Apple’s Phil Schiller took the stage today at Apple’s media event in Cupertino to officially unveil the iPhone 4S, Apple’s latest entry in the iPhone family. As widely expected, the iPhone 4S looks exactly like the existing iPhone 4 model – industrial design with metal band in the middle, glass front and rear panels.
The iPhone 4S is powered by Apple’s dual-core A5 chip, which will allow for graphics up to 7 times faster. To demonstrate the 4S’ graphic capabilities, Apple invited Epic Games on stage to demo Infinity Blade 2, which will be available on December 1. In spite of the iPhone 4S’ faster processor and dual-core graphics, Apple is guaranteeing 8 hours of 3G talk time, 6 hours of 3G browsing, and up to 10 hours of video/40 hours of music.
The iPhone 4S comes with a new wireless system as well – downloads are faster over 3G with up to 14.4Mbps down. The iPhone 4S is a world-phone as previously rumored, integrating both GSM and CDMA technologies in a single, updated antenna design.
The camera has been improved: the 4S has an 8 megapixel sensor shooting pics at 3264 x 2448 resolution. That’s 60% more pixels that the old iPhone’s camera. The iPhone 4S’ camera has backside illumination, the new sensor will allow the camera to gather 73% more light, and it’s faster than the iPhone 4’s old camera. The new Image Signal Processor Apple designed will also enable face detection and 26% better white balance. Apple has compared the iPhone 4S’ camera loading times to other phones, and it turned out the iPhone 4S shoots the first photo in a second, with the second picture to follow in 0.5 seconds. Apple has touted the iPhone 4S’ camera as one advanced piece of technology producing beautiful shots, which can also be used for macro photography if the user wants.
The iPhone 4S does 1080p video recording with image stabilization and temporal noise reduction. Because the 4S is more powerful than the old iPhone 4, Apple has now enabled AirPlay Mirroring to mirror the display to an Apple TV (just like the iPad 2 already does), as well as video out.
The iPhone 4S will have a 64 GB model and will be priced as follows: (with a two-year contract)
- 16 GB: $199
- 32 GB: $299
- 64 GB: $399
There’s also a new 8 GB iPhone 4 priced at $99, whilst the 8 GB iPhone 3GS will be kept free on contract.
Pre-orders for the iPhone 4S will start this Friday, October 7th. The device will go on sale in US, Canada, Australia, the UK, France, Germany, and Japan on October 14th. In the US, Sprint is a new carrier for the iPhone 4S. On October 28th, the iPhone 4S will go on sale in 22 more countries with 70 countries by the end of the year.
Official tech specs from Apple’s website:
- World phone
- UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz);
- GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
- CDMA EV-DO Rev. A (800, 1900 MHz)4
- 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi (802.11n 2.4GHz only)
- Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology
- 8-megapixel camera
- Tap to focus
- Face detection in still images
- LED flash
- Video recording, HD (1080p) up to 30 frames per second with audio
- Video stabilization
- Front camera with VGA-quality photos and video at up to 30 frames per second
- Photo and video geotagging
- Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery
- Charging via USB to computer system or power adapter
- Talk time: Up to 8 hours on 3G, up to 14 hours on 2G (GSM)
- Standby time: Up to 200 hours
- Internet use: Up to 6 hours on 3G, up to 9 hours on Wi-Fi
- Video playback: Up to 10 hours
- Audio playback: Up to 40 hours
TV and Video
- AirPlay Mirroring to Apple TV support at 720p
- Video mirroring and video out support: Up to 1080p with Apple Digital AV Adapter or Apple VGA Adapter (adapters sold separately)
- Video out support at 576p and 480p with Apple Component AV Cable; 576i and 480i with Apple Composite AV Cable (cables sold separately)
- Video formats supported: H.264 video up to 1080p, 30 frames per second, High Profile level 4.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG-4 video up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbps, 1280 by 720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format
And here’s the iPhone 4S (above) compared to the iPhone 4 (below). The iPhone 4S weighs 3 grams more than the iPhone 4 (please note that Apple is using the new 8 GB iPhone 4 model in these comparison charts).
More comparison shots: the 8 GB iPhone 4 is coming to Sprint too, and it’s clear the 4S’ camera is much improved.
The iPhone 4S has less hours of stand-by time, but one hour more of talk time on 3G.
Last, the new prices. Free iPhone 3GS (on contract) on the right.
Update: Apple has posted the official YouTube videos for the iPhone 4S and iCloud.
Apple PR follows below:
Apple today announced iPhone® 4S, the most amazing iPhone yet, packed with incredible new features including Apple’s dual-core A5 chip for blazing fast performance and stunning graphics; an all new camera with advanced optics; full 1080p HD resolution video recording; and Siri™, an intelligent assistant that helps you get things done just by asking. With the launch of iPhone 4S also comes the launch of iOS 5, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system with over 200 new features; and iCloud®, a breakthrough set of free cloud services that work with your iPhone, iPad®, iPod touch®, Mac® or PC to automatically and wirelessly store your content in iCloud and push it to all your devices.
“iPhone 4S plus iOS 5 plus iCloud is a breakthrough combination that makes the iPhone 4S the best iPhone ever,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “While our competitors try to imitate iPhone with a checklist of features, only iPhone can deliver these breakthrough innovations that work seamlessly together.”
iPhone 4S includes an all new camera with the most advanced optics of any phone. The 8 megapixel sensor has 60 percent more pixels so you can take amazing high quality photos with more detail than ever. iPhone 4S includes a new custom lens, a larger f/2.4 aperture and an advanced hybrid IR filter that produce sharper, brighter and more accurate images. The Apple-designed image signal processor in the A5 dual-core chip is built for performance, and coupled with the features built into iOS 5, makes the camera one of the fastest on any phone. With iPhone 4S, the Camera app launches much faster and the shot to shot capability is twice as fast, so you’ll never miss another shot.
iPhone 4S can also now record video in full 1080p HD resolution and with the new video image stabilization feature, you can take richer, smoother videos. Other iPhone 4S video camera improvements include increased sensitivity, sharpness and an increased ability to capture video in low light conditions. With the new iMessage service in iOS 5, you can now instantly share videos with family and friends.
iPhone 4S has the same beautifully thin glass and stainless steel design that millions of customers around the world love, while being completely redesigned on the inside. Apple’s dual-core A5 chip delivers up to twice the processing power and up to seven times faster graphics than iPhone 4, all while maintaining incredible battery life—now up to 8 hours of 3G talk time.
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.