iPhone 4S Announced! No Curved Glass iPhone 5. Here’s What’s New

First things first. There is no curved glass iPhone 5. The iPhone 4S was announced.

Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage this morning in Cupertino for the first major announcement in the post-Steve Jobs era. Here’s what was announced by Tim, Eddie Cue, Phil Schiller and others.

After nearly a half hour of background information, the first iOS5 commentary started. Here’s what was announced that was actually new (not previously announced like Apple Newsstand for e-magazines and newspapers).

– The Cards app for iPhone and iPod touch lets you create and mail paper cardsfor $2.99 (US) or $4.99 (elsewhere). The cards will have, of course, custom Apple postage.

– The iOS 5 update for existing supported devices (recent iPad, iPhone and iPod touch models) will be available on October 12.

Family and Friends is a new service from Apple that lets you share location with family and friends for specific blocks of time (e.g., during the day while on vacation with the family). It is part of the iCloud service which will be available for free for iOS 5 and Mac OS X Lion users.

– The new 7th generation iPod nano has 16 new clock faces for those who like to use a nano as a watch. The new 8GB iPod nano is $129 and the 16GB model is $149. Both are available starting today.

– The 5th generation iPod touch models are priced at $199, $299 and $399 for the 8GB, 32GB and 64GB models, respectively. Phil Schiller said that the iPod touch is themost popular portable game player in the world.

iPhone 4S:
— 16GB = $199, 32GB = $299, 64GB = $399.
— Available for pre-order from Sprint starting on October 7 with availability beginning October 14.
— the A5 dual-core processor found in the iPad 2.
— It also has dual-core graphics hardware that is capable of performace up to seven times faster than the iPhone 4.
— The iPhone 4S’ battery life is rated at 8 hours talk time (amazing).
— A new two-antenna switching technology will reportedly increase theoretical wireless data performance from 5.8Mbps up and 7.2Mbps down to 14.4Mbps (symetrical).
8 megapixel camera with a CMOS backside illuminated sensor that can get 73% more light than the iPhone 4 sensor (think: better indoor low-light photos).
— 1080p HD video (up from 720p with the iPhone 4) with real-time image stabilization and noise reduction (no more shakycam videos).
— The Siri speech recognition and interpretation technology acquired last year is integrated into the iPhone 4S. It lets you ask questions in English, French and German and get results on screen. Query results comes from Wikipedia, Wolfram Alpha and other content sources. Siri can also be used to capture dictation to create an email message or other text creation tasks.

NOTE: The dramatic graphics performance difference between the iPhone 4S and older iPhone and iPod touch devices may create a whole new class of games, augmented reality and other graphic intensive apps that only perform well on the new generation of devices.

– The 8GB iPhone 4 is still available for $99 while the 8GB 3GS is free.