Why did it take Apple this long to bring out the 4S?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Azmontana, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. Azmontana macrumors regular


    May 27, 2008
    This is not a critical post, I was just wondering why it took Apple so long to release the 4S?

    For example the 3G and 3GS were released pretty much a year apart, but the 4 and 4S the timespan was longer. Considering the spec bump etc are similar between the 3GS and 4S i.e. faster processor, improved camera etc.

    Anyone have any ideas?
  2. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    Too many variables to consider:

    Availability of parts
    Ramp up time and costs

    The list goes on and on
  3. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    ^^^This and the fact that the iP4 was released in January for Verizon. There would be a lot of upset people if they released the 4S 6 months later.
  4. ThetaSigma macrumors regular

    Jun 4, 2011
    Some people where saying that because of the Japanese disaster earlier this year there was problems with factories in the east.

    Or maybe it could be iCloud? Perhaps they just wanted to wait until iCloud/iOS5/iTunes 10.5 were all ready before they put it out.

    Maybe they just wanted to change the time of year that they updated it annually? Perhaps have the iPads/Macs earlier in the year, and have the iPhone/iPods later.

    Nobody knows for sure.
  5. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    Also take into account the earthquake in Japan. Although some production is back, there are STILL factories that are idle there and areas still devastated.
  6. macse30 macrumors regular


    Jul 30, 2009
    They had to figure out the color white!?

    Seriously, everybody forgets the Verizon phone in the spring. That was a new phone version. So this makes the second phone since the iPhone4. Then Apple did all the RF engineering to make a world phone, while the software group was getting Siri integrated. Into Everything.

    Even if Apple has unlimited capital, it does not have unlimited talent. They remain busy. Their string of successful products is amazing.
  7. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    The Sprint deal, Readjusting their release schedule to Fall, Steve Jobs health, iOS5, Unexpected delays of 5 which resulted in it being cancelled for 20111 etc. A lot of people are quick to fabricate answers that range from logical to complete BS, but I'd love to know the REAL answer to this too.

    Part of the disappointment on the 4S isn't because the 4S is a bad device at all, but because the extended wait caused such a build up of expectations on what "magical" or "innovative" ideas we'd see. But in the end we got a solid upgrade but it's clearly an interim device that will be replaced next year by a true iPhone 4 successor much better (and we will be locked out of upgrading due to the 2yr contract).

    That said, I'm getting one because I'm happy to finally see it on Sprint but I really do wish they managed to get it out earlier.
  8. aneftp macrumors 601

    Jul 28, 2007
    Yep. Verizon getting iPhone 4 in February was one of the main factors.

    I think Apple promised Verizon executives at least a 6 month timeframe.

    But I also think Apple didn't have ios5 ready and that contributed to another month delayed.

    In a perfect world Apple would have used Setember back to school time to launch the new iPhone.
  9. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    And now you know how everyone else with a phone and 2-year contract feels.

    Fortunately, iPhones hold their value. Used iPhone 4 32GB models are going on eBay for around $325 to $375, significantly defraying the cost for upgrade.

    And this is why the "Apple tax" isn't a big deal. You can always sell your old gear for a good amount to defray the cost of upgrading.
  10. aneftp macrumors 601

    Jul 28, 2007
    Many people claimed the same when they said the 3GS was an temp device since it was the same shell as the 3G. But it's amazing apple is still selling the 3GS and it's been around since June 19th 2009.

    The the iPhone 4S will have at least a two year software support life cycle (unlike many High end Android devices where many are left high and dry after 6-7 months after it's initial release date.....read Samsung Vibrant (tmobile USA galaxy s which has almost same cortex 8 processor as iPhone 4 but tmobile/Samsung abandoned support for the Vibrant back in February 2011 a mere 7 months after it's released and stopped selling the phone and opted to sell the Galaxy S 4G which was exactly the same phone except they re added the front camera that they removed in the Vibrant and a faster HSPA plus chip.

    So if you get the iPhone 4s you know Apple will support it for 2 years.
  11. Chaos123x macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2008
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Because the wait for the iPhone 5 is going to be a even longer time. Trying to put LTE in a thinner phone than the iPhone 4 will be a pain.
  12. kas23, Oct 8, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2011

    kas23 macrumors 603


    Oct 28, 2007
    It was just the change to the fall release schedule. Really nothing more than that. Apple thought they could make the calculated risk of not putting out a phone for 16 month, while getting parts for cheaper. I think it probably worked out. A summer release schedule was kind of dumb, where the fall release is in align with holiday sales.

