Apple will start selling the iPhone 4 in the U.S., France, Germany, Japan and the U.K. on June 24, although customers can pre-order the new gadget beginning June 15 from Apple's Web site, it was announced Monday. The cost is expected to start at $200 for the 16-gigabyte model and $300 for the 32-gigabyte, with a two-year service contract.

Some of the iPhone 4's more prominent features include a Wi-Fi video-calling application called FaceTime and a 960- by 640-pixel display screen called Retina, with four times as many pixels as the iPhone 3GS and 78 percent of the pixels of an iPad. The gadget, which runs on an Apple A4 processor and the new iOS 4 operating system, also has a five-megapixel camera with LED flash, HD video recording and motion-sensing enhancements meant to improve the iPhone as a gaming device.

Apple also touts the new phone's slim design—9.3 millimeters thick. It has a casing made of aluminosilicate glass, which the company says is chemically strengthened to be 30 times harder than plastic, and reinforced with a stainless steel band made of a custom alloy five times stronger than standard steel.

TechCrunch applauded the iPhone's new squared-off design today, saying, "Three years is a long time to stick with what was essentially the same design, especially for a company as chameleonic as Apple. A change was due, and the change is welcome." TechCrunch's Devin Coldewey does, however, question whether all the miniaturization in the new phone, plus the improved screen, could create a "heat disaster," as faster and thinner usually means hotter as well.

GigaOM focused more on the iPhone 4's HD video recording capabilities as well as software that enables video editing on the phone. The drama here is how much the iPhone 4 will impact Cisco's Flip camera business, given that the Flip still doesn't have any network connectivity, which means you need to download your video in order to share it. With the new iPhone, you're already connected via your cell phone carrier.

Courtesy of Apple