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iPhone 4S  (Source: DailyTech)
A lack of hardware updates leaves customers and investors disappointed in the new iPhone 4S

Through a good portion of 2011, many awaited the big iPhone 5 announcement with the traditional amped-up presentation to show off all the new features an Apple fan could hope for. Instead, what they got was the iPhone 4S and a presentation that lacked the charisma of former CEO Steve Jobs.

The iPhone 4S, which was announced yesterday, does give customers a few changes to look forward to. It's trading in the single-core A4 processor for a dual-core A5 processor. Also, it has 8-megapixel camera with backside illumination (the iPhone 4 had a 5MP camera), the new mobile operating system iOS 5, and it can operate on CDMA and GSM networks.

A main addition to the 4S is the voice assistant called Siri. Siri has been a third-party app that could be downloaded for iOS devices, but now, a more fluid and user-friendly version of the app is integrated into the iPhone 4S. The app was removed from Apple's App Store after presenting the 4S yesterday, and the servers were taken offline. The Siri servers, however, are back online with the following message: "I've been replaced! The new Siri is even smarter and better looking than me, and waiting for you on the iPhone 4S. I'll be leaving for home Oct. 15th. Until can I help you?"

While a newer, better version of Siri voice command is a nice addition to the 4S; it may not be enough to encourage current iPhone 4 users to switch to the latest addition to the iPhone family. Many were disappointed by the lack of external changes, saying they had hoped for a thinner phone with a larger screen. The iPhone's appearance has not changed in over a year, unless you count the release of the white iPhone 4.

"It's been 16 months and all you've got is an A5 processor in the existing iPhone 4," said Colin Gillis, an analyst with BGC Partners. "It's a mild disappointment, but they're still going to be selling millions of units."

The iPhone 4S may sell during the upcoming holiday season due to the expiration of two-year 3GS contracts, but Android-powered smartphones are at the top of their game and Apple really could have used a home run with a new device to intensify competition. Android-powered smartphones had voice command features integrated into their systems already, and the hardware/software is continuously changing. Apple's decision to not update hardware in the 4S may lead to more Android-related purchases, putting the iPhone maker behind by the time it releases the iPhone 5.

According to a Nielsen study, Android-powered smartphones are No. 1 in the U.S. with a 43 percent market share leaving the iPhone at No. 2 with a 28 percent market share.

Consumers and investors are disappointed in the 4S release, but Apple has some other tricks up its sleeve. Along with the 4S announcement came the news of a $99 iPhone 4 and a free iPhone 3GS for those who sign long-term contracts with their wireless carriers. This will appeal to low-end markets and give Apple an edge in a whole new area.

"Apple is hitting Nokia where it's vulnerable," said Michael Yoshikami, CEO of YCMNet Advisors. "How many billions of people in emerging markets would love to have an iPhone? These are a growing demographic."

The iPhone 4S will be available starting at $199 on October 14.

Sources: Tech Crunch, Reuters, Reuters

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What ticks me off
By viewwin on 10/5/2011 10:49:17 AM , Rating: 5
My only real complaint was the lack of an increase in screen size.

RE: What ticks me off
By johnbuk on 10/5/2011 11:07:48 AM , Rating: 5
I don't get all the negativity about the announcements. I'm an Android guy and I wasn't going to get whatever it was they announced. But the hardware upgrades (short of no increase in screen size) are pretty significant.
I think their only 2 mistakes with this were that they didn't increase the screen size a bit and go ahead and call it an iPhone 5.

RE: What ticks me off
By NicodemusMM on 10/5/2011 11:16:49 AM , Rating: 5
I believe that another mistake they made was no 4G/LTE/WiMax support. Maybe Apple is starting to apply the same policy they use for their desktops. Make it elegant, over-hype it and use hardware at least one generation behind.

Granted 4G tech isn't as widespread yet, but iPhone users are particularly voracious when it comes to bandwidth consumption. I think implementing it would have given this phone a decent boost and avoided some of the criticism.

RE: What ticks me off
By Brandon Hill on 10/5/2011 11:21:41 AM , Rating: 5
I think Anand explained the "no-LTE" decision pretty well here:

RE: What ticks me off
By NicodemusMM on 10/5/2011 11:32:26 AM , Rating: 4
Thanks. I didn't see that.

I think my point still stands, though... Apple is the only major manufacturer without LTE. However, I also understand that this phone will still sell without the latest and greatest. Apple products usually do.

