Apple debuts the iPhone 4S, but no iPhone 5



iphone 4S

The good news for folks who recently bought an iPhone 4 and were dreading today’s announcement: you don’t need to feel foolish.

Today, Apple CEO Tim Cook and his team unveiled the iPhone 4s. It’s a phone that looks outwardly exactly like the iPhone 4 (see image above). All of the changes are on the inside.

Those changes are all incremental improvements to an already very successful formula. Improved are the CPU, the data speeds, the graphics performance and the camera. The phone also gets an innovative interactive voice-controlled assistant known simply as “Siri.”

But as welcome as these enhancements are, they are barely enough to keep the iPhone ahead of an increasingly competitive field of smartphones, most of which are running Google’s Android OS.

iPhone 4S announced:

  • body remains the same as iPhone 4, gets A5 chip which gives 7x faster graphics performance, 2x faster CPU performance (Dual core processor/dual core graphics)
  • it Supports HSDPA at up to 14Mbps downlink
  • Supports GSM and CDMA – giving it world-roaming capabilities
  • Gets an 8MP rear camera 3264×2448, with improved backside illumination. Photo lag has been reduced and sharpness increased thanks to a 5-element lens design. Macro settings for extreme close-ups. Face detection.
  • Video recording at 1080p, with image stabilization
  • AirPlay mirroring: anything you can see on the iPhone’s screen you’ll be able to see via AirPlay on an Apple TV
  • Voice-activated personal assistant “Siri” – ask a real question, get a real answer. Deep integration into iOS, settings, maps, calendars, reminders. You can ask it to define a word and it will scour the web for the answer. It can do voice dictation, but only where data connectivity is available.
  • New iPhone line-up: iPhone 3GS (8GB, free on contract)  iPhone 4 (8GB, $99 on contract), iPhone 4S (16GB, $199  32GB, $299  64GB, $399 – all contract prices)  N.B.: All prices in $USD
  • Sprint added as a U.S. carrier
  • The iPhone 4S will be available for pre-order October 7th and ship October 14th in U.S. and Canada and in 70 other countries by December. Bell, TELUS and Rogers are all confirming they will carry the iPhone 4S.

Of these features, the biggest reason to buy an iPhone 4S – especially if you still own an iPhone 3GS – is the camera. Phil Schiller, SVP of Product Marketing at Apple made it clear that with the iPhone 4S, Apple isn’t going after other camera-equipped phones, they’re targeting the point-and-shoot category of cameras. They seem to be on the right track.

The iPhone 4S has a remarkably better camera than the 4 – it now shoots 8MP stills with macro capability and full 1080p video with image stabilization. With these specs, the only thing the iPhone 4S can’t do is optical zoom.

People who spend a lot of time commuting in private cars, or folks who have trouble navigating their phones with their fingers, will appreciate Siri. From all accounts, the demo Schiller gave of Siri’s abilities was impressive. Siri can understand natural language questions and respond in kind. It also understands context, so certain activities will feel more intuitive. Finally, Siri can even act as your personal dictation servant, though this feature requires data connectivity and there’s no word yet on just how much of your data will be consumed when connected via 3G 4G.

Frequent travelers will appreciate the fact that with CDMA on top of HSPA, the iPhone 4S can literally go anywhere and keep you connected.

But none of these features are going to cause current iPhone 4 owners to gaze mournfully at their phones and wish they had waited for Apple’s next product. They’re good. But they aren’t must-haves.

What Apple didn’t deliver were any next-generation features such as LTE, NFC or a larger display. Rumours of a thinner, wider body and re-designed home button failed to materialize.

What we see here is Apple once again mastering the art of the leap-frog. True-to-form, the iPhone 4S gives 3GS owners a strong incentive to upgrade. iPhone 4 owners can now sit back, relax and calmly tell themselves that they’ll wait for the “next one.”

The iPhone event, which took place at Apple’s headquarters at 4 Infinite Loop in Cupertino, California also included updates on some of Apple’s other products, including some small tweaks to their iPod line of portable music players:

  • OS X Lion update: six million copies sold to-date
  • MacBook Pro and iMac are the best selling laptops and desktops in the U.S. respectively
  • There are 60 million Mac users worldwide
  • iPods are still 70% of the portable music market. Over 300 million have been sold
  • 16 billion songs have been sold via iTunes
  • iPhone ranks #1 in customer satisfaction according to JD Power but is only 5% of worldwide market share
  • Every state in the U.S. has pilot programs for the iPad in educational settings
  • 92% of Fortune 500 is testing or deploying iPads
  • 3 out of 4 tablets sold in the U.S. are iPads
  • With 250 Million iOS device, iOS is the #1 mobile OS worldwide
  • 61% of mobile browsers are using iOS
  • 1 billion apps are downloaded a month
  • Apple has created a new app called “Cards” that let you create greeting cards on iOS and Apple prints them for you. App is free, each card costs $2.99 including trackable postage in the U.S.
  • a re-cap of iOS 5 features
  • iOS 5 will be a free update October 12th
  • new feature: “Find my friends” – Like a highly customizable 4Square with better privacy controls
  • iCloud launch October 12th – Free
  • iPod nano gets an update: improved fitness features, navigation, 16 new clock faces, new pricing: $129/8GB
  • iPod Touch now comes in white, $199/8GB

Will you be buying the new iPhone 4S?



