iPhone 4S

(Ed. note: Rex Manning Day is still in effect. But now that the iPhone's coming to Sprint, we need to care about it a little.)

Today was the big day if you are an Apple fan.  The folks in Cupertino unveiled the latest version, leaving many disappointed and many elated.  If you were waiting for a big screen, or 4G in any shape or form (and a lot of Apple users have been) that didn't happen, but the new iPhone did get a healthy spec bump over the old.  The A5 chip currently in the iPad 2 is now in the phone version, and that should give better graphics performance, and the camera has been beefed up to an 8MP version with 1080p capture.

The "big news" with the iPhone 4S is Siri, a voice command and reader application, the Cards app to print and order cards direct from your phone, location sharing with the Family and Friends app, and of course that the new model will be coming to Sprint.  Combined with iOS 5, it sounds like an excellent phone for a lot of users, and will sell "a billion" according to Seth at TiPb.  While a billion may be a bit high, the iPhone 4S will sell well, and it should -- it has some great features we've seen on Android for a while to help push it forward. 

On the hardware front, Apple didn't mention the clock speed of the iPhone's A5 chip, but it will match well with the new dual-core devices we're seeing in Android phones as of late.  While there is still no support for removable storage, they have bumped things up to 64GB for everyone that found 32 just wasn't enough.  And the camera, well, let's face it -- Apple uses quality cameras and fans will be pleased.  Rene Ritchie lays out the new specs as:

  • Apple A5 chipset, dual core Cortex A9 for 7 times faster graphics. This is basically the iPad 2 chip but probably not clocked as fast.
  • Longer batter life – 8 hrs talk time on 3G, 9 hours browsing on Wi-Fi, 10 hours video, 40 hours music.
  • New intelligent switching between antennas
  • HSPA+ 14.4 (no 21?)
  • CDMA + GSM World phone
  • 8mp rear-facing camera, CMOS backside illuminated sensor, 73% more photons! High end IR filter. Wide f2.4.

Siri, which was the highlight of the entire announcement, is basically Google voice actions combined with talkback -- you speak to your phone, and it speaks back to you.  This comes to the iPhone 4S as a beta (which is pretty un-Appley).  It's a cool feature, one I use it on my Android phones (while nobody is looking anyway), and if implemented well can be a nice selling point.

Seemingly glanced over was the news much of the Internet was waiting for -- the iPhone 4S will be available on Sprint.  At the very end of the event when pricing was announced they snuck it in with little fanfare. 

What does this mean for Android?  In my humble opinion, not a damn thing.  It's clear that Apple is waiting until next time to bring any big hardware changes, and it's going to be a tough choice at the store between a new iPhone or a Galaxy S II or new HTC phone.  The new changes are nice, don't get me wrong, but don't offer a compelling reason to buy an iPhone over an Android or Windows phone.  I think the "one more thing" everyone was waiting for will happen on October 11.