Apple’s iPhone is credited with ushering in the smartphone revolution. Until the iPhone’s release, Apple was a stranger to the cell-phone market, which was dominated at the time by names such as Nokia, Sony-Ericsson, and BlackBerry. Now, Apple is virtually synonymous with iPhone.

If you want the best-looking consumer electronics these days, Apple is your first and only stop. Since their iMac took the world by storm in the late 1990s, this Californian company has been at the cutting edge of chic. But it’s anything but a case of form over function: Apple has also earned a reputation for producing technically superior devices when compared to its biggest rivals.

So it’s no surprise that, after we’d seen the iMac and the iPod and fallen in love with both, we were all spellbound by the iPhone. Sporting a large touch screen instead of the buttons found on a standard phone, it seemed otherworldly in its simplicity.

The iPhone is now in its fourth generation and runs on the so-called iOS 4 platform, which can also be loaded onto third-generation devices. The OS comes with a set of basic applications for email access, web browsing, making calls, viewing YouTube videos, buying music in the iTunes online store, and viewing Google Maps — to name just a few.

Users can then add apps of their choice from Apple’s “App Store”. This online software store contains a staggering 200,000 separate titles, many of which are available for just a small fee.

The new features in the latest iPhone release include support for multitasking, a higher screen resolution, and both forward- and backward-facing cameras, allowing the user to conduct video calls.

The iPhone 4 runs on an A4 processor, which Apple manufactures in collaboration with Samsung. The A4 runs at 1 GHz, and the device has 512 MB of RAM. These basic specifications put the iPhone 4 on a par with many of today’s netbooks, although the iPhone has just 32 GB of internal memory.

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