So here it is, a round-up of all the news from Apple’s Keynote 04/10/2011…
Apple unveiled Tuesday the iPhone 4S, featuring a faster processing chip, better camera and voice-command capability – but no iPhone 5 as was widely expected! 😦
The iPhone 4S, will be priced at $199 for a 16 gigabyte version, $299 for 32 gigabytes and $399 for 64 gigabytes, along with a two-year contract from either AT&T Inc., Verizon Wireless or, for the first time, Sprint Nextel Corp.
Apple also will sell an 8 gigabyte version of the iPhone 4 for $99 and offer an 8 gigabyte 3GS for free, also with a two-year wireless contract. Preorders being Friday, with the phone shipping Oct. 14.
The demonstration seemed to underwhelm investors and online tech bloggers. Shares of Apple fell 3.2 percent to $362.83.
IPhone 4S is Apple’s first overhaul of its popular smartphone in 16 months and comes at a different time for the company and the market. Phones that run onGoogle Inc.’s Android software are now the market leader, although the iPhone remains the most popular individual smartphone, and Tim Cook has since replacedSteve Jobs as Apple’s chief executive.
“This is my first product launch since being named CEO–I’m sure you didn’t know that.” Cook said at the event’s start. He noted the company “has enormous momentum” and spoke about the success that the company has had with its retail stores and devices.
Jobs, who has been on medical leave since January for an undisclosed illness, did not appear to be in attendance.
Besides Cook, other Apple executives spent significant time on stage, including Scott Forstall, senior vice president of iOS software, who talked about Apple’s wireless operating system; Eddie Cue, senior vice president of internet software and services, who discussed the company’siCloud product; and Phil Schiller, senior vice president of world-wide product marketing, who showed off the new iPhone.
The new iPhone, which comes in black or white, will have an Apple A5 processor, the same chip found in Apple’s iPad 2 tablet. The new chip can download data twice as fast and can handle graphics seven times faster, making it better for videogames, Apple said. It also has an 8 megapixel camera sensor, which is 33 percent faster at taking photos, a complaint with older iPhones.
The chip and new camera sensor will provide an iPhone for customers that is “the best still camera they ever own,” Schiller said during his presentation at the company’s Cupertino, Calif., headquarters.
IPhone 4S also will work on both wireless standards, meaning the same phone can be used around the world and with most wireless carriers. The phone’s battery now offers eight hours of 3G talk time, nine hours of Wi-Fi browsing and ten hours of video.
Apple also showed off new voice-command tools for retrieving everything from exchange rates to reminders, called Siri. Schiller said Siri takes dictation and noted that the service is both contextual and conversational. Siri first will be available in English, French and German.
The company also discussed a service that will back up and synchronize data between Apple’s devices and computers. Dubbed “iCloud,” the service allows customers to tie its gadgets together and share photos, music, address book contacts, calendars and other data through the Internet. Apple first unveiled the free service in June but is making it available now, shipping Oct. 12.
The free iCloud eliminates a $99-per-year fee Apple had charged for its pervious cloud-storage service, called “Mobile Me,” which could synchronize information such as passwords between multiple computers and devices, host family websites and remotely store files.
The iCloud product is seen competing with a rival service introduced last week by Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN). With its Fire tablet, Amazon unveiled cloud features that offers free storage of digital media purchased through Amazon in the company’s servers and automatically syncs information such as e-reader bookmarks between Kindles and other devices.
Alongside iCloud, Apple launched a service called “iTunes Match,” that would for the first time–and with the blessing of record labels–give legitimacy to digital music that users have saved on their computers, whether it was ripped from a CD, purchased from a competing service or illegally copied.
For $24.99 per year, Apple’s iTunes service would let users remotely access and stream thousands of songs from collections they placed on Apple’s servers. The service was built as an addition to Apple’s free iCloud offerings, which lets users re-download any music or apps they purchased from the company’s iTunes store.
The new iTunes service is an effort by Apple to increase its dominance as the world’s biggest music reseller, while competitors likeGoogle and Amazon attempt to build up similar services.
Apple also said iOS5–its new operating system for wireless devices–will be available as a free update on Oct. 12. The new operating system includes features like a new messaging service, more Twitter integration and ways to edit photos.
Finally, Apple also unveiled updated versions of its popular iPod Nano and Touch music players. The company said its new version of the Nano is easier to navigate and includes some fitness-related improvements and user interface additions like new clocks. It will cost $149 for 16 gigabytes and $129 8 gigabytes, down $30 from the previous prices.
In addition, the iPod touch, to be available in a white version, will be priced at $399 for 64 gigabytes, $299 for 32 gigabytes and $199 for 8 gigabytes.
The iPod devices will be available Oct. 12.