Apple unveils iPhone 4s

Sprint joins the ranks of the other iPhone carriers

Will the new iPhone 4s be on your teens holiday list this year? Photo via Apple press.

The sudden resignation of Steve Jobs as Apple’s chief executive officer last August has led to months of speculation as to the direction of the company. At a press event on Tuesday, the technology giant left many anxious customers and fans disappointed by failing to deliver a newly designed version of the popular iPhone.

The company instead introduced an upgraded version of last year’s iPhone 4 model. The new smartphone is a supercharged version of its predecessor, sporting the same dual-core A5 processor first seen in the iPad 2, which is reported to operate at seven times the speed of the older handset.  Apple has also improved the camera by increasing the shutter speed and allowing for sharper images, as well as adding 1080p video recording capabilities. The new model also boasts accelerated download speeds, and is available on both GSM and CDMA networks, thus allowing usage in almost every country.

The most impressive addition is the intelligent assistant feature, called “Siri.”  This is more than a voice command feature, as Siri allows users to access features of the phone hands-free, including setting alarms, getting directions, searching the internet, and dictating messages.

The iPhone 4s will be available Oct. 14, on AT&T, Verizon, and for the first time, Sprint carrier services. The design is identical to the iPhone 4, and the new smartphone is available in either black or white. While many expected the announcement of a completely re-tooled iphone 5, the upgraded iPhone 4s has some compelling features that distinguish it from its predecessor. Pricing starts at $199 for the 16GB version, and peaks at $399 for the 64 GB handset.