Live blog: Apple iPhone 5 event

Apple Event 10/4 Apple Logo

Unless you’ve been living under a rock — or avoiding the internet the last few weeks — you know what’s happening today: Apple’s iPhone event. We’re covering Apple’s press event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Om Malik and I will be providing up-to-the-minute coverage as CEO Tim Cook and other Apple executives take the stage to introduce us to what in all likelihood will be Apple’s latest smartphone.

Here’s what has been announced:

  • iPhone 5: Faster (with LTE), thinner, and lighter. Prices are the same ($199 to $399 depending on storage) and it goes on sale Sept. 21st. iOS 6, announced earlier this year, will be available on the 19th.More details here.
  • Time for new iPhone cords: The iPhone 5 uses a new pin-connector technology called Lightning.
  • iTunes 11 will be released shortly, with updates for both the iPhone and the Mac versions.
  • New iPods: the iPod Nano has been redesigned with a larger screen, and the iPod Touch will use the same 4-inch screen (also larger) as the iPhone 5.
Erica Ogg September 12, 201212:00 pm

And that’s it for us too. Thank you everyone who followed along with us! We appreciate you choosing our coverage for this event. There’s a hands-on area where Om and I will get to take a look at the new hardware. And of course, stay tuned for GigaOM’s analysis of what we saw here today.

Nicole Solis September 12, 201211:58 am

Evidence of Erica Instagramming the crap out of Foo Fighters.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:57 am

Cook comes back to close out the show. Thanks everyone for coming, and that’s it.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:57 am

And that’s it for Foo Fighters, extended standing ovation from Apple employees and execs. (In other words, totally blocking my view.)

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:52 am

Oh, and a third song. This one is “Walk.”

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:50 am

(We’re still here, just enjoying a second song.)

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:47 am

Dave Grohl says “incredible people” at Apple are “shaping our future.”

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:44 am

(Excuse me while I Instagram the crap out of this.)

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:42 am

Oh, hello, I’m four rows from the Foo Fighters. NBD.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:42 am

Whenever Apple has a music event, we like to remind our customers of why we do what we do, he says. Oh looks like we’re getting a performance.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:41 am

Each of these are “industry-leading innovation” but what “places Apple way ahead of the competition is how well they work together,” he says. Apple “has never been stronger” he emphasizes. His employees are “doing the best work of their lives.”

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:40 am

Cook is back. “We’re very excited about all the products we’ve launched today.” He’s recapping what they’ve talked about today.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:39 am

Yet another video: this one is the new ad Apple made for the new iPods.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:38 am

They will also do a Product Red model of each of these new iPods. He says Apple sales of them have contributed $50M to the charity.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:37 am

The iPod shuffle stays at $49, nano is $149, old iPod touch 16GB starts at $199, 32Gb for $249, new touch 32GB $299, 64GB for $399. New nano and touch coming in October (no specific date).

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:36 am

New earpods shipping today. But they’ll also come packaged with new iPod touch, nano and iPhone 5.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:36 am

Video playing now has Jony Ive talking about what they did in those 3 years of R&D. Apparently they did 3D scans of a lot of ears to figure out the best ear shape to translate to the new designs.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:34 am

Joswiak moves onto talk headphones. After three years of design overhaul they have a new design: called Earpods. They have more of a rounded shape to fit more ear shapes. The controls are also a bit bigger.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:33 am

iPod introductions over. And it looks like the iPod classic is done — didn’t get a mention at all.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:32 am

It also comes in colors besides black and white for the first time: blue, yellow and red. Each has a matching color camera strap that Apple will be happy to sell you.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:31 am

iPod touch will also get AirPlay Mirroring and Siri for the first time.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:30 am

So, basically, iPod touch is an iPhone without a phone.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:29 am

There’s a little button on the bottom back corner, that pops out and becomes a loop that you can attach a camera strap to.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:28 am

You can also use iPhoto for iOS on iPod touch too — that means you can edit photos right on the device.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:28 am

That includes the panorama camera feature! Cool.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:27 am

iPod touch camera is getting “significant” upgrade: 5 megapixel iSight camera. Gets most of the same fancy stuff iPhone 5 camera has.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:27 am

OK, demo is done. Onto battery life: 40 hours of music, 8 hours of video.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:24 am

And of course, Apple can’t talk chips without having a game developer show us how fast it makes games. We’re getting a glimpse of a game called “Clumsy Ninja.”

