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.


Reader comments

iPhone 4S announced today [the competition]


Q: So how do we tell the difference between a 4S & a 4???

A: You don't..... HaHa

Mommy I ate the crappy Apple you gave me. Can I have my Ice Cream Sandwich now??????


actually, i think there is alot of dissapointment that the iphone 5 was not announced and that has caused alot of noise that's leading people to make conjectures that its the reason apple's stock is falling. however i dont think this is the sole contribution as to why apples stocks fell.

- Jobs left the company...and then died
- Alot of these announcements can cause sharholders to pull out when an announcement receives mixed reviews.
- Apples stock went right back up when the 2 major carriers sold out of preorders the first day.

the first nexus was really unimpressive when it came out. it got alot of hype but was received by alot of people with disappointment. a co-worker bought one and took it back the next week for a droid 1.

as for me? i'm waiting for an HTC VIGOR, sure HTC's have crap battery life but that's what extended life battries are for (and having a portable legwarmer in your pocket. Plus this thing will be a powerhouse. :)

the mainstream might not seem be impressed because the manstream has fanboys too. weather you like it or not, they're input is not always thier own and it's not always unbiased.

you're bringing up LTE? really? how many markets have LTE right now? apple tries hard not to sell themselves short. verizon has all these great phones with LTE but in MOST areas LTE is not available so people are paying for something they can't use yet. just because they annouced the 4s now doesnt mean it's going to be another year before the 5 is announced. we will probably see a full version upgraded iphone in 6-8 months. This is where we will see LTE. Just thing about this, going to LTE will require more battery, more/different hardware, and most importantly a reason. as stated, with LTE being only in major cities it's economically smarter to stick with 3g until LTE gets a higher demographic and not a network that still seems to be in the live testing phase. So apple decided to forgo the LTE for now because for there customers, it wasn't soemthing people would really be able to utilize.

The internals that everyone was expecting without the outer bits everyone wanted (larger screen,thinner). So the Prime announcement will blow this one out of the water.

Yes you imagined it. Some people speculated that it could disappear after the network loaded up. But what Sprint has said is they're sticking to it.

is that so? you're ignorance seems to be leaving you the one who's eating your words...

apple's herd of sheeple is alot bigger than you think. they own 5% of the overall market share ON THE PLANET. they have one phone that is solid and intelligent. not 50 different phone's with a bunch of different hardware and specs that app devs have to work around.


stop posting uneducated speculation. you're making us droid users look dumb.

i can.

as someone who owns both an android (droid x) on my personal account with verizon, and an iphone 4 though my employer, it's easy to tell that the iOS is more consistent. With android, there are handful of force closes, lock ups, and glitches when using programs, not so much the stock programs but on programs i've purchased from the market.

also, there have been a few times that i try to call someone and they can't hear me or the phone app won't initialize. the verizon cssr agent i spoke to when inquiring about this problem has said this is a known issue with that model phone. even when i the flashed apex 2.0 rom it still had this issue. it ran 10x faster but still had all the same bugs.

android OS is provided on a bunch of different phones with different hardware and screen resolutions.

there's nothing consistent about the hardware, so there's going to be a better chance you'll see some problems. in an iphone, all of the hardware, software, applications, and design come from 1 company. sure 3rd parties stil create the apps, but they're creating it on software made by apple on a device...made by apple.

fact 2:
android phone come equipped with massive amounts of bloatware and unnecessary os skins that, while making it more user friendly (by very little) it bogs the phone down and over time causes other issues.

MOTOBLUR is the biggest waste of data i've ever seen in a smartphone. HTC SENSE is leaking personal data...yes, YOUR personal information is exposed due to a design flaw by the most popular android phone maker out there. google it. it's really scary and kinda funny at the same time.

Yes, android has some really powerful phones coming out next year (that HTC vigor looks like a BEAST and im pretty sure will be my next phone). However they will all require a root, wipe, and custom rom to really use the phones hardware to full capacity. im gonna bet less than 30% of android users can do this on there own or even care for that matter.

android is still in a pretty vulnerable state atm. However, errors aside the android OS gives alot more to the user than the iOS does. i prefer gingerbread over iOS 5. i like the iphones apps and stability though.

i've never personally owned an apple product. i have issues with the way they market their prodcuts and i could not stand Steve Jobs as a salesman, but i've always appreciated the apple technology.

Lets not pretend that the android sales is driven by it's market or it's not-so-perfect design. It's driven by the feature to customize, personalize, and it's availability.

Apple's product sells well becuase they don't make junk (even the apple lisa was great tech for it's day. it just had a HUGE 10k price tag). and they built a phone that doesnt require anymore knowledge than pushing a button to get what you want out of it which is what the majority want. they also market there products as if there is no competetion. they make people feel smart about there buy and make them feel liek there one of the herd. it's brilliant but mind numbing. like...how is it they make you feel like a unique snowflake when you doing the samething everybody else does...lol they do it somehow and it's beyond me!

