(CUPERTINO, Calif.) -- Apple, Inc., announced its new iPhone Tuesday -- a powerful updated model called the iPhone 4S, but a disappointment to investors and the tech world because it wasn't a completely-new iPhone 5 people had come to expect.
Apple stock, which had been up on a down day, dropped 3.5 percent as the product rollout went on at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. -- regardless of the fact the 4S had many of the features rumored to be in an iPhone 5.
On the outside, the 4S was similar to the phone Apple has been selling for more than a year, but with a new A5 processor and dual-core graphics, Apple said it would be up to seven times faster than its predecessor. With both GSM and CDMA transmitters, it will be a phone that can be used in most countries around the world.
Perhaps the most striking new feature was called Assistant -- software that allows an iPhone user to work the apps in the phone by talking to it. As demonstrated by Apple, it can give you voice directions to the most highly-rated restaurants near you, help you exchange money if you're abroad, or set an alarm to wake you in the morning, all without the user having to enter any information manually.
This kind of intelligence is something that has been hard to package in a consumer device. The software, developed by an Apple subsidiary called Siri, understands spoken nuances -- so that if one asks it, "What is the weather like today?" or "Do I need a raincoat?" it will come back with the same, correct, answer.
The company said the phone has a powerful camera, capable of shooting still pictures in dim light with an f/2.4 lens, and 1080p high-definition video with automatic stabilization.
Prices for the iPhone 4S ranged from $199 with 16 GB of memory to $399 with 64 GB. It will come in a black or white case. An earlier model, the iPhone 3GS, will now be free with a cellphone contract. The new lineup, Apple said, will be available Oct. 14.
Presiding over the announcement was Tim Cook, Apple's new CEO and Steve Jobs' chosen successor. "I love Apple," he said. "I am very excited about this new role."
Some other products included:
- iOS5, a new operating system for iPads and iPhones. It has 200 new features, Cook said. He highlighted 10 updated apps, such as Camera, which allows one to zoom in on a subject in a picture by pinching the picture on one's touch screen.
- Twitter will integrate into the operating system. Once you log onto your Apple device, Cook said, you'll have logged onto Twitter as well, so users can tweet photos, videos and locations seamlessly.
- A new app called Find My Friends shows you if your kids, carrying iPhones, made it to school or exactly where your buddies are at the beach. It comes with privacy and parental controls, just one of the features of iCloud. iCloud stores music, photos, books and apps and syncs them across all your Apple devices automatically and wirelessly. The free service comes with 5GB of free storage.
- Cards, a new mobile app for an iPhone or iPad allows users to write messages to friends or loved ones, transmit the wirelessly and have them printed on high-quality paper for delivery through old-fashioned mail. Price: $2.99 per card in the United States. The app itself, for download after Oct. 12, will be free.
It was the first major product announcement Apple has made since Jobs, its co-founder and one of the great technological innovators of recent decades, stepped down as Apple's CEO. Jobs announced in August that his health would force him to hand off day-to-day leadership. He remains the company's chairman.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio