Oct 28, 2011
IT Pro Impact: Apple iPhone 4S
We’ve seen this game before. Flinty tech veterans and the punditocracy at large expect Apple to hit a home run with a ground-breaking, paradigm-shifting, market-changing, mind-blowing device every time. When the company delivers only a double—a first-rate evolutionary improvement—they call foul. But the faithful don’t seem to be listening: Apple’s iPhone 4S, slammed for a superficial resemblance to its older sibling and incremental model numbering, is a worthy successor, and the company moved 4 million units in the first three days after release; sales remain brisk as of press time.
If you haven’t seen at least a few of these devices accessing your network, you’re either locked down tight or not paying attention.
From its faster processor and dramatically improved camera to a dual-band, dual-antenna radio to new software features like notifications, iCloud synchronization and Siri voice control, the 4S sets a standard rival smartphones will struggle to meet. Siri alone, with its ability to take dictation and audibly control most key functions, represents a milestone in human-device usability. While the initial iCloud implementation has notable shortcomings, it ushers in a new cloud usage model that’s not shackled to a browser and in which the cloud becomes a transparent utility in the background of all the local apps users depend on.
IT will find that the 4S slips right into existing iOS management and deployment schemes, while enterprise developers will appreciate the OS and performance parity with the iPad 2 that allows write-once, “universal” apps to be deployed on either smartphones or tablets. We’ll summarize the major new iPhone features, compare performance to its tablet big brother and highlight features enterprise IT teams should know about. (S3791111)