The iPhone 4S was unveiled at Apple's "Let's Talk iPhone" event on October 4, 2011 in Cupertino, California. Apple started taking pre-orders for the iPhone 4S on October 7, 2011 in seven initial countries (United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Japan) with a first delivery date set for October 14, 2011, and available on that same day for direct store sales in those countries. It will be released in 22 more European, American and Asian countries, including Ireland, Mexico and Singapore on October 28.
It will be available on 100 carriers in 70 countries overall, including AT&T, Verizon, and for the first time, also for Sprint and C Spire customers in the United States. In Japan it will be available for au (a KDDI brand) and Okinawa Cellular, for the first time.For US customers, while pre-orders for purchasers buying contracts started on October 7, 2011, unlocked (contract-free) sales are expected to begin in November 2011. AP said that AT&T described early iPhone 4S demand as "extraordinary".
For some, a series of expectations about Apple's next generation phone including various specifications and a predicted name ("iPhone 5") were built up in the time preceding its debut. After the iPhone 4S was announced, there was some disappointment about the new phone. However, as early as May 2011 some leaks had a fairly accurate description of the product including the name "iPhone 4S", the A5 chip, HSPA+, new/better camera, and Sprint carrying.As it turn out, there was no major or minor external differences between the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, the changes were inside.Nevertheless, it has still been described as a "dramatic leap forward in technological innovation and sophistication...".The keynote was the first in which Tim Cook led since the Verizon keynote earlier in the year. It was also Cook's first product launch without Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs, whose health was deteriorating. Tim Carmody of Wired praised Cook for focusing on company achievements, calling him a "global business thinker" and a "taskmaster".One unique aspect was that the whole management team of several people took turns discussing the new products.