Apple today unveiled the new iPhone, the iPhone 4S. More of an upgrade to the iPhone 4 than a new model (thus the lack of the "iPhone 5" moniker), the iPhone 4S uses the same dual-core 1GHz Apple A5 processor as in the iPad 2, up from the iPhone 4's 800MHz A4. Apple also claims it's increased the battery life and doubled the maximum speed of wireless communications on the iPhone 4S.

That faster CPU powers the big innovation in the iPhone 4S: the voice-based "intelligent assistant" technology that Apple acquired in its Siri purchase in 2010. Using both voice recognition and artificial intelligence technologies, the assistant can respond to voice inquiries such as "what's the weather today" or "find me a well-rated Greek restaurant in Hoboken" and pull together the needed information to deliver the result for you -- at least for data sources it knows how to work with. The assistant technology works only on the iPhone 4S; previous iPhone models don't have the horsepower to run it.

 

The iPhone 4S also comes with both GSM and CDMA radio capability, so it can function as a "world phone." To compete with stand-alone digital cameras, Apple has upped the rear camera from 5 megapixels to 8 megapixels, increased the light sensitivity of the CCD, and added an IR filter, all to achieve f2.4 lens quality. For video, the iPhone 4S can capture 1080p video, and it comes with an image stabilizer.

How to get your hands on an iPhone 4S in the UK

iOS vice president Scott Forstall also recapped the features in iOS 5 and iCloud, which Apple will release on 12 October.