The iPhone 4S release was not quite what everyone expected from Apple, but it does have some new features with a faster processor that doubles the speed on the mobile device, and Sprint was added as a wireless carrier.
Apple said that an online presale for the new 4S begins on Friday, and the cell phone will become available in stores on October 14.
The smartphone is faster and includes a virtual “personal assistant” you can talk to, known as “Siri,” which takes voice commands and can translate speech into text, according to company CEO Tim Cook.
“When you think about it, only Apple could make such amazing software, hardware and services and bring them together into such a powerful yet integrated experience,” Cook stated at a press conference Tuesday at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, California.
Siri also talks back on the 4S, answering questions and reading calendar events and updates.
The Apple iPhone will also be available on Sprint’s wireless network for the first time, in addition to AT&T and Verizon. A model with 16 GB of storage starts at $200 with a two-year wireless contact; the 64 GB model costs $400.
The 4S looks identical to its previous model, but it contains an A5 processor that is up to seven times faster at rendering graphics and twice as fast at processing data, according to the company.
“I’ve been in the AI (artificial intelligence) field a long time. This blows me away,” Scott Forstall, a senior vice president for iPhone software, said after he announced the new service, which only works on the 4S, not on previous models.