Apple Announces the iPhone 4S at ‘Let’s Talk iPhone’ Event
Dubbed the iPhone 4S, the gadget keeps with the company’s tradition of introducing completely new models every other year, with upgrades in between.
Cook and Scott Forstall, Apple’s iOS chief, spent about an hour recapping much of what was covered during the Apple WWDC keynote in June — the new iOS 5 and iCloud, available on October 12, and iTunes Match, due out later in the month — before getting around to what everyone had come to see.
While it looks like the existing iPhone 4, it has a better microprocessing chip — the A5, also found in the iPad — and is the first iPhone with a dual-core processor, making it up to seven times faster than current iPhones.
And unlike previous iPhones, which could be used on GSM networks only, the 4S is GSM and CDMA compatible, making it ideal for those who frequently travel to other countries.
The 4S also boasts an 8-megapixel camera, which is faster and takes in much more light than the camera found on the iPhone 4.
Preorders for the 4S begin October 7. With a two-year contract, it’s priced at $199 for 16 gigabytes of storage, $299 for 32 GB, and $399 for 64 GB. The price for the 8 GB iPhone 4 dropped to $99, and if you don’t mind an older phone, the 3GS is now free with that same contract.
In addition, Sprint joins AT&T and Verizon as an iPhone carrier, as was expected.
Apple also introduced an iPhone 4S-only “voice assistant” called Siri, which can understand natural human language rather than just simple commands. Apple purchased the Siri technology in 2010, and while the Siri app itself has always been cool, integrating it into the phone itself is new… and looks pretty amazing.
But all this aside, speculation about an all-new iPhone ran high in the weeks and months leading up to Tuesday’s keynote. Many tech blogs even showed cases for the new phones, which were larger and thinner than the current iPhone 4 body. No one’s quite sure what those cases are for now, but scores of people are already expressing disappointment that today’s keynote didn’t live up to their expectations.
Investors also seem unhappy. Since today’s event concluded, Apple’s stock is down 2.6 percent on heavy volume.