Apple underwhelms with iPhone 4S

“Apple Inc. unveiled Tuesday the latest generation of its iPhone, featuring a faster processing chip, better camera and voice-command capability,” John Letzing reports for Dow Jones Newswires.

“The new device, dubbed the iPhone 4S, will be priced at $199 for a 16 gigabyte version, $299 for 32 gigabytes and $399 for 64 gigabytes, along with a two-year contract from either AT&T Inc., Verizon Wireless or Sprint Nextel Corp.,” Letzing reports. “Apple also will sell an 8 gigabyte version of the iPhone 4 for $99 and offer an 8 gigabyte 3GS for free, also with a two-year wireless contract. Preorders being Friday, with the phone shipping Oct. 14.”

Letzing reports, “The demonstration seemed to underwhelm investors and online tech bloggers. Shares of Apple fell [$17.06, or 4.55%, to $357.54 as of 3:20PM EDT].

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: There are plenty of numbers in the universe. Infinite, actually. Don’t worry, Apple, you won’t run out. Wonder what the mood would be right now had Apple simply named “iPhone 4S” the “iPhone 5?”

Related articles:
Apple unveils new iPhone 4S with dual-core A5 and Siri intelligent assistant; launches iOS 5 and iCloud – October 4, 2011
Apple to launch iCloud on October 12 – October 4, 2011
Apple brings new features, more affordable pricing to iPod touch and iPod nano – October 4, 2011

128 Comments

      1. If you seriously apple is gonna gain market share by adding an S to a soon to be 2 year old phone, you got some really good weed.
        Let MDN iCal it, as they so oft like to do. It’s only 11 weeks away.

        And I didn’t say apple was doomed, just pointed our that this announcement will do nothing to change the current trend.

        1. It’s not a 2-year-old phone, troll. It just has the same form factor.

          And by “current trend”, do you mean the trend of padding Android’s market share by giving Android phones for little or nothing to people who barely use them? Or haven’t you noticed that iPhone is kicking Android’s ass in actual web usage share?

          ——RM

        2. “soon to be 2 year old phone”? About the only parts they kept were the generation designation and the case. OK, sure, it still does all the things it used to do – but faster. It also has some NEW tricks – like Siri. I’m not saying I’ll buy one, but I’ve suggested my “kids” upgrade. (staying with dumb-phone)

        3. Hmmm…

          16 month old iPhone 4 is the best selling smartphone in the world.

          28 month old iPhone 3GS is the second best selling smartphone in the U.S.

          Apple is going to gain share by routinely updating the OS, not the hardware. It’s ALL about the software.

        4. @XS,

          Why do you think Android will gain another 10% by Christmas? The iPhone is now available on another U.S. carrier and Apple has provided both a low cost ($99 iPhone 4) and a no cost (iPhone 3GS) alternative with contract. Count me among the members of the crowd who don’t think a different name (calling it iPhone 5) and new aesthetic (the iPhone 4 is only about 16 months old) matter that much. The new specs combined with Siri, ICloud, and iOS 5 make the iPhone 4S quite impressive.

        5. So, they didn’t gain market share when they launched the iPhone 3Gs? Where do you get that it’s nearly a 2-year old phone? Because the form factor is the same? Underneath and inside there are some serious enhancements. As if Motorola and Samsung are using markedly different form factors from handset to handset? C’mon, wake up and smell what you’re shoveling. Most Android handsets are DOA because of Android and it’s poor execution and deployment.

        6. A 2 year old phone?

          My man, you seem to be missing the point. If you were paying attention, you should be aware that they retained the exterior design but improved the interior. They replaced the A4 chip processor with the newer, faster A5 chip processor found in the iPad 2. This boosts it’s performance, making it 7x faster than the iPhone 4. On top of that, they have also included little improvements like better camera, built in photo editing and siri integration.

          Though the case may be identical to that of the previous, iPhone 4S has taken a huge step forward based on performance.

          The processor and internal hardware is what makes a phone as great as it is, the case is nothing more than an empty shell to cradle the motherboard.

          Also, last time I checked, Apple’s soon to be 3 year old iPhone 3GS was selling better than the Android devices, making it a free phone will only sweeten the deal for some of the low end consumers.

    1. you sir…. are delusional. That OS is being crippled and pulled apart daily. The Hardware manufacturer’s will cannibalize the OS themselves with all the fragmentation, licensing fees, and lawsuits that they are passing on to their customers in for form of price tags.

      1. Again. Pointing out that this announcement does nothing to address those points that will change the current trend.

        If I’m delusional, you just cannot read or comprehend comsource data results.

