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