No iPhone 5: Voice-recognition and upgrades roll out as iPhone 4S

Rumors of the iPhone 5 fell short. Apple announced instead the iPhone 4S with feature upgrades and the addition of voice-recognition software. Here's the scoop.

It turns out the announcement in Cupertino was not the iPhone 5, as generally believed, but a significant upgrade in features that Apple is releasing as iPhone 4S.

iPhone 4S offers the Siri voice-recognition app, which among the upgrades and other features, is the one designed to elicit all the oohs and ahs. While Apple describes it as your "intelligent assistant" that responds to your voice commands, my guess is it will disappoint those who expect a personal assistant to be able to fetch them a non-fat latte.

Siri facts in a nutshell:

  • Allows you to set reminders and appointments via voice
  • Able to to respond to and use more human-like, natural language
  • Supports English, French and German to start, with more languages to be added later

Other talking points from the presentation:

  • The 4S will be available on AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint; pre-orders to begin Oct. 7 and launching on Oct. 14 (U.S., Canada, Australia, U.K., France, Germany, and Japan)
  • Revamped camera: Now 8-megapixel, backside-illuminated CMOS sensor (3,264 x 2,448 resolution), 60 percent more pixels, and it snaps photos a third quicker than before
  • The same processor as the iPad 2, a dual-core A5 chip
  • Better battery life

Pricing options for the 4S:

  • 16GB for $199
  • 32GB for $299
  • 64GB for $399
  • The iPhone 4 moves to $99.
  • The iPhone 3GS is now free.

So what do you think of today's announcement? Underwhelmed? Can't wait to tell your phone what to do?



Selena has been at TechRepublic since 2002. She is currently a Senior Editor with a background in technical writing, editing, and research. She edits Data Center, Linux and Open Source, Apple in the Enterprise, The Enterprise Cloud, Web Designer, and...

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