Let's Talk iPhone


With no announcement of a new iPhone at WWDC 2011 the rumour mill started working overtime with most rumours slating two new iPhones would be released in October 2011 - an iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5. A few short weeks after Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO of Apple to be replaced by Tim Cook, they announced they'd be holding a press conference at the Apple campus on October 4th simply titled "Let's Talk iPhone". Apple have always big on symbolism so it didn't take long before people drew conclusions that the "1" on the phone image meant there would be one phone announced. Just minutes before the event was due to start Apple accidentally let slip on their Japanese site that the new phone is indeed the 4S and apparently dual-mode (both CDMA and GSM).

They announced that iOS 5 and the associated iTunes update would be released worldwide on October 12th. For the iTunes Match feature this will come later, an end of October release for the US and an unspecified date for elsewhere (but by the end of the year). They then went on to detail how their iPod line-up would change with a minor update to the iPod Nano to have bigger icons, 16 new clock skins, etc. and would be $129 for the 8Gb model, and $149 for the 16Gb. In bringing out iOS 5 it will also be added to the iPod touch which will massively update it's capability with iMessage and iCloud. This updated model will be priced at $199 (8Gb), $299 (32Gb) and $399 (64Gb).

Finally, after about an hour of these minor news bits from Apple they finally announced the iPhone 4S, an update that keeps the same general design as the iPhone 4 but with an A5 dual-core processor. What this processor means is improved performance and increased graphics capability. Despite this upgrade it will still offer battery life as follows:

 3G Talk Time 8

2G Talk Time 14

3G browsing 6

Wi-Fi Browsing 9

Video 10

Music 40

The new wireless system will now intelligently switch between the two antennas between transmit and receive to make even better call quality. They claim this should give a theoretical maximum speed of 14.4Mbs which is twice as fast as the iPhone 4. There will also be a new 8MP camera bringing the resolution up to 3264x2448 which is also faster at taking pictures meaning only 0.5 seconds between shots. In updating the camera it also means that video recording gets a bit of a boost to allow 1080p HD recording with image stabilisation and noise reduction.

One of the best new features for the iPhone 4S is the addition of Siri which is a voice control application with so intelligence behind the voice commands so you don't have strict things to say to get a result. You could for example say "What's the time in London" and it would return the current time in London, UK. In adding Siri they've also opened up dictation options everywhere so you can even dictate an email. At present Siri understands English (US, UK and Australia), French and German.

There will be 3 models available priced at $199 (16Gb), $299 (32Gb), $399 (64Gb) on a two year contract. The iPhone 4 16Gb will lower in price to $199 and the 3GS 8Gb will be priced at $49 (or free on contract). On October 7th you'll be able to pre-order the new phone, and in the US, UK, France, Germany and Japan it will be available from October 14th.

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