Updated 4.41 pm E.S.T.
Apple unveiled its much-anticipated iPhone 4S on Tuesday during its first product launch since Steve Jobs resigned as CEO in late August. The new phone, which features a new camera and faster processor to handle graphics, will ship on October 14th in the United States, and will be available in 70 countries by the end of the year, according to reports from the press conference at its headquarters in Cupertino, California.
The new iPhone will work on both GSM and CDMA networks, reports the Wall Street Journal, which means, finally, that people who travel can use it anywhere in the world.
Prices for for the iPhone 4S are: $199 for 16 gigabytes of storage, $299 for 32 GB, and $399 for 64 GB with two-year phone contracts. Apple is also making its iPhone 4 with 8 GB available for for $99.
As anticipated in the rumor-mill leading up to the launch of the new phone, the iPhone 4S also has a new antenna design, the Journal reports.
Apple also unveiled an amazing new voice-control system for the iPhone on Tuesday, which the New York Times’ Sam Grobart characterizes as “chilling,” because it can respond to questions such as “Who Are You?”
When asked who it was, Siri, the new voice command system on the iPhone responded: “I am a humble personal assistant.”
The new phone features an 8 megapixel camera, 8 hours of talk time, 3 hours of 3G browsing and 9 hours on WiFi, according to TheNextWeb.
Meanwhile, This Is My Next has compiled a handy chart comparing the key features of the iPhone 4, the 4S and the Android-powered Galaxy S II.
Apple product launches are always filled with factoids that are designed to impress. Apple’s new CEO Tim Cook delivered a few of those on Tuesday:
— 93 percent of Fortune 500 companies are now testing the iPhone, according to VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi.
— 18 billion apps have been downloaded from Apple’s App Store.
— Customers are downloading a billion apps a month and Apple has paid $3 billion to application developers.
— 100,000 developers are developing on IOS5 and it has 200 new features.
Here’s what Apple’s execs didn’t mention on Tuesday at their event: Despite all the hype, sales of Android-powered handsets around the world are more than double than those of the iPhone for the second quarter of this year, according to market research firm Gartner.
Cook framed the market in a different light on Tuesday. He noted that iPhone only has a five percent share of the overall handset market, and that ultimately, he thinks all mobile phones will be smartphones. So the implication is that there is still lots of room to grow.