Amid this morning's iPhone 4S preorder meltdown on Apple's online store, the company quietly announced that an unlocked version of the device is coming next month.
Beneath the options to get the iPhone 4S on either AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon, the company teased that users can also wait until November to get an unlocked and contract-free version of the device.
"The unlocked iPhone works only on supported GSM networks, such as AT&T in the U.S.," Apple says in its description. "When you travel internationally, you can also use a micro-SIM … Read more
One of the lesser-known facts to emerge about the iPhone 4S yesterday is that it is the first phone to launch with Bluetooth 4.0, the latest version of Bluetooth. Not many products are available with Bluetooth 4.0 just yet--in fact, two of the most recent products to ship with Bluetooth 4.0 are also from Apple: the MacBook Air and the Mac Mini. Bluetooth 4.0 is backward-compatible with all other versions of Bluetooth, so you can pair existing Bluetooth headsets with the new iPhone without a problem.
So what's so special about it? According to Mike Foley, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group), the key new feature of Bluetooth 4.0 is its low-energy technology. This lets device manufacturers replace proprietary sensor technology with Bluetooth, which is a more widely adopted standard. An obvious example is in the health and fitness category. Most pedometers, heart rate straps, and blood glucose monitors are designed to only talk to a specific wristwatch or control unit. If these same devices had Bluetooth 4.0, they could speak to any Bluetooth 4.0 device, be it phone or computer, without requiring an intermediary.
"It's an extremely optimized version of Bluetooth," Foley said. "It enables an entirely new class of product into the Bluetooth world." … Read more
With any new Apple iPhone or iPad, a logistical question emerges that bears considering: how do you buy it without enduring a line or a long wait time? The iPhone 4S goes on sale next week on October 14, and it's crossed my mind that my travails with both the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 weren't pretty. Resellers have recently been largely responsible for making the already challenging Apple Store lines an unbearable ordeal with products being sold out well before most people even knew they were back in stock.
In fact, I preordered an iPad 2 back in the spring, then canceled when I decided that the two-week wait time could be bettered by a quick trip to the Apple Store. I bet wrong, and spent two weeks calling Best Buys and searching message boards for a place that would have the iPad I wanted in stock.
Embarrassing, yes, but this was a common occurrence for many people during the first month or so of both the iPhone 4 and iPad 2's existence.
Related stories Apple's next iPhone makes its debut ZDNet: iPhone 4S is swell, but pricing is the killer app Do Apple Stores need a better product reservation system? Does the iPhone 4S need a redesign? Apple iPhone 4S unveiled (roundup)
I have one simple suggestion, and it's hardly a shocker: take advantage of preorder. … Read more
Every time I check my in-box, the wad of cash being offered for old iPhones seems to be growing. Right now it's up to as much as $357 for a used 32GB iPhone 4--provided it's in excellent condition.
That's the highest price being offered today--and apparently today only--from eBay Instant Sale, the electronics recycling arm of the auction site. The offer is separate from the normal auction, "make an offer," and "buy it now" listings on eBay. It's actually a partnership between eBay and a single electronics wholesaler, which makes instant buyback offers for old phones based on the model, its condition, and whether the charger is included.
Instant Sale was already offering some of the best prices around, but in the wake of the iPhone 4S reveal yesterday, they've upped their offer prices for today only by around 5 percent to 10 percent--that translates to an extra $20 or so in your pocket in the case of some used iPhones.… Read more
I got an e-mail this morning from Crimson Hexagon, which describes itself as "a leader in social media analytics" and says it studied the Twittersphere in "real time" to find out how consumers really feel about Apple's iPhone 4S announcement. Not surprisingly, the results of the analysis seem to echo the sentiments of CNET readers.
According to Crimson Hexagon, here are the highlights:49 percent showed negativity toward the announcement, with 33 percent expressing disappointment that the iPhone 4s was released and not the iPhone 5. 16 percent shared their feelings that Tim Cook is … Read more
The iPhone today got an internal overhaul--its remarkably unchanged exterior notwithstanding.
Apple is "completely rethinking the inside" of the iPhone, according to Greg Joawiak, vice president of iPhone product marketing, who spoke in a video now up on Apple's Web site.
The biggest change is the dual-core A5 processor packing improved graphics silicon. "With two processors handling the workload, it really makes a big difference," Bob Mansfield, senior vice president of hardware, said in the same video.
"In Safari, Web pages will load up to twice as fast. Apps will run and launch faster...graphics can [load] up to seven times quicker, making game playing a lot better," Mansfield said.
If the A5-equipped iPad 2 is any indication, that second-generation Apple tablet showed big jumps in benchmark scores compared to the original iPad.
The other big change is the camera. In fact, the balance of statements by Apple today about internal changes were about the camera and optics. "We've increased the size of the aperture to let in more light," Mansfield said. "And added a fifth lens [resulting in] sharper images, more detail, more accurate color...and 1080p video at 30 frames per second."
Apple has also included a backside illumination sensor for increased sensitivity and a shorter exposure time to achieve the same scene brightness. "Colors are less saturated, and you'll see more details," Apple states on its iPhone 4S camera Web page. The camera also adds face detection and reduced motion blur.
And the A5 chip helps out here too. "The A5 chip is designed with an image signal processor that's just as good as the ones found in dSLR cameras," Apple claims. The image processor allows you to tap to focus and control exposure. And the A5's image processor also enables immediate photo capture (aka "zero shutter lag") when taking pictures.
And the camera also uses better algorithms in iOS 5 for more color accuracy, better white balance, and greater dynamic range. … Read more
In case you missed it, Apple this morning announced the iPhone 4S a follow-up to the iPhone 4, along with the release dates for iOS 5 and iCloud. You can re-watch the whole event right here.
Below are some of the big claims that circulated leading up to the event, and how they stacked up against today's actual news:
A phone you can talk to that understands what you're saying? At a basic level, Apple's had that since the first version of Voice Control was introduced with the iPhone 3GS. The only problem is that … Read more
At today's Apple event, a new iPhone was announced. Surprise, surprise: the iPhone 4S is a modest upgrade, at least in terms of design. However, it shares a benefit with its larger iPad 2 cousin: significantly improved graphics.
It's no longer a secret or even an aspiration: the iPhone and iPod Touch are now the most popular gaming handhelds on the planet. The Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita are, at best, hopefuls trying to steal away Apple's newfound crown. So, how does Apple's latest iPhone hold up the mantle as the reigning gaming handheld du jour?
In short: by continuing to do what it does best.… Read more
Today, Apple officially announced the iPhone 4S, which means we can finally be done with the rumors and get down to the facts. Though we didn't get the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4S might not look all that different from the iPhone 4, there are a number of changes under the hood. To help you out, we've put together this handy comparison chart of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, so you can see the differences for yourself. … Read more