    This is an excellent thought. Apple probably knew they weren't going to get an LTE chip into the iPhone until Fall 2012. If Apple released another iPhone without LTE in June 2012, even the most hardened fanboy would be pissed. In fact, Apple aren't even likely to begin LTE iPhone testing until Spring-Summer 2012. The chip Apple wants just doesn't exist right now.
  13. SHirsch999 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2011
    I agree with this. My guess is that since the iPod lines will no longer get much in the way of updates there is no reason to have a special event for them. This opens up the Fall for spreading out the iPad and iPhone releases as much as possible.
  14. kas23 macrumors 603


    Oct 28, 2007
    As much as people think they will be going back to a summer release schedule, it's not going to happen. Although we current don't know what the exact reason was, there was a very good well-thought-out reason they released this phone in October. It wasn't flippantly done.
  15. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    Thats true, but some two year contracts are easier to swallow than others. Like, people who bought a 3G in 2008 missed out on 3GS but where able to get the 4 in 2010 which is a monumental upgrade, but people who bought the Verizon iPhone 4 in 2011 will miss out on both the 4S and wont be eligible for the 5 until it's well into its product cycle.

    So the people in the best upgrade schedule seem to be launch day ATT iPhone 4 users because their 2yr contract should coincide with the iPhone 5 release and missing out on the 4S isn't that big a blow since its more a refresh than a real product.
  16. amdmaxx macrumors member

    Feb 5, 2011
    9mm nexus prime has LTE..

  17. lsvtecjohn3 macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2008
    Nobody knows how long Verizon had the executives rights for. Another thing too, Verizon isn't the first carrier to get the iPhone mid cycle. IMO the Verizon deal had nothing to do with iPhone being pushed back at all.

    I think because iPods aren't selling like the used to and Apple makes most of their money now from the iPhone/iPad I think Apple wanted to have a six month gap in between the two so the avg person can afford to buy both.
  18. kas23 macrumors 603


    Oct 28, 2007
    iPods used the be the hottest holiday gift. But this isn't going to last forever and Apple knows this. Instead of sitting back and passively watching iPod holiday sales dwindle to nothing, Apple is going to give a new product for people to buy during the holidays - an iPhone. Can anyone on here imagine if Apple didn't have a special product line that they release for the holiday season? It would be financial suicide.
  19. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
  20. steve dave macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2010
    I think iOS 5 took a while to come together.

    I also think that they are clearly more aggressively trying to expand their market by adding carriers and launching in additional countries more quickly. This would mean they need to have greater inventory for the launch than in years past.

    There was also the rumor about them having problems with the A5 chip in the phone form factor.

    Finally, I think there have been enough other issues affecting their supply chain over the last year that they needed the extra time.
  21. mpossoff, Oct 8, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2011

    mpossoff macrumors 68020

    Mar 21, 2010
    Battery life seems to be a concern with Apple with LTE. Which is a good thing.

    However it looks like the 4S is going to be faster than the iPhone 4 on AT&T network anyway. Since a huge network upgrade in March I'm getting great speeds on my iPhone 4 on AT&T compared to VZW. And according to the specs battery life with the 4S looks pretty darn good for a device that will deliver faster speed than the iPhone 4.

    The way Apple makes money is to try to provide the user with the best user experience as possible. I believe an LTE iPhone because of issues wouldn't provide that. Lots of people like VZW LTE devices but the biggest complaint is battery life. I've read that alot of LTE device users got away from LTE and/or exchanged for an iPhone because battery life seems to be an important part of user experience.

    I wouldn't expect an LTE iPhone UNLESS Apple can get it better than the competition.

    Anyway if you're on AT&T network in my layman opinion the network provides more than enough speed for the iPhone anyway.
  22. superstarmc macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2011
    To prolong the sales of the iPhone 4, particularly the Verizon iPhone.
  23. aneftp macrumors 601

    Jul 28, 2007
    True but Verizon was Apple's first CDMA iPhone.

    Thats a big difference between just releasing a GSM model in another country months after it's US/UK/Germany etc release.
  24. b166er macrumors 68020


    Apr 17, 2010
    Apple was adding a lot under the hood and trying to keep the battery specs the same. That can't be easy.

    I'd imagine the buy out of Siri and the iCloud delays had a lot to do with it. Plus getting the big three carriers all on board.
  25. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Just a note:

    A Verizon executive said that they had originally expected the new iPhone in June to boost their earnings.

    So, according to them, the delay had nothng to do with Verizon getting it off cycle.

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