Apple got up on stage today and announced the iPhone 4S, and alongside it confirmed that the smartphone will have a reworked cellular architecture complete with dual-mode HSPA+ and CDMA2000 compatibility, making it a world-phone device.

The iPhone 4S supports HSDPA 14.4 and HSUPA 5.76 for GSM/UMTS-based carriers like AT&T, alongside CDMA2000 1x/EVDO Rev.A for 3GPP2 based carriers like Verizon. The iPhone 4S also appears to have an antenna band structure which mirrors that of the CDMA iPhone 4, and likewise includes what appears to be a combination of Rx diversity and the ability to switch between antennas for transmit. This is virtually identical to what we talked about in the CDMA iPhone 4 review which mitigates the infamous iPhone 4 GSM deathgrip.

Apple hasn't confirmed things yet, but Qualcomm's MDM6600 appears to be the baseband inside the iPhone 4S, given its presence in the CDMA iPhone 4 and exactly matching specifications. More on this as it becomes available. 

iPhone 4S - Network Support
GSM/EDGE Support 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA Support 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz
CDMA2000 1x/EVDO Support 800 / 1900 MHz
HSDPA/HSUPA Speeds (HSPA+) 14.4 Mbps / 5.76 Mbps
Baseband Hardware Qualcomm MDM6600


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  • tag12171 - Friday, December 23, 2011 - link

    They completely change the insides but go through a lot of effort to keep the outside the same. Is this so your current accessories will work or so the current iPhone 4 owners won't feel so bad? Reply
  • Rizi - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    The iPhone 4S is part of an interesting tale. It was the device thought to come in addition to a new iPhone 5. The 4S was supposed to incrementally increase the specs found on the iPhone 4 and offer a lower price point, while the iPhone 5 would provide a huge jump in design and power. When Apple unveiled the iPhone 4S with no iPhone 5, it was clear that for at least the next ten or twelve months, it would be considered Apple’s flagship phone. While many were disappointed, the iPhone 4S has gone on to be one of the best selling phones of all time in just a few weeks. But with more choices than ever for smartphone shoppers, does the iPhone 4S still have a place as a premium device? Unboxing the iPhone 4S is no different than unboxing an iPhone 4. You get the same accessories (a wall charger, USB cable, and white ear buds) in virtually the same box. The only point of differentiation is the “S” branding (reused from the days of the iPhone 3GS) plus an iCloud logo. The <a href=" 4s</a> is powered by the A5 dual-core 1GHz chip found in the iPad 2, though our guess is that the chip might not run at the full peak 1GHz speed, and instead probably cap out at 800MHz. Apple claims that the A5 provides 2x the CPU speed and 7x the graphics prowess than the iPhone 4 (take a look at our comparison video below to see whether this is true). Beyond that, the iPhone 4S has 512MB of RAM, 16/32/64GB of storage, 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, a digital compass, gyroscope, cellular data provided by HSPA+, HSDPA, or EVDO Rev-A (depending on whether you version you choose). The screen is unchanged–it is 3.5? with 960×640 resolution, providing a 326ppi pixel density, which is still unrivaled by any other phone on the market right now. Powering everything is a battery that is slightly larger than the iPhone 4, providing 8 hours talk time. More on battery life later. From day one, the iPhone 4S is available in white, unlike the iPhone 4 where it took many months for the white version to start shipping. Why choose white over black? It’s a matter of personal preference, but white does a better job at hiding finger prints. While the iPhone 4S has the same design as the iPhone of last year, it’s still a handsome device thanks to colored glass that opposes the metal bands of the antenna configuration. New to the iPhone 4S is an improved dual-antenna system: no more “grip of death”. Apple says the camera optics of the 4S are vastly improved over the 4. We agree. It has a larger f/2.4 apperature to allow more light into the sensor, providing improved performance in low light situations. The iPhone 4S ships with iOS 5, which brings forth a lot of new features. Chief among them is a new notification system, iCloud, Siri, iMessage, Reminders, improvements to the photo app, and some other goodies. Let’s dissect each of these new features in more detail. Previously, notifications in iOS were very disruptive. They’d come in as pop-ups that would interrupt you from what you were doing. Now, notifications have three ways of being customized. First, you can choose whether a notification pops in as a banner, a pop up, or you can turn them off completely for a given app. The banners are great except that they obscure UI elements when they appear as shown above. And because you can’t “wipe” them away like in Windows Phone 7, you have to wait until they disappear, which takes several seconds. As you can see in the screenshot above, the notification is covering up the “Messages” back button. Very annoying. Update: after some experimentation, we found a way to dismiss banner notifications in iOS 5. Second, you can utilize the Android-like Notification Center to manage all of your notifications which is accessible if you swipe down from the top. The trouble with this is that you cannot selectively remove notifications. Rather, you can only clear entire categories of notifications with the tiny X button. I didn’t find the notification center particularly useful, so I left it turned off by selectively entering the Notification setting for each program, and turning Notification Center to off. Third, you can have notifications appear on your lockscreen. Not only that, but the program’s icon becomes a slider so that you can instantly enter the program that has sent you a notification. This is very useful, but if you’re streaming a lot of notifications, this area might become cluttered. Reply

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