iPhone 4S is same on the outside, 'all new' on the inside

iPhone 4S is same on the outside, 'all new' on the inside

Summary: The next version of the iPhone is finally here, and much of it is what we expected.

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After a much longer wait than normal, Apple introduced the latest generation of its iPhone at its Cupertino, Calif. headquarters on Tuesday.

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At first glance, this is exactly what happened with the iPhone 3 and 3GS. Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller acknowledged during the announcement that it looks the same from the outside with the Retina Display and the glass exterior, but that the inside is "all new."

The iPhone 4S is touted as twice as fast as the iPhone 4 with an A5 chip (as seen in the iPad 2) and dual-core graphics, which should be seven times faster than the previous generation as well.

Apple demonstrated the advanced graphics with a preview of Infinity Blade II, which will be available on December 1st in the iTunes App Store.

With those more efficient dual-core graphics, here's a glance at the battery life:

  • 3G Talk Time: 8 hours
  • 2G Talk Time: 14 hours
  • 3G Browsing: 6 hours
  • Wi-Fi Browsing: 9 hours
  • Video: 10 hours
  • Music: 14 hours

Download speeds are also touted as twice as fast as the iPhone 4 with a new rate of 14.4Mbps versus 7.2Mbps on the last generation.

One of the biggest internal change that was arguably required was the antenna design, which Schiller described as it "intelligently switches between two antennas to receive and send." Alright...

You can also dismiss dreams of 4G speeds on this model, but Apple packed in something that is almost as sweet as the iPhone 4S is world phone (both GSM and CDMA), which will definitely please frequent travelers for pleasure and business alike.

Schiller then moved on to the camera, which is getting a serious revamp. The iPhone 4 was the biggest improvement for Apple when it came to cameras on its mobile devices when it finally stepped up the sensor, but the iPhone 4S could really step in for a point-and-shoot. This isn't so much of an improved smartphone camera as a new one altogether.

The iPhone 4S camera is finally catching up to other Nokia and Android devices with an 8-megapixel, backside illuminated CMOS sensor (3,264 x 2,448 resolution), 60 percent more pixels, and it snaps photos a third quicker than before.

Taking advantage of the A5 chip, the iPhone 4S rear camera also features Image Signal Processor that Apple designed, which enables face detection, 26 percent better white balance, and an IR filter. Of course, there's also 1080p HD video recording, now with video image stabilization and temporal noise reduction.

Schiller went so far as to claim that many customers will consider this "the best still camera they've ever owned," which for people who are not obsessed with gadgetry or are quite young, then yes, that might be true.

Moving on to voice recognition, Apple is making use of its Siri acquisition as the improved software is described as "your intelligent assistant that helps you get things done just by asking." Basically, you can ask what the weather is going to be like today, and it should tell you the right answer as well as bring up some graphics and info on the display as well.

It doesn't sound that revolutionary until you get to the point where it can you set reminders and appointments via voice, and Siri is supposed to respond to and use more human-like, natural language. However, it's still only in beta demo mode, but it will be supported by the iPhone 4S over Wi-Fi and even 3G. Siri will initially support English, French and German. More languages will be added down the road.

As soon as the iPhone 4S was announced, participants in CNET's live chat were immediately revealing their disappointment, saying they were "iRobbed."

Apple has added a new capacity option for the first time, and all of these will be available in black and white:

  • 16GB for $199
  • 32GB for $299
  • 64GB for $399

Note that those prices require a two-year contract with the carrier you select. Hopefully the white version will actually show up on time this year.

Pre-orders start this Friday, October 7th. It will land first in the U.S., Canada, Australia, the U.K., France, Germany, and Japan a week later on October 14th. On October 28, the launch will continue in 22 more countries, with 70 countries total by the end of the year on more than 100 carriers, making it the fastest iPhone rollout ever.

As rumored, the iPhone 4S will be available with three carriers this time around: AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. T-Mobile has been left out in the cold, although it might not be for long if AT&T wins its bid.

