Rumour mills were half right when Apple announced and launched the much-anticipated new iPhone, only that it wasn’t the iPhone 5 as expected by many. The “N94” iPhone 4S was revealed towards the end of the one and a half hour long keynote, looking unremarkably the same as the model it replaces. The iPhone 4S however, is packed with new powerful innards – Apple’s blazing fast dual-core A5 processor, an impressive new 8MP camera with advanced optics capable of 1080p HD video recording; dual-radios that support CDMA and GSM; and HSDPA speeds of up to 14.4Mbps. The new iPhone 4S also features the mind-blowing Siri – the all intelligent virtual assistant, powered by voice.
With the iPhone 4S, comes the much-touted iOS 5 and iCloud which also works with iPhone 4, iPad and iPod touch. iOS 5 as previewed during WWDC early this year includes over 200 new features – a completely reworked notification system called Notification Center; and the BBM/WhatsApp-like iMessage – Apple’s new messaging service that lets you send text, photos and videos between iOS 5 users.
“iPhone 4S plus iOS 5 plus iCloud is a breakthrough combination that makes the iPhone 4S the best iPhone ever,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “While our competitors try to imitate iPhone with a checklist of features, only iPhone can deliver these breakthrough innovations that work seamlessly together.”
The all-new camera, built by Sony, may be the iPhone 4S’s best upgrade yet. Packed with 60 percent more pixels, it captures high quality photos with much more detail. Megapixels will remain megapixels for bragging rights if not for better lens and image processors. Apple has done exactly that. The camera module includes a custom new lens, a larger, impressive f/2.4 aperture and advanced hybrid IR filter – giving you sharper, brighter and more accurate pictures. Apple also designed a image signal processor in the A5 dual-core chip, which makes the iPhone 4S the fastest camera on any phone. The 1.1 second recovery between shots is faster than even the Nokia N9 and Samsung Galaxy S II. Apple also introduced new features in the Camera app – instant access from lock screen, optional grid lines. This complements the new Photos app which lets you crop, rotate, enhance and edit your photos on the go. Nice. The combination of the new camera hardware and new camera apps may just kill some point and shoot cameras.
Siri, an intelligent, voice-activated assistant could be the killer feature that spurs users to upgrade to the new iPhone 4S. Siri understands context, allowing you to speak naturally when you ask questions. “What’s the traffic like around here?” and it figures out where you are based on your current location. You get answers, find facts, create reminders. Impressive.
iPhone 4S will come in both black and white. Rollout of the new iPhone 4S is reported to be the fastest in history. In the US, the iPhone 4S will be available at Apple Online Store, Apple’s retail stores and through three major carriers – AT&T, Sprint, Verizon Wireless and select Apple Authorized Resellers. iPhone 4S will be available in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the UK on Friday, October 14 and customers can pre-order their iPhone 4S beginning Friday, October 7. iPhone 4S will roll out worldwide to 22 more countries by the end of October including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
The suggested retail prices – $199 (US) for the 16GB model and $299 (US) for the 32GB model and $399 (US) for the new 64GB model. It’s also a great time to pick up an iPhone 4, as it will be available for just $99 (US) and iPhone 3GS will be available for free with a two year contract. Incredible value!
What do you think of the iPhone 4S? Is it a worthy upgrade to the mega hit iPhone 4? Were you disappointed at the keynote? Send us your thoughts.