(Apple iPhone 4 story updated with Apple and competitors' stock price movements, as well as commentary on the former's Monday price decline.)
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The iPhone 4 was officially unveiled at around 1:30 pm eastern time Monday at the Apple (AAPL) - Get Report Conference 2010 in San Francisco Monday. Steve Jobs, in making the announcement, declared that "it's not like you haven't already seen this," to laughter in the audience, in reference to media leaks of the device's prototype.
The new iPhone 4 has glass on the front and back; Jobs described it as "a very beautiful thing ... just gorgeous; it's really thin." TheStreet tech reporter James Rogers, who is live-blogging the event, noted that the new iPhone 4 is a quarter thinner than its predecessor. It is, according to Apple, the thinnest smartphone on the planet.
As anticipated, the new iPhone 4 has a front facing camera -- a feature that Apple fans have been anticipating for two years.
Jason Schwarz, an options strategist for Lone Peak Asset Management and a contributor to
, also participated in Rogers' live blog, saying the "front-facing camera is the biggest news of the day so far ... Fifty million current iPhone users will be tempted to upgrade." The new camera, he points out, is important for video communications."
Flip just got crushed, I fear,"
tech reporter Scott Moritz said in a comment on Rogers' blog.
The iPhone 4 also sports a Micro-Sim and flash feature, and a second mic for noise cancellation.
Apple shares apparently stopped falling as the phone was being unveiled, and were briefly in the black, before falling back to a loss on the day of $1.35, or 0.5%, to $254.61.
The primary structural element of the iPhone 4 involves a stainless steel band as part of an integrated antenna system. According to Rogers on his blog, this design trick has never been attempted before. The pixel quality on the display is, according to Rogers, highly impressive.
iPhone 4.0 New iPhone 4: Instant Analysis
As iPhone fans have hoped, Apple has upgraded the device's battery life; it now provides 10 hours of video, 40 hours music, or 6 hours of 3G browsing. The cameras in the entirely new camera system are, according to Rogers, tiny.
"It's all about capturing photons," he reported. The new camera offers a 3-to-5-megapixel camera, compared with the 8-megapixel in your average Android.
During the conference, Jobs, to applause, revealed that the camera can also record HD videos.
Apple stock is lower at $252.07, down 1.5% after the announcement. Meanwhile,
whose Android operating system competes with Apple's, is seeing its shares slide 2.9% to $484.53 within the hour of the closing bell.
Research in Motion
, which makes the popular Blackberry device, is seeing its shares fall 5.7% to $56.26 after the unveiling of the iPhone 4G.
Schwarz says that "today's stock price means nothing. The stock will pick up as Wall Street watches lines form around the globe over the next three months."
He believes that Apple is the "best in the business at taking care of business to stay ahead of the competition," and that the the new phone, with its iAds and FaceTime features, "will propel growth."
FaceTime is Apple's name for its new video chatting capability on the iPhone.
The next generation iPhone also sports more than a hundred new user features. The biggest appears to be multi-tasking, Rogers said. Other new features include threading for email conversations and the addition of Bing to Google and Yahoo on the iPhone 4 operating system search -- users now have more choices when doing Web searches.
Rogers learned that iAds will be built into the iPhone 4 operating system.
A slew of brand-name companies have bought ads set to run on the phone in the second half of the year. They include
Nissan will use iAds to hawk its new fully electric car, the Nisasn Leaf.
On Rogers' blog, Schwarz called the iAds plan "just as important as today's phone upgrade. If Apple can upgrade the App Store with a new revenue stream, then they will have hit a home run.... Mobile ad revenue is the next gold rush."
And finally, the price and expected shipment date: The iPhone 4 will come in two colors -- either a black or a white front -- priced at $199 for the 16 gigabyte model and $299 for 32 gigabyte model.
"If your contract expires in 2010 and you top up your contract for 2 years, you can buy for $199 and $299," Roger says of AT&T's upgrade offer. "AT&T wants to lock you in before Verizon comes on line."
On Jun. 24, Apple will be shipping the iPhone 4 to five countries, then 18 more countries in July. In August, the device will reach 24 more countries; and in September, it will ship to 40 more countries. Apple is including Japan, UK, Germany and France in the initial launch.
-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York
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