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iPhone 4S UK price and release date confirmed

The iPhone 4S goes on sale on 14 October for £500, with preorders starting this Friday.

The iPhone 4S goes on sale on 14 October, and for once we don't have to wait to get our hands on the latest Apple gadget. You can order it this very week and you'll have your mitts on it by the end of next week, but it'll cost you at least £500.

The new iPhone, unveiled today, hits shops in just over a week, in both the US and UK. For many iPhone releases we've had to wait, seething with jealousy, while our Yankee cousins get to poke and prod their new Apple-tastic phones.

At first glance, the iPhone 4S is identical to the iPhone 4. And at second and third glance, too -- the changes are all inside: the new phone has a souped-up A5 chip and 8-megapixel camera. It's powered by new iOS 5 software, including new camera features, and iMessage, for free messaging to other iPhones, iPods and iPads.

The new phone includes a voice-controlled personal assistant called Siri. Just ask Siri a question and your phone will read out answers culled from the Web.

The iPhone 4S launches on 14 October -- a week on Friday -- but you can place your order on 7 October -- this Friday. The phone starts at £499 for the 16GB version if you buy it from Apple, but no doubt the mobile phone networks will offer the phone on lots of suitably beefy contracts. There are also 32GB and 64GB versions, which will cost more.

Three has confirmed that it will sell the phone, and we expect the other major operators to follow suit.

Are you excited about the iPhone 4S? Tell us your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.