iPhone 4S Release Draws Crowds of Customers
COLUMBIA - Just nine days after the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Apple launched the iPhone 4S to the public nationwide.
Crowds ranging from 30 to 50 people gathered outside of Columbia's AT&T, Verizon and Sprint stores long before doors opened at 8 this morning. Mid-Missourian Julee Carlos, a five-year iPhone user, has been at the AT&T store on West Worley since 3:45 a.m.
"I thought there was going to be a really long line, but when I got here, there wasn't. But then, people started showing up, and I was so glad I got here early." Carlos said.
The iPhone 4S has new features, which Carlos says will make her four-hour wait worthwhile. She is most excited for the SIRI application, a personal assistant that understands users' questions and finds the right application to answer the inquiries.
A user can ask the phone what the weather will be like for this weekend's 100th MU Homecoming. Within seconds, the phone generates a location and pulls up a five-day forecast for Columbia.
Other new applications include the ICloud, a manager for music, photos, applications, mail, contacts, calendars, documents and more. The phone also has an 8-megapixel resolution camera with a custom lens and a dual-core A5 chip, which gives the phone two-times more power and up to seven-times faster graphics.
According to Apple, the 4S has an "outstanding battery life."
Apple has taken some heat from users across the country, who wonder why the company released this phone instead of the iPhone 5.
"I wanted the iPhone 5. That's what I've been waiting for," Carlos said.
"I was kind of disappointed, but then I looked up the 4S and saw the SIRI and everything, and I thought I wouldn't mind getting this, because it looks pretty neat."
"The S represents a new evolution in the phone, and in our network, our customers will be able to download twice," said AT&T Regional Director Craig Felzien.
Within minutes of programming his new 4S, Rockbridge Senior High School student Jake Elder said he noticed a big difference from the quality of his previous iPhone 3GS. "It's a lot faster. It's a lot cleaner," Elder said.
Felzien said Columbia's AT&T stores have a substantial amount of phones in stock and thus do not expect to run out the supply this week. The Sprint store on West Broadway said it has a handful of phones left at this time.
Verizon Wireless on North Stadium was not specific on how many phones it has left, but says enough are in stock for at least Friday customers.
These providers and the Apple store are selling the lowest 16GB model of the iPhone 4S for around $200. Users can purchase the phone for higher prices in 32GB and 64GB.