Apple: No iPhone 5, But The Faster iPhone 4S Will Be Available This Month For AT&T, Verizon & Sprint

There has been a mountain of speculation about just what exactly would Apple be unveiling at today’s big press event — Would it be the iPhone 5? Maybe the lower price, slimmed down iPhone 4S? Would it be a 4G device? Would Sprint and/or T-Mobile finally get the iPhone? Would they kill the iPod as we know it?

That Apple would be announcing an iPhone 4S was confirmed this morning when the device suddenly popped up for sale on the Apple Store Japan website. But what would the specs be? That was finally answered nearly an hour into today’s marathon press event.

First off, the 4S will have the Apple A5 chip currently used in the iPad 2. Apple says this will double the speed of the phone. Additionally, the company says the new dual-core graphics are seven times faster than the iPhone 4.

Apple also touted the 4S’ increased battery performance, which it says will get you eight hours of 3G talk time, six hours of browsing, nine on WiFi, 10 hours of video, and 40 hours of music.

Though the phone is not labeled as “4G,” Apple claims the 4S is “just as fast as” the Atrix, Thrill, and Inspire 4G.

While the previous iPhone came in either GSM or CDMA versions, the 4S will work on either network type.

The 4S has a new 8 megapixel rear camera that is 33% faster and can take pictures in significantly darker conditions. It also shoots 1080p video

And then there’s Siri, “the intelligent assistant to get things done just by asking.” It’s a voice-activated interface that can do things like tell you the weather,dictate emails, set an alarm, search for restaurants, etc. The biggest advancement is that Siri appears to understand a wide variety of commands, so the user isn’t locked into one set of recognized commands. Apple also claims that Siri “gets better” as it learns your voice.

Finally, after 95 minutes of blabbing on about various things no one cares about, Apple announced the pricing for the 4S. It will be available in black and white versions with 16GB for $199, 32GB for $299, and 64GB for $399.

Pre-orders begin on Oct. 7 and it hits retail on Oct. 14.

And yes, Sprint will indeed be getting the iPhone!

Apple’s ‘Let’s Talk iPhone’ keynote liveblog! [Engadget.com]