Apple didn’t launch the widely-expected Applie iPhone 5 yesterday, instead announcing a number of enhancements to itsiPhone 4.

The iPhone 4S includes Apple’s dual-core A5 chip for fast performance and graphics; an all new camera with advanced optics; full 1080p HD resolution video recording; and Siri, an intelligent assistant that helps users get things done just by asking.

With the launch of iPhone 4S also comes the launch of iOS 5, the an advanced mobile operating system with more than 200 new features; and iCloud, a set of free cloud services that work with the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC to automatically and wirelessly store content in iCloud and push it to all a user’s devices.

“iPhone 4S plus iOS 5 plus iCloud is a breakthrough combination that makes the iPhone 4S the best iPhone ever,” says Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice-president of worldwide product marketing. “While our competitors try to imitate iPhone with a checklist of features, only iPhone can deliver these breakthrough innovations that work seamlessly together.”

One of the most talked-about features at the launch is Siri, with understands context to and allows users to speak naturally when you ask it questions. Siri is also smart about using the personal information users allow it to access, accessing information in address books or location mapping. Siri helps users make calls, send text messages or e-mail, schedule meetings and reminders, make notes, search the Internet, find local businesses, get directions and more. Users can also get answers, find facts and even perform complex calculations just by asking.

iCloud is a set of free cloud services, including iTunes® in the Cloud, Photo Stream and Documents in the Cloud, that work with the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC to automatically and wirelessly store your content in iCloud and push it to all a user’s devices. When content changes on one device, all the user’s other devices are updated automatically and wirelessly.

iPhone 4S includes a new camera with advanced optics. The 8-megapixel sensor has 60% more pixels so you can take amazing high quality photos with more detail than ever. iPhone 4S includes a new custom lens, a larger f/2.4 aperture and an advanced hybrid IR filter that produce sharper, brighter and more accurate images.

The Apple-designed image signal processor in the A5 dual-core chip is built for performance, and coupled with the features built into iOS 5, makes the camera one of the fastest on any phone.

iPhone 4S can also now record video in full 1080p HD resolution and includes a new video image stabilisation feature. Other iPhone 4S video camera improvements include increased sensitivity, sharpness and an increased ability to capture video in low light conditions. With the new iMessage service in iOS 5, users can share videos with family and friends.

The new iPhone won’t be available in South Africa on launch.