Apple Announces iPhone 4S: New Antenna, 64GB Capacity [Update]

Apple announced Tuesday the iPhone 4S, the successor to the company’s popular iPhone 4 smartphone. As expected, the device follows the form factor of the iPhone 4, but the company has added the A5 dual core processor, a new antennae design that will reportedly improve reception, and improved battery performance.

Apple is offering three sizes, 16GB (US$199 with contract), 32GB ($299), and 64GB ($399) for the first time. The device is also a world phone, meaning that one device will work on all of the company’s carrier partners, one of which is Sprint, the first time Apple has offered the device through the #3 carrier in the U.S. The new models ship on October 14th.

The biggest news in today’s media event is the unveiling of Siri, voice-control of the iPhone. Read The Mac Observer’s full coverage for more information.

iPhone 4S

iPhone 4S
(Click the image for a larger version)

Apple described the the antenna system as a dual antenna system that switches back and forth between them for send and receive functions. According to the company, this will improve reception on the device, as well as improving throughput. Apple said that its new system improves theoretical max throughput from 7.2Mbs to 14.4Mbps, and that’s still on a 3G network.

The A5 processor used to power the device is the same dual core processor that makes the iPad so speedy. This was expected in the rumors leading up to Tuesday’s media event.

While iPhone 4 already had one of the best battery lives in the smartphone industry, Apple said the iPhone 4S will feature 8 hours of 3G talk time.

The company is also boosting the high-resolution camera on the back of the iPhone 4S to 8 megapixels.

New Feature Roundup:

  • Dual Core A5 CPU
  • Dual Core graphics CPU
  • Retina display
    • 3.5-inch (diagonal) widescreen Multi-Touch display
    • 960-by-640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi
    • 800:1 contrast ratio (typical)
    • 500 cd/m2 max brightness (typical)
    • Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating on front and back
    • Support for display of multiple languages and characters simultaneously
  • Battery
    • Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery
    • Charging via USB to computer system or power adapter
    • Talk time: Up to 8 hours on 3G, up to 14 hours on 2G (GSM)
    • Standby time: Up to 200 hours
    • Internet use: Up to 6 hours on 3G, up to 9 hours on Wi-Fi
    • Video playback: Up to 10 hours
    • Audio playback: Up to 40 hours
  • World Phone - GSM & CDMA
  • Camera
    • 8 megapixels - 3264x2448 (60% more than iPhone 4)
    • 33% faster capture
    • 1.1% for first picture, 0.5% for second
    • Backside illumination (73% more light per pixel)
    • Hybrid IR Filter
    • Better color accuracy
    • More color uniformity
    • Five element lens
    • 30% more sharpness
    • f/2.4 aperture
    • Face detection
    • 26% better auto white balance
    • Macro photos
  • TV & Video
    • Video image stabilization
    • Temporal noise reduction
    • AirPlay Mirroring to Apple TV support at 720p
    • Video mirroring and video out support: Up to 1080p with Apple Digital AV Adapter or Apple VGA Adapter (adapters sold separately)
    • Video out support at 576p and 480p with Apple Component AV Cable; 576i and 480i with Apple Composite AV Cable (cables sold separately)
    • Video formats supported: H.264 video up to 1080p, 30 frames per second, High Profile level 4.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG-4 video up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbps, 1280 by 720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format