Yesterday Apple sent out some private invites to their London Covent Garden Store & their US California Headquarters saying "Let's Talk iPhone". At 6pm GMT press gathered at Apple Covent Garden to see Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president, unveil the new iPhone 4S via videolink.
The new iPhone 4S looks identical to the iPhone 4 but runs on the same 1GHz A5 dual core processor as the iPad 2, with increased WiFi speeds and an hour more talk time with the battery. It also comes with both GSM and CDMA radio capability, making it a world phone device. It also utilizes the new iOS 5 operating system with a unified notifications section that lets you view your notifications across e-mail, text, calender & social networking sites in one place, a new messaging service called iMessage, Twitter integrated deep into the OS so that using Twitter is a lot quicker and easier and iCloud, which syncs all of your information and preferences, including your files & music, across your devices as you wish through a wireless connection. The camera has also been upgraded to 8 megapixels instead of 5 and the video recorder now records in full HD at 1080p and 30fps.
The biggest new addition is Siri, a voice-recognition software integrated into the new phone across the entire operating system which answers questions, carries out commands and even dictates anywhere where text can be input. Siri was first unveiled by independent software company D7 back in 2009, after which Apple snapped it up and bought it and now it's being directly implemented into the iPhone. Siri was previously available for free download as a stand-alone app that has now been removed, making it exclusive to the iPhone 4S at the moment.
iOS 5 is due for release on October 12th while the iPhone 4S is scheduled for release two days later on October 14th in the US and UK, as well as Canada, Australia, France, Germany & Japan, and available for pre-order from the 7th of October. It will come in 16, 32 and 64 GB models priced from $199 to $399 on contract.
Here is a side-by-side comparison between the iPhone 4S, the iPhone 4 and another leading smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S II: