This is the day that many tech enthusiasts have been waiting for for months. Normally Apple announces its iPhone hardware refresh during the summer. Well, this summer came and went without a peep from apple in terms of announcements. It wasn’t until earlier this afternoon that new Apple CEO Tim Cook took to a stage at the Apple headquarters in Cupertino to debut the iPhone 4s.
Yes, there was more to the ‘press conference’ than just the iPhone 4s (We got a full look at iOS 5 and update to the iPod nano & iPod touch lines), but the newest ‘Jesus phone’ was the star of show. Some of the rumors and predictions turned out to be true, while some were nowhere to be seen. Let’s look through the top pros and cons.
1. iPhone on Sprint
Personally this is the biggest thing to come out of the entire announcement. As a Sprint customer, I’ve always been on the outside looking in with regards to the iPhone. I’ve been very happy with my Samsung Nexus S 4g since I bought it 5 months ago, but it’s still not an iPhone.
I’m a fan of the Android OS, but as cliché as it sounds it’s just not there yet. There’s a half a second delay when swiping between screens or when launching an app. Yes half a second is nothing in the grand scheme of things, but iOS devices don’t have the delay and it’s noticeable when going from my iPad to my current Android phone. Little things like that push me to the iPhone 4s, plus access to the huge catalog of apps available for iOS devices. The Android Marketplace has been gaining ground, and many of the big apps are starting to come out on Android very soon after their iOS release, but there’s still a much wider choice on the Apple side of things.
2. Upgraded Camera
The Camera upgrade is huge as well for 2 reasons: 8-Megapixels and 1080p video. Yes those are just tech specs, but the ability to shoot and edit (with the iMovie app) 1080p video on a handheld is just an amazing concept to try and wrap your brain around.
The 8-Megapixel camera truly shows that the age of point-and-shoot cameras is coming to an end. Having a standalone camera is nice, as many will take better pictures and give the user more options, but it’s not always needed. In fact, 80-90% of what the average person would use a point and shoot camera for can easily be accomplished with a mobile phone. The upgraded resolution just makes it even better.
This is the supposed killer app for the iPhone 4s. Siri is essentially a personal assistant that you interact with through voice recognition. What sets it apart from its predecessors is that it’s as close to artificial intelligence in a mass consumer device that we’ve ever seen. Not only does it interact with you by using and interpreting conversational speech, but it interacts with most of your most basic and important information.
The possibilities are really endless for how this feature could become the main way that you scheduled calendar events, tasks, and reminders. One of the coolest features is location based reminders. Say you tell Siri to remind you to call your mother when you leave the restaurant you’re currently eating at. Siri can use your GPS location to notice where you’re at and when it notices that you’re leaving the area pop up with a reminder to call your mother and you’ll have the option to call her right from Siri.
1. It’s not the iPhone 5
This really supersedes any other Cons. For those who already have an iPhone for, the question as to whether they should upgrade will be the biggest problem. As many have noted before, the move from the iPhone 3G to the 3GS wasn’t that big a jump and wasn’t worth the upgrade for many consumers. The same problem will exist for many here. The new features on the iPhone 4S are fun, intuitive and may be the start of a new ‘movement’ in mobile technology (referring to Siri), but whether it’s worth upgrading is still to be seen. And with Apple, you never know if next June they’ll call another press conference and announce the ‘Even Better iPhone 5!’
Many thought that Apple would announce something huge at today’s event. While the iPhone 4S is a very cool upgrade from the iPhone 4, it isn’t a mind blowing upgrade. In turn, some current users were left feeling underwhelmed.
When it comes down to it though, Sprint Customers like myself are giddy with excitement that they finally get to sit at the “cool kids’ table”. Now the question I have for Sprint is, “will you let those who aren’t elidgable for an upgrade buy the iPhone with a subsidized price like Verizon allowed its customers?”
The reports that Sprint has essentially bet the farm on this iPhone makes me think that they’ll do everything they can in order to keep customers and make them happy. I will gladly extend my contract with Sprint if it means I can get the iPhone 4s at a subsidized price. My money is sitting here Sprint…do you want it?