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Apple Announces Dual-Core iPhone 4S, Coming October 14, Starting At $199
Apple Announces Dual-Core iPhone 4S, Coming October 14, Starting At $199
October 4, 2011 | By Kyle Orland

October 4, 2011 | By Kyle Orland
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    10 comments
More: Smartphone/Tablet, Business/Marketing



At a "Let's Talk iPhone" keynote event today, Apple senior VP Phil Schiller announced the iPhone 4S, an upgrade for the popular game-playing smartphone that offers a new, more powerful dual-core processor.

The iPhone 4S will be available with a two-year contract starting at $199 for a 16GB version, up to $399 for a 64GB version -- a new maximum storage size for the iPhone line. Pre-orders for the device will start October 7 and it will be available in stores October 14.

Apple's A5 chip -- the same one used in the iPad -- can generate up to seven times the graphical performance of previous iPhones, Schiller said, using a demonstration of the newly revealed Infinity Blade 2 from Epic Games to showcase the increased power for gaming applications.

The new phone features an improved battery with over eight hours of talk time on 3G, or nine hours of life when using wi-fi, according to the presentation. The new phone will also be able to download up to 14.4 megabits per second over a 4G cellular data network, and will include new "worldphone" antenna technology to support different cellular standards in foreign countries.

Apple is also hoping the iPhone 4S will compete with existing point-and-shoot cameras, using a new eight megapixel photo sensor that can take 1080p video and takes in more light than previous iPhone cameras. The new photo software also promises to let users take photos faster.

Prior to today's event, industry watchers had expected the reveal of a brand new iPhone 5 -- but investors were disappointed with a mere upgrade to the current iPhone, sending Apple stock down nearly 4 percent to $361 per share as of this writing.

The company also showcased a new voice-control feature called Siri, which can interpret the meaning of English sentences to perform basic functions. An on-stage demonstration showed the phone responding to questions such as "What’s the weather like today?" and "Do I need a raincoat?"

Apple also announced a price reduction for its iPhone 4, which will now start at $99 for an 8GB model, and the iPhone 3GS, which will come free with a contract and 8GB of storage.

Finally, the company confirmed long-running rumors by announcing that Sprint will join Verizon and AT&T in carrying the iPhone line in America.

[Thanks to live blogs from gdgt and Mashable for the information in this report.]


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Comments


John Polson
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Does this A5 make it on par with or better than iPad 2 processing?

Jack Menhorn
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I would assume it would make it comparable, yes.

Caleb Garner
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I suspect it will be like the iphone4 was with the ipad1.. the same A4 chip but clocked down a little to improve battery life. IIRC the iphone4 was around 866mhz, however the chip was the same 1ghz chip in the ipad..

John Martins
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Cue rage. Fanatics and fanboys are already up in arms about this over on Facebook, but the exact same thing happened when the 3GS was announced. Apple still managed to blow their faces off a year later with the iPhone 4, the same will happen again. I for one don't see it as a bad thing that Apple take the time to refine their existing technology before throwing in a load of new gadgetry. It's reassuringly stable and modern this way.

Evan Combs
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It is better than the last one, how can you be upset about that?

Caleb Garner
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anyone who has an iphone 4 yea probably can hold off.. but anyone still on 3g/3gs this would be a massive upgrade.. i'd rather wait another year or so till my iphone 4 contract is up and get the iphone 5..



I think a lot of people will be in that boat.. because i see a LOT of iphone 4 users these days which meant they probably got their contracts extended meaning wait awhile.. or pay near ipad price..



I agree.. i'd rather they wait and really get things perfected.. siri should be software though.. i don't see it really doing anything (at least most of it) that would require special hardware..



one thing i like about android hands down is the great integration of speech to text as part of the OS.. Apple should have been on this feature much sooner and more universally

Tyler Overby
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I was waiting for the iPhone 5, but this is good enough.

Joe Wreschnig
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The naming choice seems a poor decision. With the A5, 4G support, new camera, and twice the space, this is what everyone assumed the iPhone 5 would be. They could've called this the iPhone 5 and no one would've batted an eye - most of the rumors I read beforehand guessed that we'd see something like this labeled the iPhone 5, and a slightly improved (camera, more space, maybe a bit faster A4) iPhone 4 called the 4S.



@Tyler, what were you expecting from an iPhone 5 that's not in this model?

Eric Scharf
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The only items missing from the 4S are (1) a new form factor, (2) a larger screen, and (3) a 4G LTE radio chip.



As most - but not all - people are aware, current 4G chips generate too much heat, etc. to be safely crammed into the exiting iPhone 4 / 4S housing. There is a reason the Motorola Droid Bionic is so large . . . and it is not just the screen size. So a new form factor is not just a pretty-but-unnecessary thing - it serves a very necessary purpose.



Those folks (like myself) who have seen the existing iPhone 4 function quite smoothly as a CDMA 3G device on Verizon's network simply need to decide if they absolutely must have the blinding fast (in comparison) LTE.



I would love to have it - having seen it in action on the HTC Thunderbolt and Moto Bionic - but I place (what I believe to be) a superior OS, overall feature set, and quality craftsmanship above the lone feature of pure speed.



It will be intriguing to see how many 4S devices (and severely discounted 4 devices) Apple will have sold through by the end of December.

Eric Geer
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*Yawn*


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