So today’s the day when the iPhone 4S launches worldwide, with the UK getting it at the same time as America – and pretty much everyone else – for a change.
In fact, over the other side of the world in Australia and Japan, the 4S started flying off the shelves many hours ago, as punters clamoured to get something to remember Steve Jobs by, so notes a Reuters report.
Some even believe the name 4S refers to “for Steve”.
The latest iPhone being associated with the last days of Steve Jobs on this planet – he passed away the day after it was unveiled – certainly won’t do its sales any harm.
Indeed the phone set a new record of first day pre-sales when pre-ordering went live, with a million units reserved where the iPhone 4 managed 600,000.
And the iPhone 4S has just gone on sale in this country an hour and a half ago, when the first Apple fan (with an Apple logo tattooed on his arm) was ushered into the company’s Covent Garden store to buy the 4S.
The usual overnight queues building up are being reported around the UK.
Naturally enough, the reviews of the iPhone 4S are flooding in, so if you’re considering getting one today or this weekend, we thought we’d bring you a swift round-up of the critics’ opinions.
The central innovations of the 4S are certainly evolutionary, not revolutionary. It boasts a faster processor, an upgraded camera, an improved antenna for better reception, plus a new voice recognition and command system called Siri.
Certainly some were underwhelmed at the device’s unveiling, especially those expecting an iPhone 5 with a redesigned look and possibly a bigger screen or other more marked alterations.
Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal notes that the Siri voice command system works pretty well, and called it the “standout feature”, in fact. He also called the new camera “brilliant”, yet he said iPhone 4 owners didn’t have a massively compelling reason to upgrade, as iOS 5 would pretty much keep them up to speed anyway.
SlashGear was pretty positive too, saying that the device takes better photos, runs apps more smoothly, and Siri is a “game-changer” (yuck) in terms of functionality. The site noted that the iPhone isn’t just about the hardware anyway, but the entire Apple ecosystem, which is what others find difficult to challenge.
Although Amazon is soon set to have a go on the tablet front, anyway.
The Telegraph gave the new iPhone a mark of 4.5 stars out of 5, and called the 4S a “good upgrade” with Siri again highlighted as an “important step forward”.
Like the WSJ, however, it said iPhone 4 owners could probably just upgrade to iOS 5 and didn’t really need to splash the cash on the new handset, which the paper felt was aimed better at 3GS owners now coming to the end of their two year contracts.
That’s pretty much the common theme – while it probably isn’t worthwhile upgrading from the iPhone 4, unless you’re an Apple fanatic or have money to chuck around, the 4S still represents a great new upgrade for iPhone 3 series owners.
And of course it’s a sterling smartphone for those wanting to take their first bite of Apple. Aggrieved BlackBerry owners, possibly, given this week’s events and the fact that iOS 5 introduces iMessage among its many new features.