As expected, Apple unveiled its new iPhone 4S at its media event this afternoon. It’s available for pre-order on October 7th, and will begin shipping on October 14th. Availability on the 14th will be restricted to the US, Canada, Australia, UK, France, Germany and Japan. Twenty two more countries will get the phone by the 28th, and 70 by the end of the year. The 4S will be available on Sprint, AT&T and Verizon networks in the US. Contrary to rumors that indicated a complete overhaul of the phone, the 4S is a predictable progression from the iPhone 4.
 
It uses the same Apple A5 SoC as the iPad 2 (though, as usual, Apple didn’t reveal its clock speed or the amount of on-board RAM) and is now universally compatible with CDMA and GSM networks (making it a "world phone), but is visually similar to the iPhone 4 and uses the same 3.5” 640x960 “Retina Display” as its predecessor. It will be available in 16GB ($199), 32GB ($299), and 64GB ($399) capacities in both black and white with a 2-year contract. The iPhone 4 will remain as an 8GB phone for $99, while the 3GS will also stick around for free with contract.
 
Antenna diversity, a feature originally introduced in the CDMA iPhone 4, is now standard on all models of the iPhone 4S. As we found in our review of the Verizon iPhone 4, antenna diversity fixes the infamous antenna issue with the iPhone 4's design. The wireless stack has been upgraded to support HSPA+ 14.4, likely courtesy of Qualcomm's MDM6600.
 
As was widely predicted, the iPhone 4S sports a new 8MP camera sensor with a five element f2.4 lens. The new lens is apparently 30% sharper than the previous iteration. The camera subsystem itself supposedly has better color accuracy and more color uniformity. Apple talked about their custom designed Image Signal Processor (ISP) on the A5 SoC, however previous versions were also Apple designed. Apple claims 1.1 seconds to the first photo and 0.5 second shot-to-shot latency on the iPhone 4S. The camera can now shoot 1080p video due to the ISP upgrades in the A5 SoC. 
 
Wireless display mirroring via AirPlay is also supported on the iPhone 4S.
 
The new iPhone will debut with iOS 5, which will also be available to users of older devices on October 12. Exclusive to the new iPhone is iOS 5’s Siri voice assistant, which promises to bring new precision and utility to voice commands on the phone. The iPhone 4S with Siri will be able to understand natural language requests (e.g. "Wake me up tomorrow at 6AM) and act accordingly (e.g. create an alarm for 6AM tomorrow). 

Expect a full review from us as soon as possible, and in the meantime you can always re-read our in-depth iPhone 4 review to get a better idea of what has changed since last summer.
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  • inplainview - Tuesday, October 4, 2011 - link

    Your prize for the dumbest post is waiting for you at the door. Reply
  • imaheadcase - Tuesday, October 4, 2011 - link

    Seems media picks up on apple news more than any other tech related thing. I played with a friends iphone, i did not see anything that separates it from other smart phones.

    I don't get it. I don't know many people who care about Iphones in real life to, just a few people i know have one and they just say they got it because someone told them they are good phones. Thats pretty sad, because the people who told them that prob just knows about it from the media. lol
    Reply
  • steven75 - Tuesday, October 4, 2011 - link

    Try reading some comparison reviews sometime. Reply
  • imaheadcase - Tuesday, October 4, 2011 - link

    I have...again nothing stands out over other phones. Even side-by-said states don't show the iphone any better, lots of times worse. Reply
  • B3an - Tuesday, October 4, 2011 - link

    Try keeping up with the times sometime.

    Or try reading a review for the Samsung Galaxy S2, or one of the many other superior Android smartphones that come out this year. The S2 came out in April for most of the world and it's still better than this new iPhone. But sheeple like yourself will still buy this new Apple toy i'm sure.
    Reply
  • inspire - Tuesday, October 4, 2011 - link

    I think using the word "sheeple" automatically disqualifies you from "keeping up with the times". Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Tuesday, October 4, 2011 - link

    "The iPhone 4S with Siri will be able to understand natural language requests (e.g. "Wake me up tomorrow at 6AM) and act accordingly (e.g. create an alarm for 6AM tomorrow)."

    'Siri, why didn't my alarm go off?'

    'Sorry sir, you bought an iPhone'
    Reply
  • WeaselITB - Tuesday, October 4, 2011 - link

    You forgot to add:

    Siri: "And it was Daylight Saving Time change last night. I get so confused sometimes."
    Reply
  • inspire - Tuesday, October 4, 2011 - link

    Dual-Core CPU refresh, best graphics of any phone, 8MP wide-apereture camers that can go from the home screen to snapping a shot in 1 second, with only 1/2 a second between shots. 1080P video, natural-voice command over several apps, including text messaging, geofencing, and all the other things.

    4 drops to $100, 3GS is now free on contract. Sprint gets iPhone. Launches in 100 countries by the end of the year.

    As a 1st Gen Palm Pre user who is a month from breaking out of contract, this is gold. My Tri-State commute productivity just shot up 100x. The reason this is big news is because it simply is. Not only in terms of technical specifications, but in terms of business roll-out.

    I'm really looking forward to this and all the things it will let me do.
    Reply
  • edsib1 - Tuesday, October 4, 2011 - link

    Dual core but probably clocked down to 800Mhz (like the ipad2)....compared to 1.5Ghz on droids

    My SG2 take about 1 sec to get to camera, can take 5-10 photos a sec in burst mode...

    GPU fastest - is it? Think u'll find an Adreno 225 is quicker...
    Android has already had voice control for a couple months...
    FindMyFriends already on Android goes by the name of Latitude

    4GS downloads at 14Mbps - lots of droids already do 21Mbs..

    3.5inch screen really - hard to find an android phone with a screen that small...
    Reply

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