It’s been months in the making, and today we finally have confirmation from Apple, as well as a few squashed rumors. Apple has released the iPhone 4S today, as well as iOS 5 and the addition of Sprint in the company’s lineup of US carriers.
Funny enough, we got confirmation of the 4S name via Apple’s own Japanese store site, less than an hour before launch. Most of these rumors were nailed down prior to today’s event, but it’s good to finally get completely confirmation. That said, here’s a rundown of everything that happened today, plus links to our coverage for the specifics.
The Business of Apple
CEO Tim Cook opened, taking the stage with the obvious statement of “this is my first prouct launch since being named CEO”. The event is being held in what Apple calls the Town Hall. It is the place where the original iPod was launched, 10 years ago.
“Today we’ll remind you of the uniqueness of this company as we announce innovations from our mobile OS, to applications, to services, to hardware, and more importantly the integration of all these into a powerful, simple, integrated experience.”
Cook goes on to talk about the “enormous momentum of Apple, specifically the retail stores. Cook then highlights the year to date for Apple:
- Apple’s Shanghai store had 100,000 visitors on its first weekend. It took the LA store a month to reach that number
- More Macs were sold on the opening day of the Shanghai store than in any other store in the world
- Apple now has 357 stores around the world
- OS X Lion has been downloaded 6 million times. 80% more than Snow Leopard (It took Windows 7 20 weeks to do what Lion did in 2)
- The Mac outgrew the PC market six-fold, 23% vs 4%, with 60 million Mac users worldwide
- Launched 10 years ago, 300 million in sales
- 45 million sold in the last year, ending in June
- Nearly 50% of all people buying iPods are buying their first one
- 125% year over year growth
- 93% of Fortune 500 companies are testing or deploying the device
- JD Power rated #1 six times in a row
- Holds only 5% share of the overall market in handsets
- 95% customer satisfaction rates
- 92% of Fortune 500 are deploying or testing the iPad
- 80% of hospitals in the US are testing or deploying the device
- 3 out of 4 tablets sold in the US are iPads
- 500,000 apps in the app store
- 140,000 of the 500k are for iPad
- 61% of mobile browsing belongs to iOS
- 18 billion downloads from the App Store in 3 years, 1 billion per month
- $3 billion paid to developers
iOS 5 will land on October 12th, 2 days before the launch of the new iPhone and it will be a free update.
What’s new aside from what we already know?
Apple is introducing a new application that allows you to design cards on your iPhone, then have them mailed to anywhere:
“Apple is literally going to mail things, physically, for you. You create the card on your iPhone and we’ll do the rest.”
Friends and Family App
Free with iOS 5 and for Lion users. Locate your friends and family with your iPhone.
The rest of iOS 5, we have detailed pretty deeply. In short you can expect big changes to the following:
Phil Schiller took the stage to talk about the iPod, stating that he wanted to give updates on 2 of the lines today.
The iPod Nano touch gets a refresh, with Nike+ built in, 16 new clock faces and will be available for $129 and $149 in 8 and 16-gigabyte versions respectively.
The iPod touch, inarguably Apple’s #1 selling iPod, also gets an update. iOS 5 gives great updates, as does iCloud, both of which help you to do more and save space. The touch model iPod is now available in white, for $199, $299 and $399 for 8, 16 and 32-gig models.
And now for the announcement we’ve all been waiting to hear, Apple tells us about the iPhone 4S . It has the same design as the iPhone 4, but inside it is “all new”.
- Apple-designed A5 Processor
- Dual-core graphics, up to 7x faster than the iPhone 4
- 8 hours of talk time, 6 hours 3G browsing, 9 hours on WiFi
- Intelligent antenna switching to fix the “antennagate” problem
- HSDPA data, for up to 14 mbit download speeds
- CDMA and GSM in 1 device makes it a “world phone”
- 8 megapixel camera
- 1080p video recording
- Screen mirroring, akin to the iPad
- Siri intelligent voice assistance
The iPhone 4S will cost $199, $299 and $399 for 16, 32 and 64 gigabyte versions, respectively. The 8-gig iPhone 4 goes to $99 and the 3GS will be free, all on 2-year contracts. The date? As we called it, October 14th, with a pre-order on October 7th.