So there is no iphone 5? They think the 4s will compete against the monsters Android is about to release? This will be easier than I thought.

wow Apple certainly dropped the ball on this one......same screen, same screen size, no FaceTime HD, same design....def sticking to android for my next upgrade...

Apple is surely missing Jobs. I was hoping for a good tech race, but one of the athletes just showed up with a bum leg.

Now, which should it be? The immediate gratification of upgrading to the SGS II or the delayed grandeur of Nexus Prime? Decisions.

Jerry you might want to fix you're header, I don't know if you hear bit it's not much of a competition any more.

I can't wait for the Apple ads describing all these features as brand new and totally Apple ideas.

Well, Siri works at least. I've tried these Google Voice actions, and they mostly don't understand what I'm saying correctly, and take long to process it.

I was expecting the next super phone from Apple. Also does anyone know if the 20 billion deal between Sprint and Apple is official? Cause if it is, Sprint is in some deep $hit.

That's exactly what I was thinking. Sprint may have just sold their company for a lackluster product. Yikes for Sprint.

we are not all like you and purchase phones with the biggest and best of everything. it's silly to purchase something that goes beyond what you're going to use it for. it's called buying smart.

I have been using voice to text on my Photon for a couple of months. Works great. What is the big deal? Yawn....It just doesn't have a funky postmodern name. I will call it...useful.

perfect timing, the iphone 4s comes out October 14th, on October 11th everyone will get to see a truly next gen phone. Prime FTW!

There were a number of folks saying that this was just gonna be the 4S.
The "event" was a little underwhelming.
(Other than Sprint getting a go at the iPhone That will help them add a ton more customers. I don't think they will turn off unlimited data for the iPhone. Most of their current Android users probably use as much data as iPhone users on AT&T and Verizon.)

I was going to ask how the whole market was fairing, but I just looked it up. They are meh.

The DOW is down less than 1%, AAPL down 16.47% (GOOG down 10.52%, so even though they say meh Google still goes down?)

But we had to remain on Verizon after trying to move to sprint with two awesome epic touches but the network was so slooow, that we had to reluctantly kill the sprint trial and wait for Verizon to get a decent phone.
If the sprint network is already crawling in this area and i mean crawling along, how will it absorb iPhone users all sharing the same already crippled 3G network?

Definitely i know we made the correct choice to wait it out for a new device with Verizon.

Jerry I agree with Lionsson, the competition feel by the weigh side. You can honestly say Android we have a Beast of a Phone in Prime.

This is the same-thing that happen with the PC revolution. Apple was the defacto then windows came alone and broke all kinds of records, because Apple was unwilling or could not keep up with the software update cycles.The fell behind and stayed behind.

The iPhone 4S(quirrel)™, Now with Siri©! It's like Google Android™ Voice Actions, except....well....it's like Google Android™ Voice Actions!

Oh, come on, let's be honest here. While Google's voice actions are a very nice feature, Siri is the winner in this department. Apple made a solid acquisition there. Give credit where credit is due.

Jerry I agree with Lionsson, the competition feel by the weigh side. You can honestly say Android we have a Beast of a Phone in Prime.

This is the same-thing that happen with the PC revolution. Apple was the defacto then windows came alone and broke all kinds of records, because Apple was unwilling or could not keep up with the software update cycles. They fell behind and stayed behind.

No 4G!? Long live Android! Kneel before Nexus Prime. Is it October 11 yet? Is it October 11 yet? e. Is it October 11 yet?

Yes it is. It has the same download speeds of 4G phones, so it is [unofficially] 4G. As it's just as fast, I'm getting one :)

Well, that is the best camera on a phone without a Nokia logo. And the best voice system for now.

But yeah, pretty meh. I expected SOMETHING external like a 4" screen, which would have been a good differentiator considering it looks identical to a 4.

Well I've always been super impressed with the camera in the original iPhone 4 and to better it is pretty impressive?

Do you think the Prime or any future Android phones will have the same camera or better? It is a top 10, maybe even a top 7 or 5 feature that is strongly considered when looking at phone competition.

Anyone have any idea on future cameras on any phones?

The new Sony Xperias appear to match the 4S camera (f2.4 and all).
HTC has begun including similar camera hardware as well.
Samsung, too, has stepped up their camera game - the 'Prime' will likely feature the same camera the S2 line offers.

It's not a runaway victory for Apple on the camera, but they do tend to nail the camera software. We'll need to see it head-to-head(-to-head...)

so, that's what happened to Tom Cruise's daughter. He sold her to apple and they shoved her in a phone. Ain't right, I tells ya.

So this is what we've had to endure months of endless speculation for? A slight processor bump? Still the same small screen, 3g speed... an evolution rather than the revolution many had been expecting.

