What you need to know
- Apple introduced the iPhone 4S eight years ago.
- Apple VP Phil Schiller took the stage to unveil the successor to the iPhone 4.
- It was the last iPhone unveiled while Steve Jobs was still alive.
On October 4, 2011, Apple VP Phil Schiller took the stage during Apple's fall event and unveiled the iPhone 4S. The iPhone 4S was the follow-up to the iconic iPhone 4 that ushered in a new era of premium smartphone design. With the eighth anniversary falling today, let's take a look back at the iPhone 4S.
When Apple unveiled the iPhone 4S, it was entering a new era. Steve Jobs had recently stepped down as CEO of the company to focus on his battle with pancreatic cancer. This forced Tim Cook into the spotlight to lead Apple into its next phase. That started with the iPhone 4S.
The iPhone 4S was the "s" version upgrade of the iPhone 4, which meant it didn't usher anything new design-wise aside from fixing the antennagate problem and adding a new white color option. Instead, most of the big features came inside with the powerful A5 chip, iCloud, vastly improved 8MP camera and Siri voice assistant.
Unsurprisingly, the iPhone 4S was an instant hit and cemented another hit for Apple.
Even now, the iPhone 4S' legacy is still palpable. Its refined focus on the camera jumpstarted the smartphone camera wars (that are still raging on today) while the introduction of Siri paved the way for Google Assistant, Alexa and Cortana that have since migrated beyond the smartphone.
Speaking of legacy, it was also the last iPhone Apple made with a 3.5-inch display. A year later, the iPhone 5 came with a 4-inch display and they have only gotten bigger in the years since.
Some other interesting anecdotes are that it only cost $199 (on a subsidized contract) and started with a paltry 16GB of storage. Times have changed.
It was the first iPhone I purchased and was my wow moment into the world of iPhones. I came from a BlackBerry Torch that offered an antiquated "smartphone" experience and using iOS 5 on the Retina display truly blew my mind. It made me feel anything was possible.
Let us know in the comments down below if you remember when the iPhone 4S was announced?