        1. The current trend? You mean Apple selling more and more of the current iPhone 4’s every quarter, even though it is 16 months old.

          And now with iPhone on Sprint, you’ll see Android’s US share drop by the beginning of the year.

    2. Market share without profit is a meaningless metric. That you choose to focus on share shows how little you know about successful business.

      The iPhone owns >55% of the total profit earned by ‘smartphones’. THAT’s the metric you should be concerning yourself with.

      Not bad when you consider that all iterations of Android handsets are fighting with NOK and RIMM for the remaining <45%.

    3. That’s not so hard to guess, even if there was an entirely new iPhone unveiled today. What most people still don’t realize is the value this new voice command SIRI brings. I have been waiting for such a device that can understand the meaning of my sentence, not just a single word. Apple is a software company that designs it’s own hardware!!! This is by far the best and technologically most advanced software on any mobile device for consumers out there. Apple will do remarkably well with this new phone. The same happened when they released the 3Gs, how many people were disappointed that it wasn’t a 4.

    4. How jaded are we not to see all of the great stuff in the iPhone 4S, which is decidedly not an iPhone 4 exept in basic design. Plus iOS 5, Siri, 8mpx camera, 1080p Video, etc.? What would an iPhone 5 have this one doesn’t execept a slightly different number? People are stoopeed.

  1. I am so so so disappointed. Yes the 4S got great specs. But there has to be a bigger display as an option. And there should be a redesign that a fanboy like me can buy a new iPhone each and every year. I’ll buy shares instead.

      1. Wow, obviously you don’t follow Apple’s stock or you would notice a trend. Buy the rumor, sell the news. It normally sells off for a week, or week and half and then starts to slowly rebound. There is a reason why they are the biggest company in the world and bigger than Exxon. Oh and if you watch the Apple events you would notice that Apple’s Safari browser is used by android phones too. So regardless of if they make their own phones, google is still paying them too. For everyone else that likes a droid phone, guess what? Secretly you are an Apple lover. Get over it and just accept it! One more thing, if you like Droid so much why are you on a Mac website? I guess they are still in the closet about their love for Apple. It’s ok, they have help for that. It’s called an iPhone. LOL

    1. Sounds to me like it’s time for you to go Android or Windows Mobile! Clearly, the 4S just isn’t good enough for YOUR high standards.

      But have you seen what your vaunted Wall Street thinks of GOOG lately? How about RIMM? NOK give you wood? Brother, NOBODY, but NOBODY is happy right now about ANY tech equity, so get over it.

        1. Because it was a troll not a criticism:

          “This was, BY FAR, the WORST announcement Apple has ever done. This was worse than MobileMe…. Not even close.
          Wall Street seems to think so too…
          AWFUL…”

          Use your brain BLN. (if you can)

          1. By the standards of Steve Jobs and Apple and what we’ve come to know as Steve’s keynotes it was a disappointing presentation. There was nothing revolutionary introduced today. By his high standards, the presentation was at a level that matched that of MobileMe, in other words a decent stab at a product that was uninspiring. We expect better from Apple.

            1. I’ve been disappointed many, many times with Apples announcements regardless of who delivered but in the end they’ve always been good enough. Actually can’t remember when Steve gave me everything I wanted.

          2. I’m neither a troll or a fanboy. I love my Apple stuff and hope my AAPL goes up tomorrow. But it does seem that criticism on this site,as opposed to others, brings out the fangs from folks like you. Nothing personal just an observation. Criticism is not something that someone is supposed to rate or categorize to THEIR liking. So it fits THEIR outlook on something (Apple). Criticism is just someone’s opinion. And everybody has an opinion. This isn’t your personal Apple site. It is open to everyone : those who love and hate Apple. Enough of the “troll” stuff. It does seem rather immature.

            1. Weekend, you need to look up the definition of “to troll” (v) as it relates to posting comments (on sites like this).
              Basically a troll is a (usually outrageous or inflammatory ) comment that is posted on a fan site simply to enrage the enthusiasts and prompt counter replies. i.e. they are trolling for replies.

            2. I would tend to agree with you if not for the fact that there is very little criticism in many of the post that you are trying to defend. There is however a lot of opinionated hate (maybe cognitive dissonance also). If a product as advertised or offered does not perform as such then criticism could be warranted. If however a product does not have (on offer) what you want from it no criticism is justified (mummy I want). And as had been stated to ad infinitum, ‘If you don’t like a product or it does not have what you want, go buy another”. In the majority of cases posters opinions matter naught, as the market shows.

