Apple's much-anticipated "Let's Talk iPhone" event is just wrapping up and all eyes were glued to Tim Cook as attendees waited for him to reveal the new iPhone 5. Instead, he announced the iPhone 4S, an advanced version of the iPhone 4 with a list of new features, but no new exterior designs.
New iPhone Features
The rumors prior to Apple's iPhone announcement were correct. The new iPhone will have an A5 processor chip (faster performance), a longer battery life, two antennas for transmitting and receiving (better call quality) and an 8 mega pixel camera.
The camera in the iPhone 4S has backside illumination for 73 percent more light. There's also improved camera capture speed and an IR filter for sharper images. Colors will be brighter and more accurate, and the video camera will be in 1080 HD.
Siri for iPhone is Your New Best Friend
What Tim Cook was especially proud of a was an artificial intelligence (AI) function called, "Siri." This new iPhone feature employs voice recognition that allows users to treat their iPhones like a personal assistant.
For example, users can interact with Siri to inquire about the weather, set alarms, check different time zones, find stock prices, find restaurants, get directions, send text messages, look at calendars, schedule meetings, set reminders, search the web and look up definitions. Whew!
Tim Cook actually did a live demo that demonstrated the success of each of these applications. He also demonstrated a dictation feature for the iPhone that allows people to dictate emails in English, French and German. Again, the live demo was surprisingly accurate. Currently, dictation is in beta.
iPhone 4S Pricing and Carriers
Sprint gets the iPhone! iPhones can now be used through AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. With a two-year contract, the new iPhone will be priced as follows: iPhone 4S 16G is $199, 32G is $299 and 64G is $399. The iPhone 4 will be available for $99 and the iPhone 3GS will be free. That's correct, free!
When Will the new iPhone Be Available?
Pre-orders for the iPhone start on October 7th, and the actual iPhone will be available on October 14th.
The Other Apple Products
Even though the focus was on the new iPhone and settling the iPhone 5 rumors, Tim Cook and the rest of the team did spend a fair amount of time discussing the rest of the suite of Apple products.
iPad sales have taken off and Tim Cook boasted that airlines and hospital have adapted the iPad in record numbers. In addition, he said that 92 percent of Fortune 500 companies are using the iPad in some form or another.
The MacBook Pro and Air are being adopted rapidly and users are embracing Mac OS X Lion with open arms. The iPod Nano will have several new features integrated with fitness type applications that will no longer require the use of external shoe dongles.
Finally, Eddy Cue spent time discussing iCloud, which will be free for iOS5 and Lion users. Apple iCloud gives users 5GB free to synch up music, media, pictures, documents, apps, books, contacts and more. In addition, all Apple hardware automatically integrates between devices for seamless integration.
Was the Apple "Let's Talk iPhone" Event a Success?
People were expecting Tim Cook to come up with a new product, specifically the iPhone 5. It's a bit of a disappointment that the iPhone 4S was the result of the iPhone announcement.