And Siri is what distinguishes the UI from Apple-wanabees. If it works as described, consumers will have to "wow" this 4S, as they would any step-function change in THEIR experience. Pundits should give consumers the chance to make up their own mind. But then they would not be pundits, would they?
It's about the content that runs on the device and elegance (ease of use) of the product that defines the iPhone. Sorry hardware junkies but a faster processor or even LTE doesn't mean anything if you can't use the device or have content that runs on it. I laugh when the technorati don't get their dose of hardware nerd-dom and then declare the death of the product. You're looking at the wrong thing.
A prime example of this. I have a friend with his shiney new Samsung Galaxy 2S in our office. He tried for an hour to get it connected into the secure WiFi and had to try numerous combinations of WEP/WPA, etc manually, trial and error to get it to work. I pulled out my iPhone (a 3 yr old 3G mind you!) and in about 5 seconds had it on the same WiFi. The iPhone detected and auto-configured itself without all the fuss of "open" Android. And THAT is why the iPhone is relevant and successful. It doesn't take a Bachelors degree in EE to operate it!
There are now so many phones out there now with much more functionality than the iphone that they had to offer a low end entry point. Free is a compelling price. The fashion boys will still stick with Apple because of perception. Tech savvy consumers will probably make a different choice.
Yes, Siri seems to have glossed over by most reviewers, but this has the potential to be a revolutionary advancement in the UI.
I'm also anxious to learn about power reduction/battery life improvements.
As engineers, we sometimes forget that most smartphone buyers are not engineers or even tech-savvy consumers. The average consumer wants ease of use, access to every imaginable app or service, long battery life and cool styling. Apple shines like no other company in every one of those areas.
I'm not so certain how good a strategy holding back release of the iPhone 5 for 6-9 months is on Apple's part. Spending that kind of money on a 4S only to have it upstaged by a 5 in that short of timeframe will upset many 4S users; that's the exact reason why there is no 4S in my future. That begs the question is Apple having difficulty innovating and keeping up with the "Jones'"?
Everyone seems to use hardware as the defining metric for smartphone progress - how many camera megapixels, how much memory, availability of memory card slot(s), # of processor cores and clk speed, size & weight, screen pixels.
It's small, light, and faster than its predecessor, but where this new iPhone shines is in Siri. If it works as well as it does in the demo videos, it will be Apple's defining smartphone moment. Usable voice control and response integrated with all the apps is huge. It changes the UI to voice instead of keyboard control.
I hate most virtual keyboards. They're too small for even my smallish fingers, and I'm pretty manually coordinated, courtesy of classical piano training and years playing keyboards onstage and off.
No, it's not 4G. But Apple has some speedup hocus-pocus, and the new phone's battery life exceeds that of any 4G phone.
So Siri - if it works - will be the major reason I upgrade from my three-year-old dumb phone. I need something that will simplify my life and help me live it fully.
It's about the *user interface*, folks. That's Apple's killer app.
I totally agree too, and find these predictions of Apple's demise rather amusing. They will not be able to build iPhone 4GS fast enough to meet the demand!
LTE is not widespread, nor are the number of LTE-capable smartphones in the U.S. NFC is still in the field trial stage.
Apple has plenty of time to integrate LTE & NFC and roll out iPhone 5 by mid-2012, and find itself with yet another smash hit that it can't build enough of to meet the demand.
NOT INTERESTED!!!! My humble opinion, I'll stick with my old (ugh) 3G until Apple decides to become an Innovator again. Just saying.... The 4S is an indicator that Apple's innovation may be slowing OR possibly that their vision outpaces technology offerings. Doubt it's that later because others are still innovating. Apple disappoints the Apple Nation for the first time in quite a while! Maybe the Andriod is the answer! Prognosticators appear to be right about Apple's market share dwindling in the future. Apple, please start innovating again and become a technology leader once more!
Apple is a complete package, a bit expensive, but quality. Any good performer always leaves the audience wanting more. Would a new case and a 4G network have made everyone smile? Today 4G is not all that much faster that what ATT offers in most places in the USA. When it is where I live, I will buy another Apple. I am placing my order for the new Apple 4GSpactular Friday.
I totally agree. 3GS was a big success and I expect 4S to be #1 gift for this holiday season. We all will know better in 2 weeks when we will learn the first week sales of the phone.
On the technical level, I think that Apple is playing it safe holding back the iPhone 5 for next year. 4G LTE networks continue to build out while the baseband chipsets have power management issues. All the criticism that Apple did not decide to be on the leading edge would be replaced (if they announced LTE phone) by complaints about slow data speeds and dropped calls (because of limited LTE deployment) and lousy battery life. People buy Apple for variety of reasons but certainly Apple selected not to tarnish the Apple brand by introducing a product that does not meet the high quality that Apple is associated with!