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Apple iPhone 4S launches

New phone, voice features, same chassis

Apple CEO Tim Cook tonight launched a new iPhone. The next generation of Apple's iconic smartphone is called the Apple iPhone 4S.

The Apple iPhone 4S carries the same shape as the current Apple iPhone 4, with a retina display. It has a faster, dual-core A5 processor that Apple says is twice as fast at CPU tasks as the iPhone 4. The phone has dual-core graphics, that Apple claims is up to seven times faster than the previous iPhone.

Despite these claims, Apple also said that the new iPhone has much longer battery life that its predecessor, with a claimed eight hours of talk time, and 10 hours of video. The phone will be able to work on networks throughout the world, being both CDMA and GSM enabled - a big bonus for UK users travelling to the US, for example. Apple was also keen to stress that its antennae are a big improvement on the oft criticised iPhone 4.

HERE'S THE FULL STORY: Apple iPhone launch event: the details

The iPhone 4S sports an 8Mp camera, with a f2.4 aperture for improved low-light photography. The camera will offer 1080p video recording, with real-time video image stabilization and realtime noise reduction. Apple claims the iPhone 4S phone does face detection, takes only 1.1 seconds to take the first photo, 0.5 seconds for subsequent shots, as well as better low-light performance and white balance.

The iPhone 4S has voice-control technology called 'Siri'. Although still in beta, with Siri, you ask your device a question ('wake me up at 6am', or 'what's the weather like in Woking') and it fulfils the necessary functions: in the case of our examples, setting the alarm for 6 o'clock, or booting the weather app and finding the information required. It is partnered with Yelp to find restaurants and shops etc. Siri also reads out notifications and messages.

According to Apple, Siri links to sites such as Wikipedia and Wolfram Alpha, as well as lots of apps, in an intelligent way to understand relationships, preferences and contacts, and provide real-time, intelligent information and interactivity.

In essence, Siri replaces the keyboard in all iPhone applications. It is integrated with reminders, maps, calendar, email, messages, weather, stocks, clock and contacts. You can compose and send an email direct from Siri, Apple says.

Siri will be available immediately, albeit in beta, and works in English, French and German over 3G and Wi-Fi. It is hardware dependent, and so is available only the iPhone 4S.

The iPhone 4S will cost the same as the iPhone 4, and comes in the same sizes with an additional 64GB model. It will be available in the UK and the US on October 14, and the rest of the world by October 28.

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