Apple releases iPhone 4S, new iPods and iCloud service

By: Gadjo Sevilla

October 4, 2011


By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla

Apple today released the iPhone 4S, an iterative update to the iPhone 4 with faster dual core processors and an improved camera. Apple says the iPhone 4S is twice as fast as the iPhone 4 and has graphics capability that is 7 times faster and a revolutionary Personal Assistant feature called Siri.

The iPhone 4S looks identical to its predecessor, will be available in black and white and still maintains a 4-inch retina display screen.

The iPhone 4S will be available in Canada, on October 14, and with  pre-orders starting  as early as October 7. It will be launched  in 70 countries and over 100 carriers by 2012.

With a new 8 megapixel camera as well as dual GSM and CDMA chips which means that one model can be use on multiple carriers.  iPhone 4S will take 1.1 seconds to take the first photo, with half a second needed for the second photo.  The iPhone CMOS sensor gets 73% more light than previous sensor is 1/3rd faster. and  33% faster with a f2.4 aperture. The new iPhone will supposedly have better battery life as well.

The voice recognition and personal assistant  , called Siri, can answer specific commands like “Wake me up tomorrow at 6 a.m.” And Siri sets the alarm clock for 6 a.m., and shows you it’s done it. This applies to searches and management of the calendar.

Apple Inc. sure took its time to revise the ageing but still highly popular iPhone 4. In years past, the iPhone events came in June with a July and August ship date that was followed by media frenzy as well as long lines of customers queuing for hours to be one of the first to receive Apple’s newest phone.

This changed somewhat this year since no announcement had been made until today. Speculation as to what the new iPhone would bring and look like has swamped the Internet and even with news of a rogue iPhone 5 prototype gone missing a month ago, Apple managed to keep things under wraps until today’s bg reveal.

Apple's CEO Tim Cook

A first for Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, who takes over from founder Steve Jobs, the Apple event was a smaller one than in years past and was held in the company’s Cupertino campus instead of some of the larger venues used in the past. As a result a fewer number of journalists received invitations to this event and live  coverage was limited to a handful of outlets.

Fighting off the Competition

Not that the iPhone 4 was a slouch, but the advent of ‘super’ smartphones with dual-core processors and 1 GB of RAM memory of the competition was moving ever closer to the specs of tablets and notebooks. The new iPhones 4S may look the same but the guts have been completely upgraded.

The graphics boost is a big feature since not only does this speed things along when browsing the web or using apps, it completely revamps the way games are played on the iPhone 4S. The small screen size of the iPhone 4S, however, is a bit of a letdown as premium smartphones today are going 4 inches or larger.

Apple’s products have always been considered to be on the high end of the spectrum and quite expensive. The iPhone was no different but seeing as how phones from competitors running Google’s Android OS have dominated the lower end of the smartphone scale,  the need for a more affordable iPhone with decent specs was imminent.

Apple also released new iPods during the event. The iPod Nano, which can be used as a watch,  is available in 7 colors, 8 GB for $129 and 16 GB for US $149 and comes with 16 clock faces as well as Nike’s Plus feature. It is available today.

The iPod Touches will sell for US 8GB $199, 32GB $299, 64GB $399. US$ are available October 12th and feature super thin profile, retina display, FaceTime and HD video.

The Phone 4S will be US$199, 32 GB $299, and 64 GB $399.

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