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KISS Me - Apple's iPhone 4S Makes What's Old New Again

Apple finally revealed their secret iPhone sauce today at their iPhone media event, and it was honestly something of a letdown. After all the hyped-up internet speculation regarding the iPhone in the run up to today’s event, it turns out that my original v1.0 iPhone prediction was ALMOST spot on.

Apple has made what’s old new again by tweaking the original iPhone 4 design to produce the iPhone 4S. The heart of the new iPhone 4S is the dual-core A5 CPU that also powers the iPad 2. Memory increases from 512MB to 1GB and the iPhone 4S comes in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB flavors. The camera has been updated to a new 8 megapixel sensor that, in conjunction with the faster A5 CPU, allows for HD video recording. The antenna has also been redesigned to fix the attenuation problem in the original iPhone 4. According to Apple, gaming performance increases by 7x over the iPhone 4, while general performance doubles.

Of course, iOS5 comes standard on the iPhone 4S with the most interesting feature – Siri Personal Assistant – being enabled ONLY on A5 equipped devices, which also includes the iPad 2. That’s a bit of a downer since this was the one key feature I was most looking forward to.

Personally, I don’t quite believe Apple’s claims that you need an A5 processor to run voice recognition as Siri’s software was being sold for use on older iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 platforms prior to the company being bought up by Apple in 2010. You can pretty much write this off as Apple’s way of enticing everyone, iPhone 4 users included, to upgrade – blackmail, anyone? All of this comes off as a marketing-driven exercise in production differentiation with no real basis in reality.

Apple is also trying to get older devices on iOS5 which addresses many security issues related to jailbreaking and firmware downgrading. Instead, people on older hardware lose the one killer feature that would have convinced them to update to iOS5, so I’m a a bit cynical how this will work out.

Many people, myself included, will likely wait for some clever hacker to enable the Siri voice recognition for jailbroken devices. This will have the opposite effect and actually encourage people to jailbreak in order to get this “exclusive” feature restored. I think this is a somewhat disingenuous and ill-conceived plan by Apple that will most likely backfire.

The moral to this story? At least where hardware is concerned, don’t believe all the hype generated by the internet. REALLY. I am again reminded that as Apple and predictions go, it’s best to KISS – Keep it Simple, Stupid. And that pretty much sums it all up as I was stupid enough to get all caught up in the rumormongering. I should have stuck to my guns and called it a day. Lesson learned.

Also, leave it to Apple to once again generate more angst among its loyal customers. This seems to be turning into an annual event. I am going to call this year’s event “Siri-Gate” in honor of last year’s initial entry, “Antenna-Gate.” I for one am looking forward to Apple’s PR machine going into overdrive to try and spin their way out of the internet hailstorm that will result once it’s shown that voice recognition works just fine on jailbroken iPhone 4 devices.

For those inclined, pre-orders on the iPhone 4S can be made on October 7th, with deliveries starting a week later in select markets.


Source: Apple

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