Update: the show is now live! Scroll below for the updates.
We’re just a few hours away from Apple’s scheduled press event for the unveiling of the next-generation iPhone, the iPhone 5. Recent disclosures have confirmed that Apple will, indeed use the “5” moniker to distinguish the new handset from the rest of the pack.
Sporting a four-inch Retina display with 1136x640 resolution, the new iPhone is the first to employ a unibody enclosure made of hard aluminum. Anodized, the material could yield some brilliant colors
(of course, if Apple chooses to relinquish black and white this year).
The latest hardware leaks indicate that Apple is using a next-generation A6 applications processor inside the chassis.
Some ports and buttons will be relocated, most notably the headphone jack – which is now reportedly situated at the bottom of the handset, next to the speaker grills.
The front of the iPhone 5 appears virtually unchanged, compared to the previous iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S which, themselves, were identical. There’s some debate as to whether Apple can continue to push millions of units onto customers, without a major redesign.
However, the unibody construction promises a thinner and more robust handset. At least when viewed from the back, the iPhone 5 is sure to be quite a looker. LTE networking
is said to be on the table for this year’s refresh as well. Apple fanatics trying out all kinds of combinations in Apple.com’s search engine have not only discovered that Apple is calling the handset “iPhone 5,” but also that it will have 4G wireless.
Rumors say this standard is “global” in the iPhone 5, meaning it will support all LTE versions from all carriers.
As far as pricing
is concerned, we have nothing new to report. Not that there hasn’t been a lot of chatter on the matter, but sources say the pricing will be the same as in previous years – $199 for the base 16GB model with a two-year contract. A new line of iPods
is expected to arrive today as well. All of Apple's portable players are said to be getting some nifty enhancements. The iPod touch will reportedly get the most swag, and there's talk of a redesigned iPod nano that does WiFi and communicates to the iCloud.
We’ll be including our timely updates in this report as the announcements unfold in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the arts starting at 10:00 AM Eastern. Starting then, you can refresh this page from time to time to see the latest announcements from Tim Cook & Co.
Use these indicators to know when it's officially alright to get excited
07:00AM - Hawaii
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10:00AM - Pacific
11:00AM - Mountain
12:00PM - Central
01:00PM - Eastern
02:00PM - São Paulo
06:00PM - London
07:00PM - Paris
09:00PM - Moscow
02:00AM - Tokyo (13 September)
03:00AM - Sydney (13 September)
The press is outside the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts waiting to be invited in. It's almost like a party where you can't see the host anywhere. Update #1
The media is now being seated in.
Tim Cook takes the stage to deliver the usual updates.
"Our stores offer the best experiences on the planet. We're opening in our 13th country on Friday."
Cook says Apple has welcomed 83 million visitors in Apple's stores just this last year.
"Now on to the Mac," he says. This should be interesting. We thought this was the iPhone 5 event.
Some updates on the Mac front (figures, mostly).
7 million copies of Mountain Lion downloaded. "Together with MacBook Air, our notebooks rank #1 in the US in marketshare for the last 3 months," says Cook.
"Now the iPad."
Oh, ok. Cook is still doing his "updates" routine. We thought he was delving right into the announcements.
"...we sold more iPads than any PC manufacturer sold of their entire lineup."
The iPad now accounts for 91% of all web traffic from tablet PCs. "I don't know what these other tables are doing," says Cook [crowd laughs]
Now some updates on the App Store.
250,000 apps have been specificlaly "tailored" for the iPad.
"Now today we're taking it to the next level. Making a huge leap," says Cook. "We have some exciting news about the iPhone."
Phil Schiller takes the stage with the usual routine: what everyone has to say about the iPhone, how revolutionary it is, etc.
"We started with that first iPhone, and each and every year we introduce new versions. Each time setting a new bar. We're gonna do that again today."
Well, it's now confirmed. Update #2
"Today we're introducing iPhone 5," says Phil [crowd cheers]
Apple made the device appear right from underneath the stage (rotating).
It's everything the leaks said it would be, by the way. So much for surprises (if anyone was even hoping
So here are some specs (in no particular order):
20% lighter than the 4S
18% thinner than iPhone 4S
world's thinnest smartphone
made entirely of glass and aluminum
16:9 aspect ratio
1136 x 640 screen resolution
Retina display, 326 PPI
Schiller says Apple decided to make the phone longer, but not wider, "because of your hand. It should fit there. That's how we designed the iPhone 5," says Phil.
The elongated screen adds a fifth row of icons, "And all our software has been updated."
Keynote, Pages, Numbers, iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand have all been updated to take advantage of the 4-inch wide-screen display.
Apps from the App Store that haven't been updated will run in the center of the screen with two dark edges for the remaining pixels (an obvious move, really).
Developers can update their apps quickly, says Phil.
The display, Phil says, is the most accurate one in the industry. "The touch sensors are integrated right into the display itself. We removed a layer and made it sharper. This is the world's most advanced display, and I couldn't be prouder of it," he says.
