Apple iPhone 4S Event: Five Highs and Five Lows

Disappointing anyone waiting for a major Apple iPhone 5 announcement, Apple today announced the iPhone 4S – an iteration of the iPhone 4 offering more speed, a range of prices and a dramatically improved camera. Here are the high points and low points of today’s Apple Let’s Talk iPhone event in Cupertino.

The Good News:
(Images: Apple)

Speed was a big emphasis at the announcement today. The iPhone 4S, execs said, includes a dual-core A5 processor and enhanced graphics processing circuitry. It’ll bring twice the processing power and seven times better graphics than the iPhone 4, Apple claimed. We’ll see. The new iPhone, available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions will ship later this month. Sprint joins Verizon and AT&T as carriers.

iPhone 4S dual Core Processor

One of the major improvements on this iPhone 4S — an 8 megapixel camera with updated optics and faster image capture.

iPhone 4S Camera

At the event, execs demoed Siri – a voice-recognition system that Apple frames as a “personal voice assistant” for sending texts, scheduling meetings, and searching the Web with voice commands.

iPhone 4S Siri

1080p video with image stabilization. This new feature will make for better videos by reducing the shakiness in your shots.

iPhone 4S 1080p video

It’s a world phone. The 4S includes a new antenna design and radio circuitry with CDMA and GSM global capability.

iPhone 4S Global radio]

The bad news:
This is the 4G design. It isn’t thinner or significantly improved design-wise. Same as it ever was.
iPhone 4S same design as iPhone 4

No 4G capability: Apple tried hard to spin the lack of 4G on the iPhone 4S by claiming it has speeds equal to Android 4G phones. Despite this spin, the iPhone 4S will not be able to keep up with LTE-equipped phones.

iPhone 4S HSDPA speed

And the 4s sports the same 3.5 inch screen. Apple’s Retina Display  set the bar for screen technology for the past year — but now it’s lagging behind Samsung’s Super AMOLED tech. It’s too small and, with competitive 720p screens looming, pretty lackluster. The iPhone 5 — or whatever Apple calls its next major re — does nothing for us screenwise.

Also, in a world of phone screens well over four inches, the size of this screen no longer satisfies.

iPhone 4S Screen

No NFC! Google Android is pushing into the NFC market. Google Wallet offers an exciting new way to make payments with a phone – a capability that is only available for phones with NFC capabilities. This looks like a big omission.

Google Wallet NFC

Image Courtesy: Google Wallet

No T-Mobile. As expected, Sprint joined Verizon and AT&T as an iPhone partner, though. T-Mobile is now firmly in Google’s corner with Android.

t-mobile android vs iphone

Image Courtesy T-Mobile

Will Apple’s lack of a sexy iPhone 5 drive more users over to Android? We’ll be analyzing that soon. If you missed it — watch the full Apple Keynote here.

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