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Insiders: iPhone 4S was always intended to use that design

updated 03:20 am EDT, Sat October 8, 2011

iPhone 4S camera parts support separate flash

The iPhone 4S look was always going to be the same as its predecessor, a number of tipsters gave out late Friday. Pointing to his historically accurate "valuable little birdies," John Gruber understood that a remade shape was "never in the cards." Timing notwithstanding, it was always going to represent an upgrade to the iPhone 4, just as the iPhone 3GS was an update to the 3G.

The only likely concessions to a physical redesign are the antennas. Along with the dual-mode support, the dynamic switching antenna may have been added after Apple faced "antennagate" and wanted to end any qualms with reception.

A pair of sources also added that camera performance really was a genuine focus at Apple. Executives devoted a large amount of time to camera features on stage, but Apple reportedly spent large amounts of effort on cutting back camera lag wherever possible and hadn't just achieved it as a secondary goal. Senior Worldwide Product Marketing VP Phil Schiller joked that the Motorola Droid Bionic's notorious multi-second shot lag was so poor that you could "get coffee" waiting for shots.

The design choices may disappoint those who had expected that a delay meant a complete remake. Many have noted, though, that the physical design likely wouldn't have changed what was inside and would have been new solely for its own sake.

by MacNN Staff



  1. msuper69

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I'm so happy ...

    the form factor didn't change. The internal upgrades are what's important.

  1. very

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It is not a surprise

    "Do not take this iPhone to the Genius Bar!"
    The beauty is that no one would ever suspected it's the new iPhone.

  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No one

    The current design is so awesome. None of the cloner have yet been able to copy it. All those moronic bloggers are idiots.

  1. Jittery Jimmy

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Last I checked, the look of the MacBook pro hasn't really changed in the past 8 years or so.

    The iPhone form factor is quite solid. It'll evolve, but I wouldnt expect major overhauls as they rarely improve on the theme.

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The three things we'll remember

    Years from now, we'll remember just three things about the iPhone 4S:

    1 - PC Free
    2 - iCloud
    3 - Siri

    Those are all software features. They all pave the way for the next decade of Apple innovation. And we'll see 2011 the way we see 2001, as the start of a new technological era. 2001 saw the beginning of the iPod era. 2011 will see the real beginning of the post-PC era.

    Even if the iPhone 4S were called "iPhone 5" and had a rounded aluminum back, we'd still just remember those two iOS features and that one infrastructure feature when we look back at the 2011 iPhone. Apple's iOS devices, as slick as they might be, are simply access points to the infrastructure that supports them. The infrastructure that no other company has. The infrastructure that few other companies, if any, have a chance of imitating.

  1. aardman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    I was watching one of the talking heads show the day Steve died and a reporter there was saying she decided she won't upgrade to the 4S, but if it were an iPhone 5 she would have.

    I just marvel at how stupid that remark is. First of all, she doesn't even know what an iPhone 5 is going to be like. Second, it's obvious she doesn't know either what the improvements are in 4S compared to 4. She just went by the name and the form factor.

  1. stefbystef

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iPhone 4S or iPhone 5

    Who gives a damn, as long as it's the iPhone you need. The iPhone itself is a marvel of technology, and will always be. The design is so beautifully perfect. Glass is beautiful. At the moment I wouldn't wish the Apple changes the current design.

    Rest in Peace Steve and have a nice trip :(

  1. FireWire

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "iPhone 4S camera parts support separate flash"

    yes? care to talk about it in the article text?

  1. mserv2001

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iPhone 4 Design

    I've never liked the iPhone 4 design. Having a glass back is bad. The glass breaks. The antenna is bad with regards to finger placement. Why is it good design to put the antenna where your fingers go? I think my iPhone 3GS is a better designed case than the iPhone 4.

  1. thinkman

    Joined: Dec 1969



    And why wouldn't they keep what I consider to be one of their finest designs to date (and that's saying a lot)? It is a piece of art as much as it is a wonder of technology. I hope they keep this form factor for vs. 5 as well!

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