iPhone 4S Available for Pre-order to AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon Subscribers

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The iPhone 4S begins the journey to hands everywhere today. The latest Apple smartphone is available for pre-order now at Apple.com, starting at $199. Order the phone now and it will be delivered next Friday October 14th, the same date that new iPhone 4S handsets hit store shelves.

Early adopters and eager beavers can buy the phone with a black or white back cover, and with 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB of storage for $199, $299, or $399, respectively.

That price range is fairly familiar for the iPhone, but its carrier availability is new. For the first time, Sprint subscribers will be able to join AT&T and Verizon customers in purchasing the new smartphone. Though we expect Sprint's unlimited data plan to lure in a good deal of new subscribers, an unlocked, GSM-only version of the iPhone 4S will be available in November

In case you missed Apple's keynote, the new handset resembles the exterior design of the iPhone 4, but inside there are several distinctions. The iPhone 4S will have a faster dual-core processor, a more capable 8-megapixel camera with an improved CMOS chip, and an antenna setup that switches freely between two nodes in case one suffers from poor signal reception. 

There's one more major change under the hood: iOS 5. iPhone 4 customers will be allowed to upgrade to iOS 5 on October 12th, but the latest version of the smartphone will ship with the new OS installed. The combination of the iPhone 4S' speedier processor and iOS 5 will help that phone take advantage of one feature the iPhone 4 cannot, Siri voice control, a new talent Apple officials demoed prominently at this week's press event. Siri will allow the iPhone 4S to perform actions like making calls, searching the web, or performing  venue lookups in Yelp, all through conversational voice commands. 

Are there any readers eagerly awaiting the iPhone 4S? If so, tell us which carriers' colors you plan to fly.

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