Oct 05

To-Do: Pre-order iPhone 4S

There’s fun to be had waiting in line on Day One for the latest iPhone, but for most it’s much more appealing to have a friendly FedEx guy or gal drop off a new iPhone right at your home or office.  Problem is, in order to get a iPhone 4S on the date of release – which is Friday, October 14th – you’ll need to place your pre-order as quickly as possible.

And it looks like that will be shortly after midnight Pacific time, on Friday, October 7th.

Apple will reportedly begin taking orders at 12:01AM on that day, but that’ll be 12:01 California time.  Meaning that, if you live on the east coast, you’ll need to start your manic browser refreshes at 3:00AM.

No word on AT&T, Verizon or Sprint pre-order times, but we’ll let you know.

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Oct 04

iPhone 4S in Black & WhiteIt’s been fifteen months since the iPhone 4 release and many were expecting the new 2011 model to be a significant update; but while internally the new iPhone 4S is a noteworthy step up, the design remains largely unchanged. 

The iPhone 4S, announced today by new Apple CEO Tim Cook, is powered by a faster dual-core A5 processor dual-core graphics, and double the RAM of the iPhone 4 (1GB). The antenna system has been redesigned, which not only should make for better call quality, but also increases the maximum 3G data download speed to 14.4Mbps, double that of the iPhone 4 (4G lite?).  All of this is powered by a hybrid CDMA/GSM transceiver, making the iPhone 4S good for any wireless carrier.

There’s also an improved 8MP primary camera that will take larger 3264×2448 photos in a shorter time (as little has half a second), and a five-element lens for sharper shots. Video capture has been bumped up to 1080p and includes video stabilization. The Camera app also has face detection.

Along with these hardware improvements comes iOS 5, the latest version of the iOS.  While an update will be available for some older iPhone and iPod touch models, there’s also a 4S-only feature Siri, a voice-interface based on the Siri app and Nuance technology allowing advanced  voice control and interaction.

The iPhone 4S will be available in 16GB ($199), 32GB ($299) and 64GB ($399) in both black and white.  Prices shown require two-year service contracts.  Preorders for AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Sprint begin October 7, 2011, with U.S. availability one week later, October 14.

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Sep 27

Let's Talk iPhone

The rumored October 4th iPhone 5 launch date is no longer rumor; Apple has begun sending out invitations to an event entitled “Let’s Talk iPhone” which will take place at 10:00AM PDT on October 4, 2011, in Cupertino.

Expect a new dual-core A5 CPU, an 8MP camera, perhaps a slightly larger touchscreen display, new Siri-inspired voice command software, and maybe even a second budget iPhone model.  Maybe more. But whatever will come, we’ll know  by around this time next Tuesday.

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Sep 12

Rendering by CiccareseDesignJune and July have traditionally been the months new iPhones have arrived on store shelves, but this year was different.  June, July and even August passed without word from Cupertino, and Apple’s delay has understandably led to a great deal of speculation about exactly when this year’s iPhone model(s) would be released. 

And while we still don’t know, leaks, business planning and other information all seem now to point to October as the month we’ll get our hands on the iPhone – be it iPhone 5 or iPhone 4S.

Item: MacRumors reported last month that Apple was eying either October 7th or 14th as the iPhone 5 – or whatever it’ll be called – launch date.  These are both Fridays, which would be in line with previous iPhone release days. 

Item 1: BGR posted a purportedly leaked BestBuy memo showing that pre-orders of the iPhone 5 will begin the first week of October.

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May 18

iPhone and LTE

Just in case you needed more than your own good sense to conclude LTE won’t be coming to the upcoming 2011 iPhone(s), a new report at Digitimes says Apple is unlikely to include LTE in the this year’s model due to “problems concerning yield rates of LTE chips offered by Qualcomm.”

I’m sure that’s a factor, but it also seems very much part of the Apple mentality not to include a headline feature that the vast majority of users wouldn’t be able to take advantage of until it’s about time to upgrade to the 6th gen iOS phone.  You can just hear the but this is no faster than the iPhone 4 comments from upgraders who don’t live in one of the handful of locations where LTE is currently available.  Not to mention the fact that LTE-enabled smartphones are still very, very new, and suffer from a number of problems, most notably pretty lousy battery life.

The Digitimes report also refers to this year’s iPhone as the iPhone 4S, a practice that’s been catching on with the tech press of late.  If true, this name suggests that the August-September 2011 iPhone will receive little more than a bump in processing power. Much like the iPhone 3GS did versus the iPhone 3G, there will likely be little of note other than more faster performance (not to say that isn’t a good thing).

I could be wrong, but everything I’ve seen all but confirms that it’ll be at least 2012 before we’re downloading music over “4G”.  And LTE isn’t 4G, dammit

Don’t get me started.

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