Apple unveiled its first update to the iPhone in more than year, but it may not be enough to fend off surging competition.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based company’s iPhone 4S features the A5 dual-core processor, an 8-megapixel camera capable of 1080p video capture and the voice recognition program Siri, but also sports the same exact screen size and design as the iPhone 4.
Apple’s iPhone 4S focuses solely on the inside rather than the outside, four months after the regular launch window for a new iPhone passed and hype surrounding the company’s next handset built to enormous heights. Many expected the company to wow with a redesigned iPhone 5, but the iPhone maker instead stuck to its past formula more than a year after it announced the iPhone 4.
When Apple released the iPhone 3G in July 2008, the company followed it up with the 3GS in June 2009. It wasn’t until the iPhone 4 that a major redesign took place. The 3GS also sported the same body as its predecessor but featured many updates similar to the ones seen in the 4S: a new processor, better camera and faster overall performance.
Consumers and critics saw Apple’s 3GS as a successful upgrade, but the state of the smartphone market was much different then. The iPhone was still in the process of completely dethroning Research in Motion’s BlackBerry devices, Microsoft was struggling to gain its footing in the market and the first Android device was months away.
Now, with RIM readying an all new mobile platform to compete, Microsoft pouring money into the growing Windows Phone platform and Android reigning as the overall leader in smartphone market share, Apple is up to the same tricks.
Customers will still line up at the door on launch day for the 4S and crash Apple’s servers on October 7 as they click away trying to nab a pre-order. However, those hungry for bigger changes will likely skip the update, feeling it’s not worth their money. Others may even ponder hopping over to another device entirely.