iPhone 4S roundup: 4G icon, 512MB RAM, preorder blowout

By Richi Jennings (@richi ) - October 11, 2011.

[Updated: Now with iPhone 4S benchmarks, collated and compared with the competition]

iPhone 4S
The new Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 4S won't have as much memory as some had hoped. Also, AT&T (NYSE:T) wants to stick a "4G" icon by the bars, even though the network doesn't even meet the ITU's revised definition of 4G. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers also analyze the preorder numbers.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: The latest adventures of Jeremy, the annoying horse...

     Gregg Keizer reports:

Apple announced iPhone 4S pre-orders had topped 1 million in the first 24 hours, a 66% increase over...the iPhone 4...[despite] an undercurrent of disappointment...[in] Apple's decision not to bump up the screen size...or support...LTE.


Apple has not announced when it will start selling the iPhone 4S in China...but has said that the new smartphone will be available in 70 countries by the end of 2011.   

   Rik Myslewski adds:

Although the iPhone 4S may have been met with more than a bit of a "meh"...last Tuesday in lieu of the...iPhone 5...[it] is proving be quite the tasty, tempting treat to Mr. and Ms. Average Joe and Jane.


We pause to wonder what the pre-order rate would have been had US carriers been ready for a true 4G phone...although, apparently, AT&T isn't letting [that] stop it from wanting to market the 4S as 4G.   

AT&T wants to what? Peter Pachal explains:

While the AT&T iPhone 4S is faster than the other U.S. models...on paper, whether or not it deserves the label "4G" is another matter. ... [L]ast year, the International Telecommunications Union...set a standard for 4G so high that not even...LTE...qualified. ... [Then it] loosened the definition of 4G to include LTE, WiMAX and HSPA+. AT&T calls any phone with an HSPA 14.4 connection "4G".


The fact that a 4G icon on the iPhone screen got no mention at Apple's official unveiling...may indicate some reluctance on Apple's part to imply that any one flavor of iPhone is superior to another. In addition...how would Apple properly distinguish an LTE iPhone in the future?   

But Renai LeMay is left "pretty confused":

I still don’t believe the iPhone 4S is really a substantial upgrade...and there is a great deal of competition out there [from]...the Android platform. ... I’m not getting a sense that people are excited about the iPhone 4S — with most still seeing it as a minor upgrade.


The iPhone 4S will launch faster, in a wider range of countries than the iPhone 4. ... Could it be that Apple’s vastly improved global distribution platform is behind the increased...pre-orders? This would explain why the company is seeing such huge levels of raw demand...but also explain why many commentators...do not expect to see huge levels of demand.   

Meanwhile, Arnold Kim bleats about RAM:

Last week, the Infinity Blade developer...[said] the iPhone 4S...had 512MB...like the iPhone 4. ... [But] we had previously heard that the new iPhone would carry 1GB of RAM.


But, now, AppVV also confirms that the iPhone 4S has 512MB of RAM. ... This fact is repeated on their Weibo page. ... [W]e're inclined to believe AppVV.   

And Anand Lal Shimpi and Brian Klug run the benchmark numbers:

iPhone 4S...Javascript performance finally catches up to Tegra 2 based Honeycomb devices...CPU performance is significantly higher than the iPhone 4.


Apple is shipping a lower clocked A5 in the iPhone 4S than it does in the iPad 2 [which] makes sense as the iPhone 4S has a much smaller...battery. ... A lower clock [also] means higher yields from the factory.


The GPU results tell a similar story. ... Here the iPad 2 holds a ~21% performance advantage, which...I assume to be all related to clock speed. Also note the huge advantage over the existing iPhone 4.   

And Finally...
The latest adventures of Jeremy, the annoying horse
Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch -- for which he has won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards on behalf of Computerworld. He also writes The Long View for IDG Enterprise. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: itbw@richij.com. You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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