Tech thoughts, early edition: Apple’s iPhone 4S/iOS 5 news (and other tidbits)

Apple logo
Flickr Creative Commons photo by markhillary (CC BY)

On Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook gave Apple’s first post-Steve Jobs keynote address, announcing the new updates for Apple’s portable media/mobile phone products. However, the announcements were less than exciting, being mostly incremental upgrades and some emphasis on the new cloud-based features. A full summary of today’s announcements are on Engadget.

My observations:

  • The iPhone 4S (the newest iPhone model’s name) mostly features a general spec bump, a price drop on its predecessor models (with contracts, the 3GS is now free, while the 4 is US$99; both only in 8GB models), a nicer 8 megapixel camera, and being built with CDMA and GSM compatibility (instead of separate models). There’s also integration with a voice activation/command phone-wide system, Siri. Unless one’s phone contract is up, this isn’t worth paying an early termination fee to buy.
  • The iPod line has gotten similar spec bumps, but is largely¬† unchanged. The Touch now starts at 16GB for US$199, and goes up to 64GB at US$399. The Touch, like the iPhone, is now also available in white. Meanwhile, the Nano’s main makeover is gaining better touchscreen controls, with larger sliding icons and various watch skins (per its popular use as a wristwatch), including a Mickey Mouse one. Unlike the rumors, the Shuffle and the Classic have been given stays of execution, which should thrill large capacity iPod fans, though they’re both being de-emphasized by Apple (no price or spec changes; the Classic is still 160GB for US$249).
  • The newest version of iOS, iOS 5, will be available as a free upgrade for iPhone 3GS and 4 owners.
  • Sprint is gaining the iPhone, which completes all of the major national US carriers. T-Mobile won’t have the iPhone, but I assume they’re counting on their ill-considered merger with AT&T going through.

And that’s about it. Guess Apple will have everyone’s attention in January for their revised hardware announcements…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *