Apple's iPhone 4 entered the market surrounded by excitement, especially since a prototype of the phone somehow arrived in the hands of a bar patron in Redwood City months before. Apple's vaunted design team completely redesigned the iPhone 4 incorporating many improvements that customers desired. As other smartphone makers try to overcome the hype of the iPhone, Apple is not resting on its laurels, and the evolution of the smartphone continues at a rapid pace. A look at the iPhone 4 gives us an idea of where the smartphone revolution is going.

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  • 115.2x58.6x9.3: The iPhone 4 is a mere 9.3 millimeters thick or 0.37 inches, making it one of the thinnest smart phones around. At 4.5 inches high and 2.31 inches wide, the iPhone 4 is about the same size as the earlier iPhones.

  • 20 and 30: The glass on the iPhone4 is 20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic. According to Apple, this is the same type of glass used on the windshields of helicopters and high-speed trains. Wrapped by a stainless steel band that acts as part of the antenna, the phone is tough enough to survive occasional drops.

  • 326: With 326 pixels per inch, the screen has one of the highest resolution screens for a phone. The pixel is only 78 micrometers across. Apple claims it is smaller than can be seen by the human eye. The 3.5-inch diagonal screen remains the same as earlier versions. As does the touch screen display. (Learn about the companies that make the components for the iPhones, read Behind The Big Brands.)

  • 802.11: The iPhone 4 comes with an 802.11n wi-fi, as well as a quad-band HSUPA chip and Bluetooth 2.1 so you can remain connected.

  • 7: According to Apple the iPhone 4 will have up to seven hours of talk time on a 3G network and up to 14 hours on a 2G. With a new lithium ion battery and a more energy efficient chip the battery life of the iPhone 4 indicates customers do not have to worry about loss of power during the day.

  • 1.7 million: More than 1.7 million iPhone 4s were sold in the first three days the phone was for sale. These sales will count toward Apple's third quarter. The iPhone 3G reached more than one million in sales over its week-end launch. It took the original iPhone 74 days to reach one million in sales. (Find out how Apple is able to build the excitement and demand for the products; read Hype It Like Steve Jobs.)

  • $199-299: The price range for the iPhone 4 with an AT&T contract. The 16GB version costs $199 while the 32GB version comes with a $299 price tag.

  • 2: After complaints from iPhone 4 customers, Apple investigated a problem and was "stunned" to discover that the formula Apple uses to calculate the number of bars of signal strength to display was wrong. This applies to all iPhones sold. Evidently, the formula could display two more bars than it should given the signal strength. They are correcting this problem by using AT&T's recommended formula for signal strength. This does not change the signal strength. It just displays the signal strength bars more accurately. So how many bars do you have?

  • 2: To deliver Apple's FaceTime video chat feature, Apple is trying to jump on the video talk trend that is popular in Asia and Europe, and included two cameras on the iPhone 4.

The Bottom Line
By setting the standard, the iPhone 4 dictates the trend in the smartphone market. Apple continues to drive the market as it delivers an improving product that meets customer demands. Wonder what they will show us next year? (Learn more about how new products affect Apple's share price in Will iPhone 4 Send Apple Stock Soaring?)

Catch up on the latest financial news, read Water Cooler Finance: More Spilled Oil, Fewer Jobs.

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