The wait is finally over and the iPhone 4S has been announced with dual-core A5 processor, 8 megapixel and much improved camera, Siri intelligent voice assistant, iOS 5, and iCloud. Launches on Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint with 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB sizes for $199, $299, and $399. Available for pre-order October 7th and is available on the 14th.
Full coverage of the event
Tim Cook, the new CEO of Apple, did the product announcements for the first time for Apple. He started off going over retail, what Apple has achieved with its stores, especially in China. Apple now has 357 retail stores in 11 countries and more are coming.
He then started highlighting the success of the Mac. So far, six million copies of Mac OS X Lion have been downloaded which is 80 percent more than Snow Leopard. Lion was installed on 10 percent of the installed base of Mac users in only two week. Tim highlighted how that same feat took Microsoft twenty weeks with Windows 7.
The MacBook Air continues to grow at an incredible rate and the MacBook Pro and iMac are the number one selling notebook and desktop computer in the United States. The Mac Platform has grown by 23 percent since last year compared to only 4 percent growth by the PC. Apple is also reaching 60 million Mac users. Apple has also increased its market share to an incredible 23 percent.
Tim then highlighted the success of the iPod. Apple controls 78 percent of the portable music player market. Apple has achieved sales of over 300 million iPods. From July 2010 to June 2011, Apple sold 45 million iPods and almost half of those people are purchasing an iPod for the first time.
Tim Cook then moved on to highlight the success of iTunes and the iTunes Store. There are now 20 million songs on iTunes with 16 billion songs downloaded. This easily puts iTunes as the number of music store in the world.
After covering iTunes, he moved on to the iPhone. The iPhone 4 now makes up 50 percent of the iPhone market. Growth for the iPhone is also incredible at 125 percent year-over-year. The iPhone now controls 5 percent of the overall mobile phone market which includes not only smartphones but feature phones as well. Apple is looking forward to all handsets becoming smartphones.
Tim Cook then tells the audience that there will be more on the iPhone coming up. He then moves on to the iPad. The success of the iPad in education was highlighted both in elementary, high school, and colleges. iPad is even replacing 40 pound flight books.
The iPad is succeeding incredibly well in healthcare as well with 80 percent of the hospitals in the United States either testing or piloting iPad. Fortune 500 companies are also testing and deploying iPads in 92 percent of those companies. iPad holds the number one tablet title with 74 percent of the tablet market. Apple has now sold over 250 million iOS devices. That includes iPhones, iPods, and iPads.
Scott Forstall is up next highlighting the success of iOS. The mobile installed base for iOS is 43 percent while Android is 33 percent, RIM is 17 percent of other mobile operating systems make up the remaining 7 percent.
There are now over 500,000 apps in the App Store of which 140,000 are specifically for the iPad. He highlighted how this gives the iPad an incredible advantage. The App Store has seen customers download 18 billion apps which is more than a billion apps per month. Apple has now paid out over $3 billion to iOS developers.
He is now highlighting the Cards app where you can create your own greeting cards with pictures and then Apple prints them out and mails them. Apple even sends you a push notification when the card is delivered. All of this at just $2.99 in the United States and $4.99 in the rest of the world. The Cards app will be a free download on October 12th.
Next up is iOS 5. He highlights that 100,000 developers have been using iOS 5 and love it. The top 10 features of iOS 5 are up next starting with Notification Center. He continues with examples of how Notifications work.
iMessage & Reminders
Then comes iMessage which is the messaging service between iOS users. It is pushed to all devices over either 3G or WiFi which means you can send on your iPhone and receive on your iPad or whatever works best for you. Reminders is the new to-do and reminder app that is also location aware which means it will notify you when you are close to where a reminder is relevant.
Twitter & Newsstand
Twitter is now integrated into iOS 5 which means you can share right from native apps including Photos. Next up is Newsstand for periodicals. These include lots of major magazines and background downloads for new issues.
The Camera app is highlighted next which can be accessed right from the lock screen. Just double tap the home button and tap the camera icon in the bottom right corner next to the lock slider. The Volume Up button on the side now works as a shutter release as well.
Next up is Game Center with 67 million accounts. It has also been updated with the ability to add photos of friends, achievement points, and friend recommendations.
Safari & Reading List
Safari has been updated with Reading List so you can add articles to read later in a simple, readable format without all the extra page information. It’s great for both the iPhone and iPad. Reading List also sync between iOS devices so you can read everywhere. Full tabbed browsing is also coming to the iPad.
Then comes the updated Mail app which has added rich text formatting, indentation, and flagging. iOS 5 is also the first version of iOS to activate and be able to backup all without a computer. He also highlighted over-the-air iOS updates.
iOS 5 on October 12th
iOS 5 will ship October 12th and support the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, iPad, and iPod touch (3rd and 4th generation).
Next up is Eddy Cue to talk about iCloud. Everything about iCloud is integrated into the apps and it is free. iCloud allows you to download and re-download music at any time on any device.
Camera Roll allows your photos to sync to all your devices through iCloud. Documents in the Cloud also allows your documents to be synced to iCloud and available everywhere.
iCloud also launches October 12th along side iOS 5. Apps, books, backup, all in iCloud.
