Apple iPhone 4S announced, '5' likely to arrive in late 2012 or 2013
Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES, Taipei [Wednesday 5 October 2011]
Defying some expectations that Apple would introduce the iPhone 5 - an entirely new model supporting 4G - the company instead rolled out the iPhone 4S - an update of the existing iPhone 4.
"This confirms the IHS outlook issued in July that the new iPhone introduced by Apple in 2011 likely would not include the next-generation 4G technology known as LTE," the research firm said in a statement. IHS expects the LTE-capable iPhone 5 to arrive in late 2012 or mid-2013, when an affordable chipset solution allowing a thinner form factor is available.
The iPhone 4S was introduced on October 4. The new device comes with new features including Apple's dual-core A5 chip, an 8-megapixel camera, full 1080p HD resolution video recording, and Siri, a voice-recognition tool.
Formerly the developer of an iPhone voice control app, Siri was acquired by Apple in 2010.
With the launch of iPhone 4S also comes the launch of iOS 5, which Apple claims is the world's most advanced mobile operating system with over 200 new features; and iCloud, a set of free cloud services that work with Apple's devices to automatically and wirelessly store users' content in iCloud and push it to all their devices.
Given the success of the iPhone 4, Apple's approach to upgrading the line makes sense, IHS said. Furthermore, with the speeds the iPhone has attained with the existing 3G standard known as HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access), there is no appreciable benefit to adopting LTE, especially given the current spectrum and uplink speed constraints for LTE, IHS pointed out.
"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," said Francis Sideco, senior principal analyst, wireless communications, for IHS.
One of the major upgrades of the iPhone 4S is the use of an Apple A5 dual ARM core processor, compared to the A4 used in the iPhone 4. "The use of the A5 should increase the performance significantly, and will put Apple right at the leading edge of the dual-core trend in smartphones," Sideco said. "In addition to dual processors, the A5 integrates dual-core graphics. This is critical in achieving faster performance while minimizing power consumption - essential to maintaining long battery life."
Apple's Siri personal assistant technology is also attractive for automotive infotainment applications, IHS indicated. Siri provides not only voice recognition and text to speech capabilities but also conversational responses to inputs. While such solutions exist today from other companies, such as Google, Apple's support of this as a standard feature of the iPhone 4S is likely to make such voice recognition a standard feature, IHS believes.
"This appears to be just the kind of solution that car makers are seeking for control of their infotainment systems," Sideco said. "With new car infotainment systems built to support mobile electronics devices like the iPhone, expect to see Siri-enabled solutions in new cars in the near future."
iPhone 4S comes in either black or white, and will be available for a suggested retail price of US$199 for the 16GB model and US$299 for the 32GB model and US$399 for the new 64GB model, according to Apple. The new device will initially roll out in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the UK on October 14.