'm not going to slag off Apple, I'm just really happy I got a new phone, and it's great!

    1. batfastad
      Jobs Horns


      Agree. HTC Desire here for about 3 weeks. Had an SE P1i for a while which could do everything I'd really needed but the HTC Desire is something else. The amount of customisation available on the thing is staggering!

  19. David Halko

    Game Changing??? I want to see...

    Wireless Watch writes, "the new gadget delivered nothing really game changing"

    I want to see the 720p video from the iPhone4! --- One less gadget to take around when I am at a friend's wedding!

    A little iMovie on the phone? --- I hope that means posting edited video to FaceBook or YouTube within minutes of taking it!

    After messing with my friends $50 phone from China with 2 SIM cards, all I can say is that the user experience and GOOD APPS on a smart phone is everything! (Pressing on the screen is a real drag... not to mention trying to use the tiny keys on the keyboard...)

    I don't care if phone has 10 different apps if they are all inferior to the 1 or 2 apps on another phone from a usability perspective.

    Yes, I am in the market for a new phone now, my 1st generation iPhone is showing it's age... I have not made a decision yet with the new found competition on the market.

  20. chr0m4t1c

    WiFi issues?

    According to reports there were 570 WiFi base stations in the room.

    That's a pretty extreme case for any phone, are you saying that another phone on the market would have done any better? Evidence?

    As for video calling, I don't think any consumers actually give two hoots about it, but I notice that all of the people who were posting those "Ha! The iPhone has no front-facing camera, so no video calling - EPIC FAIL" posts have now vanished.

    So, the new phone now plugs some of the other perceived gaps in capability:

    Screen resolution. All those with the various Android HD screens have to shift to a different position, from the early comments it looks like the latest stick to beat Apple with with be "Ha! They've chosen the wrong technology!"

    Multi-tasking. The shift has already started with this one, the argument goes "Ha! It's not TRUE multi-tasking, the application has to register for events and then go to sleep; it isn't really running.". That's a bit of a lame argument, that's how well-behaved programs behave in other operating systems anyway.

    Battery life. Better than previous iPhones, but I can't see the arguments changing much here; there are two camps, those who go through three or four batteries every single day and therefore need a swappable battery and those who would complain even if the battery lasted for six weeks of continuous talking because it's an Apple device.

    Camera. 5-Meg instead of some bleeding edge 14-Meg thing. Cue a round of pointless megapixel willie waving. Apple claim to have gone for quality rather than stats and I'm inclined to believe them, the photo industry has known this for a while, it's just taking a bit longer for some consumers to grow up a bit and learn a bit about optics. I have a four year old 7MP camera that produces better images than a lot of current 10+MP cameras because it has a good sensor and a good lens.

  21. Robert Grant

    It's better than my 2-year-old phone now

    "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."

    My 2 year old HTC Diamond has a front-facing second camera. And about 277dpi. And HSUPA. Nice to know the iPhone's caught up :)

  22. Hayden Clark Silver badge

    ooo shiny!!! the only criterion for buying an iPhone. It's the only one needed too.

    As long as iPhone 4 has the "oo shiny" response, it doesn't matter what it does, really.

  23. Peter X

    What about iPhone nano

    It was mentioned in another post here, but whilst Apple aren't talking about an iPhone nano, it is the obvious next product. But they couldn't do that before without removing features from their existing phones... and there wasn't much scope for that! But with iPhone 4, they can now produce a "nano" product based on the iPhone 3G or 3GS, but sans GPS, probably with giros (for gaming) and it shouldn't risk customers switching to the cheaper product.

    Having said all that... Apple traditionally produce "premium" products. They look nice, they work well, they're desirable, but they also cost more. As such, they're never likely to totally dominate any market. Whilst they have done well with iPods in terms of market share, I'd say this is because they're inexpensive -- yes an iPod Shuffle is twice as expensive as a competing music player with similar features, but at that price point, it's not a huge purchasing decision.

    iPhone on the other hand has always been too expensive to dominate, and given the number of Androids available, and given their lower cost, Apple will never achieve the same level of success as they did with the iPod. If they release an iPhone nano they'll do better though... but I suspect they're going to have a tough time with this.

    And to conclude my rambling post, Apples market cap is high because they're profitable *and* they still have considerable scope for expanding market share. But they can only maintain this if they continue to increase profits... which requires increasing market share... which can only happen if they can capture customers at the lower end of the spectrum.

  24. Tinal

    Highlights from this years WWDC: iPhone 4, Steve Jobs.

    iPhone 4: Is thinner, has almost twice the pixel density, and still doesn't support flash.

    Steve Jobs: Is thinner, has almost twice the ego density, and still doesn't support flash.

    Thumb Down

    iphone 4

    wasnt suprised really with another apple phone to replace the 3gs but personally im not getten a apple due to there exspensive price tag. if i was to get a new phone id be happy with htc like the evo 4g that seems an awsome phone with alot of apples great features sure it dont have apples market place but i dont care not bothered about thease stupid apps for your phone. all im bothered about is using it for texting and calling. and if people say well you have to use phones for social networking and internet well newsflash thease services like surfing the net cost with some mobile networks like o2. also people complain about battery life in thease new phones er well why dont you turn off bluetooth that drains it somthing rotten only use that when your transfering stuff or are working in a taxi firm making lots of calls. all people are paying for is apples fancy bitten logo thats all and making steve richer. but if anyone complains about a apple product in reviews or somthing you get alot of grief which shows this world is filled with apple fanboys. and those who wait outside stores to pick up a new product like apples new items are sad do they not realise that thease products will mostly likely come down in price a few months after.

  26. theSensibleGeek


    "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!"

    iPhone 3GS: $199 @

    Moto Droid: $199 @

    Looking like an elitist tool: Priceless.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'll just leave this here

    2. Stephen 10


      And what are the total contract prices for those? The outright buy price for the phones are as follows:

      iPhone 3GS: $699 (you seem to have specified the 32Gb version)

      Motorola Droid: $559

      And the Droid looks to kill the 3Gs on specification

      What was your point again?

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