Apple’s iPhone 4S announcement: All you need to know

Those of you hoping to hear news about the iPhone 5 may have been a bit disappointed by today’s Apple press event, but the iPhone 4S seems to have plenty of solid improvements on the way. Iphone-topcorner

The new phones will be available for pre-order on Oct. 7 and will launch Oct. 14. Pricing will range from $199 for a 16GB version to $399 for a 64GB version.

Apple had lots of ground to cover in its event. Here’s a look at all the news, broken down by platform.

iPhone 4S

* Will use the A5 chip (the same found in the iPad 2, doubling its processing power and increasing its graphical power by up to 7 times

* Despite the new processor, the phone’s battery life is now placed at 8 hours. (You’ll get 6 hours of browsing time on 3G, 9 hours of WiFi browsing, 10 hours of video playback and 40 hours of music playback.)

* For the first time, the iPhone will shoot 1080p video (with real-time stabilization and real-time temporal noise reduction)

* The 4S’ camera will have an 8MP sensor which Apple says will get 73% more light than the iPhone 4 sensor

* The Siri voice controlled “intelligent assistant” offers promising voice interaction with the phone, letting you simply ask questions, rather than Googling information or manually sending a meeting request.

* The iPhone 4’s price is dropping to $99

* The iPhone 8GB 3GS will now be offered for free by carriers

* Add Sprint to the networks who now carry the iPhone. T-Mobile is now the only major U.S. carrier lacking the device.

iOS 5

* The new operating system for iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches will ship Oct. 12

* It will be a free download

* New features include iMessage (a messaging service between iOS users that’s pushed to all of their devices, upgrades to GameCenter and easier access to the camera (i.e. you can now get to it from the lock screen and can pinch to zoom)

* iCloud, which will ship simultaneous with the new OS will allow auto-syncing of iTunes, photos and documents, along with contacts, calendars and mail.

Hard numbers

(Apple tends to use these events to give updates on sales, etc. It’s a drag on the presentation, but the numbers are often eye-popping – though keep in mind they’re often skewed in Apple’s favor. That said, according to Apple:)

* The iPod now controls 78 percent of the portable music player market

* Since 2001, they’ve sold 300 million iPods worldwide.

* 45 million iPods were sold in the last year (half to first time iPod buyers)

* iPhone has seen 125 percent year-over-year growth

* Apple has sold more than 250 million iPads

* The App store has roughly 500,000 apps, currently – with over 18 billion downloaded so far.

* Users are now downloading more than 1 billion apps per month

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