RE: What ticks me off
By MrBlastman on 10/5/2011 11:34:41 AM , Rating: 4
They always have... and out of jealously, they have a history for suing others that try to do similar but in a better way. They've been strongarming since the 1980's. That's a long time to not learn new tricks.

RE: What ticks me off
By retrospooty on 10/5/2011 11:47:12 AM , Rating: 2
"I think my point still stands, though... Apple is the only major manufacturer without LTE"

Exactly... The AT article explains why, sure. Now we know why, great! But all other manufacturers have managed to do it many months ago, except Apple. Now they will be over a year late.

RE: What ticks me off
By Wolfpup on 10/5/11, Rating: -1
RE: What ticks me off
By retrospooty on 10/5/2011 1:28:59 PM , Rating: 2
"I don't see why it matters"

It doesnt if you dont want 4G speeds. It does if you do... Its just odd that Apple, who tout's itself as an industry leader and innovator cannot figure out a 4G solution like all other major manufacturers have. Moto, LG, Samsung and HTC all managed to figure it out many months ago.

RE: What ticks me off
By robinthakur on 10/6/2011 5:51:40 AM , Rating: 2
Well, you say that, but they all have shocking battery life compared to what you get with an IP4/4S. Apple customers wouldn't put up with it and it wouldn't exactly be a great improvement to suddenly have LESS standby time. Also, 4G networks outside of America are not exactly plentiful, so I don't see it as being as big a deal as it was when the iPhone 1 didn't even have 3G. Nobody I know complains that data on the iPhone4 is slow (in the UK).

RE: What ticks me off
By dark matter on 10/6/2011 8:10:47 AM , Rating: 2
Isn't that a consumers choice to make?

And given that most adopters of the iPhone were techies in the first place, don't you find it strange they didn't give them an option to go 4G.

All in all your excuses are rather lame.

RE: What ticks me off
By smegz on 10/6/2011 1:27:45 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, but it wouldn't be a consumers choice would it? With the other phone manufacturers you will get 3G and 4G phones from the same mfg on basically the same hardware (one with a 4G radio and one without.) With Apple, it's what's new or nothing. So, were they to release a 4G iPhone with less battery life but crazy fast speeds you would either have to get the phone that will die fast or the old phone with the old hardware. Not really a choice when you're looking to upgrade.

Since Apple is all about the overall experience I don't see a 4G iPhone until they can get both speed and battery life together without sacrificing design ( putting a 4G chip in on current tech would make for a fatter phone.) This would lead to market fragmentation in the Apple market which there really has never been. So, no 4G is actually a good thing...for now.

RE: What ticks me off
By spread on 10/6/2011 5:20:13 PM , Rating: 2
> Isn't that a consumers choice to make?

Most consumers don't even know what the difference between 2G and 3G is. They just want more monster pixels and jiggy bits in their phone dammnit!

RE: What ticks me off
By adiposity on 10/5/2011 12:38:36 PM , Rating: 1
Yes, but as an Android user, I'm not using LTE, either. Why?, because Motorola didn't put it in the Droid 3--and I wanted a keyboard, and a fairly thin phone.

I was disappointed, but all the LTE devices are fat and drain battery life. Sure, the are Android handsets with LTE, but IMO, the LTE ones are worse than their non-LTE counterparts.

I'm waiting for a process shrink, just like Apple.

RE: What ticks me off
By adiposity on 10/5/2011 12:39:06 PM , Rating: 2
*there are

RE: What ticks me off
By ancient46 on 10/6/2011 12:42:09 PM , Rating: 2
Are you sure this is the whole reason? Maybe it is also that they have not yet found a way to sue other companies for using "their" LTE.

RE: What ticks me off
By bug77 on 10/5/2011 11:22:00 AM , Rating: 3
Eh, put this phone near any of the upcoming Android sets and you'll see a very different story.

RE: What ticks me off
By retrospooty on 10/5/2011 11:50:05 AM , Rating: 3
"Eh, put this phone near any of the upcoming Android sets and you'll see a very different story. "

This is because of variety. On Android, you can get small, med, large screens. Models with and without keyboards, 4g, removable battery etc. With the iphone you get one model. Now the latest iteration of that one model doesn't stack up well with the competition.

RE: What ticks me off
By Reclaimer77 on 10/5/2011 12:21:11 PM , Rating: 1
Of course the updates are "significant", the last time they made a phone was 15 freaking months ago! I should hope the hardware is upgraded. In Android terms 15 months is like 3 years worth of phones upgrades.

