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It's all AppleApple announces the iPhone 4S with Siri and a new 8-megapixel camera, the iPods get a slight refresh and price drop, and AppleCare+ finally gives customers accidental damage protection.
It's Wednesday, October 5th, 2011, I'm Wilson Tan on CNET.com, and it's time to get loaded. It is of course an Apple heavy news day, first up, if you haven't already heard, Apple announced the iPhone 4S at an event at its corporate headquarters in Cupertino, California. The smartphone retains the same basic design as the previous iPhone 4, but comes with some redesigned internals and is now a world of phone with both CDMA and GSM compatibility. It's powered by the same A5 chip as the iPad 2 for 3D graphics and games and also, it comes with a new sharper 8-megapixel camera that can record 1080p HD video and comes with video stabilization and face detection. Well, Apple doesn't call the iPhone 4S a 4G phone. It does use HSPA Plus like many other 4G smartphones for up to 14.4 megabits per second speeds, but that only means you'll get 4G-like speeds on AT&T. The biggest change isn't in the hardware, it's a new software feature called Siri. Siri is an intelligent assistant that is voice controlled. Users can now enter in natural commands like set up a lunch tomorrow with my wife at 2 pm, and Siri will understand and send a calendar invite. Siri is not iPhone 4S only feature. The new phone goes on sale, October 14th, but pre-orders begin October 7th for AT&T, Verizon, and now Sprint. Pricing starts at $199 with the 16-gigabyte model with 32 gigabyte and 64 gigabyte models available as well. Finally, Apple will continue to sell the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS, which will retail for $99 and free with contract, respectively. The iPhone 4S wasn't the only thing Apple announced. The company updated its iPod line. The iPod Nano now features a built-in pedometer and now has clock faces for those who want to wear Nano as a wrist watch. In addition, the iPod Touch drops the price of the 8-gigabyte model to just $199 and now comes in a White model, but the largest capacity remains at just 64 gigabytes. These new iPods will arrive October 12th. iOS 5, which is the software that powers these new i devices will be released October 12th as well. Apple didn't announce many new features to the mobile operating system that it didn't announce at the Worldwide Developer's Conference this past summer, but it did announce the addition of a new app called Cards that will allow users to create and send real-life cards. The app has built-in themes and designs and users can use pictures from their photo library. Also on October 12th, Apple will launch its new Cloud service. iCloud will sync your documents, photos, videos and more on Apple servers; so if you're working on a document on your iPhone, it will appear automatically on your Mac at home. Apple did have one new feature announced as part of iCloud, the new Find My Friends feature. Users will now be able to track your other iOS friends with their permission, of course. So, when you go to a park or when you meet up with your friends in the city, you can know where they are. Find My Friends has parental and user controls as well. iCloud comes free for all iOS 5 and OS X line users with 5 gigabytes of storage. Apple will also be launching a new warranty service called AppleCare Plus for the iPhone. For $99, customers can purchase AppleCare Plus, which now includes accidental and water damage protection. Customers can replace their iPhone up to 2 times, but each time will cost $49 if it's your fault. AppleCare previously extended the warranty on the iPhone but didn't come with accidental damage protection and costs just $69. Finally, if all these Apple news had you absolutely wanting an iPhone 4S today, Apple will now allow you to recycle your old iPhone for up to $200. The 16-gigabyte iPhone 4 model will net you that amount while a 16-gigabyte Black model will get you about $180. Not bad considering the iPhone 4S models start at $199. Those are your headlines for today. I'm Wilson Tang for CNET.com, and you've just been loaded.