The iPhone 4S Announced

Posted by Sam Churchill on

C/Net, CNN Live Stream and TWIT-Live report that Apple today introduced the iPhone 4S, an update of the iPhone 4 (but without LTE or WiMAX).

It uses IOS-5 software, which has some new capabilities, prominently a voice activation feature that utilizes a new dual-core A5 processor. iOS 5 is the next major revision to Appleā€™s software for iPhone, iPod, Apple TV and iPad devices.

Tim Cook says there are now 250 million iPhones and iPads in the wild worldwide. They are running a grand total of 18 billion apps between them, which have netted developers a whopping $3 billion.

The iOS 5 update will arrive on October 12th as a free upgrade to users alongside the iCloud products like iTunes Match and iWork. iCloud is a set of free cloud services that work automatically and wirelessly to store users’ content and push it to all their devices. It’s included in iOS 5.

Features of the new iPhone 4S include:

  • Uses dual-core, A5 chip. based on an ARM chip.
  • The new 4S is said to be “entirely new” on the inside
  • It’s up to 2x faster than before, with dual-core graphics, which are said to be seven times faster than previous iPhone.
  • 4S will offer eight hours of 3G talk time, 6 hours of browsing, nine on WiFi, 10 hours of video, and 40 hours of music.
  • It’s a “world phone”, supporting UMTS
  • It’s an HSPA+ phone, supporting 14.4Mbps versus 7.2 on the iPhone 4.
  • Has an 8 Megapixel camera with f 2.4 lens, a 60 percent boost over the iPhone 4.
  • Shoots HD video

Apple acquired voice recognition software from Siri last year. The iPhone4S incorporates a voice assistant.

Ask what time is it in Paris?” Siri responds: “The time in Paris, France is 8:16pm.” Siri also brings up a live clock. Ask, “Give me directions to Hoover Tower.” Siri brings up Maps, and shows the route.

“Search Wikipedia for Neil Armstrong.” The Wikipedia page will display. “Define mitosis.” Siri hits up WolframAlpha and spits back a definition.

That’s it.

No iPhone5. No true “4G” service (neither LTE or WiMAX), and no significant iPod changes in the line or new iPads.

Available on October 14 on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint and internationally on October 28.

The iPhone 4S is a “world phone” that works on both GSM and CDMA networks around the world.

The 2.5 – 2.6 GHz band has been set aside for LTE service in most of the world. KDDI Japan’s 2nd largest carrier, gets the iPhone 4S, in addition to Softbank Mobile, the 3rd largest carrier, which first launched the iPhone in 2008. NTT DoCoMo, Japan’s largest carrier, has yet to get it. South Korea’s SK Telecom and KT will also get the iPhone 4S.

In 6 months perhaps Apple will provide LTE connectivity especially for the big consumer market in Japan, South Korea, India and China. Sprint’s rumored “iPhone 5 exclusivity” deal could be about an LTE version with NFC. No news on that.

Sprint’s Everything plan includes unlimited data, unlimited messaging, and 450 anytime minutes for $79.99 per month, with 900 minutes at $99.99 per month and unlimited calling for $109.99 per month. A similar Verizon plan with 450 minutes and unlimited messaging costs you $59.99, $79.99 for the 900 minute plan – but no data. If you want more than 2GB a month it will cost you at least $50 more a month. AT&T’s prices are similar to the Verizon ones. AT&T’s iPhone 4S will likely be faster than the same phone on Verizon or Sprint because AT&T’s HSPA is faster than EVDO.

Apple’s new iPhone hardware doesn’t break new ground. It’s mostly about the cloud. Same deal with Google and Amazon. Truly innovative cloud services may have to wait for true “4G”. Android phones have it now.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 at 10:11 am .

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