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.
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.
Evidence of Erica Instagramming the crap out of Foo Fighters.
Cook comes back to close out the show. Thanks everyone for coming, and that’s it.
And that’s it for Foo Fighters, extended standing ovation from Apple employees and execs. (In other words, totally blocking my view.)
Oh, and a third song. This one is “Walk.”
(We’re still here, just enjoying a second song.)
Dave Grohl says “incredible people” at Apple are “shaping our future.”
(Excuse me while I Instagram the crap out of this.)
Oh, hello, I’m four rows from the Foo Fighters. NBD.
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.
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.”
Cook is back. “We’re very excited about all the products we’ve launched today.” He’s recapping what they’ve talked about today.
Yet another video: this one is the new ad Apple made for the new iPods.
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.
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).
New earpods shipping today. But they’ll also come packaged with new iPod touch, nano and iPhone 5.
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.
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.
iPod introductions over. And it looks like the iPod classic is done — didn’t get a mention at all.
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.
iPod touch will also get AirPlay Mirroring and Siri for the first time.
So, basically, iPod touch is an iPhone without a phone.
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.
You can also use iPhoto for iOS on iPod touch too — that means you can edit photos right on the device.
That includes the panorama camera feature! Cool.
iPod touch camera is getting “significant” upgrade: 5 megapixel iSight camera. Gets most of the same fancy stuff iPhone 5 camera has.
OK, demo is done. Onto battery life: 40 hours of music, 8 hours of video.
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.”
It’ll also get the A5 chip, which is the chip that was in the iPhone 4S.
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.
As expected, new iPods will have Lightning connectors like the new iPhone.
Fitness tracking built right into Nano. Biggest request was for Bluetooth, he says, so it’s now integrated into the Nano.
Display also shows album art, photos, widescreen video, has an FM tuner which lets you pause the radio.
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.
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.
Numbers update: 350 million iPods sold to date.
Greg Joswiak is out to talk iPods.
New iTunes available in “late October,” no specific date.
You can also see tour information and local concerts near you on an artist’s page.
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.
Movie library changes. You can pick up where you’ve left off on movies, say from your iPad to your Mac. Nice.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Today there will be changes to iPod and iTunes. SVP Eddy Cue is out to talk about it.
Shifting gears to iPod and iTunes.
Something “near and dear to our hearts to talk to you about today,” Cook says: Music.
Oh hey, Tim Cook is back…haven’t seen him in a while. He’s really proud and excited, etc.
iOS 6 lands Sept. 19th.
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.”
So 3GS is done, looks like.
iPhone 4 is free on contract, iPhone 4S $99 for 16GB version.
Video over. Now we’re talking price: same prices as iPhone 4S: $199, $299, $399, starting at 16, 32 and 64GB
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.
Video still playing…
Aaaand another video talking about design of the iPhone.
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”).
Siri will make sure your update or post is correct before posting (handy).
Oh hey, now you can post to Facebook through Siri.
Can ask for a movie recommendation, look for restaurants. Again, none of this is new. We’ve heard all of this before at WWDC.
“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.
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.
Showing Delta, Target, Fandango, American Airlines, Sephora and Starbucks as examples of companies using Passbook.
Now to Passbook (my favorite).
Safari mobile browser has full-screen mode, iCloud-based tabs.
More review from June: You can tweet or post Facebook updates right from the swipe down notification center.
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.
Same stuff we learned at WWDC: Yelp reviews built in, voice guided turn by turn directions etc.
Up first: Maps.
Now onto iOS 6. SVP of iOS software Scott Forstall takes the stage to demo it on the new hardware.
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.
80 percent smaller. Bose, JBL, Bowers and Wilkings, Bang and Olufsen will be making products with this new connector.
About that new connector: It’s called Lightning. (Like Thunderbolt, get it?)
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.
Audio: three microphones in this phone. Front, back and bottom positioning for voice recognition.
Video: 1080p HD on backside camera.
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.
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.
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.
New 8 megapixel sensor, backside illumination, 5-element lens, F/2.4 aperture. Also: dynamic low light mode (yay).
Now we’re talking cameras. “Making the phone thinner is the worst thing you can do to a camera team.”
Whew, demo over. Schiller back to talk about battery life. 8 hours of LTE browsing, 225 hrs of standby time.
He’s demo-ing Real Racing 3 on the new iPhone. (Still, yes.)
And now begins the parade of developers to talk about how fast these new graphics are, etc. First up: Rob Murray from EA.
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.
No mention of China.
He’s listing the carriers in Europe, Asia, Australia. Too many to list here, sorry.
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.
All of that is in the iPhone 5. Also: Single chip, single radio, and “dynamic antenna” that auto switches between networks.
Now we’re talking wireless. GPRS, EDGE, EVDO, HSPA and now HSPA+, DC-HSDPA and…LTE.
As previously reported, the touch sensor is built into the display, which means the screen is thinner overall.
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.
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.
He’s emphasizing the rather obvious point that larger screen means you can see more things on that screen.
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.
Retina display, 326 pixels per inch. And yep, display is bigger: 4 inches
“It’s really easy to make a new product that’s bigger. Everybody does that.”
The thinnest and lightest iPhone they’ve made. 18 percent thinner than 4S. 20 percent lighter than 4S.
Made entirely of glass, aluminum, he says.
The iPhone 5 rises from below the stage on a black pillar, spotlight on it. Lots of oohs, aahs and clapping.
Here to talk about the iPhone, he says. “Today we’re introducing iPhone 5,” he says.
Exciting news about iPhone coming up he says. SVP of Marketing Phil Schiller out on stage to do the honors.
400 millionth iOS device sold last month. “This is amazing!” Cook says dramatically.
The average customer is using more than 100 apps, according to Cook. (I am far below that average…that seems like a lot?)
And there are 250,000 just for iPad.
700K apps in the App Store now.
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!”
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.
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.”
7 million copies of Mountain Lion have been downloaded, he says. Fastest-selling OS X of all time.
Busy summer for the Mac, Cook says. He’s going over the Mountain Lion release this past summer.
The video shows a lot of excited customers in Spain high fiving and buying iPhones. Typical Apple product marketing video.
We’re getting a lot of detail about a new store in Barcelona, including a video about it.
It’s an “amazing time at Apple,” he says. He begins as usual with the update on Apple’s stores.
And it begins. Tim Cook just walked out on stage.
In case you don’t follow Erica on Twitter, here’s a photo she posted while waiting outside Yerba Buena this morning.
Hey everybody! We’re still waiting for Erica and Om to make their way into the theater, but stay tuned.