How To iPhone & iPod iPhone 4S Hardware and Software Features Share Pin Email Print image credit: Francis Dean/Contributor/Corbis News/Getty Images iPhone & iPod Key Concepts Basics Installing & Upgrading Guides & Tutorials Tips & Tricks Switching from Android to iPhone by Sam Costello Sam Costello has been writing about tech since 2000. His writing has appeared in publications such as CNN.com, PC World, InfoWord, and many others. Updated July 16, 2019 Announced: Oct. 4, 2011 Released: Oct. 14, 2011 Discontinued: Sept. 9, 2014 When the iPhone 4S debuted, it was more notable for its software features than its hardware. The hardware offered only incremental improvements over the iPhone 4 — a faster processor, a better camera, improved video-capture resolution — but it was the software that got all the headlines. That's because Siri, iMessage, Notification Center, and iCloud debuted along with the iPhone 4S. In fact, Siri was an exclusive feature of the 4S, while the other features were part of iOS 5, which came pre-installed on the 4S. These features have gone on to become fundamental parts of the iOS and Mac ecosystems across many Apple devices. The iPhone 4S was also notable because it was the first iPhone to work officially on the Sprint network. New iPhone 4S Software Features The most significant software additions to debut on the iPhone 4S include: SiriiCloudiMessageNotification CenterAirPlay MirroringCards app (since discontinued)Find My Friends app. Notable iPhone 4S Hardware Features While the improvements to the iPhone 4S's hardware weren't revolutionary, they were still valuable. The notable changes in the hardware features of the iPhone 4S included: Apple A5 processor, the same processor used in the iPad 2. Apple said it made the iPhone 4S about twice as fast as the iPhone 4.A new dual-core graphics chip, which Apple touted as providing graphics performance up to 7 times faster the iPhone 4.GSM and CDMA cellular network compatibility in a single phone. This meant that the same phone worked on both kinds of networks, rather than requiring separate devices for AT&T and Verizon networks. Earlier iPhone models only worked on one network type.Two antennas which worked independently. This improved call quality and reliability.Faster data speeds of up to 14.4 Mbps download (HSDPA).8-megapixel camera, with improved color fidelity and sharpness, better whites, a new light sensor, faster speed in taking both the first photo and subsequent ones.1080p HD video recording with image stabilization. Despite its name and faster cellular data connection, the iPhone 4S isn't a 4G phone. Find out why here. iPhone 4S Storage Capacity 16 GB 32 GB 64 GB iPhone 4S Battery Life all figures in hours Talk Internet Audio Video Standby iPhone 4S 8 (3G)14 (2G) 6 (3G)9 (Wi-Fi) 40 10 200 U.S. Carriers AT&TSprintVerizon Colors BlackWhite iPhone 4S Size and Weight Weight in ounces, dimensions in inches Height Weight Thickness Weight iPhone 4S 4.5 2.31 0.37 4.9 Availability Release date: Oct. 14, 2011 in U.S., Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan. The phone debuted on Oct. 28, 2011 in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. A number of other countries got the phone by the end of 2011. The Fate of Previous iPhone Models In the past, the introduction of a new iPhone model meant the previous one was discontinued. In this case, both the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 were still sold for some time after the release of the 4S. The 8 GB iPhone 3GS sold for $0.99 with a two-year contract, while the 8 GB iPhone 4 was $99 with a two-year contract. The 3GS was discontinued in Sept. 2012, while the 4 survived until early 2014. Critical Reception of the iPhone 4S Upon its release, the 4S was greeted with enthusiastic reviews from much of the tech press. A sampling of these reviews includes: I awarded the phone 4.5 stars, saying it was "an excellent phone that introduces a potentially revolutionary technology."Macworld rated it 4 stars, noting that for some users "the iPhone 4S’s charms are a bit more subtle."Calling it "a winner" and "[the] best iPhone to date," Engadget gave the 4S a 90 out of 100.In rating it 8.6 out of 10, The Verge said "the iPhone 4S is pretty damn cool."CNET wanted a larger screen but still gave the phone 4.5 stars. iPhone 4S Sales The iPhone 4S was at the heart of a huge explosion in iPhone sales. In March 2011, about 6 months before the 4S debuted, Apple had sold around 108 million iPhones all time. Two years later in November 2013, that figure had expanded to over 420 million iPhones. The iPhone 4S wasn't the only iPhone for sale in that time. As noted above, the 3GS and 4 were still sold after the 4S debuted, and the iPhone 5 was introduced in Sept. 2012. Still, the 4S was popular enough that it wasn't officially discontinued until 2014, nearly three full years after its release. Continue Reading Everything That's New in the iPhone 5? Everything You Need to Know about iPhone 4S How the iPhone 3GS Changed How iPhones Are Named Are Apple's 4G iPhones Really 4G? All about the iPhone 5S's Hardware and Software Don't Buy a New iPhone Before Reading This Learn All About the Hardware and Software Features of the iPhone 3G iOS: A Complete Version History Everything You Need to Know About the iPhone SE Everything You Need to Know About iOS 4 Download User Guides for Every iPhone Ever Made What's New in the iPhone 7's Hardware and Software iPhone 4S Hardware, Ports, and Buttons Explained Anatomy of the iPhone 5 Hardware All About Apple's iPod touch, Model By Model How Much Does the iPhone 4S Cost?