Apple has announced the iPhone 4S as the upgrade to the iPhone family for 2011 at a media event, retaining the iPhone 4 design but with brand new interior.
iPhone 4S features
While many were hoping for Apple to announce the iPhone 5 for 2011 with a brand new design, we instead got an iPhone 4S with all new interior, including an upgrade to the dual-core A5 processor, and a dual-core graphics upgrade, making the performance of the iPhone 4S significantly improved compared to the iPhone 4.
Look-wise Apple has kept it looking pretty much the same, but with the improved antenna design of the CDMA iPhone that was announced earlier in the year. The iPhone 4S is also a world phone, supporting both CDMA and GSM networks, making it work on a lot more networks than the earlier model.
Apple upgraded the camera of the iPhone 4S to 8-megsapixel with a faster sensor, f/2.4 aperture, 1080p HD video capture, image stabilization, noise reduction, and a much improved light sensitivity. With iOS 5 built in you can also use the + volume button to take pictures, and there is easy access from locked screen to the camera app. There are also other new features to the camera app that we will get back with more information on.
Data speeds have been improved on the iPhone 4S up to 14.4 Mbps HSPA, doubling the possible speed compared to the iPhone 4 model. It was perhaps a bit surprising that it did not get the update to HSPA+ and LTE, but one step at a time.
Battery life is said to be improved as well, with Apple reporting battery life of 8 hours 3G call time, 6 hours of 3G browsing, 9 hours of WiFi browsing, 10 hours of video, and 40 hours of music. It is not a massive improvement, but an improvement none the less.
Besides the technical upgrades, the biggest difference between the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S is the Siri voice assistant, a voice based system that allows you to communicate with the iPhone 4S, doing tasks such as setting up calendar events, send messages, get directions etc. More information on Siri to come.
The iPhone 4S is available to pre-order from 7th October with a UK release date of 14th October, available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB.
|Carphone Warehouse can offer the iPhone 4S on a range of UK networks. Price plans will be as per individual networks, but you might be able to get some additional offers in terms of overall value of the package.||Phones4u can offer the iPhone 4S across a wide range of UK mobile networks. Could be worth checking their site for any special offers and deals.||Dial-a-phone can also offer the iPhone 4S across a wide range of networks here in the UK. Worth checking for any special deals and offers.|
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|O2 is once again giving priority to existing customers that are looking to upgrade. Price information to come soon.||16gb iPhone 4S is available free from £46 a month on a 24 month contract. To get the 32gb version free you have to take out a £61 a month contract. On the same contract you will have to pay £99.99 for the 64gb version.||Vodafone is offering the iPhone 4S on a range of plans over 12 – 24 months, with the 16gb version available for free on a 24 month £46 a month contract.|
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|T-Mobile is offering the iPhone 4S 16gb for free on a 24 month contract at £46 per month or at £240 on a £25 per month contract. The same contract will get you the 32gb for £379 and the 64gb for £449.||On Three you can get the 16gb iPhone 4S for free on a 24 month contract at £43 a month. The same contract will get you the 32gb for £90 and the 64gb for £180.||Tesco Mobile offers the iPhone 4S on 12 and 24 month contracts and at some very competitive tariffs. Find out more about their iPhone 4S deals here.|
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We have also compared some of the top iPhone 4S contract deals for the UK based on which iPhone 4S model you are after, length of contract, upfront cost of handset, and overall which deal provides the best value for money.
iPhone 4S 16GB
iPhone 4S 32GB
iPhone 4S 64GB
You can see the full comparison table as a Google docs spreadsheet here
iPhone 4S 16GB best network deals
Here are the top deals on the 16GB iPhone 4S.
Vodafone is offering the best deal in terms of overall contract cost if you want the iPhone 4S 16GB for free. It is a 18 month deal at £51/month that includes 1200 minutes, unlimited text, and 750MB data. In total it will set you back £918 over the contract period –> Click logo to see deals.
If we base it on a Cost Per Month calculation the best deal is from Three on a 24 month contract offering 900 minutes, 5000 text, and 1GB data allowance. The total cost per month is £43 with a total cost of £1,032 over the contract time –> Click on logo to see deals.
