Apple may not have delivered a big-screen iPhone 5 on Tuesday, but the combination of a more powerful iPhone and price cuts to existing models could well make life even more difficult for its rivals. The new iPhone 4S, with its faster processor, improved camera and Siri voice control feature, will start at $199 when it goes on sale Oct. 14.
Meanwhile, Apple plans to continue selling an eight gigabyte iPhone 4 for $99 — and an 8GB iPhone 3GS for free — with new contracts. Also, the iPhone 4S will be coming to Sprint, meaning Android models will no longer have the run of their stores; this leaves T-Mobile USA as the only national carrier without an iPhone.
With a new two-year contract, a 16GB iPhone 4S will sell for $199, while the 32GB version will sell for $299 and the 64GB model for $399. Preorders start on Friday, and the new phone will be available Oct. 14 in the U.S., Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Japan.
Apple is also adding a second major carrier — KDDI — in Japan, in addition to longtime partner SoftBank.
More than 70 countries will be supported by the end of the year, Apple Senior VP Phil Schiller said, making it the fastest iPhone rollout in the company’s history.