Apple unveils new iPhone but it’s an upgrade not a new model
Published 05/10/2011 | 07:43
The latest "all new" iPhone complete with voice recognition software has been unveiled by technology giant Apple.
The iPhone 4S will go on sale in the UK on October 14 - the same day it is released in the United States.
Phil Schiller, senior vice president of Apple, last night said the new phone looked similar to the previous iPhone4 and shared its glass front and back and trademark stainless steel band.
He added: "But don't be deceived. Inside it's all new."
The phone has a new A5 chip inside which allows it to use much faster graphics for gameplay and download data twice as fast.
Senior vice president of iPhone Software Scott Forstall came on stage to show off the voice recognition software, called Siri, which allows users to ask the phone questions and get answers.
He said it works as "your humble, intelligent personal assistant that goes everywhere with you and can do anything for you just by asking".
Mr Forstall said Siri understood the language and context of users' questions and then gave a series of examples by asking the phone about the weather, his diary and the stockmarkets.
He said: "I've been in the AI field for a long time and this still blows me away."
The phone has an eight megapixel camera with five lenses, one more than the iPhone4, which will result in sharper pictures.
It also allows users to take HD video.
The press conference at Apple's California base was carried by videolink to its store in Covent Garden in central London.
It is the company's first major product launch in years without Steve Jobs.
New CEO Tim Cook took over after Jobs, who has been battling health problems, resigned from the post in August.
The 64 giga bytes phone will sell for $399 (£260), the 32gb for $299 (£195) and the 16gb for $199 (£130).
The phone is expected to sell well. Thousands of gadget fans queued to get their hands on the iPhone4 when it first went on sale last June.
Apple's flagship Regent Street store had to open its doors early to deal with the demand.
Technology expert Ernest Doku of uSwitch.com said some people would be "bitterly disappointed" at the announcement of an upgraded phone rather than a brand new model.
He added: "A phone which talks to you and answers your questions? That's the iPhone 4S. Slightly disappointing from a hardware standpoint, but Siri has the potential to revolutionise how we use our mobiles.
"Apple is gambling that people will see this as a reinvention of the wheel."