It’s not the iPhone 5 that many expected, but Apple did unveil today what it trumpeted as its “most amazing” phone yet – the iPhone 4S.
Let’s break down Apple’s latest product:
• What does it have?
The new iPhone includes a new camera with an 8-megapixel sensor, or 60 percent more than in the iPhone 4. “We set our sights on competing with many great point and shoot cameras,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing.
The iPhone 4S will be the first to include 1080 pixel, HD video.
• Voice recognition that works?
The phone has a voice “intelligent assistant,” called Siri, which can help you make calendar reminders, answer questions, and search for stuff in your phone. Siri performed impressively Tuesday, bloggers said.
• What will it cost?
The black and white version will cost $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB, and $399 for 64GB, for a two-year contract on phone carriers Verizon, AT&T, and a new one – Sprint.
• When will be it available?
The iPhone 4S will hit the U.S. market next Friday, Oct. 14. You can pre-order it from Apple online beginning this Friday, Oct. 7.
• More upgrades
The iPhone 4S features a “dual-core CPU,” and dual-core graphics that are up to seven times faster than in the iPhone 4. “One area you really see it scream is in games,” Schiller said.
Apple promises better call quality, and data that can download up to twice as fast as before on an iPhone (Schiller said "the iPhone 4S is just as fast” as competing 4G phones). And its battery life should be “fantastic” – eight hours of talking on 3G, six hours of browsing, 10 hours of video, or 40 hours of music.
At the outset of today’s “Let’s Talk iPhone” event, new CEO Tim Cook, wearing jeans, took the stage for the first product launch during his time as Apple’s chief.
Cook said the iPhone 4 makes up half of the overall iPhone market, and that there has been 125 percent growth in iPhone sales year-over-year. But unlike predecessor Steve Jobs, he did not make the new product reveal himself. After speaking about the iPhone category for a bit, Cook delivered one of Apple’s typical teases, saying, “More coming up on iPhone..."
Then, nearly an hour into the event, Schiller said, "I'm really pleased to tell you today about the brand new iPhone 4S.”
He also talked about Apple's first free iPhone -- the 8GB 3GS. (It's free as long as you get a contract.)
Apple also said Tuesday that the iOS 5 will roll out as a free update next Wednesday, Oct. 12, and the company unveiled a new Cards app, in which you can make a card with your iPhone or iPod touch, before Apple prints it out and mails it for you.
And want to share your location, but not on Foursquare? Now there’s an Apple app for that. It’s called “Family and Friends.”