Apple unveils new iPhone 4S with dual-core A5 and Siri intelligent assistant; launches iOS 5 and iCloud

Apple today announced iPhone 4S, the most amazing iPhone yet, packed with new features including Apple’s dual-core A5 chip for blazing fast performance and stunning graphics; an all new camera with advanced optics; full 1080p HD resolution video recording; and Siri, an intelligent assistant that helps you get things done just by asking. With the launch of iPhone 4S also comes the launch of iOS 5, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system with over 200 new features; and iCloud, a breakthrough set of free cloud services that work with your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC to automatically and wirelessly store your content in iCloud and push it to all your devices.

“iPhone 4S plus iOS 5 plus iCloud is a breakthrough combination that makes the iPhone 4S the best iPhone ever,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, in the press release. “While our competitors try to imitate iPhone with a checklist of features, only iPhone can deliver these breakthrough innovations that work seamlessly together.”

iPhone 4S comes with iOS 5, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, which includes over 200 new features including Notification Center, an innovative way to easily view and manage notifications in one place without interruption and iMessage, a new messaging service that lets you easily send text messages, photos and videos between all iOS 5 users. iOS 5 will also be available as a free software update for iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS customers allowing them to experience these amazing new features.*

iPhone 4S also introduces Siri, an intelligent assistant that helps you get things done just by asking. Siri understands context allowing you to speak naturally when you ask it questions, for example, if you ask “Will I need an umbrella this weekend?” it understands you are looking for a weather forecast. Siri is also smart about using the personal information you allow it to access, for example, if you tell Siri “Remind me to call Mom when I get home” it can find “Mom” in your address book, or ask Siri “What’s the traffic like around here?” and it can figure out where “here” is based on your current location. Siri helps you make calls, send text messages or email, schedule meetings and reminders, make notes, search the Internet, find local businesses, get directions and more. You can also get answers, find facts and even perform complex calculations just by asking.

iCloud is a breakthrough set of free cloud services, including iTunes® in the Cloud, Photo Stream and Documents in the Cloud, that work seamlessly with your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC to automatically and wirelessly store your content in iCloud and push it to all your devices. When content changes on one device, all your other devices are updated automatically and wirelessly.

iPhone 4S includes an all-new camera with the most advanced optics of any phone. The 8 megapixel sensor has 60 percent more pixels so you can take amazing high quality photos with more detail than ever. iPhone 4S includes a new custom lens, a larger f/2.4 aperture and an advanced hybrid IR filter that produce sharper, brighter and more accurate images. The Apple-designed image signal processor in the A5 dual-core chip is built for performance, and coupled with the features built into iOS 5, makes the camera one of the fastest on any phone. With iPhone 4S, the Camera app launches much faster and the shot to shot capability is twice as fast, so you’ll never miss another shot.

New features in the Camera and Photos apps give you instant access to the camera right from the lock screen, and you can also use the volume-up button to quickly snap a photo. Optional grid lines help line up your shot and a simple tap locks focus and exposure on one subject; and the new Photos app lets you crop, rotate, enhance and remove red-eye, and organize your photos into albums right on your device to share them on the go. New iOS 5 features include built-in Twitter integration and iMessage, so you can instantly share your photos via Twitter directly from the Photos app and send photos via iMessage to individuals or groups. And with iCloud’s innovative new Photo Stream service, a photo you take on your iPhone is sent to iCloud and automatically pushed to your iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC. You can even view your Photo Stream album on your Apple TV®.

iPhone 4S can also now record video in full 1080p HD resolution and with the new video image stabilization feature, you can take richer, smoother videos. Other iPhone 4S video camera improvements include increased sensitivity, sharpness and an increased ability to capture video in low light conditions. With the new iMessage service in iOS 5, you can now instantly share videos with family and friends.

iPhone 4S has the same beautifully thin glass and stainless steel design that millions of customers around the world love, while being completely redesigned on the inside. Apple’s dual-core A5 chip delivers up to twice the processing power and up to seven times faster graphics than iPhone 4, all while maintaining incredible battery life—now up to 8 hours of 3G talk time.

Improving on the innovative stainless steel external, dual-antenna design of iPhone 4, iPhone 4S is the first phone to intelligently switch between two antennas to send and receive. iPhone 4S now supports twice the download speed with HSDPA of up to 14.4 Mbps and iPhone 4S is a world phone, so both CDMA and GSM customers can now roam internationally on GSM networks.**

Pricing & Availability

iPhone 4S comes in either black or white and will be available in the US for a suggested retail price of $199 (US) for the 16GB model and $299 (US) for the 32GB model and $399 (US) for the new 64GB model.*** iPhone 4S will be available from the Apple Online Store, Apple’s retail stores and through AT&T, Sprint, Verizon Wireless and select Apple Authorized Resellers. 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. iPhone 4 will also be available for just $99 (US) and iPhone 3GS will be available for free with a two year contract. Siri will be available in beta on iPhone 4S in English (localized for US, UK and Australia), French and German. iOS 5 software will be available on October 12 as a free software update via iTunes 10.5 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch customers.

iPhone 4S will roll out worldwide to 22 more countries by the end of October including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

*Some features may not be available on all products.

