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Summary:

Apple executives will take to Town Hall stage at the company’s campus in Cupertino, Calif. Tueday morning to at long last “talk iPhone.” Follow along with us here for live, up-to-the-minute updates about all the hardware and software revelations beginning at 10 am PT.

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At 10 a.m. PDT (1 p.m. EDT), Apple executives will take to the Town Hall stage at the company’s campus in Cupertino, Calif. to at long last “talk iPhone.” It’s been 16 months since the last iPhone was introduced, and it’s pretty clear Apple is about to take the wraps off a new device and possibly a new voice-activated personal assistant service. What will it look like? What specs will it have? What other non-iPhone things will they talk about? Follow along with us here for live, up-to-the-minute updates beginning at 10 a.m. PDT.

10:00 Hi everyone, we’re going to start in a few minutes, they just told us.

10:01 New CEO Tim Cook comes on stage to lots of applause.

10:02 My first product launch since being named CEO, he says. “I love Apple. I consider it the privilege of a lifetime to have worked here for almost 14 years and I am very excited about this new role.”

10:03 He’s talking about the history of this room, Town Hall. They launched the original iPod here. And last year they launched MacBook Air here. Today “will remind you about the uniqueness of this company.”

10:04 He’s starting with updates. Momentum in retail stores: last weekend he says they opened two new stores in China. Both have already set new records, Cook says. Largest store in Asia, had 100,000 visitors opening weekend.

Apple Event 10/4 Tim Cook

(c) Om Malik, GigaOM

10:06 More talk about the glass staircases in the China and Hong Kong stores. They sold more Macs on the opening day of the Hong Kong store than they ever had, according to Cook. And now it’s time for a marketing video about the stores.

10:09 There are six stores in China now, with “lots more to come,” he promises.

10:10 Now he’s going to update us on the four different product areas. Mac is up first.

10:11 6 million copies of OS X Lion downloaded by now. 80 percent more than Snow Leopard at the same stage, he says. On the MacBook Air: “Our competitors have been trying to copy” it, but they’re finding it’s not easy, says Cook.

10:12 Approaching 60 million Mac users worldwide, Cook says. He uses NPD data to say that 23 percent of all computers sold in a store are Macs. “Still 77 percent of people who are still buying something else,” an “incredibly high ceiling, a lot to go,” he says.

10:13 Now he’s talking about iPod. 78 percent market share right now in the U.S. They’ve sold 300 million iPods worldwide.

10:15 “The MP3 market is a mature market, but the iPod is still a large and important market for Apple.”

10:16 Now onto iPhone: 93 percent of Fortune 500 companies are testing or deploying the iPhone. He’s also talking up the customer satisfaction surveys that list the iPhone as the top.

10:17 Despite this success and momentum, the iPhone has 5 percent share of the worldwide market for handsets, as in not just smartphones. “We look at the entire market because we believe all handsets will become smartphones.”

10:20 Next up: iPad. He’s talking up iPad in schools and how they’re a good fit for students and teachers, as well as commercial pilots, hospitals, etc.

Apple Event 10/4 1 Billion

10:20 92 percent of Fortune 500 companies are testing or using iPads already, he says.

10:21 “Despite everybody and their brother trying to compete with iPad, 3 out of 4 of tablets sold in U.S. are an iPa

d,” he says. The total iOS device number just passed 250 million, he adds.

10:23 Scott Forstall, head of iOS, is up on stage to talk iOS. He says 43 percent of devices are iOS.

10:23 500,000 apps on the App Store, with 140,000 are iPad specific, he said. 18 billion apps downloaded total so far, at a rate of 1 billion per month. Apple paid more than $3 billion to developers so far.

10:24 First new product, an iOS app called Cards. You can make your own cards right on your phone, and Apple will print it out and send to you.

10:25 Oh nice, they’ll send it for you too. If you mail it in the U.S. you’ll get a push notification to your phone when it arrives at the destination. $2.99 to mail in the U.S., and $4.99 internationally.

10:28 iOS 5 recap right now. He’s talking about iMessage, Reminders, integration of Twitter, Newsstand, etc.

10:31 Still running through new iOS features.

10:35 iOS 5 coming October 12.