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:23 am

It’ll also get the A5 chip, which is the chip that was in the iPhone 4S.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:22 am

iPod touch — most popular music player in the world, he says. It’s also getting a new look. It’s super thin (6.1 mm), made out of aluminum like the new iPhone. Also has the same 4-inch display as iPhone 5.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:19 am

As expected, new iPods will have Lightning connectors like the new iPhone.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:19 am

Fitness tracking built right into Nano. Biggest request was for Bluetooth, he says, so it’s now integrated into the Nano.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:18 am

Display also shows album art, photos, widescreen video, has an FM tuner which lets you pause the radio.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:18 am

Physical controls are on the side. Touch controls on the 2.5-inch display. It also has a home button, and fits six round icons on the screen.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:17 am

First up: new iPod nano. this one is “reinvented” with a much larger display, no longer a square. The shape sort of looks iPod mini-esque, except way thinner and much smaller. IT’s 5.4 mm thick.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:15 am

Numbers update: 350 million iPods sold to date.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:15 am

Greg Joswiak is out to talk iPods.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:14 am

New iTunes available in “late October,” no specific date.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:14 am

You can also see tour information and local concerts near you on an artist’s page.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:13 am

The Store is also getting a new look, just like on the iPad. Easier scrolling through the topic sections, and an overall simpler, more sparse look.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:12 am

Movie library changes. You can pick up where you’ve left off on movies, say from your iPad to your Mac. Nice.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:11 am

When you minimize iTunes the mini player is also a new look — it shows more controls, you can also search directly in the mini player.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:10 am

“up next” feature lets you see what songs are coming up next, you can also jump ahead and select what song you’d rather listen to now from that list or reorder the list.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:09 am

You can click on an artist and see all their albums, but also images the artist has uploaded. New playlists: you can see whole iTunes library and your playlist at the same time so you can see what you want to add versus what you’ve already added.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:07 am

As such, new iTunes on Mac will have iCloud built in. We’re getting a demo. The look is much more like iTunes on iOS. Nicer, cleaner layout.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:06 am

Now, iTunes on the Mac. iCloud is changing the way people buy and keep track of stuff they’ve downloaded from iTunes. 50B songs, apps, books videos from iTunes in the Cloud.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:05 am

iPhone also getting new iTunes stores. New look, you can preview songs that will keep playing even if you browse to another part of the store. “Better search results” too, he says.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:04 am

2/3 of downloads come from iOS devices. All stores reworked for iOS. He’s showing us a new look for iTunes on the iPad.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:04 am

iTunes has 26 million songs, 20 billion songs downloaded since launch 9 years ago. It’s expanding: now in 63 countries. 435 million iTunes accounts with credit cards attached.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:02 am

Today there will be changes to iPod and iTunes. SVP Eddy Cue is out to talk about it.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:02 am

Shifting gears to iPod and iTunes.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:02 am

Something “near and dear to our hearts to talk to you about today,” Cook says: Music.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:01 am

Oh hey, Tim Cook is back…haven’t seen him in a while. He’s really proud and excited, etc.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:01 am

iOS 6 lands Sept. 19th.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:01 am

Goes on sale on Sept 21 in a dozen countries or so. Should be in 100 countries by December, Schiller says. “It’ll be our fastest phone roll out ever.”

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:00 am

So 3GS is done, looks like.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201211:00 am

iPhone 4 is free on contract, iPhone 4S $99 for 16GB version.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:59 am

Video over. Now we’re talking price: same prices as iPhone 4S: $199, $299, $399, starting at 16, 32 and 64GB

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:59 am

The video is showing how Apple texturized the edges and back of the phone through manufacturing and how it put it all together. Pretty interesting actually, and helps demonstrate the Apple’s attention to detail/quality, etc.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:56 am

Video still playing…

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:53 am

Aaaand another video talking about design of the iPhone.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:51 am

That’s it for iOS 6…kinda thought we’d hear more details we didn’t know before. Anyway, Schiller’s back to talk color. Options are white or black (or “slate”).

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:50 am

Siri will make sure your update or post is correct before posting (handy).

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:50 am

Oh hey, now you can post to Facebook through Siri.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:49 am

Can ask for a movie recommendation, look for restaurants. Again, none of this is new. We’ve heard all of this before at WWDC.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:48 am

“One more thing I’d like to demo,” Forstall says. Siri improvements. Shows how you can ask about sports scores, league standings, launch apps with voice command.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:47 am

He’s running through this pretty quick. We’re onto shared photostream, which is the feature that lets you share images or albums from photostream with contacts.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:46 am

Showing Delta, Target, Fandango, American Airlines, Sephora and Starbucks as examples of companies using Passbook.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:45 am

Now to Passbook (my favorite).

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:44 am

Safari mobile browser has full-screen mode, iCloud-based tabs.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:44 am

More review from June: You can tweet or post Facebook updates right from the swipe down notification center.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:43 am

Maps work in landscape mode or portrait mode. Flyover mode lets you view satellite images from a birds-eye view. Can zoom in and out, can swipe around to change point of view.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:41 am

Same stuff we learned at WWDC: Yelp reviews built in, voice guided turn by turn directions etc.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:40 am

Up first: Maps.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:40 am

Now onto iOS 6. SVP of iOS software Scott Forstall takes the stage to demo it on the new hardware.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:39 am

And yes, there will be a 30 pin to 8 pin adapter since the new iPhone won’t work with any of your current accessories.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:39 am

80 percent smaller. Bose, JBL, Bowers and Wilkings, Bang and Olufsen will be making products with this new connector.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:38 am

About that new connector: It’s called Lightning. (Like Thunderbolt, get it?)