For a new iPhone to live up to all the incessant hype we've been fed, it has to have MORE than routine hardware upgrades. There's simply no innovation at all in this design. It's totally underwhelming. They just threw some budget underclocked iPad parts into the same form factor.

RE: What ticks me off
By NellyFromMA on 10/5/2011 1:10:10 PM , Rating: 2
Ironic, seeing as how the iPad was born practically in reverse of the process you just described, lol.

RE: What ticks me off
By Reclaimer77 on 10/5/2011 2:52:41 PM , Rating: 1
Ironic, seeing as how the iPad was born practically in reverse of the process you just described, lol.

lol exactly. Their designs and iOS are just SO boring. The iPhone is a giant iPod touch, and the iPad is just a giant iPhone. But apparently that's "innovative".

RE: What ticks me off
By drycrust3 on 10/5/2011 9:09:55 PM , Rating: 2
Their designs and iOS are just SO boring.

What Apple have done is very smart business. Coming up with a budget phone is good business for two reasons:
1) It supplies people who can't afford the premium product with a phone that meets their budget. This is using the cash cow philosophy: you can milk the cow as long as you keep feeding it grass and water, or rather, they have what are essentially two good smart phones that with a small amount of effort will keep money rolling into the company coffers. To many people the new phones are boring, but that is the wrong approach. This is taking a phone that has reached the end of its life as a premium phone, but instead of binning it they are giving it another 5 or more years of use as a budget phone, meaning it is profit all the way. This is giving Apple the time and money to build a better premium phone or iPad.
2) This is smart business because HP and Nokia have opted out of mobile devices when they had everything going for them. That leaves, literally, just Apple and Google to fight over the spoils. Don't forget that in just 4 years time about half of the 1 billion internet users world wide will buy a mobile device so they can access the internet while on the move. That is 500 million mobile devices. Many of those users will be in countries where an Apple phone was a dream to about 80% of the population, but now, with these new phones (which are really just modernisations of the old phones), an iPhone or iPad becomes attainable. If HP and Nokia had been smart they could have been supplying that market of 500 million devices, but they have thrown in the towel before the bun fight even started.
3) This is good business because it gives people a "stocking filler" at a time of economic uncertainty. And when people get one of these budget iPhones, they won't look cheap, they will have the same look and feel and quality as the premium phones. I think the people that get one of these a Christmas will be very grateful to Apple, and that won't be forgotten when looking around to make their next mobile or computer purchase.
All in all, I think Apple are on to a winner here.

RE: What ticks me off
By dajeepster on 10/6/2011 3:33:13 AM , Rating: 2
What Apple have done is very smart business. Coming up with a budget phone

you kinda lost me with that one. the only reason that Apple now has a budget phone, is because they have competition from companies with less expensive phones and no one is willing to spend $400 dollars anymore when they can get a phone for much less that does the exact same thing.

RE: What ticks me off
By dark matter on 10/6/2011 8:12:19 AM , Rating: 2
omg, seriously, you're now telling us apple has invented budget phones..


RE: What ticks me off
By robinthakur on 10/6/2011 6:36:37 AM , Rating: 3
It's not really telling the whole story to say that the iPad is a large iPhone...I used to think that before I was issued one by work. The Apps which are written for the iPad are optimised for the iPad. If you look at the mail client or calendar, for example the layout is different to take advantage of the extra real estate. Browsing the web on the iPad and other tasks which benefit from the larger form factor like word processing, and document creation is infinitely easer on the larger screen.

Whilst it might be intriguing technically for the iPad to run Meego, the iPhone to run Android and the iPod Touch to run WinPhone7, people that buy the devices appreciate that they all operate similarly and can share apps/documents/pictures/music between them seamlessly using iCloud. They are boring in the sense that they are appliances that run reliably, I suppose you could say. I installed iOS5 on iPad2 and iPhone4 last night, and so far am impressed by the iCloud integration and the other changes which are just seamless.

RE: What ticks me off
By BSMonitor on 10/6/2011 11:30:28 AM , Rating: 3
Funny how most Android users in those 3 years of updates cannot find a single phone that holds a charge for even half a day..

You can always spot Android users. All hundled around the outlets.

RE: What ticks me off
By hyvonen on 10/9/2011 5:36:23 AM , Rating: 2
My Atrix is fine for three days on a single charge in my relatively light use. You should monitor your own BS.

