Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 4S is ready for preorder on Apple.com, and the Websites of AT&T (NYSE:T), Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZW) and Sprint (NYSE:S), hours before the devices is available in Apple and carrier's retail stores.
Apple unveiled the iPhone 4S Oct. 4, underwhelming some industry watchers and loyal consumers who had anticipated an iPhone 5. Gadget blogs had been promising such a mythical device for months.
Even with that unicorn laid to rest, the iPhone 4S offers some serious advancements over its popular iPhone 4, which sold tens of millions of units.
It's also a "world phone," running on CDMA and GSM networks, and includes Siri, a virtual assistant application that lets users speak into their phone to access information and conduct tasks, including calendar checks and composing text messages and email.
The phone runs iOS 5, which has more than 200 new features, and works with iCloud, the company's Web syncing service that lets consumers buy music, movies, books or apps from one device and have it provisioned to the rest of their Apple gadgets.
The iPhone 4S is priced the same way as the iPhone 4, which has been cut to $99 to clear inventory. The new phone costs $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64GB, and will ship Oct. 14 in the United States, UK, Japan, Australia, Canada, France, and Germany.
Undecided about who to buy from? 9to5 Mac has a great little carrier data plan cost-comparison chart.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said he expects Apple to ship 25 million iPhones total in the December quarter.