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:37 am

New wideband audio for calls. Schiller says wideband fills out more of the frequency spectrum which should make voices sound more natural. 20 carriers will support this at launch. DT and Orange are two of those partners.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:35 am

Audio: three microphones in this phone. Front, back and bottom positioning for voice recognition.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:35 am

Video: 1080p HD on backside camera.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:33 am

There’s a panorama mode too! Click panorama and sweep the scene in front of you. Seems pretty easy — probably a huge bummer for all those panorama apps for iPhone out there though.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:32 am

Schiller’s showing us images taking with the iPhone 5. These “are untouched” he says, probably referencing the Nokia Lumia PR disaster from last week.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:31 am

Lenses will align better, and there’s also a sapphire crystal lens cover — which apparently makes your photos sharper. More spatial noise reduction for low light images, a “smart filter” that can improve areas of the photo that should have uniform color, and faster photo capture.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:30 am

New 8 megapixel sensor, backside illumination, 5-element lens, F/2.4 aperture. Also: dynamic low light mode (yay).

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:29 am

Now we’re talking cameras. “Making the phone thinner is the worst thing you can do to a camera team.”

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:29 am

Whew, demo over. Schiller back to talk about battery life. 8 hours of LTE browsing, 225 hrs of standby time.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:27 am

He’s demo-ing Real Racing 3 on the new iPhone. (Still, yes.)

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:25 am

And now begins the parade of developers to talk about how fast these new graphics are, etc. First up: Rob Murray from EA.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:24 am

We’ve updated “every aspect of iPhone 5″ he says. That includes the new A6 chip: it’s twice as fast as the iPhone 4S.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:23 am

No mention of China.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:23 am

He’s listing the carriers in Europe, Asia, Australia. Too many to list here, sorry.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:22 am

LTE is super complicated, he reminds us. Lots of different bands around the world. IN the U.S. AT&T, Verizon and Sprint will have the iPhone 5.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:21 am

All of that is in the iPhone 5. Also: Single chip, single radio, and “dynamic antenna” that auto switches between networks.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:21 am

Now we’re talking wireless. GPRS, EDGE, EVDO, HSPA and now HSPA+, DC-HSDPA and…LTE.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:20 am

As previously reported, the touch sensor is built into the display, which means the screen is thinner overall.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:20 am

Devs can also rework their apps to fit the full screen. Schiller shows us CNN’s version of their app for the iPhone 5 display. It just fills in more information on the display area. Looks good.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:18 am

What happens to apps with a larger screen? Apps run at same size, no stretching or scaling, black borders added to top/bottom to center the apps on the screen.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:18 am

He’s emphasizing the rather obvious point that larger screen means you can see more things on that screen.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:17 am

He’s talking about design decisions they make in making the display bigger but allowing users to easily still use our thumbs on the screen.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:16 am

Retina display, 326 pixels per inch. And yep, display is bigger: 4 inches

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:16 am

“It’s really easy to make a new product that’s bigger. Everybody does that.”

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:15 am

The thinnest and lightest iPhone they’ve made. 18 percent thinner than 4S. 20 percent lighter than 4S.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:15 am

Made entirely of glass, aluminum, he says.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:14 am

The iPhone 5 rises from below the stage on a black pillar, spotlight on it. Lots of oohs, aahs and clapping.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:13 am

Here to talk about the iPhone, he says. “Today we’re introducing iPhone 5,” he says.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:12 am

Exciting news about iPhone coming up he says. SVP of Marketing Phil Schiller out on stage to do the honors.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:12 am

400 millionth iOS device sold last month. “This is amazing!” Cook says dramatically.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:11 am

The average customer is using more than 100 apps, according to Cook. (I am far below that average…that seems like a lot?)

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:11 am

And there are 250,000 just for iPad.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:10 am

700K apps in the App Store now.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:09 am

Now he’s talking iPad competition: iPad has 68 percent share of tablet market, which he says is more since more tablets have come to market. He gets a laugh for saying iPads account for 91 percent of all web traffic: “I don’t know what all these other tablets are doing!”

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:08 am

Now he’s emphasizing positive reviews about the new iPad. 17 million iPads sold in last quarter was more than any PC manufacturer sold of their “entire PC line.” This confirms the post-PC era, he says.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:06 am

Cook says Apple notebooks own top market share in U.S. in the last three months. “We’re really happy with how we’re doing with the Macintosh.”

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:05 am

7 million copies of Mountain Lion have been downloaded, he says. Fastest-selling OS X of all time.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:04 am

Busy summer for the Mac, Cook says. He’s going over the Mountain Lion release this past summer.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:03 am

The video shows a lot of excited customers in Spain high fiving and buying iPhones. Typical Apple product marketing video.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:02 am

We’re getting a lot of detail about a new store in Barcelona, including a video about it.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:01 am

It’s an “amazing time at Apple,” he says. He begins as usual with the update on Apple’s stores.

Erica Ogg September 12, 201210:00 am

And it begins. Tim Cook just walked out on stage.

Nicole Solis September 12, 20129:57 am

In case you don’t follow Erica on Twitter, here’s a photo she posted while waiting outside Yerba Buena this morning.

Om Malik September 12, 20129:56 am

Tom Krazit September 12, 20129:48 am

Hey everybody! We’re still waiting for Erica and Om to make their way into the theater, but stay tuned.


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