Tesco Mobile is offering the lowest overall Cost Per Month (including handset cost) contract, with a handset upfront cost of £335, monthly contract cost of £25, which includes 250 minutes, 5000 text, and 1GB data. Total cost over the year is £635 (£52.92/month) –> Click on logo to see deals
If you want more minutes and a lower upfront cost, Tesco Mobile can offer 750 minutes, 5000 text, and 1GB data for £35/month which takes the total annual cost to £655 (£54.58/month).
The value for money deal is based on low overall cost per month, low upfront handset cost, and of course lots of minutes, text and data. Three can offer the iPhone 4S 16GB on a £35/month 24 month contract that includes 500 minutes, 5000 text, 1GB data with a low upfront cost of £49 for the handset. Total cost of the deal is £889 (£37.04/month) –> Click on logo to see deals.
If you prefer not to be tied down to a specific network and contract you can look at PAYG Sim deals, including this one from GiffGaff that gives you 250 minutes, unlimited text and data, for only £10/month. Combine that with an unlocked iPhone 4S 16GB from Apple at £499.
iPhone 4S 32GB best network deals
Here are the top deals on the 32GB iPhone 4S.
Orange is offering the 32gb iPhone 4S for free on a 24-month contract at £51/month, including 1200 minutes, unlimited text, 1GB data. The overall cost of the deal is £1,224 (£51/month) –> Go to Orange iPhone 4S deals
O2 also have a strong offer in terms of overall cost on a 18 month contract at £68/month, including unlimted minutes and text, 500mb data. Overall cost is £1,224 (£68/month) –> Click on logo to see O2 deals.
Tesco Mobile is again dominating the 12 month contract deals with a £35/month contract that includes 750 minutes, 5000 text, and 1GB data. The upfront cost of the handset is £300 and the overall cost of the deal is £720 (£60/month) –> Click on logo to see deals.
If you want to pay less for the handset it is also worth mentioning O2 deal at £52/month which includes 1200 minutes, unlimited text, and 500gb data, with upfront handset cost of £139.99. Total cost of the deal is £763.99 (£63.67/month) –> Click on logo to see O2 deals.
The value for money deal is based on low overall cost per month, low upfront handset cost, and of course lots of minutes, text and data. Three can offer the iPhone 4S 32GB on a £35/month 24 month contract that includes 500 minutes, 5000 text, 1GB data with a low upfront cost of £139 for the handset. Total cost of the deal is £979 (£40.79/month) –> Click on logo to see deals.
If you prefer not to be tied down to a specific network and contract you can look at PAYG Sim deals, including this one from GiffGaff that gives you 250 minutes, unlimited text and data, for only £10/month. Combine that with an unlocked iPhone 4S 32GB from Apple at £599.
iPhone 4S 64GB best network deals
Here are the top deals on the 64GB iPhone 4S.
The top model is not available for free anywhere at the moment, but you can get it for £29 on a Vodafone £62/month contract over 24 months, including 3000 minutes, unlimited text, and 1GB data. Overall cost of the deal is £1,517 (£63.21/month) –> Click logo to see deals.
Tesco Mobile is offering the lowest overall Cost Per Month (including handset cost) contract, with a handset upfront cost of £370, monthly contract cost of £35, which includes 750 minutes, 5000 text, and 1GB data. Total cost over the contract is £790 (£65.83/month) –> Click logo to see deals.
The value for money deal is based on low overall cost per month, low upfront handset cost, and of course lots of minutes, text and data. Three can offer the iPhone 4S 64GB on a £35/month 24 month contract that includes 500 minutes, 5000 text, 1GB data with a low upfront cost of £229 for the handset. Total cost of the deal is £1,069 (£44.54/month) –> Click on logo to see deals.
If you prefer not to be tied down to a specific network and contract you can look at PAYG Sim deals, including this one from GiffGaff that gives you 250 minutes, unlimited text and data, for only £10/month. Combine that with an unlocked iPhone 4S 64GB from Apple at £699.
* We have done our best to make sure all the information is correct as we have taken it from the respective network websites, but can not guarantee that errors might have sneaked in so let us know if you spot anything wrong. On the O2 tariffs we have added the advised £6 for 500mb data allowance into the tariffs themselves, so they are not identical to tariffs listed on their website. Please note that some of the links in this page are affiliate links from which we might make a commission on any purchases made. Prices and tariffs are as per 13th October 2011.