  1. Jon

    In these difficult times this could be the biggest mistake of Apples career. The Android market is expanding rapidly with way lower priced phones and lets face it even with the price reductions on the older versions who ever buys the old models. Pre-launch verdict another overpriced Apple phone with a few extra goodies that their gullable fans will ooh and aah as a great advancement (while not realising they could have given them all those on the original phone as per most apple devices). In short the Apples fans will love it as usual.


    • Jay

      I completely agree! I don’t understand why Apple wouldnt at least try to come over the top.. Androids are destroying apple – and for good reason. They are now simply faster and better!

      On the other hand, I also disagree with you. Keep in mind that Iphone WAS on top of the market for a while.. Now, no doubt that android has now surpassed apples “overpriced phone” (well said!). However, the fact that most iphone fans have become attached to the iphones software and stability that windows cant yet compare to, its only natural to be excited with new features. Whether they’ve already been on the android or not, if you’ve been used to using an iphone, new features are very good so of course the ‘gullable fans’ will like that.

      What is so bad about the iphone?? I keep hearing android fans cutting up iphone users, but never hear any arguments about why iphones are so bad…only about how androids are better..
      I’ve been an iphone user for a few years now. After much research and especially after hearing about the 4S, I’m now switching to either Samsung or HTC because I love keeping up with technology. No doubt that some androids may be a little faster or take better videos, but that doesn’t make iphone bad..It’s a really great phone and tool..just too bad that they failed us tech geeks because now I want me a fandroid :P


      • Lance

        What you are failing the mention is the multitudes of throw away cheap poorly built Android phones made by 50 different manufacturers, that are being sold for $99 without a contract or just given away with a contract.

        Even though there are more Android handsets being sold. Apple is still making more money from the iPhones.

        There is absolutely no quality control over a lot of android devices. I wish google would step in and do things like revoke Android licensing for shoddy hardware, but google doesn’t care about the quality of the handsets, they just want the numbers out there.

        Cheap is not usually better and there is a huge range of quality and options in Android devices, also known as fragmentation.

        There are some outstanding Ansdroid phones, that are equal to or better than the iPhone 4, but let’s be fair here. They are generally priced the same as the iPhone.

        Then throw in the lack of quality control on the Android marketplace, limited options for media, especially tv shows, detractors for me.

        I personally think some Android phones are really awesome, especially OLED screened Samsungs. Which is what I would buy, were I to go Android.

        But they need to get in gear with a way to get movies and tv shows without pirating them. Give me something as convenient as iTunes and you will convert me Google. :)


  2. Robert Wiseman

    I think the 8 mp camera makes this a very attractive option. If it had been out when I bought my Atrix I might have gone for the iPhone instead.


    • Jaxson

      Uh. I also have an atrix and when I bought my phone the camera had NOTHING to do with my purchase. Considering the camera on the atrix is already worse than the iphone 4 I think your statement is idiotic.


      • Audrey

        It amazes me how rude people are when they know they are protected by anonymity in forums like this. You obviously misunderstood what this fellow meant. And why is it necessary to call people names?


  3. Kelly

    My phone, the LG Optimus 2X, has an 8MP camera, and was far less expensive than any IPHONE. Also, it has a dual core processor (was the first one to be created on a phone!) and has the amazing Android network (Which has much, much more good free App’s than Itunes. I much prefer my phone, over my boyfriend’s IPHONE.


    • Jay

      you are very right! This is why I’m switching.. I think I’m now leaning more toward a Samsung Galaxy. No doubt I love my iphone, but at this point, the only way I’d go back is if they make things less expensive and more free apps. The only thing I’m gonna miss is the software..iphones OS is very stable and easy to use..


  4. Johny

    What? No Iphone 5?

    I really love Iphone 3 design but not iphone 4. I had been delaying my purchase of a phone expecting a new iphone5 with nicer design, but after this announcement, I think I will try the Android system. The problem with iphone is that there is only 1 design and I definitely not like it.



  5. CoRy1

    Wow, way to flop on the upgrades, Apple. I’m a 3GS owner and there is NO WAY IN H*** I’m going to buy this piece of junk. Instead of moving forward in leaps and bounds, like they tend to do, Apple has taken a incy wincy teeny weeny step and completely disappointed me, and presumably millions of others. Looks like I’m sticking with my Jailbroken 3GS until it dies then I’ll be definitely buying an Android!

    Way to suck, Apple.


  6. iPhone 3G owner

    A little disappointed that the iPhone 5 was not released, but I still have an iPhone 3G and been holding out to see what was coming out today, so for me the upgrades are more than substantial enough to switch. I may be the market Apple is targeting now. Getting the 3G and 3GS owners to move on.


