The new iPhone 4S, which comes with 16, 32 or 64GB of storage, will be released in seven countries, including Britain, on October 14th.
The new handset looks the same as the iPhone 4 but contains considerable upgrades to its components.
Phil Schiller, Apple’s vice president of product marketing, introduced the new iPhone 4S saying: “Don’t be deceived because inside it is all new.”
The iPhone 4S runs on the same A5 processor that powers the iPad 2 and has an improved camera. It offers 8-megapixels, compared with the iPhone 4’s 5-megapixels and, Apple says, will deliver sharper pictures with better colours.
The new iPhone also has improved wireless performance, which Apple says allows it to switch between cellphone towers, during a call, to ensure the best quality. Schiller also said the iPhone 4S has faster data upload and download times.
However, Schiller said Apple had saved the best feature of the new iPhone for last. Siri, a voice-activated assistant, brings voice control to the iPhone 4S. “What we really want to do is talk to our device,” Schiller said, adding that previous voice control applications had required the user to learn specific commands.
Siri, Schiller said, allows you to ask questions in natural language. It can also do dictation. A short technology demonstration appeared to prove him correct but the proof will come when some time has been devoted to testing the new functions.
The iPhone 4S will run Apple’s new iOS 5 operating system, which will be released on October 12. iOS 5, which includes a new iMessage messaging system, improved notifications and a Newsstand app for newspapers and magazines, will also be available for iPhone 4 and 3GS, as well as the iPad and recent iPod touch models.
Tim Cook, Apple’s new CEO, introduced the event, telling the small audience: “I love Apple […] and I am very excited about this new role.”
After detailing Apple’s performance across its range of products, Cook gave way to his colleagues to introduce the company’s new products.
Analysts Ticonderoga Securities estimate that Apple could sell as many as 1.7 million iPhones when the new device launches. The iPhone 4 sold 1.5 million units when it was released last year.
Launched in 2007, the iPhone is now Apple’s most successful product. More than 20 million iPhones were sold in the second quarter of this year, despite the growing likelihood of a new model. [Apple via Mashable]