Apple's much anticipated "Let's Talk iPhone" press event is underway, and after lots of chest thumping over iOS, Mac sales, iTunes, and everything else, the Cupertino company has finally and officially unveiled its iPhone 4S smartphone. It looks just like the regular iPhone 4, including the same retina display, but there's plenty new underneath the hood, including a dual-core processor.
We're wrangling details from various live blogs around the Web so expect some of the finer points to be left out, at least until Apple tosses up press release. Until then, here are the main things you should know about the iPhone 4S:
It's equipped with an A5 processor, the same one found in the iPad 2. This is a powerful processor that purportedly makes the iPhone 4S twice as fast as the regular iPhone 4. It also sports an improved graphics core that Apple claims is seven times faster.
The iPhone 4S has an updated camera with an 8MP sensor. It's capable of snapping pictures at up to 3264x2448 and has improved backlight illumination resulting in 73 percent more light. Other features include a hybrid IR filter, better color accuracy, more color uniformity, 30 percent sharper images due to to the five element lens, a new Image Signal Processor enabling face detection, 26 percent better auto white balance, and faster capture speeds. Apple says it takes 1.1 seconds to snap the first photo, and 0.5 seconds to snap the second. For the sake of comparison, it takes the Motorola Droid Bionic 3.7 seconds and 1.6 seconds to snap the first and second photos, respectively.
1080p HD video recording with video image stabilization and temporal noise reduction.
The iPhone 4S has dual antennas to transmit and receive (up to 5.8Mbps upload and 14.4Mbps download). Being able to switch between dual antennas for improved call quality is a first, according to Apple.
Battery life: 8 hours of talk time on 3G; 14 hours of talk time on 2G; 6 hours of Web browsing on 3G; 9 hours of Web browsing on Wi-Fi; 10 hours of video playback; 40 hours of music playback.
Includes "Siri," a new voice assistant that lets you use your voice to make calls, send messages, set reminders, schedule meetings, and more. You can see how this works here.
The iPhone 4 will be available for pre-order on October 7th and ship October 14th. AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon will carry the iPhone 4S with two-year contract pricing set at $199 (16GB), $299 (32GB), and $399 (64GB). Like the iPhone 4, it will be available in both black and white.