**Carrier roaming policies apply. HSDPA availability and network speeds are dependent on carrier networks.

***Qualified customers only. Requires a new two year rate plan, sold separately.

Source: Apple Inc.

Related article:
Apple underwhelms with iPhone 4S – October 4, 2011

128 Comments

    1. Bigger screen means bigger width and bigger height. This is not what most usual people would want, even though not dramatically in case of projected iPhone 5, which will come later and may indeed have bigger screen.

      However, Apple had chance to increase screen’s diagonal to almost 4″ without increasing size of iPhone 4 body: they could increase only length/height of the screen from 960 to, say, 1140 pixels (this would make about 16:9 ratio, comparing to current 1.5:1), reserving additional space only for task switching and wide-screen video viewing.

      However, they chose to not do so.

      1. That’s because of the nature of the retina display. Remember when they introduced the retina display, the ratio of pixels to screen size was what made it work with all of the existing apps. Even the slight change of a screen barely large would throw all that out of kilter.

        1. If all of additional space will be reserved for OS/wide screen viewing of video, then there will no changes for iOS applications. They would still having the same physical size, the same ratio, the same pixels. About 90 pixels will be black above of an app screen, and 90 pixels would be black below of an app screen.

      1. For many, yes, but for many, no. While I would like to have 6.5 mm thick iPhone, I understand this variant would have less flash memory in it, and lower battery life.

        Also, I do not want any wider/longer phone than the current iPhone (it is already about maximum size when it is still almost convenient to use this device as phone).

        Also, please notice that making 4″ phone is going to change the actual size of UI, and Apple (Jobs) would hate that. So there maybe 4″ screen in the future, but, possibly, in variant like I described above, where only height/length is increased, and all of additional space is reserved for task switching/OS functions and wide format viewing of video.

        Also, Apple never promised bigger iPhone (and Jobs did not say nice things about Hummerphones last year), so there is nothing to be disappointed about.

  1. Great new innards on the 4S, but honesty, I’m underwhelmed with the lack of a new handset. Anyone else feel the same way? Guess we’re seeing the new “5” as an LTE phone.

      1. yep it is that shallow… remember Apple has become a fashion statement in itself so physical appearence for style and bragging rights are more important than specs…. the current iPhone 4 has good enough specs for most people including me…. but i want something as thin as an iPod touch… no need to re-purchase my same iPhone 4.

    1. I guess I’m in the minority, but I’m relieved that Apple didn’t mess with the form factor. The current form is a masterpiece – sleek, yet solid, “like an old Leica camera,” Jobs said at the intro. I’m really happy about this – brilliant form, and upgraded guts!

      1. You nailed it. I LOVE my 4 and will order the 4S on the first day I can do so when my contract expires. Faster processor, better cam, same stunning form factor. Worth every penny, and a perfect companion to my iPad2, which will be updated the minute the iPad3 is available.

    2. Nope, don’t feel that way at all.

      This is an awesome phone, can’t wait to preorder it. This 4s has data speeds as fast as the current fake LTE (no one has real LTE yet) and because it’s still 3G, it’s battery will last much longer. What is out now and people are calling LTE is not LTE it’s the precursor to LTE and the iPhone meets those pre 4G/LTE speeds. When power efficient 4G/LTE cards come out, Apple will incorporate those as well.

      1. You have no idea what you are talking about. Peep the droid bionic. now that is a phone with real lte, a screen thats big enough to actually read from. trust me i was hoping praying i would buy this phone but i am not buying a phone and waiting 2 more years for an upgrade with lte

        1. Sorry but there is no LTE yet. LTE is minimum 100mbs. All these things out now are just preLTE.
          As for the screen, retina display makes it easier to read from then a crappy droid with a 4″ screen.

    1. You’re either a troll or an idiot. You’d really not get a great iPhone thats way faster and has some cool new features because…what, it doesn’t have a 5 on it?

    1. because they didn’t change the outside. They usually change the version number when they do a redesign of the outside. The inside stuff is wildly different and this is a real upgrade from current iPhone 4.

  2. No Jobs, no dice.

    “The thrill is gone
    It’s gone away from me
    The thrill is gone baby
    The thrill is gone away from me
    Although I’ll still live on
    But so lonely I’ll be

    “You know I’m free, free now baby
    I’m free from your spell
    I’m free, free now
    I’m free from your spell
    And now that it’s over
    All I can do is wish you well”

    Love & respect? Sure. It takes guts to go with an iPhone-4s after 14-15 months of wait in an increasingly competitive market. Kudos for not succumbing to temptations of just slapping on a numero 5 on a slightly different build.
    Stayed classy Apple there, a proud and solid engineering pulse; well done.

    Except that, somehow, the thrill’s gone. Hopefully, it’s only a momentary lapse of reason, on my part at least.

    1. You mean like when the 3GS came out 12 months after the 3G? Yeah, that took guts too.

      Oh, wait, we’re seeing a pattern here: Apple saving on engineering and development costs of a new case design to keep the iPhone more affordable.

      Not to mention, keeping the same case design also keeps accessory makers from having to redesign and retool every 12 months, which would either make accessories more expensive or drive some out of the market entirely.

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