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What’s missing from the iPhone 4S? Turns out plenty

missingBefore we can ogle the latest iThing, we need to run down the list of what’s missing. The nature of this particular iPhone event and the frenzied will-they-or-won’t-they anticipation regarding the launch has made it difficult to pin down what hoped-for features are destined for which next-gen handset. Now that the announcements have been made and Apple’s cards are on the table, we break down what’s missing.

iphone-5-concept-teardropThe iPhone 5

After listening to what was a fairly thorough lecture about the business side of things in Cupertino, we finally got to the iPhone announcement. And the biggest one is that there is no iPhone 5 just yet. Instead, we’re welcoming the iPhone 4S to the lineup, with a design that’s identical to the iPhone 4. Although there are interior updates (and disappointments) to go over, which we’ll get to. So when will you see an iPhone 5?

A new design

Apple didn’t let us get too excited about any cosmetic changes, right away showing off that very familiar iPhone 4 shape. The iPhone 4S will sport the same Retina display and glass backing as its predecessor. There’s no teardrop shape or 4-inch screen as speculation would have had us thought, but perhaps those features are destined for the iPhone 5. It will, however, be available in white right off the bat.

An LTE/WiMax iPhone

One more rumor than didn’t pan out was the LTE iPhone. Instead, Apple made a show of boasting some much-improved download speeds thanks to HSPA+ support, which should put it on the same level as other so-called “4G” devices, including the Atrix, the Thrill, and the Inspire. But all are a far cry from the speeds available on Verizon LTE 4G. The good news: iPhone 4S will be a “world phone,” meaning it supports both GSM and CDMA networks. Apple also says the iPhone 4S will intelligently determine which antenna to use, which should quell antenna-gate worries.

NFC

There was no mention of NFC technology being embedded in the iPhone 4S, which is something of a surprise as Google Wallet gears up. Again, there’s a distinct possibility that all of these missing features are destined for the iPhone 5.

facebook-app-ios-iphone-ipadFacebook integration

There was no mention of Facebook integration, a rumor that took hold more recently. Speculators said that CEO Mark Zuckerberg would possibly even take the stage to show off the long-anticipated Facebook iPad app and talk about the site’s HTML 5 Web-based app store, as well as reveal plans to work with Apple on deep, Twitter-like integration. Turns out that’s either a no-go or something destined for a future announcement.