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Apple iCloud and iOS 5 availability information has been added to this story. Click here for reader reactions: iPhone 5? Nope, 4S: Live Blog Recap
CUPERTINO, Calif. (
Apple's(AAPL - Get Report) hotly anticipated iPhone event on Tuesday marked the launch of the new iPhone 4S, a souped-up version of the tech giant's iconic phone.
Much to the
disappointment of many Apple fans, there was no iPhone 5 at the company's Cupertino, Calif.-based launch event. The tech giant, however, unveiled a host of new features on the iPhone 4S.
Apple CEO Tim Cook talks about the iPhone 4S
These include a faster dual-core A5 chip which offers double the CPU speed and seven times the graphics power of the earlier iPhone. The iPhone 4S offers up to 8 hours of battery life.
As anticipated, the new phone contains an improved 8-megapixel camera, which Apple says can produce sharper, more accurate images. The tech giant has also built a 1080p HD video camera into the iPhone 4S.
While the iPhone 5 did not materialize on Tuesday, chatter that Apple was planning a "worldphone" proved to be true. Containing both GSM and CDMA antennas, the iPhone 4S can run on both U.S. and European networks. Apple also extended the reach of its iconic phone by adding
Sprint(S) to its list of U.S. carriers.
In addition to its enhanced iPhone, Apple formally launched its iCloud service on Tuesday, along with iOS 5 on the new phone, which it is touting as the world's most advanced mobile operating system.
Apple revealed that iCloud, which was first announced at the company's Worldwide Developers' Conference (WWDC) in June, will be available on Oct.12 as a free download to iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch users running iOS 5 or a Mac running OS X Lion with a valid Apple ID. iOS 5 will be available on the same date as a free software update for iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, iPad and iPod touch users, it added.
"iPhone 4S plus iOS 5 plus iCloud is a breakthrough combination that makes the iPhone 4S the best iPhone ever," explained Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, in a statement.
Pricing for the iPhone 4S starts at $199 for a 16-Gbyte version of the phone, rising to $299 for a 32-Gbyte phone and $399 for a 64-Gbyte device. The phone, which can be pre-ordered from Oct. 7, will be available on Oct. 14.
Apple also cut the price of its iPhone 4 to $99 and announced that its iPhone 3GS will be free with a two-year contract.
Investors, however, were underwhelmed by the iPhone 4S news. The company's stock closed down $2.1, or 0.56% at $372.50 on Tuesday.
Written by James Rogers in New York.
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