The iPhone 4S was announced today in Cupertino, California. While it still looks the same, it comes with a bunch of new “insides.” First, and most importantly, the iPhone 4S will be a GSM and CDMA. It can switch between the two to provide better call quality, and it makes the iPhone 4S a world phone. That is a fantastic piece of news. The 4S will also come with a dual core processor and dual-core graphics, 8MP camera with Hybrid IR filter for better colors, 1080p video capture, and real-time video stabilization. All of these are really cool, but none of them compare to Siri, the new voice assistant.
The iPhone 4S will be offered on Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T at the following contract prices: 16 GB $199, 32 GB $299 64 GB $399. This will mean the 8GB iPhone 4 will be $99 and the 3Gs will be offered free with two year contracts.
Siri will provide a lot of new hands-free functions and be able to understand voice commands. For instance you could say, “Read my message” when a new text comes in. Or tell Siri you want to wake up on Friday at 6am, and it will set the alarm for you. Of course, Siri will get bogged down by accents and noise and is only available in English, French, and German. Everyone present at the presentation today said that the live demonstration was flawless. That’s a lot to get excited over.
Also announced today were upgrades to the iPod line. The iPod Touch will have iOS5 and access to iCloud, where music, apps, and messages will be integrated across all of your devices. The iPod Nano has added clock faces (!) so you can wear it as a wrist watch, as well as added an integrated pedometer. No app add-on necessary. Apple has set the Shuffle price at $49, but cut out the iPod Classic, which did not come as a huge shock.
While all of the inner features of the new iPhone 4S are cool, and a significant upgrade, the entire 4S falls short of expectations. Think of when you were a small child and waiting for Christmas. You thought you saw that one thing in your parents closet, but when it came to Christmas morning, it wasn’t there. This is a lot of what the iPhone 4S feels like. Disappointment because the expectations were so high.
It doesn’t really bode well for Tim Cook, either. He did not spend a lot of time talking on stage today (from what I understand) and instead let others do the talking. This was his first “outing” as official CEO of Apple, and all he delivered was a minor upgrade. It just does not feel like Apple was making the same strides that they were under Jobs. And while that’s perhaps an unfair assessment, it is certainly one that people will be making over the next few days.
Were you disappointed by today’s news? Or are you still upgrading to the iPhone 4S when you can?