The competition: iPhone 4S announced

Apple has announced the iPhone 4S today at the Let's Talk iPhone event with Tim Cook at the helm. So, what's new with the iPhone 4S? Is it a game changer or simply a fill in for the iPhone 5? For a start I'm afraid we do have a killer app here. Unfortunately it's not currently available for Windows Phone (or any other platform) - Cards. Yes, you read correctly. Cards. More on this in a minute.

Comparatively, what has Microsoft and the WP team achieved in the past month? Mango (with 500 features), as well as new handsets announced from Samsung, HTC, Nokia to name just a few. How does the iPhone 4S measure up?  Read on past the break and see what's in store for the iPhone crowd and judge for yourself. 

Could Apple be losing their momentum? Could be, but one thing's for sure - the folk in the fruit company are smart. So we're not going to take anything lightly, and at the end of the day the iPhone sells and we're still struggling. Let's take a peek at what the announced iPhone 4S will bring to the table with the specification readout:

  • Apple A5 chipset, dual core Cortex A9 for 7 times faster graphics. This is basically the iPad 2 chip but probably not clocked as fast
  • Longer batter life – 8 hrs talk time on 3G, 9 hours browsing on Wi-Fi, 10 hours video, 40 hours music
  • New intelligent switching between antennas
  • HSPA+ 14.4
  • CDMA + GSM World phone
  • 8mp rear-facing camera, CMOS backside illuminated sensor, 73% more photons! High end IR filter Wide f2.4. Super fast photo taking chip. 1.1 seconds for first photo
  • 1080p, real-time video stabilization, real-time temporal noise reduction
  • SIRI artificially intelligent voice control
  • 16GB, 32 GB & 64GB models
  • AT&T/GSM, Verizon & Sprint

The iPhone is moving through the dual chip phase along with Android, while we settle with our optimised, minimalistic software running on powerful hardware like the HTC Titan. TiPb has a nice comparison chart up of handsets from multiple platforms for a quick look at the current competition (also seen at the bottom of this post). So we've seen the new device, no design change from the iPhone 4, we're now aware of the specifications, is there anything new with regards to software features?

As mentioned somewhere above, we have the Cards app, which allows the user to create a card using one of 21 available designs, editing text and adding photos. Apple will then create and deliver your card to the address specified. Prices: $3 within the US and $5 internationally. I know what you're thinking: "HELL YES! I WANT THIS ON THE WINDOWS PHONE!", but we should take a minute to step back and just think to ourselves, "is that really where Apple is at right now?"

The beauty of the keynote though was SIRI. AI voice control. Users will now be able to ask for weather forecasts, set alarms, answer texts, accessing Wikipedia and more. It's described as a "humble personal assistant" and is beta when released, which will be updated with more languages in the future. Check out the video below of SIRI in action, where have we seen this before?

AirPlay mirroring is coming to the iPhone 4S, which unfortunately Windows Phone doesn't sport out-of-the-box. Being able to mirror web browsing, gaming and apps on the iPad 2 is a feature I would not mind seeing on Microsoft's platform. It is awesome, no doubt about it. Oh, and iOS 5 will bring location sharing via an app rather than integration.

A nice reduction in price was presented for the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, which will both set you back for nothing at all and $99 respectively (contracted). While the 3GS is an old generation handset, it will remain to be snapped up by buyers who are upgrading from dumbphones and the like. This is something that Nokia will hopefully touch on with Microsoft for our platform with cheaper, less powerful handsets for a tighter wallet audience.

Lastly, Sprint was in the spotlight. Whether they transferred $20 billion from the company account or literally had one too many dinner parties with Steve Jobs, they've now got the iPhone 4 (and iPhone 4S) coming to the network. Although the carrier has a solid line up of Android handsets, it's common knowledge that the iPhone shelved in-store (and online) attracts the custom. Apple plans to rollout the device on October 14th that leaves time for Nokia to arrive.

Conclusion? Nothing new, worth moving along.

It's the same old keynote with incorrect statistics beefing up Apple and an improved handset. Apple is lucky that iOS5 will keep the fire burning with the iPhone 4S until the iPhone 5 comes around, but many will remain disappointed that the design was unaltered. All-in-all, Windows Phone has a very strong foot hold with Mango. Should you desire to find out more information about Apple's latest smartphone or new services, head on over to our sister site TiPb.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.