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Apple iPhone 4S Launched: New CEO Talks Future Of Smartphones, Talking Smartphones

 

A casually clad CEO, a hand-picked captive audience and lengthy self-congratulations before showing off a few new devices…yesterday’s announcement certainly captured some of the essence of an epic Apple reveal, but the new Apple iPhone 4S has truly divided early opinion.

The Apple iPhone 4S (due on the 14th of October) is not the iPhone 5, but once again Apple never acknowledged the maelstrom of rumours that always surrounds their gadget launches, and the blogosphere simply whipped itself into a frenzy of hype…one that perhaps the Cupertino company could never have lived up to.

Extremely high levels secrecy and a desire to control every aspect of the unveiling has only seen intrepid bloggers and journalists become more creative in an effort to leak the year’s biggest tech story…

From blurry images on a Brazilian production line to a unibody prototype iPhone 5 hewn from aluminium, all wanted to know…yet many were a tad underwhelmed when they finally found out.

First things first, the iPhone 4S is a dramatically different smartphone underneath the overly familiar shell, updates include a new A5 dual-core processor (currently starring in the Apple iPad 2), a camera sporting an 8-megapixel lens – also with the ability to film video in 1080p – and an ‘intelligent assistant’ in the form of voice-driven application Siri, all making for an improved handset in the arena that it current shines brightest – user features and functions.

The fact that it looks near identical is unavoidable. Placing the handsets side-by-side makes the 4S a tough sell over its precursor at face value, as does the incremental naming change – seemingly a bunny-hop rather than the hardware leap between the iPhone 3GS and the iPhone 4, and at a standstill in aesthetic terms.

The marvel is what they’ve managed to contain in the same package. An improved battery life, touting 8 hours of 3G talktime and 40 as a mobile music player. The ability to download data at 4G speeds (as long as the network supports it) is another string in its next-gen bow.

An all-new pair of antennas (hopefully less error-prone!) enables the iPhone 4S to act as a ‘world phone’, operating on both GSM and CDMA networks – perhaps a bullet-point more for those on the other side of the pond, but still impressive.

Feature fiends may claim that many of these specifications have already debuted on Android handsets from the likes of HTC and Samsung, also touting larger displays and more affordable price-points – an incredibly valid point.

However, even though the Nokia N95 won the tale of the tape against the original Apple iPhone, we all know how that story turned out…and it’s important to note that the iPhone 3GS hasn’t quite been put out to pasture just yet, enabling some real mid-range options for price-conscious shoppers.

Consumers are all about the user experience, and the iPhone 4S continues the intuitive touchscreen experience Apple’s devices have become famous for, replete with flourishes of the new iOS 5 software (due to arrive on iThings from the 3GS upward on the 12th of October).

iOS 5 upgrades include a notification centre which is home to the latest events on your device (shades of Android…), free texts to iPod, iPad and other iPhone users with iMessage (more than a little of the BlackBerry Messenger in there) and the ability to finally sever the iPhone’s constant need to connect to a computer with wireless updates as well as data storage on the new web-based iCloud service.

Perhaps some of these ideas were cribbed from the competition, but the enduring march of the Android phones helped Apple realise the iPhone was far from operating in a vacuum, and needed to step up in a few key areas, which they have done.

Much time during the announcement was spent explaining the improvements in image fidelity from the camera’s new 8-megapixel lens, as well as the graphical grunt and ’7x’ improved gaming experiences that the A5 chip will deliver, proving to many that hardware steps had indeed been taken.

Needless to say, Gears of War developer Epic’s Infinity Blade II more than served its purpose as technical showcase, much as the original title did for the iPhone 4 (had to chuckle at the ‘RIP battery life’ comment on YouTube though!).

This portion seemed to serve as Apple’s most overt rebuttal, which smacked of ‘we know the 4S doesn’t look different, but trust us that there’s a lot more going on here’.

As for what the world has in store with voice-driven mobile marvel Siri…well, I went into a bit of detail on that exciting bit of tech on the uSwitch Tech site, alongside constantly pressing F5 in an eternal quest for Apple iPhone 4S deals.

As stale as the ‘evolution, not revolution’ line might be – aside from the gear change from the 3GS to 4 – that seems to have been the mantra that Apple has stuck to for the iPhone since the original device back in 2007.

So maybe we shouldn’t be too disappointed with another ‘S’ model…and Siri truly has the potential to change the way we use all technology, not just mobiles. Check it out.

But I still want my iPhone 5.

The Award For Best Use Of An iPhone 4 In A Music Video Goes To…

Childish Gambino might be the best unsigned rapper at the moment and has taken his eclectic style, witty flows and swagger into the realm of visual art with The Mixtape.

Weighing in at 9:41, it’s all riveting (if somewhat NSFW in terms of language) stuff as well as having an amazing use of some of our favourite tech in the opening video for ‘I Be On That.’

With just a table, an Akai APC and a couple of Apple iPhone 4‘s, Childish’s video mixtape is novel, visually engaging and genuinely clever in terms of undermining the template of hip-hop imagery.

