Apple’s new iPhone available for pre-order Friday

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ? Apple Inc. is taking pre-orders for its new iPhone 4S starting on Friday, allowing fans who can’t wait to snag the company’s latest gadget a chance to order it in advance and receive it when it goes on sale in a week.

The iPhone 4S has a faster processor, a better camera and a voice-activated personal assistant service called Siri. It also runs the latest version of Apple’s iOS mobile software, iOS 5, as well as its new iCloud content syncing service.

The new phone, officially on sale Oct. 14, comes in black or white and will be available from three wireless providers: AT&T Inc., Verizon Wireless and, for the first time, Sprint Nextel Corp. It will cost $199 for a 16 gigabyte-version, $299 for 32 GB and $399 for 64 GB ? all with a two-year service contract requirement.

Apple introduced the smartphone during a media event at the company’s Cupertino headquarters on Tuesday ? a day before co-founder Steve Jobs died.

Apple announced Jobs’ death late Wednesday without stating a specific cause. He had battled cancer in 2004 and underwent a liver transplant in 2009 after taking a leave of absence for unspecified health problems. He took another leave of absence in January ? his third since his health problems began ? and resigned in August. Jobs became Apple’s chairman and handed the CEO job over to his hand-picked successor, Tim Cook.