Apple iPhone 4S is finally announced!

Apple iPhone 4S is finally announced!
And just like that, Apple has announced the latest and greatest iteration of its signature device - ladies and gentlemen, prepare to meet the long, looong-anticipated Apple iPhone 4S!

For those of us who have hoped for a redesign, well... obviously we're out of luck on this one. The design remains exactly the same as we know it from the beautiful iPhone 4 - glass and steel, 3.5" of IPS-LCD touchscreen goodness. But, Apple's Phil Shiller didn't miss to note that on the inside, the iPhone 4S is brand new. For example, one of the more notable new features will be the same chip that we know form the iPad 2 - the dual core A5. What it will bring to table, of course, is faster overall performance in a number of aspects of the system.

Next up, we have an updated radio and antenna system. You might be surprised to learn that the iPhone 4S will actually be a world phone, supporting both CDMA and GSM connectivity - yey! But we guess that means no 4G... Anyways, the upgrade of the radio has now brought faster data - 14.4 Mbit/s on the downlink, and 5.76 Mbit/s on the uplink, which is comparable to many 4G-branded HSPA+ smartphones nowadays.

Naturally, as we all expected, the camera of the Apple iPhone 4S will pack a total of 8 megapixels, instead of 5 as in the iPhone 4. However, they say that the new sensor will be able to collect the significant 73% more light, over the previous generation, so who knows, low-light performance of the most popular camera on Flickr might be really improved! But that's not the only point of enhancement that has been announced for the new 8MP camera of the Apple iPhone 4S. According to Apple, the time it takes you to capture the first shot is now just 1.1 second, and from then on, shot-to-shot times are just 0.5 sec. Impressive indeed.

But there's more in store for camera aficionados. How about something related to video? You guessed it - 1080p video recording will be available on the iPhone 4S. They didn't specify at what framerates this will be recorded, but we're hoping for 30.

But now, let's head to the more intriguing new stuff. Voice integration! The new voice command service will be called... Siri. (How ingenius!) Apparently, the new voice control service utilized in the iPhone 4S will be quite smart, and will be able to follow context. So how do you use it? You just have to hold down the home button, and then your personal assistant in the form of "Siri" will be listening to your questions. Interestingly, you'll be able to use Siri for many different kinds of stuff. For example, you can just ask "What's the weather like today?", or "Do I need to get my raincoat today?", and it will answer you in context, also bringing up a screen showing the current temperature and forecast. Or, you might say "Wake me up in 6AM tomorrow.", and guess what, Siri will automatically set your alarm for 6AM tomorrow! Isn't that awesome? We can't wait to see the extent of this, and how it will be adopted by users.

Thankfully, battery life will remain pretty decent, even with this new A5 processor, with Apple promising talk-time of up to 8 hours in 3G, 6 hours of 3G browsing, or 9 hours of Wi-Fi browsing.

So when is all that going to become a reality in the stores? Here it goes: the Apple iPhone 4S release date is October 14, with pre-orders starting on October 7. The iPhone 4S price will be the same as usual - $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB, but for the first time, there'll also be a 64GB version, available for $399. Additionally, iPhone 4 8GB for $99 will remain on sale, and so will the iPhone 3GS 8GB... for free! So, there goes your budget-friendly iPhone.

But on which carriers will the iPhone 4S launch? Ready for a third carrier to enter the iPhone party? That's right - AT&T, Verizon and Sprint will all be offering the Apple iPhone 4S (sorry, T-Mobile folks). So that actually marks the first time Sprint will have the iPhone in its line-up. Well, congrats to Sprint, and all of us for witnessing the next big thing from Apple's camp. You guys stay tuned for our iPhone 4S review, hopefully coming soon enough!

images courtesy of TheVerge

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Apple Launches iPhone 4S, iOS 5 & iCloud
iPhone 4S Features Dual-Core A5 Chip, All New Camera, Full 1080p HD Video Recording & Introduces Siri 

CUPERTINO, California—October 4, 2011—Apple® today announced iPhone® 4S, the most amazing iPhone yet, packed with incredible 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. “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.

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