Kinda makes me wonder why the Apple police bothered raiding that guys house in San Francisco - you'd be hard pressed to spot the difference.

The speed of Android development makes the iPhone look like it's a sportscar of yesteryear stuck in 3rd in the slow lane.

If you remeber they couldnt find it... or did they, Apple just couldnt convince the police that the "new product" wasn't just a regular iphone 4 rofl...

It's pretty crazy to see even Apple fans complaining about the latest iPhone model. You know if even Apple fans are complaining, Apple really messed up.

Saying Siri is just Google Voice Actions combined with Talkback is kind of ridiculous. Can't wait for the Prime here, but that feature really blew me away, give credit where credit is due.

I really don't see anything break out on this iPhone 4S. All that was present is on on board my Android. All the hype for a refreshed phone... Smh.

So the iPhone 4S is bad? Because it looks the same
Isn't the Specs are matching the top Android phones ? Dual-Core CPU , More RAM & HD recording
Last time I checked those what makes it a cutting edge

Its just as an upgrade as the SGS II from the SGS

By the way, im not an Apple fanboy & im not trolling

The Atrix was the first phone released that could compare to this. That was not 12 months ago.

Edit: And even then the Atrix doesn't compare well. Even with the camera numbers, the real quality is crap and the screen not as good even if larger.

Evo 4G had almost the same features, camera, processor speed, HD video. The point I'm making is this isn't a step ahead, they're now behind everyone else. They haven't raised the bar, they've barely caught up to where android left it.

Not really. An 8 megapixel sensor isn't why the camera is good, 1Ghz 1st gen Snapdragon isn't a dual-core A5/Exynos, 720p versus 1080p (plus the other improved camera bits).

Apple didn't raise the bar, but they aren't technically behind either (minus 4G, 14 meg HSDPA is LAME and no LTE)

Investors must be real excited because Apple is trading about $11 lower. talk about underwhelming. When comparing this to all the Android phones coming soon the iphone4s seems tame.

My takeaways from today were as follows:
1. Current Android users (like me) won't switch to iPhone 4S.
2. Any remaining feature phone users upgrading to a smartphone (read: some moms and grandparents) will continue to mostly choose some version of iPhone.
3. Current iPhone 4 users will stay put for iPhone 5 and 50% will upgrade to 4S.
4. Nexus Prime and the Nokia WP7 annoucements coming up will appeal more to current Android users.
5. New smartphone buyers at Sprint have some very good choices right now and in a few weeks when hopefully Prime or Nokia units are ready.
6. Current Blackberry owners are likely the most confused whether to stay for QNX or jump ship...but to what?
7. How is sprint not the most popular carrier now with so many top phones and unlimited? That baffles me.

One other thing - Kindle Fire pretty much screws the overpriced iPod Touches. $199 for a 3.5" screen or $199 for 7" screen. You make the call.

But, way cool watches Apple!


Trust me, I travel plenty for work all over the country and I've had no problems with signal coverage. Sprint basically roams on Verizon from what I remember.

Except that you don't get 3G speeds, only 1X...you can't use more than 300MB in a month, and all voice minutes count against your plan total.

Point is that Verizon network is still the best & that's why Sprint will never be the #1 carrier.

Question: "Siri why no iPhone 5?"
Siri: "Thinking....its because you spent too much time in the court room, you need to spend more time innovating"

A lot of people will still buy the iPhone 4S. And if the 16GB sells for $199, the older models will drop in price. A lot of people would love to have an iPhone 4G for $99 or a 3GS for free.

BREAKING NEWS: Helicopter in the East River (NYC) near the 30th street heliport! Must've been disappointed about the new iPhone unveiling...

Are you people nuts? Your quote, "it's going to be a tough choice at the store between a new iPhone or a Galaxy S II or new HTC phone". This phone will be competing with phones from next year, with quad cores and fantastic displays, and whatever else Gooble has up its sleeve. By March, 2012, this phone will be a bigger joke than it is today. This is Jobs last phone so maybe they will finally have a screen larger than 3.5 inches.

Specs don't matter. Let me repeat that. Specs don't matter. At least not the the mojority of people who are buying a phone. They want something that looks cool and can run that neat magic unicorn app that their frinds have. Please don't fool youself into thinking apple released a dud. Apple with sell a ton of these phones and laughing all the way to the bank.

In case he missed your first point, you're right. Specs don't matter. Just go stand in a carrier store for a few minutes and listen to what people say to a rep about a phone they're interested in buying.

Or just people watch in an airport or mall and tell me specs matter. Iphones are and will continue to be everywhere, regardless of specs. Androids will continue to flourish in mom's basement. (and yes, I have an EVO, and no, I don't live in her basement)

If specs don't matter, that means that Apple just released the same phone they released a year & 1/2 ago..... Duhhhh

SOME specs don't matter. You're right -- processor speed and RAM are only so important to the average user.

