The iPhone 4GS was the most recent release by Apple of their cell phone line. Rumors about this phone circulated for quite a while, and there was also much talk about whether this was even a fifth-generation phone or an upgrade on the fourth generation. Time will settle that debate. For now, let’s discuss a few specifics of the phone.
Forgive my bad pun above, but the most exciting thing about the new iPhone is Siri. What’s Siri? (Or, should it be Who is Siri?) Well, let me attempt to explain. Siri is essentially a function that allows your phone to serve as a personal assistant. Phone owners can request that Siri complete certain tasks, or they can ask it questions. (If you are really curious about that last one, perhaps you would enjoy scouring the internet for amusing Siri conversations. There are several out there. And people with too much time on their hands have even created conversations between their iPhone 4Ss.)
One of the great things about Siri is that it responds to natural language, rather than technical language. What that means is that the everyday consumer is able to communicate quite easily with Siri and use its functionality. If Siri responded only to more technical language, many everyday users might not be able to enjoy her functionality nearly as much. Apple reports that Siri is sill in Beta mode, which means that it is not a fully finished product and that there may be bugs within its operating system. Siri was originally released as supporting English, French, and German and reports quickly surfaced that while Siri worked with all three languages, it was most difficult for people to get their answers with the German version.
I think that Siri and the 4S mark a really interesting transition for Apple. Some consumers and writers were disappointed that the fifth release of an iPhone was not a greater divergence from the fourth release, and suggested that perhaps the phone was either released as unfinished technology or that this meant that Apple was paving the way for more competition within the market. Either way, the fact that Siri is a brand new technology for Apple is not the only reason that the company is currently in transition. The release of this new technology also coincided with the death of the great Steve Jobs. It is fair to say that Apple is currently in a period of transition. Apple’s stocks are beginning to reflect the slight uneasiness of consumers now that Jobs is no longer leading the company.
My prediction for Apple and iPhones from here is that much is riding on the next iPhone released by Apple. A majority of consumer attention and speculation is currently placed on Apple’s other awesome product- the iPad, which is a tablet computer. Perhaps Apple will sneak a less exciting release in while promoting their next tablet. And if not, the company will still be going strong even if their new phones are less exciting than their first few releases. Maybe that is a suggestion that Apple has reached a state of perfection with their phones.