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droid_bionic_vs_iphoneAnyone who speculated that Apple would take a hit following the loss of Steve Jobs is about to eat their words.  Despite the disappointment of iFans at the company’s recent announcement that it would be releasing the iPhone 4S rather than the expected (and highly anticipated) iPhone 5, crowds lined up this morning outside Apples stores to form the telltale waiting lines that have come to characterize the launch of every new Apple product in recent years.

With some good news for the economy, there may have been more people buying iPhones this morning than camping out to protest the recession in major cities like New York and L.A. (with 1 million pre-orders and an expected 4 million in sales over the weekend, the government is probably wondering if they should buy stock in Apple).  But just what are people going to get for their money with this updated iPhone 4, and how does it stack up to the competition?  Here’s a breakdown of the latest iPhone and how it compares to its closest competitor, the Droid Bionic.

On a purely physical level, the iPhone 4S is just slightly smaller and lighter in weight, with dimensions measuring 2.31×4.5x.37 inches (yup, about 1/3 of an inch thick) and a weight of 4.9 ounces, while the Bionic comes in at 2.63x5x.43 inches and 5.6 ounces.  I’d say the Droid got served on that one, but who can really tell the difference at that size?  As for features, they are also similarly matched.  Each has an 8 MP camera that is 1080p capable for video (although this is new to the iPhone), they both come with dual-core processors for fast download and streaming video, and they run on 4G networks.  The Droid boasts slightly better battery life (they claim 650 minutes of talk time, while the iPhone offers up a respectable 480), but the pricing is what people really care about.

Apple doesn’t stray far from the formula here, offering options in different price points with a 16GB version of the 4S for $199, 32GB for $299, and 64GB for $399.  No additional memory available because Apple doesn’t roll that way.  This phone is also available for multiple carriers, including AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint.  The Droid, on the other hand, is only available for Verizon users and comes in just one model, the 32GB.  That includes 16GB of internal storage (although there is some contention over that since only 8GB are available for usage, while the rest is used to run the OS), as well as a pre-installed 16GB removable microSD card (which can be upgraded to 32GB, for a price).  So in terms of options for purchase, the iPhone seems to come out ahead.

But true to their (ahem) core values, Apple has a few more tricks up their sleeve.  They rarely offer a new product without something new and amazing attached (or at least something the public has been clamoring for, as with the front- and rear-facing cameras on the otherwise under-wowing iPad 2 upgrade), and the iPhone 4S is no exception.  Those who purchase the latest iteration of iPhone will get Siri, a hands-free virtual assistant set to answer your questions through the use of voice recognition software that connects to your data network to seek the information you crave, whether you’re looking for nearby diesel prices, you want updated game scores, or you’d like to check in with Foursquare to become the mayor of every business along your commuter route.  But that’s not all; you can also compose text messages and even add reminders and appointments to your calendar.

It’s just a shame the iPhone can’t be used as a government phone…those people need all the help they can get!  But the rest of us can enjoy the many benefits of the iPhone 4S, which still appears to be at the top of the mobile game.  At least, we can enjoy it for the next few months, until Apple is ready to release the iPhone 5.

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