In September, Apple announced it would be holding a press conference on October 4th. Well, today is that day and that means the Apple press conference is going strong, with new CEO Tim Cook handling the announcement duties. Cook started off by talking about the Mac, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad. The Mac userbase has grown by 23% since last year, with 60 million people worldwide using a Mac. For the iPod, over 300 million iPods have been sold since it launched in 2001. The iPad is the number one tablet in the world, with 74% of the time a tablet is looked at, an iPad is purchased. For all iOS devices, Apple has sold over 250 million of them. That is a ton of market share.
This event, however, is all about the iPhone. The iPhone holds 43% of the US share of smartphone sales, plus customers have downloaded over 18 billion apps from the App Store. Yes, 18 billion apps and now the number sits at about one billion downloads a month. Next up was talk of iOS 5, which finally adds a notification system that allows new messages to appear in the upper left, similar to Android. There are several new features also announced for it, like iMessage, which is similar to BlackBerry Messenger, and new camera abilities. iOS 5 drops on October 12th, something I am sure many are looking forward to. Finally, we come to the heart of the announcement, and that is a new iPhone.
The new iPhone will be called the iPhone 4S, and it is twice as fast as the iPhone 4 thanks in part to the new A5 chip. It even has dual-core graphics that are said to be seven times faster than the previous iPhone. To illustrate how powerful the new graphics are, Epic Games' president Mike Capps was on stage to demo Infinity Blade II. The game is using several new enhancements that were first seen in the God of War series on the PS3, and Capps said that Infinity Blade II will only be playable on the iPhone 4S. The game will be available on December 1st. Back to the hardware, the iPhone 4S will feature eight hours of 3G talk time, six hours of 3G browsing or nine on WiFi, ten hours for video playback and 40 hours for music playback. The antennas have been improved, now featuring download speeds that are theoritically twice as fast as the iPhone 4. It has both a CDMA and GSM chip, meaning it will work on any cellular network in the US and the world.
The camera on the iPhone 4S has been improved and it is now an eight megapixel sensor. That enables it to compete with other recent phones as well as some digital cameras. It features a backside illuminated CMOS to allow in 73% more light, a hybrid IR filter for better colors, and a five element lens for sharper pictures. It features a mere 1.1 seconds to take your first photo and 0.5 seconds in between shots, making it the fastest smartphone camera around. The iPhone 4S can even shoot 1080p video with image stabilization. The iPhone 4S also features AirPlay Mirroring, letting you use an HDTV to view the action during a game. The iPhone 4S also features a much improved voice control system dubbed Siri. It basically lets you control and access content on your iPhone 4S just by speaking.
The Apple iPhone 4S seems like it will be an impressive device when it launches later this month. The iPhone 4S will be available on October 14th, with pre-orders starting on the 7th. US carriers receiving the iPhone 4S will be AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. Even though those three carriers all have a 4G network in some way, the iPhone 4S is still just a 3G device.