Find My Friends
Another new feature is Find My Friends. A family for example can opt to share their locations with each other and you can see them on a map. He gives examples like your friend is lost and shares their location with you so you can direct them on the map. You can also invite friends to your location with a temporary invitation that expires. Parental controls are also part of Find My Friends.
iCloud works with iOS 5 and Lion and is free with 5GB of online data. More data is available for purchase.
iTunes Match is up next with the ability to get the songs from iTunes that you have purchased elsewhere. It scans your library and adds what it needs to iTunes and uploads the remaining songs. It then will stream immediately and intelligently store the songs on the device. All matched songs are upgraded to 256 kBps AAC DRM-free files.
iTunes Match will go live the end of October for $24.99 per year. It launches first in the United States and they’re working to bring it to other countries.
Phil Schiller is up next to talk about the iPod. He starts off with covering the success of the iPod and moves into the iPod nano. A bunch of updates this year to the software including Nike+ working out of the box with no separate sensor.
He is highlighting 16 new clocks including some comical ones like a Mickey Mouse watch. The iPod nano is $149 for the 16GB and $129 for the 8GB. These are the most affordable iPod nano models ever.
Next up is the iPod touch which is the most popular portable gaming device. It is now running iOS 5. He highlights iMessage and how it works on all iOS 5 devices including the iPod touch. iCloud works with the iPod touch as well.
The iPod touch models are now $199 for the 8GB, $299 for the 32GB, and $399 for the 64GB model. All will be available October 12th.
Next up is what everyone has been waiting for, the iPhone. The new model is the iPhone 4S.
The iPhone 4S features the A5 chip with dual-core graphics which is seven times faster than the previous iPhone. Phil then highlights games performance and new upcoming games such as Infiinity Blade II coming out December 1.
Battery life is great with the iPhone 4S. It has 8 hours of 3G talk time, 6 hours of browsing, nine hours with WiFi, 10 hours of video, and 40 hours of music.
The wireless performance is improved. The antennas can dynamically switch between two antennas for transmit and receive. Data speeds are now boosted to 14.4Mbps for HSDPA.
The iPhone 4S is now also both GSM and CDMA instead of separate models. This makes the iPhone a perfect world phone for the first time.
The iPhone 4S now has a new camera which is 8 megapixels (3264 x 2448). This is a 60 percent improvement in pixels over the iPhone 4. The iPhone 4 is the number one camera used on Flickr.
The sensor is now a backside illuminated CMOS which means 73 percent more light. It also has 33 percent faster capture. The new camera has a Hybrid IR filter, better color accuracy, and more color uniformity.
The lens is also much better and will go down to f/2.4 and features five optical elements in the assembly. It features 30 percent more sharpness.
A new Image Signal Processor (ISP) offers 26 percent better white balance and face detection. This ISP was designed by Apple. The iPhones 4S is much faster at taking pictures. It is 1.1 seconds for the first pictures and 0.5 seconds for each additional picture.
Next up is video recording on the iPhone 4S. HD video recording is even better with 1080p with video image stabilization and temporal noise reduction. Color and saturation are greatly improved.
The iPhone 4S now has AirPlay mirroring which allows gaming on your TV. The iPhone 4S is entirely new on the inside. AirPlay mirroring will be available on both the iPhone 4S and iPad 2.
Phil Schiller now continues after stating the iPhone 4S is the most amazing iPhone yet. There is a new feature all about voice.
Siri Intelligent Voice Assistant
Siri is the new “Intelligent Assistant” that you can ask things to and it responds. Just hold down the home button and Siri will listen. You can ask things like “what is the weather like today” and Siri will respond with the forecast and shows it to you on the screen. You can even ask detailed questions like “do I need a raincoat” and Siri will respond that “it looks like rain today.”
You can ask Siri to set an alarm or a reminder or what restaurants are best where we are.
Siri is incredibly powerful and allows you to do things like ask it to read your text messages and then dictate a reply. You can ask Siri if your schedule is free and then have Siri schedule a meeting on a particular day and at a specific time.
Siri will create a reminder for you. You can also ask it questions like “how many days are there until Christmas” and Siri will give back 82 days as well as 2 months 21 days, 11 weeks 5 days, 58 weekdays and 0.22 years.
Siri will do dictation and. The processing of all this is happening on Apple’s servers so a data connection is required.
Siri gets better and better as you use it. Siri is in beta and initially supports English (US, UK, and Australia), French, and German.
Siri uses natural language, is conversation, contextual, personal, and works with built-in apps. It allows for dictation anywhere and works over 3G and WiFi.
iPhone 4S on October 14
The iPhone 4S is available in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB sizes for $199, $299, and $399 with carrier agreement. The iPhone 3GS is now free on contract and the iPhone 4 is $99 for the 8GB with contract.
Pre-orders start this Friday the 7th with availability on October 14th. Launching on Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint.
On October 28th, it will launch in 22 more countries, and 70 countries by the end of the year. This will be the fastest rollout ever to over 100 carriers.
Tim Cook wrapped up the event stating how proud of Apple he is.
A special thanks to Engadget for their great coverage with screenshots where we were able to follow the event for our readers.