Apple Officially Announces The iPhone 4S: Same Design, All New Guts

It’s official: sixteen months after the launch of the last iteration, Apple CEO Tim Cook has just taken the stage to announce the next iPhone. It’s called the iPhone 4S.

… and it looks exactly like an iPhone 4.

Uncharacteristically for Apple, official word of the iPhone 4S actually crossed the wire a bit early when the page for Apple’s store in Ginza, Japan mentioned the device.

The whispers around the rumor mill constantly contradicted each other regarding Apple’s next iPhone. Some foresaw the iPhone 4S; others saw an iPhone 5 on the way. Some claimed it’d be both. If an iPhone 5 is on this year’s launch calendar, it hasn’t been mentioned yet at this event.

The iPhone 4S will go up for pre-order on October 7th, with the first shipments set to arrive on October 12th.

The specs disclosed so far:

  • Dual-core A5 CPU, said to be “2x as fast at CPU tasks”
  • Dual-core graphics, up to “7x faster than the previous iPhone”
  • Battery life estimates: 8 hours talk time on 3G, 14 hours on 2G. 6 hours of browsing on 3G, 9 on Wi-Fi. 10 hours of video playback, 40 hours of music.
  • Theoretical download speeds of 14.4Mbps (as opposed to 7.2 on the iPhone 4.) Interestingly, Schiller called out Motorola, LG, and HTC for calling these speeds “4G”.
  • World Phone (in other words, the one model will handle both GSM [like AT&T] and CDMA [like Verizon], and it should work well in most countries around the world)
  • 8 megapixel camera (Photo resolution: 3264 x 2448). The camera also takes advantage of image processing on the A5 chip, enabling stuff like Face detection and 26% more accurate white balance.
  • 1080p video recording with real-time noise reduction and video stabilization (!)
  • Voice-controlled personal assistant. You can ask things like “Will it rain in Cupertino?”, or “Can you find me a Greek Restaurant in Palo Alto?”, or “What’s the time in Paris?” and it’ll answer accordingly. This is the culmination of their purchase of Siri back in 2010 — and surprisingly enough, they’re keeping the “Siri” name.
  • Available in black or white
  • Pricing 16GB for $199, 32GB for $299, or 64GB for $399. This is the first time Apple has offered a 64GB iPhone.
  • Will be offered in the US by AT&T, Verizon, and most notably: Sprint!