Apple announces iPhone 4S – 8MP camera, A5 processor, no 4G

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The iPhone 4S has been announced. Sadly, that was the only big major announcement that Apple made at its press conference today. No iPhone 5, and no 4G. But just be happy that its underwhelming announcements had something right – a brand new iPhone.

The iPhone 4S has the same body as the iPhone 4, but features a dual-core A5 processor with stunning performance and graphics, and a brand new antenna design that will switch between sending and receiving data and will support both CDMA and GSM networks, making it one of the few phones that is truly global.

The camera has been radically improved with increased specs. 8-megapixel camera with 60 percent more pixels than the previous generation, and a better, custom-design lens with f/2.4 aperture. It also has a better image processor that takes better photos and faster with 0.5 seconds between shots. It also gave Phil Schiller, the guy on stage promoting the camera, a time to attack its competitors.

“I don’t know what Droid Bionic users need to do between pictures, maybe go get coffee,” he said.

Ouch.

Anyway, the iPhone 4S will support iOS 5 and will also have a new voice control interface known as “Siri”. Currently in beta, it allows a user to say a natural command such as “Where is home?” and it will find it for you. It can also pick up data from Wikipedia and WolframAlpha. The fact that it can process natural language is pretty amazing in itself as typically voice commands require a specific set of instructions and interpretation on how to pronounce something.

The iPhone 4S is available in Apple Stores on October 14 with preorders starting October 7. Launch countries will include the United States, United Kingdom and Australia – yes, you read that correctly. The subsidised pricing has not been announced by the carriers as of yet, but Apple’s own unlocked pricing is AU$799 for 16GB, $899 for 32GB and $999 for 64GB.

The iPhone 4 has been reduced to 8GB and will be sold for US$699 while the iPhone 3GS remains on sale with a lower price of US$449.

Correction: this article wrote October 17 as a pre-order date. It’s not, it’s October 7. Yeah, this is what happens when you have to write something early in the morning. Apologies – editor.