Five Reasons to Upgrade to the iPhone 4S

by Tim Bajarin   |   October 4th, 2011

 
While design enthusiasts may have wanted a smaller, lighter and even thinner iPhone, the fact remains that the current iPhone 4 design is about as thin as you can get a smart phone and still pack it with all of the additional new features that will make it the most powerful and best-selling smart phone on the market.

What disappointed people may have in the fact that it is identical in design to the last model, is made up by the high-powered A5 chip that delivers 50% more processing power, and a new dual core graphics chip that is 7X faster than the one in iPhone 4. It has a the new signal processor that makes it possible to deliver Siri’s voice command driven personal assistant, the new 8 megapixel camera with enhanced image sensor, the new video processor that delivers stunning video and the dual antenna system that makes calls and wireless sensitivity better than ever.

From an engineering standpoint, this is the most powerful iPhone Apple has ever made and should help them deliver their first 25-27+ million iPhone quarter this holiday season. With the 3GS being free with contract, this phone could finally attract the laggards who hesitated buying an iPhone because of cost. And the iPhone 4 starting at $99, with its dual cameras and capability to do Facetime, will also be in high demand. However, there are millions of users with 3GS contracts that are out of subscription hell and will gladly make the jump to this new phone in huge numbers. And many iPhone 4 users are close to being out of their contract and many of these folks will also upgrade as soon as they can.

From a consumer standpoint, there are five major reasons why a person should upgrade.

The first is the new 8-megapixel camera sensor at 3264 X 2448 which is 60% more pixels than in iPhone 4 that Apple has in the iPhone 4. This includes a new powerful image sensor and will become the gold standard for digital cameras in smart phones. The images are just stunning. They are 30% sharper.

The second reason is the new video sensor that delivers the best video recording on a smart phone available. The demo they showed of a video taken and actually edited on the iPhone 4 S has to be seen to be believed. It now shoots at 1080P. A user would likely now be more than happy to just use their smart phone to take all of their pictures and videos as the quality of this is beyond what most point and shoot cameras deliver.

The third reason to upgrade is for the SIRI voice assistant. This introduces a whole new way to interact with your iPhone. You can ask it things like, what is today’s weather and get an exact answer instantly via voice. Or you can say, set my alarm for 6:00 AM and it does that automatically for you. Or you can ask, what time is it in Paris, France and it reads out that time to you on demand. It can answer hundreds of questions and enact immediate commands to the phone as part of its design.

What’s more if you are driving and hear a message alert, you can just ask it to read the message to you. Or you can just speak it your message and who to send it to and it does that as well. It can also do dictation in messages, email, and in any app that uses a keyboard. Most importantly SIRI and its voice system only works on an iPhone 4S because of its use of this special signal processor that Apple has on this new iPhone.

And the fourth reason is because of the new antennas. Apple has employed a breakthrough in the way antennas work by making them handle incoming and outgoing calls and data signals differently. This enhances quality of service and it goes a long way to delivering a better voice and data experience. Along with their CPU boost and speed gains from the Antenna that let the iPhone 4S operate at 4G speeds even though it is still a 3G phone, should get it a lot of street cred with users.

And the fifth reason to upgrade is because it is a world phone. That means it can handle CDMA and GSM and can switch between networks when traveling in every country around the world. This is great for anyone that has to travel the world for work or pleasure.

Another hot feature for all IOS users will be the new iMessage system that provides free messaging to any IOS device, which now includes all iPod Touches with the new IOS 5 software.

Of course, iCloud and its amazing synchronization engine will be a godsend to those who want to keep all of their music, video and docs always in sync and up-to-date. In fact, I consider iCloud a most important Apple product and one that will actually help define what the cloud is for consumers and force all competitors to follow suit.

Lastly of course, iOS 5 with 200 new features, will deliver much more power and capabilities to all iPhone and iPod Touch users and make them even more indispensable than before.

iOS 5 and iCloud will both be release on Oct 12th.

The new iPhone 4S will ship on Oct 14th.
The 16 gig is $199. The 32 Gig is $299 and a new 64 Gig is available for $399 with contract.

In the US the iPhone 4S will be available on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. By the end of the year worldwide it will be available in over 70 countries.

Tim Bajarin

Tim Bajarin is the President of Creative Strategies, Inc. He is recognized as one of the leading industry consultants, analysts and futurists covering the field of personal computers and consumer technology. Mr. Bajarin has been with Creative Strategies since 1981 and has served as a consultant to most of the leading hardware and software vendors in the industry including IBM, Apple, Xerox, Compaq, Dell, AT&T, Microsoft, Polaroid, Lotus, Epson, Toshiba and numerous others.
  • Anonymous

    While design enthusiasts may have wanted a smaller, lighter and even thinner iPhone, the fact remains that the current iPhone 4 design is about as thin as you can get a smart phone and still pack it with all of the additional new features that will make it the most powerful and best-selling smart phone on the market.

    Or they could check out the Samsung Galaxy S2. It’s thinner (8.8mm versus 9.3mm) and lighter (4.3 ounces versus 4.9 ounces) than the iPhone. It even has a replaceable battery–something Apple assures us is absolutely impossible!

    So much for Apple leading designs…

    • Alex554

      “Absolutely impossible”? (Citation needed.)

      I don’t know why a replaceable battery is inherently good. Do you like carring around extra batteries and swapping them out? Do you find this a better solution than simply plugging in the thing when you go to sleep at night?

      Or are you afraid the battery will lose its ability to hold a charge? Li-ion batteries are really good at holding a charge — my first iPod is 10 years old and still doing fine. Perhaps a replaceable battery is their way of compensating for using a lesser third-party battery (Apple mixes their own battery chemistry, which is one of the reasons their batteries have such great life).

  • Anonymous

    Wow, Apple must have paid Mr. Bajarin a nice sum of money to compose such a glowing review of an iPhone 4 remake. He even says that iCloud is the benchmark for all cloud services! You got a bonus there, Apple!

    • Anonymous

      It is interesting that you would make such a comment to an article that is simply an opinion article. Despite the fact that quite a number of folks in the media today have been saying positive things.

      The great thing about opinions is they allow for disagreement. To say someone is a paid talking spokesperson who is clearly credible in the industry is non-sense and ignorant at every level.

      • Anonymous

        Perhaps I went a bit far in my criticism to said opinion. He obviously wasn’t paid, of course, but he has fallen victim to what I like to call blind worship of the great Apple empire. As far as the media is concerned I give no credibility to them. They too have been indoctrinated along with the rest of Apple’s sheep. Anyone who has any intelligence knows that webOS is a far superior operating system to iOS. Unfortunately, that platform met its demise due to poor hardware and even poorer execution of Palm and HP. Now, I have no choice, but to support Android which is the lesser of two evils.

  • truth

    I bow down to Cupertino 5 times a day.