Apple's New iPhone 4S Unveiled: Here's What's New and Different
Apple's "Let's talk iPhone" event has just ended, and the information isn't anything that wasn't already anticipated. Much to everyone's hopes, the iPhone 5 was not the headliner of the event. Instead, Apple's new CEO Tim Cook unveiled the iPhone 4S to the 250-seat audience, a speedier version of the iPhone 4. Here's the details.
iPhone 4S looks pretty much the same, with it's metal band and sleek black (or white) color, but it has a new shiny Retina display and the insides are all different. And with the 'S' in 4S standing for speed, it's no surprise that it has the Apple branded A5 dual core processor chip, which gives it:
- 2X faster CPU than the iPhone 4.
- 2X faster downloads than on the iPhone 4.
- 7X faster graphics than the iPhone 4.
As for networks, the old iPhone 4 was GSM vs CDMA, which is why there were two versions (one for AT&T and one for Verizon), but the new 4S is GSM and CDMA. However, it does not work with Verizon's LTE network, nor will it work with any other 4G services except for AT&T's HSPA+ 21 network (something they like to consider 4G). It will continue to work on existing 3G networks, the standard for the iPhone 4.
Mobile carriers include AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. Yes... Sprint now has the iPhone!
- 16GB for $199.99 with 2-year contract
- 32GB for $299.99 with 2-year contract
- 64GB for $399.99 with 2-year contract
Pre-orders start this Friday, October 7th, and will be available October 14th in the U.S., Canada, Australia, UK, France, Germany and Japan. On October 28th, it'll hit a bunch more countries. By December, over 70 countries and over 100 carriers.
And the operating system will be the new iOS 5, which will be unveiled on October 12th, as will the much anticipated iCloud service.
The camera on the iPhone 4S has an 8 megapixel sensor, a 3 megapixel upgrade from the iPhone 4. It's also 33% quicker at snapping pictures, and its backside illumination brings in 73% more light. It's got a hybrid IR filter, better color accuracy, more color uniformity, sharper images, and will go down to f/2.4 aperture.
The iPhone 4S is also equipped with face detection and a 26% improvement on white balance. And the video camera boasts 1080p HD video recording (compared to iPhone 4's 720p).
And the biggest improvement over the iPhone 4? Siri voice control… kinda… which is in Beta mode in English, French and German. Just hit the microphone button and you can ask questions and get answers, like what the weather is in California or what time it is in Paris. You can also ask for driving directions and the Maps app will pop up. Also, you can text message your friends and take dictations with Siri's speech-to-text capabilities. As of right now, it seems Siri is 4S-only.
But what's the bad news about the new iPhone 4S? There's no NFC chip. And no 4G capabilities. And it's not the iPhone 5.
- You'll be able to print and mail greeting cards right from your iPhone with the iPhoto Cards app. You choose your card and Apple ships it. $2.99 in the U.S., $4.99 everywhere else.
- iTunes Match comes at the end of this month sometime ($24.99/year).
- 18 billion apps have been downloaded from the iTunes App Store.