Apple iPhone 4S announced, iPhone 5 left out

Apple iPhone 4S announced, iPhone 5 left out

Sorry folks, we know everyone was expecting an iPhone 5, but unfortunately that didn’t seem to materialise this year which is quite disappointing. However, new Apple CEO Tim Cook did announce the upgraded version of the iPhone 4 – the iPhone 4S and it’s got some fantastic new features, but the lack of the iPhone 5 takes a bit of enthusiasm out of this for us unfortunately. Ok so let’s get first things out of the way then – The 4S looks exactly like the iPhone 4. There has been no cosmetic changes per se, and all the changes actually take place within the phone itself.

So what’s new? Well the biggest and most noticeable feature will be the introduction of iOS 5, Apple’s new iOS update. What’s different about it? Well quite a bit actually, most of which you can read in our previous article, where we give iOS 5 a good thorough look. The gist of it is that the notification system has been completely changed and it actually resembles Android a bit more than iOS 4, and there are also some cool new things like iMessages and so on. Again, the article linked above gives you a full look at iOS 5.

Another thing we find interesting that will come with iOS 5 will be Airplay, which will allow you to broadcast what you see on your phone directly to your TV, be it a picture, a video, or even a game. And your phone will still be the controller allowing you to control what’s on the tv! It’s Apple’s version of DLNA, all done via Apple TV (hey finally a reason to get it!)

One thing that the iPhone 4S brings (Update: Siri will be for the iPhone 4S exclusively) is Apple’s Smart Voice Control System, called Siri. Apparently you talk into your phone and use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, get to a destination and more using Siri. The thing to remember about Siri, is that you’re not actually supposed to talk to it like a computer, you’re supposed to use it as if you were talking to another human being. For instance you would ask “Do I need a raincoat?” and Siri will respond with “You should probably take an umbrella”. It’s quite cool and we’ll be interested to see how it works in real life (especially in noisy environments). Or Or if you say “Wake me up tomorrow at 6am” it will automatically set up the alarm for you, but I’m not sure how much I would trust my phone to set the alarm perfect and remember it just quite yet.

Siri understands what you say, and apparently even talks back to you to confirm details and things like that, such as asking for definitions which it will actually pull from Wikipedia or the net and give you an answer back. As you can see in the images below, Siri is like your very own personal assistant in your phone and while it seems quite advanced and ingenious, we’re not sure how much we want to really be shouting commands into our phones, especially in public. Siri will work for English speakers (US, UK, and Australia) plus French and German and will launch with the iPhone 4S (over 3G and Wi-fi). To learn more about Siri, click here.

What’s also great is that Apple has upgraded the specs on the iPhone 4S and it’s quite the powerful beast now. Let’s take a quick rundown on what’s changed in comparison to the iPhone 4:

  • Processor – Dual-core Apple A5 (but unknown speed, presumable 1GHz or 1.2GHz which gives the 4S an incredible speed boost over the iPhone 4. It’s CPU (processor) is 2x as fast as the iPhone 4, and it has up to 7x faster graphics, with dual core graphics).
  • Display – There’s nothing new here (3.5-inch IPS 960 x 640, same as the iPhone 4).
  • Back Camera – 8 megapixel AF with flash and f/2.4 aperture (The specs have been bumped up on the camera from 5 megapixel to 8, and based on the pictures we saw during the Apple Event, they looks quite good! Testing will show exactly how good though).
  • Video Recording – 1080p at 30fps (Video recording has gone Full HD with the 4S, up from 720p. We haven’t seen the video quality yet, but we’re expecting it to be quite good).
  • Cellular – Hybrid GSM / CDMA (For the first time ever, the iPhone 4S will be able to work anywhere around the world, no matter where you buy it from. Apple is calling this the ‘World Phone’).
  • Net Speed – Yes, along with becoming a ‘World Phone’, the 4S will apaprently have a new antenna in it that will not only solve grip signal problems (the grip of death) but also increase internet download speeds (It’ll still be 3G, no 4G this year folks).
  • Battery Life – Up to 8 hours talk time (up from the 7 hours in the iPhone 4 which I’m sure people will gladly accept, but we’d have hoped for better battery life closer to the iPad life).
  • Weight – 140 grams / 4.9 oz (It’s 3 grams and 0.1 oz bigger than the iPhone 4).

The iPhone 4 will come in the usual 16GB and 32GB variants, but Apple has also announced a 64GB variant, a much called for feature that we’ve been asking for! As for pricing, on a 2-year contract the iPhone 4S will cost $199 (16GB), $299 (32GB), and $399 (64GB) and it will be available from AT&T, Verizon and Sprint as well! As for the Australian pricing, The 16GB model will be $799, 32GB for $899 and 64GB for $999 in Australia (yes ouch once again). Hopefully carrier subsidising will be better once they’re released in Australia.

As for release date? First of, you can pre-order the iPhone 4S directly from Apple on October the 7th, and the iPhone 4S will begin shipping on October 14th to United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Japan (Yep, us Aussies get the iPhone the same time as our friends in the USA! Earlier in fact thanks to the time difference). Other countries can expect the iPhone 4S around October 28th, which isn’t that far away now is it!

We’re still hoping for an iPhone 5 announcement within 6 months, but for now we’ll take the iPhone 4S, even if we aren’t exactly thrilled with it. But we do know that Google and Microsoft will be quite thrilled with the lacklustre release. Why? Because Android and Windows Phone 7.5 will be able to really get their foot into Apple’s market share by offering innovative and exciting products, especially Windows Phone 7.5, with the release of Mango last week. It still remains to be see how many people upgrade to the iPhone 4S, because it’s not that big of an upgrade. We’ll hope to get it in for a review sooner than later though.

How about you guys? Excited? Or not so much? Let us know in the comments below!

Founder and Chief Editor of Techin5, currently based in Melbourne Australia. Has always had a deep appreciation of Technology and how it helps people, which led to the birth of Techin5. You can follow me on Twitter at @jubbing and on Instagram
  • Hapsmo

    What a big let down for sure. Apple should have released the 4S in June and then just waited til next year for the 5. That would have made way more sense than to push it out almost 4 months just to get a new fuel injection system on the same car (phone). Sure the features of iOS5 seem pretty cool, but I don’t think it’s worth even giving up my 3GS for at this point. My current phone works just fine and I’ll just hang in there til next year when (hopefully) the 5 comes out. I’m sure there will be several individuals that will scrap the whole iPhone altogether because they’re so b&TT hurt over no 5 at this time. They’ll go with the android or windows phone and naturally this will obviously hurt Apple in the long run. I don’t see the 4S being sold at such a rapid pace as the 4 or even the 3GS did. I imagine the people that already have the 4 will stay with it until the 5 comes out just like me even though I only have the 3GS.

  • Jubbin Grewal

    Well said, Apple’s new iPhone expectations were so high especially since they waited over 12 months to release this. In the end, it’s not quite what we all wanted, but it’s still a decent upgrade from the 3GS. Def not from the 4G.