Technology giant Apple (AAPL) has again made headlines with the release of its fourth-generation iPhone. This latest device, meant to help the company fend off rivals' Android-powered gadgets, has a sharper display and, thanks to a front-facing camera, is capable of making video calls. (Android is Google's (GOOG) mobile operating system.) It can also record high-definition video, and has a motion detector that turns the smartphone into a versatile gaming machine. The new iPhone will be available in five countries starting on June 24th, and will be rolled out worldwide by year's end.
And with the launch of the redesigned 4G iPhone came the reminder of the end of the road for AT&T’s (T) exclusivity. In the short run, the new model will likely boost results at the mobile carrier for the latter half of 2010, as a bevy of upgrades is sure to ensue. However, many potential users were left with an unclear answer as to what the future of the iPhone network options are going to be.
At the new phone’s official unveiling, Apple provided little clarity as to where it will move beyond AT&T as its sole carrier. However, that didn’t stop the rumor mill from pondering new options, such as a Verizon (V) model.
Also generating some buzz shortly thereafter was the announcement that iPhone users will be able to watch Netflix (NFLX) movies over AT&T’s 3G network this summer. Users were obviously pleased by the prospect of improved streaming video capabilities to smartphones. Still, monthly data restrictions are likely to come in play, as it was only weeks ago that AT&T announced it was restructuring data plans.