On Tuesday during the Let's Talk iPhone event in Cupertino, Calif., Apple much to our dismay unveiled the iPhone 4S, an updated version of its fourth generation phone, instead of the sought-after iPhone 5. But why not the iPhone 5?
According to analysts, the reasons include cost and limited technology.
iPhone 5 is slated to include the latest 4G technology known as the Long Term Evolution (LTE) and a drastically thinner form upon its arrival. However, according to market research firm IHS, Apple will debut an LTE-capable iPhone 5 when it has a cost efficient way to include a chipset in a much thinner form.
IHS estimates the iPhone 5 will arrive in late 2012, or possibly as late as midway through 2013 when an affordable chipset solution allowing a thinner form factor emerges.
Analysts are not surprised Apple decided upon an updated iPhone 4, which had an extremely successful run upon its release and which new Apple CEO Tim Cook referred to as the best-selling handset in the world. In addition, iPhone 4's 3G standard has been just as good, according to IHS analysts, as would the adoption of LTE.
Apple declined to offer an LTE-enabled iPhone that would have been more expensive, larger and more power hungry-and instead opted to introduce a device that delivers nearly the same wireless data speed, but with a superior user experience, IHS senior principal analyst Francis Sideco said.
As Apple always does, the company selected features for the iPhone 4 that are designed to deliver a superior customer experience, rather than to provide technology for technology's sake.
Improvements to the iPhone 4S included an 8 megapixel camera, 1080p video recording, faster A5 processor & graphics, improved antenna design, & better battery life.
In addition, the iPhone 4S, dubbed a true world phone by IHS, includes the Evolution-Data Optimized standard (EvDO) working on both CDMA and GSM connections. The iPhone 4S will be faster with the addition of an A5 dual ARM core processor, which will also help upkeep battery life.
Another great upgrade is Apple's built-in Siri personal assistant capabilities, which provides voice recognition and text to speech, allowing users to speak to their iPhone 4S.
iPhone 4S will be priced at $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64GB with a new two-year carrier contract. Available beginning Oct. 14, iPhone 4S will also be fully equipped with the new iOS 5 software.
Apple's unveiling of the iPhone 4S, which is now available for Sprint customers as well as AT&T and Verizon Wireless customers, has dramatically dropped the cost of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS to $99 and free, respectively.