Apple’s new CEO, Tim Cook, took the stage on Tuesday to unveil the company’s long-awaited iPhone 5. Except he didn’t. Instead, Apple rolled out a painstaking list of upgrades to the current iPhone 4, which will be called the iPhone 4S, including a voice-command feature and a better camera.
Cook riffed on his predecessor, Steve Jobs, by wearing ordinary blue jeans and a dark shirt—but his was a button-down, in contrast to Jobs’ trademark black mock turtlenecks. Jobs resigned on Aug. 24.
The phone closely resembles the current iPhone 4 but has a faster A5 processor, Apple said in a presentation lasting more than an hour and a half at its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters. It uses a voice-recognition program called Siri. Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, used it to ask his phone what the weather was like and what time it was in Paris and to set an alarm.
Apple shares closed down $2.10 at $372.50 on the Nasdaq exchange after slipping to a low of $354.24 in afternoon trading.
The new iPhone 4S is a "world phone," meaning it will work better globally, and it has longer battery life and an 8 megapixel camera.
Apple doesn’t even come close to dominating the market for smart phones yet. The research firm Gartner says Android smartphones have 43 percent of the market, while Apple commands just 18 percent. Research company IDC projects the global market for smart phones will double by 2015 to 1 billion units, a market Apple clearly hopes to grab.
Cook also ran through some impressive numbers. For instance, Apple has sold 300 million iPods since the first version launched 10 years ago. “It took Sony 30 years to sell 220 million Walkman cassette players,” Cook said.