Apple Announces iPhone 4S

Updated smartphone includes voice-activated service

In its first product launch since Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO, Apple announced its latest smartphone, the iPhone 4S, on Tuesday. 

The new iPhone looks like the previous version, but features a faster chip (the same one that powers the iPad), a new antenna design for better calls, an improved camera, and will be a “world phone” (which means it can run on CDMA and GSM wireless networks).

The iPhone 4S, which starts at $199, also comes with a personal assistant service called Siri, which responds to voice requests.  

According to the All Things D tech blog, Phil Schiller, the company’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, called Siri “the best feature yet.”

“What we really want to do is just talk to our device and we want to talk to it any way we’d like,” he said. The service also provides the time, reminders, dictionary searches, calculations via Wolfram Alpha, stock updates and more.

New Apple CEO Tim Cook opened the presentation with a review of Apple’s new stores in China and recent stats on the sales of iPhones and MacBooks. He also unveiled a few product enhancements and revealed that the previously-announced iCloud service will be available Oct. 12.

Apple also announced updated versions of the iPod Nano and iPod Touch, as well as a new app called Cards, which lets users design greeting cards from their iPhone or iPod Touch. Once you’re finished, Apple will mail a paper copy of the card for $2.99 in the US or $4.99 anywhere else.

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