On Tuesday morning, Apple held its developer's conference, "Let's talk iPhone" at its Cupertino headquarters. It was supposed to be the first conference since Tim Cook took over as CEO from Steve P. Jobs. The Internet was abuzz with rumors and speculation over the new product. Widely touted as the iPhone 5, it was supposed to be a major revolution which would shake up the mobile market. New design rumors surfaced, and atrocious leaks cropped up everywhere. There was also talk that an iPhone 4S might be released instead of an iPhone 5 (reported on Mashable) and well, that was what happened.
The conference started off with Tim Cook throwing out a whole bunch of stats about the iPod, iPhone, and the iPad. He moved on to iOS 5 and iCloud, both of which Steve Jobs had told a lot in July. The only new thing was that iOS 5 and iCloud are releasing on October 12 to the public. The first 40-45 minutes was all this, a bunch of facts, figures (a lot needs to be verified) and a very non-Apple like boring conference. A new iPod Touch and a new iPod Nano were also released.
Coming to the main part of the conference, about the iPhone, it was possibly the biggest anti-climax ever. With weeks and months of a speculation of an iPhone 5 with a completely new design (there was even talk of a transparent iPhone!), Apple released the iPhone 4S in typical Apple style calling it the best phone in the world (yawn). The big change was on the inside. Some of the changes were long overdue. Apple finally gave the iPhone a dual-core processor, the A5. The camera has been upgraded from a 5 megapixel to an 8 megapixel one. All these were expected. According to me, the two revolutionary changes in the new iPhone were Siri and GSM/CDMA compatibility.
Siri is the new voice assistant in your iPhone. Voice recognition and assistance takes a giant leap with Apple's new venture. Apple claims Siri is intelligent and will learn as time progresses. It is supposedly programmed in such a way that it gives you meaningful answers and much more when you ask something. For example, if you ask whether you need to take a jacket when you go on a vacation, it will respond by showing the weather forecast. Ingenious, I must say. Let's wait and watch how Siri lives up to expectations.
The other feature which caught my fancy was the GSM/CDMA compatibility. An iPhone now works on GSM or CDMA networks and also if you are using a CDMA handset in a place where there is no CDMA network (for example, when you are roaming), the iPhone will automatically switch to a GSM network. Neat.
Most of the changes to the iPhone were long overdue like the dual-core processor or the 8-megapixel camera. Its competitors like the Samsung Galaxy S2 or the HTC Sensation already boasted these. This was the reason why the "Let's talk iPhone" conference was a big disappointment and Apple's stocks in the USA faced a slump. There were other minor things too like Cards and Newsstands. On the whole, this Apple conference sorely missed the charisma of Steve Jobs, and the world has to wait for a while to see a revolution from Apple. With rumors abound on the Internet that the iPhone 5 might take as long as 2013, the wait might be longer than expected.
And while we wait for Google's release of Android Ice Cream Sandwich in December, share your thoughts on what you think of the iPhone 4S below. It also deeply saddens me that the genius called Steven Paul Jobs is no more and he will forever be missed. Stay tuned for the tribute to one of the greatest technological innovators the world has ever seen!