Mobile

It’s not the iPhone 5, but the iPhone 4S looks pretty amazing

Apple fans who expected an iPhone 5 today were disappointed.

Instead, all Apple unveiled was a phone that’s 2 times faster, with 7 times faster graphics rendering. It’s got a battery that’s good for a full day of talking, almost, and more than 3 solid days of listening to music.

The camera is substantially improved, with a faster, f2.4 lens and an 8 megapixel sensor, and it records 1080p HD video.

It’s a worldphone, meaning it will work on just about any cellular network around the world, both CDMA and GSM.

Oh, and you can talk to your phone, and it will answer your questions, thanks to a new feature called Siri. It knows who you’re sending messages to, where you are, and even knows who your wife is, as Apple’s Scott Forstall somewhat creepily said. The result: You can ask it for directions, currency conversions and restaurant recommendations, and you can hold down the home button and tell your phone “Remind me to call my wife when I leave work today,” and it will do it.

Leave it to Apple fans to be disappointed when their favorite company announces something that blows away just about every other competing product in technical sophistication, speed and price.

What we didn’t get today was a phone with a redesigned look or a larger screen. Some were hoping Apple would increase its screen size from the current 3.5-inch display to a more impressive 4-inch or larger display, like many Android-based competitors have done. And some were hoping Apple would move away from its obsession with glass and give its phone a slightly more sturdy back. None of those hopes panned out.

On the other hand, today’s announcement is pretty damn impressive.

There’s even something for the low end of the market: You can now get an iPhone 3GS for free (and that phone, another seemingly incremental upgrade, has sold very well over the years).

Apple releases products on its own timeline. And it doesn’t worry too much about inflating its products’ names (it could easily have decided to call today’s phone the iPhone 5, for instance).

Cook definitely exaggerated when he said “Only Apple can make amazing hardware, software and services and bring them together in an integrated experience.” Other companies can do that, too. But Apple does it very well. No matter what you call it, the iPhone 4S is an impressive product that’s well-integrated into an even more impressive suite of software and services.

As Dan Frommer writes, “If you’re disappointed by the iPhone 4S, you’re nuts.”


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