10:38 Eddie Cue is talking about Photostream, which pushes photos from your iPhone to your iPad, Mac, Apple TV. Also iTunes in the cloud and documents in the cloud.

10:39 He’s talking about backup in iCloud, Contacts, Mail, and more.

10:41 New app called Find My Friends, will locate any of your friends who have it turned on. You can also create a temporary way to turn it on for a specific amount of time so it turns off right after you’re done using it.

10:43 He’s talking about how iTunes Match works. Instead of putting every song in your library in the cloud, Apple will scan and upload only the songs that Apple doesn’t already have in iTunes. Then you can stream any song, album or playlist. Costs $24.99 a year.

10:45 iTunes Match will be available by the end of October. iCloud will be open to everyone on October 12, same day as iOS 5.

10:47 Phil Schiller, head of marketing, is now up on stage to talk iPod. “We still love music, we’re still making great iPods,” he says. There are 4 iPods but he’s going to talk about 2 of them, he says. iPod nano gets different navigation, bigger icons, just swipe between the icons.

10:49 He’s focusing on the running and walking apps, and new clock faces on it you can choose from for those who have those iPod nano watch accessories.

7 colors, cheaper this time around: 16GB $149, 8Gb $129. Available today, he says.

10:51 iPod Touch is up now. Says it will get iOS 5. Talking it up as a gaming platform.

10:53 iPod Touch will start $199 for 8GB version. Also comes in white now. The other iPods not getting updated, but still for sale this holiday, Schiller says.

10:55 iPhone 4S it is. “Looks the same, but inside it’s all new.” A5 chip inside, Apple designed dual core processor. Twice as fast, he says.

10:56 Aaand the demos begin. First up is Epic Games president is showing off the graphics the iPhone 4S will display with a new game.

11:00 Schiller is back. He says the battery life will be 8 hour of  talk time. 6 hours of 3G talk time, 9 hours of Wi-Fi browsing and 40 hours of listening to music, he claims.

11:03 New antenna system that will switch between the receiving and transmitting antennas intelligently. Will make it faster, he says. With 5.8 Mbps upload and 14.8 Mbps download speeds, he says it’s the same as the phones that call themselves 4G. But he won’t get into a debate about that. iPhone 4S a world phone: has GSM and CDMA both.

11:03 Camera also getting an update, as expected. 8 megapixel sensor. Should be 60 percent more pixels, Schiller says.

11:06 Backside illumination will bring in 73 percent more light, for better lowlight photos. There are five lenses (one more than the iPhone 4), f/2.4 aperture on the 4S. A5 chip will help do better white balance and finding faces in a shot.

11:07 He says it will take 1.1 second to take the first photo and half a second for the second. He managed to add a little dig at the Droid Bionic in there too. Now he’s showing us examples of new iPhone photos.

11:09 The camera will also record 1080p HD video. Has video image stabilization to make videos less shaky.

11:12 Airplay Mirroring coming to iPHone 4S too. Whatever’s on your iPhone screen you can see on the a TV via Apple TV or through hardwire HDMI.

11:14 Here comes the voice assistant app. “We have limited ability” to talk to technology right now, “Such a letdown,” says Schiller. We should be able to ask a simple question and get a regular response. It’s called Siri, your “intelligent assistant.” Siri is a company Apple acquired last year. He’s about to show us a demo, but warns us it’s still in beta mode.

11:16 Scott Forstall showing us Siri. Hold down home button for a couple seconds and it turns out. Can ask normal questions, “What’s the weather like today?” and she talks back “Here’s the forecast for today” and pops up the weather app on the phone.

11:17 This is pretty cool: You can ask a question any way you want, and even ask conceptual questions like “will I need a raincoat?” It still finds and gives you an answer and the weather report. You can tell Siri to set an alarm for you on the phone, ask what time it is in a certain place, ask about stock performance.

11:18 Oooh Yelp integration means you can ask for a restaurant of a certain type, place or cuisine and it will fetch the ratings and suggestions for you. Nice.

11:19 You can also ask Siri to read you a text message you got, you can reply, and you can ask if you have openings on your calendar.

