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

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?
Written by Jason D. O'Grady, Contributor

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?

Editorial standards