    • F

      I agree with you there G… i don’t even own ANY cell phones and couldn’t care less about androids, im SICK of hearing BBM me, blackberry this iPhone that.. WHO CARES??? oh im sorry, all the little teenie boppers who can’t live more than 1 second without being GLUED to their stupid phones care.. what happened to the days of calling someone at their house, or going for a walk to go see your friend or even writing a letter?? or how about opening a BOOK to learn? now a days, if you don’t have some sort of cell phone you might as well be living under a rock… well i’m sorry but i don’t want every tom, dick and harry trying to get a hold of me while i’m DRIVING. if you can’t get a hold of me at home or at work then too bad for you call me when i’m there!!! and why would i want everyone and their mother and the damn government knowing where i am and what i’m doing at every second of every day?? open your eye’s people!! they just want to know everything that’s going on in your life, and with these iPhone’s and blackberry’s and android’s that’s EXACTLY what they are doing. they know what searches you make, which people you text, talk to… i wouldn’t be surprised if the camera recorded every time you go to the damn washroom…


      • Bruce

        Hell yeah! I agree 100 percent. I thought I was the only one left who thought like this. Glad to see I am not alone.


  7. Edward

    The new iphone 4s is nothing , its the same thing as the original iphone 4 , all there is to it is new apps and new software, i don’t know why people are excited about the iphone 4s


  8. Paul

    Sorry, but these improvements are incremental at best. They got away with this on the 3G to the 3GS because there was no real competition. Now their is and there are many better phones out there right now. these improvements make no real case not to choose Android over the Apple OS. With the harmonization of Android with Ice Cream I see better days ahead for Android and Status Quo for Apple.


  9. rox

    Well,it seems one thing will never change about Apple, they always sell lees for more money. Hats off to Apple’s case design department, their colorfull boxes are what attracts people to this expensive and outdated tech gadget.


  10. kash

    Lets all tell the truth here. IPHONEs are the best. If its not, then we will not be talking about it here. 4G, $G’s we will buy them coz we are all an IPHONE junky!


  11. Anona

    Introducing the I-phoney 2434456MthG7 and the I-phoney HHH76dddfg5689
    $1200 and guaranteed to make you lose your sanity, also guaranteed to malfunction after 3 months of use. Our new slogan “Just buy the f*cking phone kids!”

    The I-phoney 4S will be released and all the retards will buy it, along with their new 3 year contract to the awful rip off cell phone company’s so they can do the exact same thing they did on the their other phone. And then 2 months later the iphoney 5 will be released. Alot of whining and complaining will be heard around the world immediately after. But still all the suckers and retards will buy the iphoney 5 and continue the cycle of cell phoney stupidity.

    I have an awesome lap top which cost half the price of your sh*tty Iphoney and does not require a contract, also does 10 times as much as your iphoney, and the screen is much larger obviously. I have a cell phone in my pocket which i can CALL and TXT on unlimited for $15 month. Enjoy your Iphoney, and your 3 year contract at 70 to 100 dollars a month dumb@sses.


  12. TIna

    What people don’t know, and it’s not listed in this post is that the IP4S now has software that will allow businesses to download their business email to the iPhone. This is the key to this new phone. Apple doesn’t need a new hardware upgrade. They already did that with the IP4. But come out with a faster processor and add the email capabilities and they are going to hit more of RIM’s marketshare.

    RIM is in trouble and I’m a dedicated BB user. But most will see this as an Apple failure, but give it a little while and it will show that it was one of their smartest moves yet. It was the only area that RIM had on the iPhone and now with the new software, skies the limit.

    I don’t like a touch screen qwerty board and likely never will as I do love my BB, but I’ll give props to where it should go, and Apple has turned out another smart product.

    Damn you Apple!!! lol


  13. Michael

    Still no Flash huh? Sure people are converting to HTML5, but still millions of websites use flash, and the only reason Apple doesn’t have flash is a decision to not have it. It is not a hardware limitation as Android phones have proven. Why not just let Adobe publish release flash player, and let the users decide whether they need it or not?

    Today was a rough day for Tim Cook. It is as though Steve Jobs left because he was playing hot potato with a bag of turd. He didn’t want to have to pitch something he didn’t believe in.


    • Lance

      I do give Steve Jobs credit for not caving on the flash thing. He truely believes it’s a flawed platform, which I agree with.
      Flash is a resource pig (heavy battery usage) and if it’s so great why does it need to updated so often?

      There have been a number of times Steve Jobs passed on something that was popular or went with something that people thought him crazy for, almost every time he was right. Almost… I do remember the Lisa lol


  14. Bruce

    It’s just another friggin phone. The world is too obsessed with these damn things. Cell phones are the biggest annoyance of the modern age. No wonder our world is the way it is, these things have taken away social interaction with all this texting crap and what did people do when there were no cell phones? Oh yeah they used the thing called a phone booth. I guess that is too hard too carry around and have stuck to your ear none stop. People need to get a life and quit being so excited every time someone comes out with something new.


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