Has Apple Done Enough With The iPhone 4S?
Wednesday, 5th October, 2011
So Apple has finally revealed that it is not planning to bring out an iPhone 5 in 2011, preferring instead to call its latest pocket mini-puter the iPhone 4S. But hey, what's in a number?
A lot, it would seem, as Apple fans are already mourning the fact that neither the much-rumoured iPhone 5 nor their beloved ex-CEO Steve Jobs made a showing at this week's press conference at the company's Cupertino HQ.
In fact, new Apple CEO Tim Cook was the genial host for the company's latest iOS and iPhone reveals. After lots of talk about pretty much everything but the iPhone, Cook finally got down to business.
And as we now know - there was no reveal of a new iPhone 5, with Apple instead choosing to release an update to the current-gen iPhone 4 called iPhone 4S.
"People have been wondering how you follow the iPhone," said Apple's senior vice president of product marketing, Phil Schiller. "I'm really proud to tell you about the brand new iPhone 4S."So here's what you need to know:
While there's nothing new on the outside, Apple says it's what's on the inside that counts.
It's twice as fast as the iPhone 4 thanks to the iPad 2's dual-core A5 processor now taking residence under its glass exterior, and the dual-core graphics are seven times faster too. This means that 3D games will run beautifully on the new 4S.
Call quality, we are promised, will be noticeably better too - a real bugbear to date with current iPhone users - and the video recording has been upgraded to full 1080p HD.
The camera has also been boosted to an eight-megapixel sensor, with a much quicker response time when compared with most other smartphones on the market. A welcome addition, for sure, but hardly a killer feature to make someone choose an iPhone 4S over the latest Android handsets on the market, already boasting a highly specced camera.All you need to know about Apple's new mobile operating system
In fact, a lot of the features in Apple's new handset feel like it's playing catch up with what's already available, and what's possibly already in people's bags and pockets. What's new that will convince you to buy one when it hits the shelves on 14 October?Is Siri enough?
Easily the most unique feature for the 4S was the unveiling of the new Siri intelligent personal assistant - an impressive (if slightly creepy) voice-controlled pretend human lady who lives in your phone and gives you any information you need from the web. Something that manages to be both insanely brilliant and deeply frightening at the same time.
However, after three or four misunderstood requests ("Is it hot in London?" "Yes, around 5pm") surely most of us will tire of shouting our inane questions into our iPhone 4S on the packed train home, and return to those tried-and-tested ways of simply typing our query into a search engine or asking people on Twitter or Facebook.
Is Siri really enough to steer consumers away from the other comparably specced - and no doubt cheaper - options on the market? Is the era of the constant searching for an 'iPhone killer' finally over?
Dino Burbidge, from leading app developer Noise Inc gives his thoughts on the subject: "There will be the obvious speculation that there was never an iPhone 5. Or that it's because Steve wasn't in charge. Or that there must be another announcement coming soon. However, I fear the truth is more mundane.
"This is all there is. It's the iPhone 4 with decent reception that we should have had all along. It's called 'getting the basics right' in my book. What kind of muppet will fork out good money and a 24-month contract on something that is clearly a stop-gap upgrade? I'll wait, thanks.
"Apple should think about updating their Think Different slogan to something more realistic, like Bear With Us."