CUPERTINO (CBS SF) – Apple Inc. unveiled a faster, more powerful iPhone on Tuesday in its first major product event in years without Steve Jobs presiding.
New CEO Tim Cook led the show after Jobs, who has been battling health problems, resigned from the post in August.
Cook, wearing a navy blue button-down shirt and jeans, opened by calling his nearly 14-year tenure at Apple “the privilege of a lifetime.” Those in the audience clapped as he entered, but the reaction seemed more muted than what Jobs had recently received.
Cook said the latest iPhone, which came out in June 2010, sold more quickly than previous models, but the iPhone remains just 5 percent of the worldwide handset market.
Apple is hoping to grow that with a new model. The new iPhone 4S has an improved camera with a higher-resolution sensor, said Cook. The processor is faster, which helps run smoother, more realistic action games, he said. It’s also a “world phone,” which means that Verizon iPhones will be able to useable overseas, just as AT&T iPhones already are.
Apple also confirmed Sprint, the newest carrier of iPhones, would also carry the 4S beginning October 14th.
The new iPhone also comes with new mobile software, iOS 5, that includes such features as the ability to sync content wirelessly, without having to plug the device to a Mac or Windows machine.
IOS 5 will also be available on Oct. 12 for existing devices— the iPhone 4 and 3GS, both iPad models and later versions of the iPod Touch.
KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:
CBS content partner CNET’s Editor-at-Large Brian Cooley said one of the best features of the iPhone 4S is the technological advances in the camera.
The iPhone came six years later and has gained millions of fans, thanks to its slick looks, high-resolution screen and intuitive software. There were 39 million iPhones sold in the first six months of this year.
“This may be the first camera phone that is good enough to make you forget you even want a camera,” he said. “It’s eight megapixels so it’s more size than it used to be in terms of image resolution. The technology in it to take really good photos is really going to blow people away.”
CNET Editor-at Large Brian Cooley:
Apple also said Oct. 12 will also mark the launch of its new iCloud content storage service, which will store content such as music, documents, apps and photos on Apple’s servers and let people access them wirelessly on numerous devices.
Apple also touted the popularity of its products and unveiled a new line of iPods, including a Nano model with a multi-touch display that promises to be easier to navigate.
The event took place in Apple’s Town Hall room, where the first iPod was launched a decade ago. Cook said Apple has sold more than 300 million iPods worldwide so far, including 45 million in the 12 months through June.
Apple’s stock fell $10.08, or 2.7 percent, to $364.52 in afternoon trading Tuesday.
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