BUT screen size IS important to the average user.

Screen size matters.
Screen size matters.

Say it with me -- Screen size matters.

Some are happy with the 3.5" screen, and for those that are, the iPhone 4S will be an excellent choice. Hardware wise it's not far behind android, the camera is excellent which is important, the design is still beautiful, the screen technology is still very nice, and it's got amazing (quoted) battery life. But for those who want more screen real estate (ME) it won't work.

I will buy one for my wife though.

Lamest Apple keynote in some time. The hardest of hardcore Apple fanboys will struggle to make this news out to be positive.

Why is this on the Anroid Central website again? who cares about the iphone! no Apple, i will not buy your phone so I can be restricted to what i can and can't put on my phone. iphone is just apple's way of making you buy all their other crap, apps, music, movies, that you really dont need anyways! i'll stick to the free stuff with ads. plus i don't want a phone that looks like everyone elses!

Not really surprising, until the iPhone 4, the previous two updates were just basically upgrades, not major differences. They added 3G, or they added a camera, features that were missing. The 4 was the first (and only) real major change the phone went through, I am not too surprised they didn't just ditch the design altogether after one year.

I found it very unlikely that I'd be tempted to switch, even if the most crazy rumors were true. But with that same small screen I'm not going anywhere definitely.

And thus the reason for Sprint crapping on all the perks becomes all too apparent. Thank you Apple, thanks for squatting out another iTard and infecting Sprint with your iCrap.

As disappointing as this announcement was for those of us who are power users hoping for a bigger screen and something awe-inspiring, it hits a lot of the big points for consumers:

-Great battery life
-Slick design (exactly like the iPhone 4, which is a beautiful phone)
-Sharp screen
-Awesome camera

The processor is fast enough for 99% of customers. Ram is enough for them. If you don't need flash, don't need options, and don't need a large screen then the iPhone is still a great choice.

LMAO. Wow this is hysterical beyond words. I was expecting a challenge and they announce that? Not only will the Prime destroy this little toy, this icrap doesn't even deserve to be in the same sentence. Samsung is laughing now. If there was any proof that Android is much more advanced and beyond the icrap.....this is it.

I just hope that the rumor about sprint buying 20 billion worth of iPhone's for 4 years isn't true because if it is then sprint is in real trouble, this will not sell like they hope it will.

One and a half years to come up with the same damn phone. Stagnant, that is all I can say is just stagnant. They throw in a few Android copied updates, a copy of Vlingo which has been around for years and they think they have something original?? Apple has gone down hill. This is what I call failure to communicate. Very piss poor day for Apple fans IMO. I was hoping for something new, bigger screen, new design but nothing, complete bull crap. Samsung Galaxy S2 is the top device and now you can see why Apple is going after Samsung, they are very scared. Apple has nothing. See you in the rear view window.

Well, in fairness, the Siri stuff does a little bit more, but not much more.

I doubt it will take Google/Vlingo 18 months to match what they've done.

That won't happen. The money will have already been spent. More likely, Sprint's stock price dives so low it becomes a Verizon takeover target.

That sounds logical, but do you really think the Justice Dept. will allow that to happen? Att and T-mo deal went down in flames; adding Verizon and Sprint together would be bigger than the aforementioned mega merger...

the camera is the only thing that will be awesome about this phone. I will give it to apple, they have some great CMOS sensors in those cameras that allow some great photos.. especially low light pics and vids! But other than that there is nothing that really stands out about this thing

Thanks but no thanks. This announcement means that Apple still has to keep their sleeves rolled up because there's still a lot more work to be done with this release. Nice try Cupertino

I bought a UK Samsung S2 a few months ago and think it equals (or beats) the iPhone 4s in most respects. At least those which matter to me.

The Siri demo looked lovely, but was that representative; and how long before Android can match it? Perhaps buying a phone with better communications skills that you have, is a bad move. Your boss may fire you and hire the phone.

Samsung build quality and finish cant match Apple; but their apparent pace of development is stunning. If only Samsung tactics in court matched their engineering dev speed; I think Apple would be bust in tree years. Sadly, Apple's legal team run rings around Samsung, despite a weak brief.

I agree some people will blindly follow Apple over a cliff and you couldn't get me to trade in my Droid BIONIC for ANY iPhones.

"OK! New iPhones... new iPhones... gotta be some iPhones around here somewhere. Ah, here we go! Aaaaaaaaaaaaand... nothing!?"

Here's an idea, since making iPhones is difficult--why don't you just keep using THIS iPhone. Same one. And I can just... watch you use it. Yes. That sounds much easier." -Tim "Wheatley" Cook

Ugh....watch Sprint eliminate their unlimited everything plans....I'd rather buy a Galaxy S II in December when I'm able to upgrade....