Apple surprises with launch of iPhone 4S

New Apple CEO Tim Cook surprised tech fans across the world, who were expecting the launch of the iPhone 5, by instead announcing an updated version of the iPhone 4: the 4S.


Cook, who took the helm of the company after Steve Jobs’ resignation in August, says Apple is aiming to boost its position in the global smartphone market, where it only has 5% share by volume, with this launch.

The company aims to target the growing Chinese market as well as its traditional European and US territories as it looks to stay ahead of its closest rival Samsung.

The iPhone 4S, which will be available in the UK from 14 October, is set to be promoted by a TV campaign featuring Adele. UK pricing has not yet been released.

The device has several new features on the iPhone 4, including the iOS5, which is due to be released on 12 October and will also be available as an update on its existing smartphone models.

IOS5 runs the iCloud system, which allows users to synchronise their media across different devices in the cloud without needing to attach them to a PC, which some commentators have said further perpetuates Apple’s “walled garden”, by keeping customers inside its ecosystem if they want to use the best features of their phones.

The operating system also has a voice control system called Siri; an instant messaging service, similar to BlackBerry Messenger; better camera features, including the ability to take photos in quick succession; improved push notifications and reminders; deeper integration with Twitter across the majority of the phone’s built in apps; a longer battery life; and a social update to its Game Center.

Despite the raft of changes “inside” the new phone, its design features on the outside remain exactly the same as the iPhone 4.

Cook’s presentation differed from his predecessor’s, by also bringing on stage his head of marketing Philip Schiller and the head of the iOS division Steve Forstall to help lead the launch.

Cook said: “Only Apple could make such amazing hardware, software and services and bring them together into this experience…I am so incredibly proud of this company.”

Shares in Apple fell by 5% minutes after the announcement, with analysts saying investors were underwhelmed by the new launch after they had expected a more radical update.
The company’s shares managed to regain some losses in the hours after the event and closed at $372.50, still down 0.6%.

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