iPhone 4 accessories

The iPhone 4 has a new design, which calls for new accessories

If you managed to get your hands on Apple's hotly anticipated iPhone 4, the next step may be to purchase a new set of accessories. The iPhone 4 features a new shape and design, preventing the smartphone from fitting into older iPhone docks and cases. It also has new capabilities like video calling, which could take advantage of new wireless networking equipment.

Techworld Australia feature: Nokia N9 vs. iPhone 4

Apple's Universal Dock

Apple has released the iPhone 4 Dock specifically for the new smartphone. The dock can charge the smartphone or sync data when connected to a computer via USB. The dock also connects the smartphone to a TV or projector through audio-video composite or Apple's component cables. There is also an audio-line out port to hear music on speakers.

The iPhone 4 Dock is "compatible only with iPhone 4," Apple specifically states on its Web site. The smartphone's predecessors had a separate design that prevents them from fitting in the dock.

The dock is priced at US$29 and is available on Apple's Web site.

Elago's M2 mobile stand

While video chat is a new feature of the iPhone 4, trying to hold the phone while chatting that way could lead to movement in the video. Elago's M2 stand is a good feature-specific accessory that stabilizes the iPhone on a table. The stand holds the iPhone vertically and horizontally.

It is available for $24.99 on Amazon.com.

Apple's Bumper

As the name indicates, the Bumper accessory is a rubber and plastic frame that fits around the smartphone and has openings to the buttons and connectors so the smartphone is fully functional. However, it leaves the screen exposed.

At $29.99, the accessory might be expensive. Equally functional cases from companies like iLuv are available at cheaper prices.

But Apple knows its smartphone well, so users who can afford the Bumper might find it worth the price. It is available on Apple's Web site.

Belkin's cases

Belkin is offering cases between $25 and $30 that could protect the device and prevent the iPhone screen from suffering scratches. The Shield cases protect the iPhone while providing increased shock absorption and impact resistance. The Verve cases are made of leather, which provides a higher level of protection. The Grip cases don't provide as much impact resistance, but ensure a better grip when using the phone. The cases are available on Belkin's Web site.

The company also offers screen protectors for the iPhone 4.

Bluetooth keyboard

For users uncomfortable with the iPhone's on-screen keyboard, Apple's Wireless Keyboard could be a more convenient option. The keyboard connects wirelessly to the smartphone so users can type faster and quicker. The keyboard is geared more toward larger-screen devices like the iPad, but it can be used with the iPhone 4. The keyboard is available on Apple's Web site for $69.99.

A cheaper alternative could be Menotek's Flexible Bluetooth Waterproof Mini Keyboard, priced at $29.99 and available on Amazon.com. The device is compatible with iOS 4, the operating system used in the iPhone 4.

Networking equipment

The iPhone 4 comes with the ability to video chat with friends through Wi-Fi, so it could be time to purchase a wireless router to enable the feature. Companies like D-Link, Linksys and Netgear sell routers that provide stable connections and long ranges. But you could strike luck with inexpensive routers from companies like Trendnet. Google Shipping lists some Trendnet Wireless N routers starting at $30.

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Tags DIGITAL GEARNetworkingmobile phonesiphone 4routersPhonesiPhonesmartphonesnetworking hardwareAppleconsumer electronics

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