11:21 The reminders app is also integrated with Siri, so you can tell it to set a reminder for you. Can also ask Siri to search the web for you. Apple is working with Wolfram Alpha, so you can look up the definition in WA’s dictionary just by asking Siri. The service finds the answer and replies to you.

11:26 Forstall is done with Siri, and Schiller is back up. Schiller says Siri is “the coolest new feature of iPhone 4S.” He mentions that Siri also does dictation. There’s a Siri button you click in certain apps (he didn’t specify), it’ll listen to what’s being said it’ll be typed and sent to your phone right away.

11:29 Another marketing video interlude.

11:34 iPhone 4S comes in black and white 16Gb for $199, 32GB $299, 64GB $399 with standard U.S. two year contract. iPhone 4 sticking around for 8GB only for $99. And 8GB iPhone 3GS will be free.

11:36 Available October 14 in U.S., Canada, Austrailia, UK, France, Germany, and Japan. Also on Sprint now in the U.S. (He mentioned Sprint almost like an afterthought. No further detail or elaboration.)

11:37 Cook is back on stage, recapping what we’ve seen today. He’s emphasizing the integration of all these new services and products we saw today.

And that’s it. He thanks us for being here and heads off stage.

11:40 Thanks everyone for joining us, and especially for hanging in there despite our technical difficulties. Be sure to come back to GigaOM throughout the day for more analysis of what we’ve seen here today!

  1. anyone know if it’ll be live streamed on the apple site?

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    1. no livestream today, well at least that is what i’ve heard.

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    2. They will not be live streaming this event

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    3. Nicholas Casale II Tuesday, October 4, 2011

      it will not

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      1. If you want to wait for the video, MacRumors has a spoiler-free spot where they will post it once it goes live: http://www.macrumors.com/2011/10/03/spoiler-free-lets-talk-iphone-video-stream/

        Of course, you’ll have to shut yourself off from Twitter, TV, water cooler conversations, etc.

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    4. not a live stream this time.

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  2. Do you know if the iOS 5 will be free and will it come today into iTunes?

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    1. @Robert iOS 5 is free and I believe it is already available

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      1. The developer beta was available. The full version is going to be released Oct. 12.

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  3. Hey, folks. We’re experiencing some issues with CoverItLive (it sounds like the service is having some trouble). We’ll give it a couple of more minutes, but if it’s not back up by 10:00 am on the dot, we’re going to live-blog this the old-fashioned way (in other words, get ready with your refresh button).

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  4. OK, folks, we’re abandoning the CoverItLive ship. You can manually upload the page to see new info, or use an auto-reloading plugin like ReloadEvery for Firefox, Auto Refresh Plus for Chrome, or Auto Refresh for Safari.

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    1. are you fucking kidding me? They won’t live stream this? Apple is a total freakin’ bunch of See You Next Tuesdays.

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  5. Seriously? I found this blog just to find out you don’t have the technology to do this without people refreshing? We’re going backwards.

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  6. No auto refresh, thats disappointing GigaOm. I am heading over to other sites.

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  7. Ok, now is official! No iPhone 5. Only a better version of 4º generation. Sorry!!!

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  8. Kinda sad, you can now create a card, send it to whomever, courtesy of Apple……yet I’m hitting refresh on Safari and trolling my twitter like some strung out Apple junkie, awaiting the announcements, and that makes me sad

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    1. In the better late than never category, here’s the link for a Safari auto-refresh plug-in, again: http//www.agriffindesign.com/downloads/autorefresh/autorefresh.safariextz

      See my previous comment for Firefox and Chrome plug-ins.

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  9. Guys! My country is doing a live stream: http://apple.spot.ee/live

    You probably don’t understand the language but you see very much from the pictures, they make every minute 1 picture or even more if there is something interesting.
    HERE: http://apple.spot.ee/live

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  10. Truly AWFUL announcement… Wall Street thinks so too… Down $ 7 and dropping like a stone….

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    1. NOW down $ 15

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  11. What!!! Same design and screen size. I should have bought the galaxy s II what a waste of time waiting.

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  12. Alistair Brooks Tuesday, October 4, 2011

    Sorry for the abuse from my countryman below! Uncalled for and I found the updates really nice. Its not that hard to hit refresh…

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