Get your iPhone 4 upgrade up to six months early

iPhone 4.Early adopters always get pissed when a new device comes out. After all, it can be hard to justify spending another couple hundred bucks on a gadget that closely mimics your current gear. The iPhone is no exception, but luckily AT&T has your back (sort of – their network still blows).

AT&T is offering iPhone 4 upgrades up to six months early for a minimal upgrade fee of $18. That’s a damn fine price to get your hands on the new iPhone. If you’re like me, you probably cringed when you saw that six month figure. I got my 3GS last June on launch day, which leaves me a far cry from the six month upgrade window. As it turns out, that “six months” is a little more flexible than you’d think.

If you want to know your upgrade status, dial *639# from an AT&T phone and you’ll receive a text message concerning your eligibility status. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was indeed eligible for the $18 upgrade. I’m definitely taking advantage – current 16GB 3GS prices range from $250-$500 on eBay. That more than covers the cost of the phone and the upgrade.

The iPhone 4 will be available June 24th.

iPhone 4 is here!

Apple iPhone 4.Apple has made an honest phone of the iPhone 4. Steve Jobs officially announced the iPhone 4 today during the WWDC 2010 keynote address.

It’s a beauty of a phone – the same phone Gizmodo leaked in April. With it comes a whole host of new features, including the long-rumored ability to make video calls. It is far and away the best phone on the market to date (more on that later), with a feature list that will make all the EVO 4G freaks go, “Oh…you have that too.”

From the outside, you can see that the iPhone 4 is thinner even than the 3GS. It now features a front-facing video cam for the video calling service, “FaceTime.” Both the front and back of the phone are made of a slate of glass. The camera on the back has been upgraded to five megapixels, records 720p video at 30 FPS, and has an LED flash. Apple also added a second microphone for noise cancellation during calls, a welcome feature.

On the inside, you’re looking at an A4 processor – yeah, that’s the same thing that runs the iPad – a larger battery, and an antenna system that has been integrated into the body of the phone. Storage capacity remains the same, at 16GB or 32GB, which has always seemed like plenty to me. There’s also a gyroscope along with the accelerometer, giving the phone six-axis sensitivity which is great for gaming and trainer apps among other things. The display on the iPhone 4 now has twice the pixel density of the 3GS. That’s huge, especially with the news that Netflix is coming to the iPhone later this summer.

On the whole, it’s a great update to an already great device. I’ll have more posts throughout the day detailing the changes so stay tuned. The iPhone 4 will be available for pre-order on June 15th, on sale June 24th.

Places to watch Apple’s keynote

Moscone Center.Apple’s keynote today is a big deal, and unless you were one of the lucky press to get an invite to the event, you won’t be seeing things live. There are a few options for getting the news out of San Francisco, though. Here’s a quick list.

Live Blogging – Most of the major blogs get press passes and perform live updates from the event. Here’s a quick list of the major sites and their liveblogs:

I’ve also heard rumors that CrunchGear will be livestreaming the event. You can find the CrunchGear feed at LiveStream.

I’ll be watching a couple streams at once, trying to get the latest news out to you guys in a timely fashion.

Gizmodo wasn’t invited to the Apple keynote

Jobs at a keynote.By now the Gizmodo/iPhone prototype story has been done and redone, blown sky-high with speculation. One thing is for sure, though. Apple is pissed. Really, really pissed. Gizmodo hasn’t been invited to the Apple keynote on Monday.

The blog is still planning to run its own liveblog, so it’s posting for attendees to help with the event. I, for one, am pretty bummed out. Gizmodo was my go to spot for liveblogging. There are other quality options out there, but Gizmodo tended to be the fastest and among the most reliable.

It is interesting, though, that Apple would be willing to shut out Gizmodo. The blog has given Jobs & Co. as much coverage as they could possibly desire, and breaking the iPhone quite possibly gave Apple and the new phone more hype than could ever have been generated organically.

AT&T jacks their ETF, claims its unrelated to the next iPhone

AT&T spider.If you’re thinking about terminating your relationship with AT&T, do it fast. Come June 1, AT&T is raising its early termination fee from $175 to $325. According to the company, this has nothing to do with the impending release of the next iPhone.

Right, guys. Right. That big influx of customers you’re sure to get, not to mention all of us idiots who will re-sub to get the next iPhone, we have no bearing on the decision to nearly double your ETF fees. If anything, consider this your warning if you haven’t made the switch yet. I love my iPhone – believe me, I do – but I loathe AT&T. If you think you might hate it enough to call it quits before your two years is up, be ready to part with $325.

Oh, and in case you weren’t completely convinced this is about the iPhone, AT&T said it will be lowering the ETF for feature phones, down to $150 from $175. So just those new iPhone subs get screwed? Got it.

