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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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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.

"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

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