Not uncommonly, Steve Jobs initiated the loudest buzz this week. The much anticipated Worldwide Developers Conference keynote address, which took place this past Monday, presented many of Apple's incremental updates'most notably, the iPhone 4 and its associated OS.
Even though many audience members had already previewed the new generation iPhone (thanks to our sneaky friends at Gizmodo), the device still induced plenty of oohs and ahhs from the crowd. The most significant new software features include:
- Wifi-only video calling (termed 'FaceTime'?),
- iMovie software,
- iTunes 9.2 with folder support,
- iBooks and the resulting ability to read PDFs.
The reinvented body is also worth noting, with dimensions measuring 24% thinner than your current iPhone 3GS. Jobs also highlights the device's Retina display which features 4x as many on-screen pixels as the previous generation'that's 78% of the pixels on your entire iPad.
The iPhone 4 will be available June 24 th for $199 or $299 (for 16 and 32GB, respectively) with a two year contract. Furthermore, a limited version of the iOS4 will be provided as a free upgrade to 3GS users.
Apple's recent foray into the advertising world was also mentioned and promoted at the WWDC. Major brands have already begun signing up for the HTML5-based iAds, including Citi, Liberty Mutual, State Farm, Geico and Best Buy, to name a few. I see a major disconnect here: on the one hand, Apple implements iAds to ensure the creation of interactive and compelling advertisements for its devices, on the other, Apple builds Safari 5. Safari 5 is the first browser to feature a built-in ad blocker'of course, iAds being the exception. What do you think? Is Steve Jobs a friend or foe to the advertising community?
The actions of Apple's service provider are also of interest. AT&T has recently capped data usage which could act as a de-motivator to app developers. (Will limiting data usage affect users' desire for innovative applications?) Also rumored, the company may be expediting upgrade eligibility for most of its current customers. Now almost everyone can have the iPhone 4 for its upgrade rate'oh yeah, and another two years of less-than-reliable service.
Sprint's recently released phone, the EVO 4G, is a solid competitor to the iPhone (see this graphic for feature comparison). The Android phone is part of the 4G network - a differentiator where Sprint is taking the lead against all other carriers. I think it's safe to say that 4G coverage isn't even on Apple's radar, while securing 3G coverage remains a constant struggle.