The old iPhone 4 will stick around with 8GB for $99 (on contract), and the 8GB 3GS will be absolutely free on contract.

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Topics: iPhone, Hardware, Mobility, Smartphones

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41 comments
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  • So no 4g?

    Interesting that Apple has been extremely slow to adopt 4G technology in their product.
    Your Non Advocate
    • RE: iPhone 4S is same on the outside, 'all new' on the inside

      @facebook@... Since 4G LTE only works in major markets and kills battery life, I think they made the right decision in waiting until the tech matures more.
      BillDem
      • Lame

        @BillDem
        LTE I can see...
        but HSPA+? You have got to be kidding.
        rhonin
    • 4G is a battery killing lead weight in your phone

      so it's not surprising at all. Jobs once famously said that one of the secrets of success is being able to say "no."
      baggins_z
      • True

        @baggins_z
        No to the 4S :)
        rhonin
      • RE: iPhone 4S is same on the outside, 'all new' on the inside

        @baggins_z Lame Please, can't iPhone support latest technology? Verizon 4G LTE is amazing. Well maybe the vapor iPhone 5 will support it someday.
        rkd7777
      • 'Amazing' on few percentage territory in in killing the battery

        @rkd7777
        DDERSSS
    • Which 4G are you talking about?

      @facebook@: The real 4G, or the fake 4G that almost everyone is currently using?
      Vulpinemac
  • RE: iPhone 4S is same on the outside, 'all new' on the inside

    [i]Schiller went so far as to claim that many customers will consider this ???the best still camera they???ve ever owned,???[/i]

    An 8mp? I doubt even Steve Jobs could say that line with a straight face.
    Badgered
    • RE: iPhone 4S is same on the outside, 'all new' on the inside

      @Badgered

      Sorry, Apple, my DSLR disagrees.
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • Most people don't own DSLR cameras, but rather

        point and click ones. But you already knew that.
        baggins_z
      • RE: iPhone 4S is same on the outside, 'all new' on the inside

        @baggins_z

        In that case... My point and shoot disagrees as well.
        Badgered
      • My Lumix says

        @baggins_z <br><br>HA!
        rhonin
      • RE: iPhone 4S is same on the outside, 'all new' on the inside

        @Everyone

        In that case my point and shoot was beating out the iPhone for years. It's officially a 5MP camera, but has the option to switch to 8MP.
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: iPhone 4S is same on the outside, 'all new' on the inside

      @Badgered The only way this could be considered the best is if you feel that the best camera is the one that you have with you at all times. Still, the improvements will definitely allow people to create much better quality photos than they could with previous versions of the iPhone.
      BillDem
      • RE: iPhone 4S is same on the outside, 'all new' on the inside

        @BillDem [i]Still, the improvements will definitely allow people to create much better quality photos than they could with previous versions of the iPhone. [/i]

        Now that statement I couldn't argue with.
        Badgered
    • RE: iPhone 4S is same on the outside, 'all new' on the inside

      @Badgered

      Yep the new iPhone with lowered ashtrays, dynatuned wheel covers, stage 3 cigarette lighter and an extra cup holder.

      The damn thing still needs a case!

      Much too little, too late. How long can the fanbois refuse to admit WP7 makes this phone look like the last gasp of the 20C. Time to see through the emperor's new clothes ;-)
      tonymcs@...
      • RE: iPhone 4S is same on the outside, 'all new' on the inside

        @tonymcs@... Can you please list some WP7 models that have 32GB internal memory storage? Or even 16GB?
        The Danger is Microsoft
      • &quot;The damn thing still needs a case!&quot;

        @tonymcs@...: Does it? Why?
        Vulpinemac
    • RE: iPhone 4S is same on the outside, 'all new' on the inside

      @Badgered I am a Nikon, owned a D40 (6MP), D90 (12MP) and D700 (12MP on FX). The D40 at 6MP consistently produced better results than the D90, so the D90 got sold.

      Taking pictures is about capturing light -- the more MP you cram into a sensor, the less light you capture, the worse your image.
      sip01