While many expected an iPhone 5, the big news at Apple's "Let's talk iPhone" event is instead an iPhone 4S, a modest upgrade to the company's iPhone 4.
The new model features a faster dual-core A5 processor, 1 gigabyte of RAM, and the ability to handle more complex and sophisticated gaming, with a seven-fold increase in graphics speed. It also offers eight hours of talk time over 3G, six hours of browsing over 3G, nine hours of browsing over Wi-Fi, 10 hours of video, and 40 hours of music.
The device also has an 8-megapixel camera and a new system Apple's Phil Schiller says would be comparable to a point-and-shoot camera.
Cook starts off the event touting the success of various Apple products, saying the iPhone has become the No. 1 smartphone in the world and has seen 125 percent year-over-year growth. He also says the MacBook Pro and iMac are the top-selling notebook and desktop in the U.S., and that iTunes is the No. 1 music store in the world.
Cook says the iPad is changing the way teachers teach and students learn. Every state in the U.S. now has an iPad deployment program in place or going in, he says. Almost 1,000 K-12 schools have a one-to-one program, meaning students can use the iPad for an entire day.
The iPhone 4S features an A5 chip, a dual-core processor that is twice as fast as what current models tout. Schiller says graphics will be seven times faster, and that games will get a huge speed boost.
During a demonstration today, Siri returns results for a Greek restaurant in the neighborhood, sorting them by user ratings. Forstall also shows off Siri's ability to respond to text messages, set reminders, schedule meetings, define words, look up information on Wikipedia, and even answer basic questions such as "How many days are there until Christmas?" or "How is Nasdaq doing today?"
Scott Forstall, senior vice president of iPhone Software, introduces iOS 5--a free update that will become available October 12. It will include updates to the Mail app, Camera app, and the Safari browser.
Game Center, Apple's social-gaming network, will get photos, friend discovery, and game recommendations. The Reminders app is a tool that lets you nag yourself.
It also features better Twitter integration, which is a part of the OS. If you have a Twitter account you just add your account and it lets you tweet things like photos, Web links, YouTube videos, and locations from maps.
Schiller introduces AirPlay, which allows users to watch content on multiple devices. AirPlay mirroring is coming to the iPhone 4S, so your phone can mirror what your AppleTV is doing. It also works with the HDMI adapter the company sells.
A new iOS app called Cards lets you create and mail cards from your iPhone or iPod Touch. It's basically like making calendars in iPhoto, but just for cards, Forstall says. Apple prints it, puts it in an envelope, and mails it for you.
In the Cards app, if a card is mailed to an address in the U.S., Apple adds a USPS bar code that sends you a push notification that tells you when it's delivered. The cost is $2.99 per card for the U.S and $4.99 everywhere in the world. It can be downloaded free on October 12.