Apple: Faster iPhone 4S ships October 14

By Jonny Evans

The iPhone 4S will launch on October 14. Announcing Appe's most important mobile device, the company's marketing chief, Phil Schiller, talked the talk: "Despite competitors trying really hard to copy the iPhone," he said, "they just haven’t been able to do it. How do you follow up a hit product like the iPhone 4? With the iPhone 4s."

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Some of my Twitter folk have already expressed a little disappointment at the new device, which is no slimmer than the iPhone 4 which preceeded it. I don't agree with them, I think what's inside the new iPhone makes this an impressive, not an incremental, upgrade. So, let's look at the advantages of the remake, which boasts the same design with the tell-tale metal band around the exterior -- and a superb processor.

Faster

It's much faster. It runs the same A5 processors as you get inside the iPad, and that means you also get amazing graphics improvements -- in this case the graphics are up to seven times faster than those you got with the iPhone 4. This means you can expect some cinematic games -- including Infinity Blade 2, which ships in December.

Further

Well, perhaps not, but battery life's always important when it comes to mobile devices. In this case you can look forward to ten 8 hours of 3G talk time and up to ten hours of video, the company said.

Fitter

Well, how else would you describe a re-configured antenna which this time hopefully won't see Apple's new CEO forced to say there's a slight problem. Antenna 2 in the iPhone 4S (sorry about all the numbers there) is going to swithc between not one but TWO antenna, so you can expect much better call quality and faster data. Oh, and its'a world phone -- you won't need a CDMA phone for Verizon and a GSM phone for AT&T. They're the same. Use it anywhere. Woot.

A better camera

Guess what? Oh, perhaps you already did, but this camera is an 8-megapixel number with a sensor that'll shoot you some 3,264-x-2,448 action. The lens is better, it grabs more light, your pictures will be sharper, more sensitive, crisper, better. iPhone photography has come of age. Can you get much better with a camera?

Perhaps you can. It's faster too. It takes just over one second to take the first pic, and you get Face detection. If you were a marketing expert you'd probably compare this to the competition to underline just how much faster Apple's iPhone camera is...

Apple had just the marketing expert in Schiller, who pointed out that the Droid Bionic, Galaxy S II and HTC Sensation all had cameras, too. And showed how slow they are. (You'll spend over five seconds grabbing two images with a Bionic, by the time you do your iPhone 4S will have harvested just under ten images. So you won't use a Bionic for pets, sports or children, I'm guessing. Pretty good for still life.)

HD Video

I seem to remember predicting this. Image stabilization, noise reduction and 1,080p HD recording. What a difference a much faster processor makes.

.... And Voice Control

As predicted, the new iPhone will (eventually) feature Siri, the voice assistant Apple acquired all that time ago. You can ask it questions using real human phrases, "Is the weather going to get worse today?" and it will answer.

Pre-launch Siri isn't quite ready for prime time, Schiller admitted, warning that it remains in beta, pending the iPhone 4S launch. Oh, and it "integrates maps" (which let's face it we just know don't come from Google. Apple is using Yelp for restaurant reviews).

Siri will be available in English, French and German at launch, with more languages to follow later on. It works with 3G and WiFi, and will also accept dication (thanks Nuance).

Cut the cost

Pricing was a wonder, Apple is not only now going to offer the iPhone 4 for $99 in an 8GB configuration, but is also peddling the iPhone 3GS (8GB) for free. The iPhone 4S -- which will be available on Sprint -- will cost $199 for the 16GB model; $299 for the 32GB model and $399 for the 64GB iteration.

iPhone 4S will be available in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the UK on Friday, October 14 and customers can pre-order their iPhone 4S beginning Friday, October 7.

What are your thoughts? Speak up, I'm interested.

Got a story? Drop me a line via Twitter or in comments below and let me know. I'd like it if you chose to follow me on Twitter so I can let you know when these items are published here first on Computerworld.

Also from yesterday's Apple's 'Let's Talk iPhone' event coverage, read:

Why the iPhone 4S critics are wrong, wrong, wrong

Apple: Faster iPhone 4S ships October 14

Apple breaks iCloud October 12

Apple: Free iOS 5 upgrade ships October 12

Apple confirms Mac sales are up, up, up 

Why Apple may talk Apple Maps when it talks iPhone

Apple, Wippit, iTunes Match and the death of Big Music.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

 
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