Come for the iPhones, stay for the amazing performance and Nirvana cameo…

If Childish Gambino looks familiar, it’s because his non-rap alter ego Donald Glover has been doing literally everything in the last few years… He’s been a writer on multiple Emmy-winning show 30 Rock, performing as part of internet sensation Derrick Comedy, starred in (as well as produced the soundtrack for) the cult hit Mystery Team and acting as ‘Troy’ in critically acclaimed show ‘Community‘…in short, he’s a bit good.

Renaissance Man and Apple fan? Nice.

Apple iPhone 4 16GB Now FREE On Orange £45 Per Month Plans

UPDATE: Turns out that this is just a weekend long offer, so fill your boots with some cheap iPhone deals before they’re gone on Monday!

Apple’s iPhone 4  now available absolutely free on Orange £45 and above plans, courtesy of Mobiles.co.uk.  This brings the handset cost, or lack thereof, in line with similar existing deals on Vodafone, but consumers can be comforted by the fact that they are joining a provider touted as having the widest network coverage in the UK.

£45 a month on Orange will get you a shiny new completely free handset, 1200 anytime cross-network minutes, unlimited texts and a generous 750MB data allowance for all your mobile media demands.  Those looking for a cheaper tariff can also rejoice in the fact that handset prices have been dropped competitively across the other price plans.  The table below shows the previous ‘standard’ rates with the new ‘promotional’ rates below.  Go to Omio’s deals page for further details.

The merger last year between Orange and T-Mobile under the company  ‘Everything Everywhere’ created the UK’s largest mobile network with over 40% of the market.  ‘Everything Everywhere’ also encapsulates Three’s expansive 3G network, meaning customers will have the widest voice and data coverage in the country.

The Apple iPhone 4 itself needs little in the way of introduction, this sleek shiny touchscreen handset incorporates exceptional design, courtesy of Apple’s British design guru Jonathan Ives, and it’s widely praised, intuitive and downright swooshy IOS software continues to gain fans, including, (as you may have seen in the news this week), none other than Nokia’s head honcho CEO, Stephen Elop!


The 5 megapixel camera with built in flash also handles HD video recording at 720p.  On-the-fly editing is a doddle with iMovie, and everything looks incredible on the 3.5” 960×640 pixel ‘Retina Display’.  Users can make video calls to other iPhone 4’s via Apple’s own Facetime, or also via the popular free Skype app.  And speaking of apps, Apple is still king of the castle.  The App Store has currently over 400,000 apps available, and this year hit the 10 billion sold mark.  The handset is the proud receiver of T3 Magazine’s ‘Commuter Gadget of the Year 2010’ having provided hours of relief from the daily commute via its many many fun games and the familiar iPod music player.


We’ll continue to keep you informed about the latest mobile phone bargains, feel free to browse the other offers available for iPhone on Omio’s mobile deals page.

iPhone FaceTime video calling now possible over 3G

Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices can now use the FaceTime video-calling feature over 3G, by using the latest Skype messenger and voice software – which now has video capabilities built in to the new version.

The iPhone FaceTime video calling can still only be used through a WIFI connection, where the new version of Skype for devices running iOS 4 and above can be used to get around that limitation and for the very first time.

Video calling isn’t limited any more to just Apple to Apple devices either, as Skype can also be used to call a computer or laptop running Skype – where a webcam and the Apple front-facing camera can both to used for the callers to see each other over video.

Check out the full range of great offers on the Apple iPhone 4 and Apple iPad at OMIO.

Three also to sell the Apple iPad cheaply

 

Three has announced they too will be offering ‘more affordable prices’ for the Apple iPad and on a contract, in an identical statement to both T-Mobile and Orange.

Three companies have now unveiled in the next few months they will be selling the iPad at a lower cost than the Apple Store can currently offer and on a contract too, in much the same way as mobile networks can afford to offer a £500 handset for free.

Three haven’t confirmed any prices yet, nor has Orange or T-Mobile but they at least have provided a link to register interest which Three haven’t as yet.

Out of all of the networks Three currently has the cheapest price for the 16GB iPhone 4, at nearly a third of the cost of the nearest competitor – where it’s been rumoured Orange could be selling the Apple iPad at £200.  

With this theory in mind, Three could very well undercut EverythingEverywhere and sell the iPad at £150 or even £100 as the iPhone 4 currently costs £499 from Apple directly. 

Check out the full range of Apple iPad deals at OMIO

Orange UK: No White iPhone 4 Until End Of 2010


Those eagerly awaiting the chance to make a mobile style statement with the white edition of Apple’s iPhone 4 might have to make it a Christmas stocking filler: phone network Orange says that it isn’t due until at least the end of 2010.

An e-mail recently sent to patient Apple fashionistas confirms the fact in no uncertain terms:

We wanted to let you know that there won’t be any white iPhone 4’s in the UK until the end of the year.
If you’re happy to wait another few months we’ll let you know as soon as they’re back in stock. Want an iPhone 4 now?

Alternatively, if you want it now, click here or visit your local Orange shop to get the iPhone 4 Black 16GB or 32GB today.

