It wasn’t the iPhone 5 announcement that everyone hoped for, instead it’s the iPhone 4S. What is the difference? Well, quite a lot of things once you get past the same form factor as before. It has a dual-core A5 processor (same as the one in the iPad 2), which should make the already quick iPhone even faster. It’s geared for better gaming with the new dual-core chip for faster graphics. It has their all-new voice recognition features that seem to really work well, and their new digital voice assistant, Siri. Siri seems to be able to take dictation and answer any question you have, e.g. weather forecasts, directions to anywhere, definition of a word, etc. Interestingly, all voice searches will go through Apple and be tied in to Wolfram Alpha. It can even read your text messages back to you aloud.
The iPhone 4S is a world phone, with both GSM and CDMA chips in the same phone. You’ll theoretically be able to switch between carriers in the US even, using the same phone. The new 8 megapixel camera is 30% sharper, with a 5-element f/2.4 lens. Video is now 1080p with image stabilization. Speed of the camera is now 1.1 seconds to take the first picture, .5 for the second, and has face detection and new improvements on white balance.
iOS 5 is coming soon, and offers deeper integration with all iOS devices. You can start messaging someone on one device, then pick up and continue on another device. Media and other features all sync seamlessly via iCloud.
Traffic was so heavy that it crashed Apple’s website. The lack of a completely new design may not be enough for the glitterati, who need a completely redesigned phone to make their new toy more conspicuous. Some of the heavy and more serious users may want the higher capacity, faster processor, higher megapixel camera, etc. We’ll see how many people have to have it after it goes on sale October 14th. Prices will be 16GB for $199, 32GB for $299 and 64GB for $399, subsidized with a contract for whichever carrier. In the U.S., that will be Verizon, AT&T and now also Sprint.
See more at Apple’s Website.