RE: What ticks me off
By VahnTitrio on 10/5/2011 12:23:34 PM , Rating: 2
Because with this Apple only went far enough to catch up to Android devices. Android device makers have their foot on the gas and have better devices already rearing their heads. What I think people wanted to see was something ahead of the pack, whereas this slightly trailed the pack. The question has always been "can Apple keep up in the mobile world?" It's tough to answer yes to that question after yesterday's event.

RE: What ticks me off
By nikon133 on 10/5/2011 6:26:22 PM , Rating: 2
I think major problem here is - most people will even not notice changes from 4 to 4s.

Faster hardware - but 4 was already silky smooth and fast as. I don't think faster hardware will be noticeable in normal phone tasks - texting, calling, mailing. All the games I have already work nice on my old 3Gs (Birds, Cut the Rope, Flight Control...)... eventually there will be games to take advantage of faster hardware, but how many people will be interested in those games, and how many games will benefit?

In my opinion, not enough.

Camera - not something people change phone for, in my opinion. Plus, we still have to see that new camera will be able to keep or improve quality over iP4 while boosting resolution.

On the other side, what people would notice - bigger screen (even with same resolution) and different case (without vulnerable glass back) did not happen.

Loyal 3G/3Gs owners will upgrade, but hey - they would likely upgrade to iP4 should Apple decided not to release anything this year. For others (like me), I don't think new phone feels (and it definitely doesn't look) different enough and exciting enough.

RE: What ticks me off
By wifiwolf on 10/5/2011 7:39:03 PM , Rating: 2
No, the problem is that they didn't change the looks enough and there's not so much marketing around it that makes the perceived value meet the expectations they always give users every time they announce a new phone.

RE: What ticks me off
By robinthakur on 10/6/2011 5:47:41 AM , Rating: 2
That's not a mistake. That's in the iPhone 5. The 4S is a bit of a stop-gap solution until that gets released Q1-2 next year. They are following 'Tick-tock' cadency with the next release being the significant one. This was completely expected and was telegraphed months ago, people just have unrealisitic expectations!

The move of the manufacturing process to a smaller architecture by Qualcom can be held responsible for no iPhone5 right now. Current LTE WiMax is far too power hungry for Apple customers to stomach (unless they give it a bigger battery and thicker profile) and the architecture for 4G is not ready outside of the US (the UK for example)

Myself, I could use the bump in graphics and processing of the 4S, but know i'd be severely ticked off if I then had to buy an iPhone 5 outright when that came out next year as I'd be in the middle of an 18 month contract. Will play with one when all my friends upgrade on the 24th (in the UK) and see what I think. Tech-envy is a harsh mistress!

RE: What ticks me off
By Wolfpup on 10/5/2011 12:15:27 PM , Rating: 1
I totally agree. I was hoping for a 4" (or thereabouts) screen, and am somewhat disappointed it's still 3.5".

But other than that...what are people complaining about?

"No new hardware"? Whaaaaat? It went from a single core A8, to a dual core A9 + 2 more powerful GPUs. I already know from the iPad 2 that it feels about 90 bajillion times faster than the A8/SGX 535(?) of the last gen parts.

This reminds me of when the 3GS gets released, and everyone complains, and doesn't seem to get that THIS IS A MUCH BIGGER UPDATE THAN THE LAST ONE WAS! Ditto for this time.

It's disturbing that apparently all most people go by is exterior looks.

Heck, Apple even CLAIMS the antenna system is better.

I'd have a hard time not buying one if U.S. Cellular had one...

RE: What ticks me off
By torpor on 10/5/2011 12:51:03 PM , Rating: 5
You have to understand why people buy Apple products to understand why this release is a disappointment.

Most people don't buy Apple stuff because they think it's (faster, lighter, easier, better) technology.

They buy Apple - especially the phone and pod - as a conspicuous-consumption fashion accessory. And if it's not obvious you spent big bucks for the new one, it's not worth it.

If Apple would have glued a pair of googly eyes to the back side, everyone would have been gaga over it.

RE: What ticks me off
By Some1ne on 10/5/2011 6:17:16 PM , Rating: 2
Dude, it's a *phone*. How much screen do you want?

RE: What ticks me off
By spread on 10/6/2011 5:21:35 PM , Rating: 2
12 inch screen and I want the phone to be no larger than my hand. Impossible? Welcome to design by committee.

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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