It was the most anticipated iPhone announcement since Apple gave birth to its first handset. In three days, the 4S sold four million. The iPhone 5 it's not. The most powerful blower Apple's ever made, it is.
In the last few months many imobilepost.com readers told us they had forgone the iPhone 4 because of reported signal problems, or lengthy 3GS contracts. In that time we've seen two new android operating systems, Gingerbread and Honeycomb, and a raft of ever-improving smartphones, all trying to fill the hole that Apple had left wide open.
Then last month the iPhone 4S arrived and order was restored. It's a feature-packed, dual core processor-toting slab of metal and glass. A spec-bumping, cosmetic upgrade it might largely be, but there are also things in there that you've never seen in a phone before.
Out of the box, the 4S looks identical to its older sibling bar the distinguishing birthmark of a brace of top-mounted incisions, signifying the new antenna design that lurks within.
Unless you're restoring the data from an older iTunes backup, the 4S doesn't require a computer for activation. You can restore the phone from an iCloud account, or set it up as a new handset. If you don't have an Apple ID, you have the option to create one.
iCloud, part of iOS 5, wirelessly syncs photos, apps, contacts, calendars and music to and from your 4S and other iOS 5 devices, though in-app info isn't transferred, so you'll need to re-enter login details, re-download offline Spotify playlists and re-affirm personal settings in every app that requires it.
The new A5 dualcore processor, as found in the iPad 2, makes things noticeably nippier. Apps launch quicker, web pages load faster, multitasking is more fluid and semi-pro apps like Pages lag less.
The processor also supercharges the iPhone 4S's graphics. Existing games run a little smoother, but you won't notice the 7x improvement claimed by Apple. Titles designed specifically to take advantage of the new chip are a different matter, though. Infinity Blade 2, launching later this year, blew us away with the detail and speed of its polygon pushing. We're talking 3DS and PSP-beating graphics here, and amazingly not far off what we've seen of the PlayStation Vita.