Best wishes
Orange

Whether they’re trying to sway those folk on the fence about signing up to Orange or are genuinely not expecting the device until the close of 2010 is unclear, but it marks further delays to the white iPhone 4′s troubled journey to market.

With Steve Jobs confirming that manufacturing the white iPhone 4 “continued to be more challenging to manufacture than we originally expected,” it seems that the only way to stand out from the iFlock in the immediate future is a bit of elbow grease and some replacement parts from China…

Source: T3

Proporta Shine Cases: Soften iPhone 4′s Tough Exterior With Colourful Covers

Whether you consider it a design marvel or glorified paperweight, the iPhone 4 certainly looks like a toy for the boys.

Getting rid of the iPhone 3GS’ curvaceous rear and plastic frame, replacing it with more squared edges, metal accenting and the sparse utalitarian look has certainly reclaimed Apple’s device for the gadget geeks amongst us.

Well, Proporta have aimed to put a stop to this by releasing a selection of iPhone cases that boast enough gloss, leather and reflective surfaces to get the iPhone 4 back into the lookbooks of female fashionistas.

Available in red, blue or black, these Shine cases protect as well as provide a style statement by smothering the iPhone in its entireity, flipping open to reveal a snazzy inner lining, complete with make-up check mirror.

Whether this will get the iPhone 4 out of the shirt pocket and into the purse remains to be seen, but it’s definitely a new look for the device, and at £24.95 it costs a bit less than Apple’s official ‘DeathGrip’ solution…

See the full range here.


Apple Call Special Meeting As Pressure Over Antennae Fault Mounts

Brace yourself, this could be spectacular. Apple have called a ‘special’ (emergency?) meeting following mounting criticism following their handling of the antennae issues on the iPhone 4.

While Apple have not stated whether they will be addressing the antennae problem in the press conference, it is widely thought Apple’s handling of the situation has been uncharacteristically flawed: faults with the iPhone 4 were identified soon after the handset’s June release, which included problems with the phone’s reception when held a certain way and yellow spots on the phone’s screen.

Attempts by Apple to explain these problems have been pretty flimsy so far and on July 2nd Apple released a statement that attributed the iPhone’s reception problems to a problem with the formula they had been using to calculate reception bars. However, even the promise of an over-the-air update has failed to wash with customers who have identified clear hardware problems.

The disquiet over the situation with iPhone 4 has even spread to the markets and analysts noted a 4% drop in Apple’s share price, which many have said was due to a negative review in the US’s consumer-press.

It would appear this latest knock to their reputation has brought about tomorrow’s meeting.

Sales of Apple’s latest device were stunning over the first three days of its release, selling over 1.7 million units worldwide. A recall of the device could mirror that and prove particularly costly though, with estimated costs exceeding the £1bn mark. Alternatively a cheaper option might be to issue free rubber bumpers, a cost effective, if piecemeal solution at around £118m. We’re not sure that would satisfy people who’ve shelled out around £500 each for the handset.

Anyway, the event kicks off tomorrow evening, Friday 16th June at 17:00 GMT to be exact, which is right about when most people here are looking to head out of the office. Quite a smart move from Apple if you ask us; just bury the bad news in people’s end of week elation.

Apple’s Shares Hit By 4% After Bad iPhone 4 Review

It has been reported that Apple’s shares have been hit by 4% after a report surfaced on a large US consumer publication that drew attention to the iPhone 4′s ongoing antennae issues.

The news comes as speculation mounts that Apple may have to recall its latest device – which sold a record 1.7 million worldwide in its first three days. Consumer Reports said that it simply could not recommend the iPhone 4 after its tests confirmed that signal dropped off when handling the device is a certain way. Not such probelm was observed in the 3GS model.

So far, Apple has not commented on comments for it to recall the iPhone 4. In an official statement however, Apple attempted to explain the antennae problems as due to a problem with the formula used to calculate reception bars:

‘Upon investigation, we were stunned to find that the formula we use to calculate how many bars of signal strength to display is totally wrong. Our formula, in many instances, mistakenly displays two more bars than it should for a given signal strength. For example, we sometimes display four bars when we should be displaying as few as two bars.’

The statement has been largely panned by other commentators however, we see Apple attempting to divert consumers form the real problems, which lie in the hardware.

Nevertheless, Apple has said that they will be releasing a free over-the-air software update in the next few weeks which, it is said, should remedy the way reception is reported on the handset.

Source: Mobile Today

Colourway Lets You Customize Your iPhone 4

Fans of personalised chattels can rejoice as Colorware the company who specialise in user-created colourways for gadgets have now added suport for the iPhone 4 on their services.

The service works pretty much like Nike ID does, but with gadgets, so you pick colours, send in your handset and prepare to shell out a couple hundred dollars. Customisation of your iPhone 4 will set you back $250 and for that you get to decide the colour of the phone’s frame, back, button, SIM card tray and even earbuds.

$250? Some people must be carrying on like there’s no recession! Nevermind, customising one’s stuff has never been too cheap and $250 is just the starting point: if you want to specify a particular colour, then simply enter the Pantone PMS number and expect to pay even more.

Intrigued as to how the service works? See below for the video from Colourwar themselves:


Via IntoMobile.com