Latest iPhone 4S news
Apple has brought in Hollywood superstars Samuel L Jackson and Zooey Deschanel for their latest iPhone 4S tv spots, where the focus once again is on Siri the voice assistant as ‘she’ helps Samuel Jackson plan a date night and Zooey get tomato soup on a rainy day.
It was bound to happen, someone would fall in love with Siri, the iPhone 4S voice assistant. In a recent episode of Big Bang Theory the character of Dr Raj Koothrappali, who can only speak to women when intoxicated, finds himself in a relationship with Siri and his iPhone 4S. Find out more here.
Apple is feeling very cheerful this Christmas as their latest iPhone 4S ad features Santa taking advantage of Siri voice assistant to get through his busy schedule on Christmas eve, including his 3.4 billion appointments. Click here to see the new Santa ad.
Lots of iPhone 4S users are reporting battery issues with their new handsets, but what is causing the ‘batterygate’? Main suspects at the moment seem to be location services, including time zone settings. Find out more about the battery issues here.
Apple has started airing their first official iPhone 4S tv spot and the focus is all about Siri voice assistant and how it can make your life more efficient. Check out the video in the post and see some of the things Siri can help you with.
Apple has announced record first weekend sales for the iPhone 4S with 4 million handsets flying off the shelves in the first 3 days of sales, more than double that of iPhone 4 a year ago. 25 million people have also downloaded iOS 5 so far. Find out more here.
Looking for top iPhone 4S deals in the UK? We have compared tariffs and deals from leading networks to find top deals based on which iPhone 4S you are interested in, contract length, lowest upfront handset cost, and top value deals. Find out more about the top deals here.
Apple is reporting record pre-orders for the iPhone 4S hitting 1 million in only 24 hours, smashing the 24 hour pre-order record set by the iPhone 4 a little over a year ago. Have you ordered your iPhone 4S yet? Find out how here.
The new iPhone 4S had many of its features presented during the media event yesterday, but Apple forgot to mention the built in bluetooth 4.0 support, potentially opening up a world of accessory and app opportunities.
Apple has released the iPhone 4S video that was showed to people attending the media event yesterday, so you can now see more of the iPhone 4S features, including new camera and Siri voice assistant first hand.
Apple has made AirPlay mirroring available for the iPhone 4S through iOS 5, allowing you to mirror your iPhone screen onto a larger screen, such as your television set. Find out more about Airplay mirroring for iPhone 4S here.
The first iPhone media event as CEO resulted in iPhone 4S and lowered price iPhone 4 & 3GS for Tim Cook, but no redesigned iPhone 5, and I can’t help to feel a bit underwhelmed by todays announcements. Find out more here.
A Japanese Apple retail site might have already confirmed the launch of the iPhone 4S, including a release date of 14th October ahead of the start of the “Let’s talk iPhone” event that is now just minutes away.
The latest updates LIVE from the “Let’s talk iPhone” event from 6pm UK time, including announcement of next iPhone, whether it is the iPhone 5 or the iPhone 4S. No more rumors, this is the real thing!
Based on what we historically have seen from Apple product upgrades and the rumor mill, these are my last minute predictions ahead of the iPhone media event, and they might not be to the liking of Apple fans out there.
The hopes for a redesigned iPhone 5 might have received another blow as references to iPhone 4S appears in iTunes 10.5 beta release with images that displays an iPhone retaining the current iPhone 4 design. Find out more here.
There are news signs popping up that the new iPhone that will be announced on Tuesday is in fact the iPhone 4S and not the iPhone 5. Matching inventory information from Apple and this Chinese iPhone 4S product label. Find out more here.
Apple iPhone media event on 4th October is now official as invites go out to the press with strapline “let’s talk iPhone”, setting the expectations of what to come, but not revealing anything about the next iPhone.
Given the focus of the iPhone 5 rumor mill on design and screen size you might be surprised to see what actually matters to us as consumers, as a recent survey/infographic highlights what is most important for us when upgrading our iPhones.