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Apple Announces iPhone 4S for AT&T, Verizon and Sprint
      #41435 - 10/04/11 06:59 PM

Apple today announced the new iPhone 4S, an improved version of the iPhone 4. Much like the iPhone 3G to 3GS upgrade, the iPhone 4S keeps the same design and casing, while increasing processor speed and wireless speed. The iPhone 4S has a dual core Apple A5 CPU (the same family as the iPad 2, but lower powered and likely not as fast due to size and power constraints). Wireless in the GSM model goes from 7.2Mbps HSDPA to 14.4Mbps, putting it on par with recent high end Android smartphones like the Motorola Atrix 4G and LG Thrill 4G. Apple refuses to call 14.4 4G however (sorry, AT&T).

The new CPU and GPU are significantly faster, which will be attractive to those who play 3D games, and it should result in faster web page rendering times. The iPhone has an 8 megpixel camera with a backlit sensor, for better photo and video quality. Apple claims the iPhone 4S has the fastest time to first shot among high end smartphones. It can shoot 10890p video with stabilization and it has noise reduction for recording.

As you'd expect, the new iPhone will ship with iOS 5, and that OS will be available for download for the iPad 2 and iPhone 4 on October 12. iOS 5 adds Siri, a new voice command feature that lets you use natural language queries and commands to do things. For example, you could tell the iPhone to give you directions to Chang's Great Asian Buffet, or reply to a text message. This feature was really needed to stay competitive with Windows Phone 7.5 and some Android smartphones that have advanced voice command features.

The iPhone 4S has a redesigned "intelligent" two piece antenna that Apple says will improve voice quality and reception (perhaps ending the grip of death). The iPhone 4S is dual mode CDMA and GSM, so Apple doesn't have to make two different versions of the smartphone.

The iPhone 4S will be available on October 14 in the US, Canada, Australia, UK, France Germany and Japan. It will hit the rest of the world on October 28. In the US, prices start at $199 for the 16 gig with a 2 year contract. The 32 gig will cost $299 and the 64 gig will cost $399 (all with contract). Pre-orders begin October 7.

AT&T, Verizon and Sprint will carry the phone in the US.

The iPhone 3GS (the phone that just won't die), is now free on contract, and the iPhone 4 8 gig is $99 with contract.

Feeling a little underwhelmed? Me too. Sorry, no iPhone 5 yet.


Lisa Gade
Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview

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