Siri works with the iPhone's built-in apps, said Apple, but cannot do everything for users. It will debut in versions able to comprehend English, French and German, with more languages to follow, promised Schiller.
Apple also provided more information on iOS 5 today, saying that the mobile operating system upgrade -- which will power the iPhone 4S and be available to owners of iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 smartphones, as well as all iPads and the last two generations of the iPod Touch -- will debut Oct. 12. Computerworld last week projected that release date based on past Apple practice.
The new iCloud synchronization and backup service will also launch on Oct. 12, said Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet software and services. The iTunes Match service, which Apple previewed last June at its annual developer conference, will debut in the U.S. at the end of October, and be priced at US$24.99 yearly. iTunes Match will scan a customer's iTunes collection, match those tunes that were not bought through Apple's store against the 18 million tracks in Apple's library, then make the matches available for instant downloading to a maximum 10 devices.
The complete package -- new hardware, iOS 5, Siri, iCloud -- is what most consumers will use to judge whether they'll buy an iPhone 4S, concluded Gottheil.
"Apple's job has always been to get rid of the things that are problems, and reduce the impediments to buying," Gottheil said. "For me, that shows in the integration of all the components, from the phone to iOS 5 to Siri.
" Interest in the iPhone 4 briefly brought Apple's website offline, but the site quickly came back up.
Update: Pricing & Availability
iPhone 4 will also be available for just SGD$788 inc. tax and iPhone 3GS will be available for SGD$548 inc. tax (suggested retail prices only). iPhone 4S will be available in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the UK on Friday, 14 October, and will roll out worldwide to 22 more countries by the end of October including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. iPhone 4S pricing has not been announced for Singapore. (contributed by Computerworld Singapore staff writer)
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