I was one of the many individuals tied to my Twitter feed and several blog feeds during the iPhone announcement today from Apple.  Unfortunately, about 30 minutes after the “Town Hall” began, I had to go to class and leave the world of technology behind.  So, as you can imagine, I was pretty anxious to hear all the news I missed during the last few hours. And I can’t say I was too surprised to learn about the iPhone 4S rather than the iPhone 5.

They also announced decreased prices on iPods, which will range from $50 to the iPod Shuffle to $399 for the 64GB iTouch.  Now, if you ask me, that’s still a bit too pricey to make me commit…But, that’s just my opinion.  This was also Tim Cook’s first product launch as new Apple CEO, which is something to discuss all in itself.  However, we all know the main subject people are talking about is the iPhone.

This morning, I saw a Tweet directing me to this article, which had actually leaked the information about the announcement.  Though, I was still hopeful. And, I still am… to an extent.

My main question: is the iPhone 4S really necessary?

Compared to the iPhone 4, the iPhone 4S will…

-have the same body exterior that all Apple and iPhone users are accustomed to, but the interior is a bit updated…

-be about 2x faster than the iPhone, because it will be running on the A5 chip which is used in the iPad 2

-have dual-core graphics which are said to be up to seven times faster

-have improved battery life, with expected 8 hour 3G talk time, 6 hour 3G browsing, 9 hour Wi-Fi browsing, 10 hours for video and up to 40 hours for music. (Even more of a reason not to buy an iTouch!)

-use new “wireless system,” which means that the phone will be able to “intelligently switch between the two antennas between transmit and receive,” according to Apple’s Phil Schiller.  Honestly, I’m not too entirely sure what this means, so I’ll be interested to hear what comes of this.  But Apple is also saying that this will produce much better call quality, which may be an improvement considering they had some call quality problems with the launch of the iPhone 4…

-have two times faster downloads

-run on both GSM and CDMA networks, which means it is designed to work well no matter where you are… globally.

-have an eight megapixel camera sensor, which brings a whopping 60% more pixels to your photos than before

-take pictures 33% faster than before

-have an IR filter, which will offer for more accurate colors in your photos

-have a 5 element lens, which will make your photos about 30% sharper quality than before (bringing the camera to f/2.4 aperature, to your camera folk)

-have a shorter delay time from taking one picture to another, bringing the time to 1.1 second for the first picture to half of a second for the next.

-use video image stabilization and temporal noise reduction

– have a new feature: Siri Time… which means you can now talk to your phone.  Not just in that creepy way people already speak to their phones, pretending they will actually answer, but this time… it actually will.  You hold down the home button, ask a question, and it answers.  Example, What’s the weather like? Do I need an umbrella today? Wake me up tomorrow at 7AM. What time is it in London? You can ask about stock prices, restaurants, directions, reminders, search the internet, and so much more.  Siri also reads text messages to you, if told to do so, and then you can reply… via voice command. Anyone else thinking that this is going to revolutionize texting (or now talking) while driving?

And, for the most part, that’s about it.

The phone will be rolling out on Oct. 14, with pre-orders being able to begin as early as Friday Oct. 7.

Prices will be about what is to be expected, $199, $299, and $399 with a new two-year contract. However, it’s worth noting that the most expensive is for the 64GB, which is being offered for the first time.

But what does this mean for the prices of the previous iPhones with a new two-year contract? Now this is the part that got me excited.

The 8GB iPhone 3GS will be free, while the 8GB iPhone 4 will be an impressive $99.

Oh, and it will be available on AT&T, Verizon… and Sprint!

So, now that I’ve summarized what was announced today, I’m curious about what people’s thoughts are.  Was it too soon to announce another iPhone?  Cosmetically, there’s not a difference, but there have been several upgrades to the interior.  Is it worth it, or would it just make sense to purchase a cheaper priced iPhone 4? Or even 3GS? Would Apple have been better off waiting to announce the iPhone 5 with more upgrades?

I think they’re staying true to their pattern, which is introducing a really big, new, exciting product, and then a short time after introducing a slightly improved version of that product.  I think their next announcement, which would be no surprise to be the iPhone 5, is sure to astonish all audiences.

I’m very much impressed by their new additions to the iPhone 4S, especially Siri, and I think it will reinvent the way people use their phones.  I’m excited to see what’s to come from this announcement and once people are able to put their hands on it.  I’m also excited to hear about what YOU have to say! So what do you think?  Do you think the announcement was hyped and not worth all the buzz, or do you think the announcement was substantial in what was released?  I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please share them!

Related Articles & Sources:

Newser

Engadget

Wired

LA Times

USA Today

Washington Post

Tech Crunch

Apple

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