Tuesday’s event was just as I expected, everything was focused on iPhone and the related products, plus a minor upgrade to the iPods. Let’s review what all was discussed on Tuesday by Tim Cook and company:
The iOS 5 segment of the presentation was mainly review of the new, powerful features of iOS 5. Apple did discuss two new apps they are launching:
Cards: Allows you to send beautifully designed picture cards from your iPhone which are then printed and sent for you. Cards sent within the US are $2.99 per card and for anywhere else in the world they are $4.99 per card. This could be interesting and as we have seen with iPhoto, Apple makes great cards! The app will be free in the app store.
Find My Friends: Find my Friends, allows users to find friends who also use an iPhone. Friends must be first approved and you can even make temporary groups of friends to share your location with certain people for a set period of time. There are privacy settings built-in, including parental controls. I’m hoping this will bea free download in the App Store and not pre-installed on iOS so users can opt-in and hopefully prevent a privacy scare.
iOS 5 will be released Wednesday October 14th!
Ok, there was no real news about iCloud except perhaps the ability to purchase additional storage directly on your device. They merely reviewed the features and told us that it will be released to the public Wednesday October 14th!
iPod Touch: The iPod Touch only got one modification, which was the addition of a white model. Also, the price of the 8 GB model dropped from $229 to $199, while the 16 GB and 32 GB both remain at $199 and $299 respectively.
iPod Nano: The iPod Nano also retained the same design and really only has updated software which adds multiple clock faces (including a Mickey Mouse face). and built-in fitness functionality for walking and running. The Nano prices dropped to $129 and $149 for the 8 GB and 16 GB models respectively. Current generation iPod Nano owners can update their current device to enjoy the new features.
The current iPod Shuffle and Classic will continue to be available unchanged.
The big announcement was the new iPhone, or the slightly improved iPhone 4s. The two major improvements is the use of Apple’s duel-core A5 processor and improved graphics, which will be great for gaming. The iPhone 4s added a few features which makes the already great iPhone 4 even better! It has an improved wireless system that uses two antennas and intelligently switches between them for better signal quality. Maybe this will prevent the antennagate scandal iPhone 4 early adopters experienced last year. The 4S also has a significantly better camera with an 8MP sensor as well as improved low light sensitivity. The major feature the iPhone 4S will have and the iPhone 4 won’t have even with iOS 5 is Siri . Siri is a voice-based personal assistant application that allows for voice commands as well as dictation which can be incredibly powerful, and helpful and makes me really wish it was a software update for the iPhone 4. The new iPhone 4S will be released October 14th on AT&T, Verizon and for the first time, Sprint. The pricing is the same as previous models with the addition of a 64 GB model for $399. There also will be only one iPhone and the models will only differ in storage because it is now a world phone meaning it has both a GSM and CDMA radio in it.
But, don’t count the iPhones 4 and 3GS out. An 8 GB iPhone 4 will be available for $99 and the iPhone 3GS will now be free, both prices assume a 2-year contract. The free 3GS, although it will only be on AT&T, will be very helpful to growing Apple’s mobile market share, because now they are the same price as a the free flip phone beside the fact you need to buy a monthly data plan. I have a feeling that many consumers might choose the 3GS even with the data plan, although it is 2 years old because it has a lot more features than those “dumb phones”.
This event wasn’t the big brand-new, revolutionary product launch that one might think Tim Cook would have as his first event as CEO. However, the new product line Apple has is great and I think the 4S will sell as well if not better than it’s predecessors.