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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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Bollocks its hardware....
By Amiga500 on 10/5/2011 10:58:46 AM , Rating: 5
The problem for the iSheep is that the exterior isn't different so they cannot easily show off their new toy to the other iSheep who just have a mere iphone4.

It is a problem of Apple's own making.

If you have idiots as customers, expect them to put emphasis on idiotic reasons for differentiation between products.

RE: Bollocks its hardware....
By edge929 on 10/5/2011 3:59:47 PM , Rating: 2
+1 to you sir

RE: Bollocks its hardware....
By Aloonatic on 10/5/2011 4:04:05 PM , Rating: 2
Was there much difference in how a 3G and 3GS looked?

Simply being "dual core" will probably be enough of an excuse for an "iSheep" to kick off a conversation in order to show off. That Android users have been able to boast the same thing for a while is neither here, nor there, of course.

Let's not forget, iPhone users are rarely shy about pointing out that they have an iPhone to anyone within earshot, so saying that it's the latest iPhone probably wont be too hard for them to achieve too.

Apple will probably do well with it still, despite what everyone her is saying. This is the site that said [wished] that the iPad would be a massive flop after all.

RE: Bollocks its hardware....
By Roffles on 10/5/2011 5:49:28 PM , Rating: 4
Meanwhile, last weekend I was trying to show off voice commands and LTE on my Bionic to a group of my iPhone having friends. I felt compelled because most of them use and only see the iPhone in their day-to-day lives. As a result, they talk about their phones as if no other phone on earth can do the same things. "Did you hear the new iPhone is going to do thisssss", and "Did you hear the new iPhone is going to do thaaaaat".

When they mentioned Siri, and assuming Apple's speech recognition implementation would be very similar to Android, I wanted to demonstrate on my Bionic the strengths and weaknesses of this tech. Like how it's almost useless in noisy environments and how you need to enunciate your words to get the best results. Basically, that it's only useful in car, office and home...not really something you bust out in the middle of a crowded and noisy city square and get cracking on finding a pizzeria.

I did a few of the basic voice commands; "play band", "nagivate to", "show map of", "send e-mail to", "send text to" and then I did a few voice command web searches. Finally, I loaded an HD youtube video to show off the instant buffer on LTE and how cool videos look on a 4.3" display.

They didn't care at all. They didn't even feign interest. As I recall, their expressions were blank. These people are not tech savvy and did not care how functional my phone is....for them, it's about conformity and accessorizing. I showed off my phone to some iPhone having coworkers and got similar reactions. That's when I truly realized what it means to be an "iSheep".

Anand's article on 28nm integrated LTE has me thinking it won't be until mid-2012 that we even see an LTE enabled iPhone5. I just want to know how far Apple needs to fall behind the Android juggernaut before these sorts of people snap out of their daze. It's a strange feeling to have a really nice phone and get treated like a retarded non-conformist because it doesn't have an apple logo.

"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home

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