Stinging criticism from the satire sites and tepid reception from the pundits notwithstanding, it appears as though the release of Apple’s new iPhone 4S is generating a considerable, if predictable, amount of hype. According to Mashable, the pre-order stock has already sold out…much to the dismay, one assumes, of the die-hard iPhone fans unwilling to wait the extra two weeks before that stock is replenished. They’re already waiting in line, as a matter of fact, some of them for as many as twelve days.
The new iPhone won’t look much different than its earlier iterations; nearly all of the upgrades are “under the hood,” as it were, but that certainly doesn’t mean the changes are insignificant. Firstly, the processing speed and battery life have been significantly increased, the integrated camera has gone from 5 megapixels to 8, with autofocus, flash, f/2.4 aperture lens, and a backside-illuminated CMOS sensor that allows 73 percent more light that will allow for much improved low-light performance. The iPhone 4S is likewise equipped with the new voice assistant Siri, which allows users to control “practically everything” with voice commands. If Siri doesn’t understand what’s being asked of it, it will request clarifications, thus giving the Turing test a run for its money.
Many of the more exciting changes involve the upgrades with the various carriers. The folks at CNet have provided a helpful comparison of the iPhone carrier changes, which include, among other things, the addition of Sprint customers to the Apple family. World service is already part of AT&T’s iPhone package, but that will soon be coming to Sprint and Verizon iPhones as well. The AT&T option still seems like the best choice for frequent globetrotters; however, Verizon and Sprint iPhones will allow for international roaming, but not SIM-swapping, a feature which makes international roaming affordable for a girl on a budget.
It remains to be seen what effect the iPhone 4S will have on Apple’s app market, but rest assured that we’ll be following those developments closely. In the meantime, if you’re one of the fans already waiting in line, we hope you’ve packed warm clothes and an umbrella.