Apple Has Spoken: It’s Just an iPhone 4S

“How do you follow up a hit product like the iPhone 4? … With the iPhone 4s,” says Apple’s new CEO Tim Cook during the highly anticipated iPhone event, which just concluded.

So there you go, the giant has spoken.  And for many of you expecting the iPhone 5 to come out today, Apple didn’t have much to say.  The updated iPhone boasts the same retina display with a metal band around the exterior.  It will run on the same A5 chip as the iPad, and will be 7x faster graphics-wise than the previous iPhone, making it an amazing device for games.

Epic Games’ Mike Capps then takes the spotlight to talk about Infinity Blade and the upcoming Infinity Blade 2. The iPhone 4S has amazing graphics thanks to the Dynamic Light Rays added to the device.  Epic Games has been using the technology in Gear of Wars, a popular demo partner for iOS devices.

The iPhone 4S will last for 8 hours of 3G talk time and 10 hours of video.  The antenna can switch between “transmit and receive,” enabling it to have better quality call and faster data transfers, which may be useful considering the lack of 4G support. Download speeds are twice as fast as its immediate predecessor, and as expected, it’s a combo of CDMA and GSM.

Apple’s also got a new camera. They’re not competing with phone cameras anymore but true point and shoot cameras.  They used an 8-megapixel sensor that shoots 3264 x 2448 resolution, plus backside illumination with a sensor to gather 72 percent more light. Apple also placed hybrid IR filter in the iPhone 4S camera for better color accuracy, and a 5 element lens for 30 percent added sharpness, f/2.4 aperture.  There’s also face detection capabilities and better auto-white balance. It only takes 1.1 second to take the first picture and .5 seconds to take the second thereafter.

The iPhone 4S also shoots 1080p HD video, featuring video image stabilization and temporal noise reduction.  Apple’s bringing AirPlay mirroring as well.  Schiller also proudly announced Siri, an intelligent assistant that helps users get things done just by asking.

“What we really want to do is just talk to our device and we want to talk to it any way we’d like,” Scott Forstall says during the demo. Here’s a sample conversation of Siri and Forstall, Apple’s SVP of iPhone software:

“Do I need a raincoat?”
Siri: It sure looks like rain today.

“What’s the time in Paris.”
Siri gives an accurate time and shows a clock.
“Wake me up tomorrow at 6AM”

How many days until Christmas?
82, in case you were wondering.

“Who are you, Siri?”
“I am a humble personal assistant.”

You can also ask Siri to read text messages, or search how NASDAQ is doing, or remind you to call your wife after work. It can’t do everything, but it sure is reliable for what it can do. Siri will be available in English, French and German.  More languages will follow.

“When you look at each of these things, they’re industry-leading in and of themselves, but what puts them out front is how they’re engineered to work together so well. Only Apple can make such powerful hardware and services like this and bring them together. I am so proud of Apple and all the people that worked so hard to make these things a reality.”

Here’s the price for iPhone 4S: 64GB for $399, 32 for $299, and 16 for $199. It will be available on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, then it will hit 70 countries and 100 carriers worldwide.

Forstall boasts that developers love for iOS 5, and it’s got over 200 features this time around.  He only demonstrated 10 though. It’ll be available as a free update on October 12. iCloud, which comes out on the same day, manages photo storage and distribution. Documents synced to iCloud are updated across devices.