          3. But outrageous is from YOUR point of view. From YOUR perspective. I really do not see where win winski’s comment is inflammatory. It’s just an opinion. No different than yours.

    2. Just like I have been saying for months…what non-Apple-fanboy people were waiting for is a 4G Apple phone product not another 3G product. So just like when Apple refused to release a 3G iPhone 2…..The iPhone 4S will be one of the shortest lived iPhones.

      lots of pennies today.

    1. One thing to consider too. Knowing they’re keeping the “3” form factor, they HAD to keep this new phone on the “4” form factor. Marketing phones with three distinct form factors would be totally unmanageable (especially if you’re trying to keep 3rd party ecosystem head and shoulders above the competitors’).

      And buyers are skipping at least one generation anyway. This is a new phone in all but name & shape.

  2. Re: Wonder what the mood would be right now had Apple simply named “iPhone 4S” the “iPhone 5?”

    I wondered the exact same thing…I’m betting it would be a LOT more positively-received…

    1. Apple simply put no thought into redesigning the iPhone 4. They gave it a bump in speed and changed the camera a little, but there was no innovative thought that went into the 4S that wasn’t already there when the 4 was announced in mid-2010.

      It isn’t about the name, it’s about the lack of innovative design. They’re going to hang they’re hat on Siri and a slightly better camera? Really?

      What has Jonathan Ive been designing for the past 15 months that there’s been ZERO change to a phone design that’s quickly becoming stale?

      1. Nonsense, it is mostly the same on the outside, but all new on the inside. The new inner workings had to be carefully designed and they didn’t just fall appear in the Apple labs overnight.

  3. It’s much harder to sell a better idea than to sell something with more buttons and connectors. It takes intelligence to understand why a better idea is important and it will take time for the various commentators and observers to finally get their heads around what was actually announced.

    If you wait long enough, even the analysts will start to understand too.

  4. Maybe they were afraid of having to hit that dreaded “X” number too soon… iPhone X… Radical departure from smartphones of yore …. No need to speak just think it and it is transmitted to the person on the other end…. Old timers complain because without talking they would have nothing to say ….

  5. Man that was a letdown. I was fully expecting Steve Jobs-like fireworks from Apple. Instead we got a Tim Cook inspired damp squib. There’s no fire in the belly any more, just more corporate prancing around with a new focus on materials cost and maintaining the manufacturing line. I’m afraid they’ll slide down the slippery path where Dell hell awaits.

        1. Presentation performance doesn’t drive sales. Customer reactions to the product do.

          This iteration of the iPhone will be more successful than any iPhone before it. Period.

          1. If what you say is correct, why bother having a presentation at all? They might as well post the changes up on their website and let the customers decide for themselves. The fact is a lot of people bought into the Apple myth because of Steve Jobs. I know I did – because I admire his presentation skills, and for me, that made the product more desirable.

            1. and what myth was that… exactly? Sounds like you’re saying that Apple’s products weren’t really about delivered substance and goods, but more about slick salesmanship, right? And that you were one of the guys who bought the sizzle while not worrying about whether there was an actual steak on the plate, is that about right? Luckily for you, Apple delivered the goods, or you might have been really fooled…

            2. it is sad that so many have such a focus on SJ. Although he is a great man in so many ways, the products speak for themselves and continue to work beautifully well into the future.

              Even without a great presentation, I am buying an iPhone 4S

    1. iPhone 4S is a damn good phone.

      Here is why the iPhone 5 business is disappointing:

      We know it is coming. We don’t know when. This makes anyone wanting the now infamous iPhone 5 very hesitant to buy an iPhone 4S. This is the source of disappointment. We think “well, can I wait for the 5? or should I SETTLE for the 4S”.

      It is psychological, but “disappointment” is an emotional noun

      1. You are so right, still doesn’t change the fact I’m immensely disappointed with the 4s, I did expect apple to go back to the top of the smartphone tree; equal or better the best of android/ innovate and delight; instead all its done is disappoint, my 2 year contract is up and as much as I love my 3gs I now want an upgrade; industrial design, state of the art tech and a bigger screen none of which apple can supply me this year, have no plan B don’t really want android but don’t want 4s either

  6. Why even have a press conference?
    Would’ve gotten better press by just updating the specs on the website with the invitation hype.

    Sprint has to feel REALLY screwed right now.

    1. BLN:
      “why bother having a presentation at all? They might as well post the changes up on their website”
      XS:
      “Why even have a press conference?
      Would’ve gotten better press by just updating the specs on the website”

      Do you guys get a master hand out? Because this seems more like talking points than real individual thoughts.

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