iPhone 4S Release: 13 Things You Need To Know About The New Gadget (PHOTOS)
On October 14, Apple's new iPhone, the 4S, went on sale at Apple stores around the world
Preorders have been rolling in since October 7, but on October 13, two of the three carriers were reportedly sold out of their stock. This shortage isn't a huge shock, considering that the 4S sold over 1 million units in its first 24 hours of presale, almost doubling the previous record of 600,000 held by the iPhone 4. Some analysts predict that Apple will sell 4 million handsets during the phone's first weekend in stores.
One person who will definitely be getting one is Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak who tweeted on Thursday afternoon that he was already in line at the Los Gatos, California Apple store.
Since the launch on October 4, the phone has been the cause of an emotional roller-coaster for Apple fans. Initially, it was met with disappointment for not being a totally redesigned iPhone 5, but reviewers reminded users that it's what's on the inside that counts. Gadget heads across the tech world had fallen hopelessly in love with Siri, the totally futuristic voice-controlled virtual assistant that inhabits the 4S.
But Siri isn't the only siri-ous upgrade. All Thing's D's Walt Mossberg called the improved camera "brilliant." Wired's, Brian X. Chen, was impressed by the speed, saying, "Everything from typing to sending a text, and from powering on the phone to taking a photo is zippier." And MG Siegler from TechCrunch added, "the iPhone 4S blows away the iPhone 4 when it comes to speed." The New York Times' David Pogue liked the fact that the phone is, for the first time, offered on three carriers, and is easy to use internationally.
Check out our slideshow (below) for 13 things you need to know about the new iPhone. Then, check out photos from crazy lines at Apple stores around the world.
Apple debuted the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/04/siri-apple-iphone-4s-voice-personal-assistant_n_994605.html?1317758678" target="_hplink">Siri virtual assistant</a>, a voice-controlled interface designed exclusively for the iPhone 4S. Siri lets the user schedule calendar events and reminders, set alarms, find information about local businesses--just by asking. The hands-free system even talks back to you. <a href="http://twitter.com/#!/nickbilton/status/121288597952405504" target="_hplink">The New York Times's Nick Bilton</a> notes that it sounds like "A female Hal who had too many vodka tonics at the bar." <a href="http://techcrunch.com/2011/10/04/apple-reveals-siri-voice-interface-the-intelligent-assistant/" target="_hplink">According to TechCrunch</a>, "Siri will be a beta for the time being, as it only supports English, German, and French voice input, but there are more language add-ons and tweaks to come." <em>Image courtesy of Getty.</em>
The iPhone 4S is built around Apple's dual-core A5 processor, which also powers the iPad 2. <a href="http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2011/10/04Apple-Launches-iPhone-4S-iOS-5-iCloud.html" target="_hplink">Apple claims that this new chip</a> "delivers up to twice the processing power and up to seven times faster graphics than iPhone 4." <em>Image courtesy of the AP.</em>
Better Download Speeds
Although the new iPhone isn't a 4G device, Apple claims that it can rival high-speed devices. <a href="http://gizmodo.com/5846504/" target="_hplink">Writes Gizmodo</a>, "the new iPhone 4S runs on faster HSPA+ networks. That means that your telephone will download stuff faster from the Internet. Before it was up to 7.2 Megabits-per-second downloads." <em>Image courtesy of Getty.</em>
New Operating System
Right out of the box, the new iPhone will run Apple's upgraded operating system, iOS 5. Apple says the new OS introduces over 200 new features, such as push notifications to all mobile devices, wireless upgrades, improved mobile browsing via Apple's Safari app, location-aware reminders, a webcam shortcut that's accessible from the lock screen, the ability to edit photos and many others. <em>Image courtesy of Getty.</em>
More Carrier Choices
In addition to availability through AT&T and Verizon, the iPhone 4S will be offered by a new carrier: Sprint. "[T]he specs for Sprint's version perfectly match the Verizon model -- both have an EVDO radio for 3G within the US, and a GSM one for service outside the country," <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/04/sprint-iphone-officially-announced-on-sale-october-14/" target="_hplink">Engadget writes</a>. <em>Image courtesy of Getty.</em>
Apple's latest iPhone is a "world phone," which means users can use it to place calls and surf the web on different networks, an ideal feature for jet-setters and one that previous iPhones didn't offer. <a href="http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2011/10/04Apple-Launches-iPhone-4S-iOS-5-iCloud.html" target="_hplink">From Apple's official press release:</a> <blockquote>Improving on the innovative stainless steel external, dual-antenna design of iPhone 4, iPhone 4S is the first phone to intelligently switch between two antennas to send and receive. iPhone 4S now supports twice the download speed with HSDPA of up to 14.4 Mbps and iPhone 4S is a world phone, so both CDMA and GSM customers can now roam internationally on GSM networks.</blockquote> <em>Image courtesy of Getty.</em>
In the United States, customers can pick up a 16GB iPhone 4S for $199, a 32GB model for $299 and a beefy 64GB model for $399. <em>Image courtesy of Getty.</em>
<a href="http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2011/10/04Apple-Launches-iPhone-4S-iOS-5-iCloud.html" target="_hplink">Pre-orders for the iPhone 4S begin on October 7</a>. The device will hit shelves in the U.S. on October 14. Consumers around the world will have to wait until December 2011, when the handset will make its way to Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, <a href="http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2011/10/04Apple-Launches-iPhone-4S-iOS-5-iCloud.html" target="_hplink">according to Apple</a>. <em>Image courtesy of the AP.</em>
Longer Battery Life
Apple promises that the faster A5 processor won't degrade battery life but will actually allow the iPhone 4S to use energy more efficiently than the iPhone 4. Indeed, the company promises up to 8 hours of battery life when placing calls via 3G. "If you set your phone to 2G, you will get 14 hours of talk time," <a href="http://gizmodo.com/5846504/" target="_hplink">writes Gizmodo</a>. "3G web browsing will give you six hours of battery life, while Wi-Fi access runs up to nine hours." <em>Image courtesy of the AP.</em>
The new iPhone also comes with a camera upgrade. The device's rear-facing webcam has been bumped up from 5 megapixels up to 8 megapixels and will offer 1080p HD video recording. Images captured on the iPhone 4S will feature over 60 percent more pixels than on the previous handset, <a href="http://venturebeat.com/2011/10/04/apple-roundup-apple-throws-the-press-for-a-loop-with-iphone-4s-but-no-iphone-5/" target="_hplink">that's a resolution of 3264 x 2448</a>. <em>Image courtesy of Getty.</em>
A feature of iOS 5, <a href="http://www.gottabemobile.com/2011/10/04/airplay-mirroring-comes-to-iphone-4s/" target="_hplink">Airplay Mirroring</a> allows the iPhone sync wirelessly to an Apple TV, letting the user watch videos or view photos from their phone on the big screen. <em>Images courtesy of Getty.</em>
The new iPhone looks just like its predecessor, <a href="http://www.apple.com/iphone/specs.html" target="_hplink">measuring</a> 4.5 inches high, 2.31 wide and 0.37 inches thick, <a href="http://www.apple.com/iphone/specs.html" target="_hplink">according to Apple's measurements</a>. The 4S will weigh 4.9 ounces, just a hair heavier than its predecessor, which weighed 4.8 ounces. <em>Image courtesy of Getty.</em>
The new iPhone will be available in white as well as black. <em>Image courtesy of the AP.</em>