Source: WSJ

Foxtrot announces the new iPhone

Foxtrot iPhone.You gotta love Bill Amend’s ‘Foxtrot.’ The comic always has a finger on the pulse of the geek/tech community and brings some hilarious commentary about our favorite gadgets. Seriously, I rarely laugh at tech humor as hard as I laugh at Foxtrot. His latest target is the new iPhone 4G and the story behind Gray Powell’s lost prototype.

Would you buy the iPhone 12gv? I know I would.

Source: Foxtrot

iPhone 4G leak prompts a raid on Gizmodo editor’s house

Jason Chen with the iPhone 4GWho’s that guy with the iPhone 4G? That’s Jason Chen, one of the editors at Gizmodo and the guy being held responsible for the recent iPhone 4G leak. I say being held responsible because it appears California law enforcement raided his home looking for the prototype phone he leaked last week, confiscating computers, cameras, and servers in the process.

Gawker Media COO Gaby Darbyshire issued a response to law enforcement officials stating that they had an invalid warrant because of Chen’s status as a journalist under California law. Legal details aside, you can see Jason’s account of the story at Gizmodo. Whatever the decision, this seems like some fairly extreme action on the part of Cali law. First there has to be proof that the phone was stolen, rather than left in the bar. Secondly, that journalism thing makes it pretty hard to prosecute a guy who works from home as the editor of one of the most prominent tech blogs in the world on the grounds that he’s not a journalist.

Whatever the outcome, this is a big win for Apple. The buzz around the new iPhone is as hot as it has ever been thanks to the leak. This only turns up the heat.

The Woz speaks out about Apple product leaks

Wozniak Gray Powell shirt.There’s been a lot of hullabaloo around the recent iPhone 4G leak, if only because leaks like this are so rare from Apple. Everyone expected Gray Powell, the engineer responsible for leaving his prototype iPhone in a bar where it could be picked up by just anyone, to experience the full wrath of Steve Jobs. He’s still employed though, and as the Woz has it, Powell hopefully won’t be going anywhere.

Wozniak dropped by Gizmodo to offer his thoughts on Apple security, leak prevention, and employee termination. Woz was recently up close and personal with an employee term, after a retail associate showed him the iPad after midnight on launch day, apparently enough of a no-no to get himself canned.

Maybe the best quote from the whole thing is this: “Product secrecy is good for Apple and should be strictly enforced, but maybe 10% of niceness and 90% of strictness is OK too.”

You can find the full post at Gizmodo.

AT&T blocks employee vacation days in June

iPhone 4G shot from Gizmodo.This news came out a few days back but without much substance I didn’t want to get overly excited. Now that the iPhone 4G has leaked, though, it seems appropriate to share that AT&T has blocked employee vacation requests for the month of June. You can bet that’s for the iPhone 4G release.

Historically speaking, AT&T has only ever blocked vacation days to support the extra traffic associated with an iPhone launch. There is really no other reason (c’mon, who’s actually excited about AT&T as a carrier). Come mid-June you can bet I’ll be seriously considering selling my current 3GS to pick up the 4G. Then again, AT&T hasn’t released those ridiculous rules for upgrading to the newest iPhone model so who knows, I just might get screwed. Wouldn’t be the first time, though, right?

Source: BGR

Apple’s iPhone 4G leaked

iPhone 4GIt’s amazing how one little mistake can seemingly shake up the entire world. Gray Powell, a software engineer at Apple, was out at a bar, testing what looked on the surface like any other iPhone 3GS. Even up close it was tough to tell that the shape of the 3GS was actually a case disguising a much more stylish, sleeker version of the iPhone – the iPhone 4G (this is not the official name, not yet anyway). Unfortunately, Powell left the iPhone behind when he left the bar, and because people are the way they are, someone took it home, realized he was holding the next generation of the world’s favorite smartphone, and likely sold the right to return the device to Apple to Gizmodo, which was kind enough to post pictures and leak what specs it could prior to the device’s eventual voyage home.

Enough of the story, though, and on with the phone. The new iPhone looks great. I was always a little underwhelmed by the shape and design of the previous iPhone models, including the 3GS. Something about them seems too forward thinking – they’re almost so futuristic they look retro. This new phone hits my industrial nerve and hits it hard. It’s slightly thinner than the current iPhone and lays flat instead of the current curved back. There’s a new camera on the back with a bigger lens and a flash, and the volume button is now two small, round buttons on the side. The front of the phone sports a front-facing video camera for video chat and the top has what looks to be a secondary microphone for noise cancellation. All said and done, this is what I wish the iPhone looked like now, and I’m going to struggle not to buy one when it launches.

There is sadly very little information about the OS. Shortly after the phone was reported missing, Apple remotely disabled the device via the MobileMe function, and because device firmware is model-specific, there was no way to restore the bricked handset. Gizmodo did peel the phone apart to reveal Apple stamped internals, which suggests we’re pretty close to launch, and a slightly larger capacity battery. The screen also appears to be slightly smaller but perhaps runs at a higher resolution than the current 3GS.

You can find full exclusive photo galleries at Gizmodo.