On the "wireless" front, Apple has added HSPA+, DC-HSDPA, "and yes... LTE," says the Apple exec.
A lot of carriers in the US, Canada and Europe will support it.
New Wi-Fi 2.4ghz and 5ghz on 802.11n.
A6 processor: two times faster than the A5, even though it's 22% smaller.
Schiller invites Electronic Arts' Rob Murray up on stage to talk about a cool game they made for iOS and the A6 processor. It's a racing game and it looks mindblowing. Check out this mirror view.
And here's the claimed battery life (as usual, expect your mileage to vary when you get your hands on it).
Camera: 8 megapixels, backside illuminated, hybrid IR filter, dynamic low light mode, precision lens alignment, sapphire crystal. And thanks to the A6, you'll get next-gen ISP, spatial noise reduction, smart filter, better performance in low-lighting environments, and faster photo capture.
"But perhaps the most amazing new feature in the iPhone 5 is called panorama," says Schiller, confirming the rumors.
1080p video, improved video stability, face detection, and the ability to take photos while shooting video.
FaceTime HD camera. FaceTime will work over cellular networks too now.
Improved speaker design.
Noise cancelling earpiece.
Wideband audio. "With wideband audio, we can fill up more of the frequency spectrum. We'll have 20 partners on this at launch," says Phil.
Introducing the new "Lightning" dock connector.
8-signal design, adaptive interface, improved durability, reversable, all digital. Apple will ship an adapter so you can continue using your car kits and stuff like that.
However, Schiller says that software is just as important. Perhaps even more important, if you were to ask the company's SVP of iOS, Scott Forstall, who is now on stage Update #3
Forstall is here to take the media through a rundown of iOS 6, the operating system that ships with the company's latest iPhone.
Key features (we'll be dissecting each and every one of them when we're less pressed for time):
VIPs in mail
The now-familiar Passbook app (which holds all your passes, in case you haven't heard)
Photo stream sharing (photo below)
Forstall seems to be wrapping up iOS 6 with "enhancements to Siri," automatic SMS reply, and some accessibility tweaks. Update #4
Phil is back on stage with the pricing and availability.
Same price as the iPhone 4S: two year carrier contract, $199 for 16GB; $299 for 32GB; $399 for 64GB.
Pre-orders start September 14th, physically available September 21, available in more countries on September 28th.
iOS 6 available September 19th. Update #5
Eddy Cue (Senior Vice President, Internet Software and Services) is up on stage now.
"Let's talk about iTunes," says Cue. This should be fun (since it's already confirmed
App Store gains a new design (as previously reported from the iOS 6 betas), integrated Facebook likes, and the ability to preview songs while browsing.
New version of iTunes with a completely redesigned interface that goes from edge to edge.
Cue's assistant takes the media through a demo of all the aesthetic pleasantries.
New mini-player view (below)
The new iTunes will be available in late October. Update #6
Apple's Greg Joswiak (vice president of iPod, iPhone, and iOS product marketing) is now on stage. Running down through some iPod updates, we're anticipating a new iPod touch and a new iPod nano
"Let's start with the nano. We've had 6 generations of it. But we wanted to reinvent the nano — we thought, what elements do we want to add?"
Boom! The new iPod nano!
Elongated design (not that you couldn't tell that one out for yourselves)
Integrated FM tuner
Bluetooth (for your car)
"The longest battery life ever" in the iPod nano
Comes in seven colors
(pricing and availability likely to come later when Greg is done with the iPod touch, up next)
Joswiak announces the 5th Generation iPod touch!
- New design
- Build with anodized aluminum
- Larger display (the same as the iPhone 5)
- A5 chip (dual core CPU, dual core graphics)
- Increased battery life (40 hours of music, to put it into perspective)
- 5 megapixel camera (basically the one in the iPhone 4 but with some of the latest innovations added on top)
- FaceTime HD camera, 720p video.
- "Loop" hole for carrying it around with a bracelet
- Support for 802.11a/b/g/n
- Different color choices
iPod touch also gets AirPlay Mirroring, so you can play games on your big screen TV via the puck-sized set-top box that Apple sells for $99.
New headphones! (Apple basically just confirmed a previous leak). They're said to be one-size-fits all. This we gotta see!
The headphones are shipping as of today as standalone accessories.
iPod nano and iPod touch pricing and availability.
iPod nano starts at $149 (just as before)
New iPod touch, $299 (32GB); 399 (64GB)
Apple keeping the 4th-gen iPod touch aboard for $249
iPod shuffle to continue to sell for $49
The new nano and iTouch will be available next month.
Tim Cook is back on stage with the usual summary of the announcements.
Cook invites the Foo Fighters up on stage to end the gig with... well, another gig.
And the show is a wrap!
Join us soon for some exciting stories as we dissect each and every one of these new products. Be sure there are still some surprises to be had (as always).
Image credits: The Verge