Apple announces iPhone 4S world phone with A5, 8MP, HSDPA

Apple announces iPhone 4S world phone with A5, 8MP, HSDPA

Summary: The iPhone 4S includes an A5 processor, 8MP camera with 1080p video, HSDPA and an improved antenna, combined GSM/CDMA capabilities and a better battery. But is it enough?


Apple used its October 4 "Let's talk iPhone" media event to launch iOS 5 and iCloud and to announce the iPhone 4S, an incremental upgrade to the iPhone 4.

You can watch a rebroadcast of the event as a Web stream or download it as a podcast (my preference).

The iPhone 4S includes a faster A5 processor which promises a 2x faster CPU and 7x faster GPU, a 8MP camera (up from 5MP) with 1080p video recording, faster mobile Web access courtesy of HSDPA and an improved antenna design, combined GSM/CDMA capabilities (making it a true world phone), and slightly better battery life.

Easily the most compelling feature of the iPhone 4S is its voice recognition software, Siri which is activated by holding the home button. More than simple speech-to-text, Siri features a good amount of artificial intelligence allowing it to respond to voice commands like:

  • "Do I need an umbrella?" or
  • "Any great burgers around here?" or
  • "Where’s the closest ATM?"

Siri not only understands what you say, it knows what you mean.1 It figures out the right apps to use to find the right answer. Then, just like a personal assistant, it answers you. Siri makes phone calls, sends messages, schedules meetings, sets reminders, and more. How much more? Just ask, and Siri tells you that, too.

The iPhone 4S retains the same industrial design as the iPhone 4 -- except for the the aforementioned antenna changes -- which means that current iPhone 4 cases should work with the new handset.

Pricing remains the same as the iPhone 4 (16GB for $199, 32GB for $299) with a new 64GB model rounding out the high end for $399. A low-end 8GB iPhone 3GS will be available for free with a two-year carrier commitment the 8GB iPhone 4 will drop to $99 with contract.

In addition to being offered by AT&T and Verizon Wireless, the iPhone 4S will also be available from Sprint in the U.S. The iPhone 4S will be available on October 14, 2011 and can be pre-ordered starting at 12:01 a.m. PT on October 7, 2011.

So, are you buying?

Topics: iPhone, Apple, Hardware, Mobility, Smartphones

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  • RE: Apple announces iPhone 4S world phone with A5, 8MP, HSDPA

    I'm definitely buying one. In addition to all the great features, I've been holding out for an iPhone with 64+ GB of local storage. My music goes JUST over the cusp of 32 GB, and I want room to grow. Siri will be great for when my mom texts me in the 10 minutes between work and home, too.
  • RE: Apple announces iPhone 4S world phone with A5, 8MP, HSDPA

    I'm disappointed there is no iPhone 5... So what was all the hype about with the cases in China? Is there an iPhone 5 coming around the corner?
  • What does Siri do for new customers?

    I too am overjoyed at the 64 GB storage!

    I'd like to see some in-depth stories about Siri & people with disabilities - will this open smartphones to an entirely new market of consumer?
  • RE: Apple announces iPhone 4S world phone with A5, 8MP, HSDPA

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  • Finally, a site gets the specs right.

    I must be one of the few that are completely satisfied by the iPhone 4S. 7x faster graphically and 2x faster overall? Anyone who complains because it doesn't look any different has no business in the performance technology field.

    I also say thank you for correctly relaying the HSDPA improvements. So many other sites are calling it HSPA+ when it's not; HSPA+ (3.5G) is something like theoretical 84.4Mbps down and 22Mbps up. HSDPA is just a faster revision of 3G (often called 3G+), maxing at 14.4Mbps down and 5.2Mbps up theoretical, which others are wrongfully marketing as 4G. I tip my hat to Apple for calling it 14.4 HSDPA and to ZDNet for being THE FIRST SITE to not call it 4G.