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Apple's Press Conference: Live Blog

Wednesday, 1 Sep 2010 | 2:20 PM ET
Apple CEO Steve Jobs holds the new, smaller Apple TV device as speaks during an Apple Special Event in San Francisco.
Getty Images
Apple CEO Steve Jobs holds the new, smaller Apple TV device as speaks during an Apple Special Event in San Francisco.

Editor's note: This was a live blog from the Apple news conference where Steve Jobs unveiled a new TV device, new pricing and new upgrades for Apple products. You can read in chronological order from the bottom up.

2:19 PM/ET: Martin's still playing and Apple tells me it's over - I'm heading out to do a live shot for CNBC.

2:18 PM/ET: Martin is now playing the piano. "OK so far?" He asks. Cheers.

Funny that his daughter's name is, well, Apple.

2:16 PM/ET: He's playing Yellow.

Now it makes sense that Jobs showed Gwyneth Paltrow's artist page earlier... she is as you know, Martin's wife.

2:14 PM/ET: Jobs says that with music events, Apple always asks an artist to perform.

This is someone we love, Jobs says.

Coldplay.

Wow. That's the biggest band Apple's ever had at one of these. Previous artists have included Norah Jones, John Legend, Randy Newman. Chris Martin, the lead singer, is here alone.

2:12 PM/ET: Now Jobs is summing up the announcements.

Apple TV will be available within four weeks.

2:11 PM/ET: How can Apple afford to sell it for so little?

No screen, which is a major cost — also no hard drive.

Source: apple.com

Smart.

2:10 PM/ET: The new Apple TV will cost 99 bucks.

Wow!

That's a powerful price point.

Analysts typically say 150 bucks is the threshold for an impulse buy. At 99 bucks, it's even within reach of the youth market.

2:09 PM/ET: About AirPlay: with this new feature, you can stream video from, say, an iPad to an Apple TV.

The crowd erupts in applause.

This is a big selling point, actually. No computer required. You can download content to an iPhone or iPod, and stream to an Apple TV.

2:08 PM/ET: Apple similarly had trouble getting Hollywood on board when it first launched TV downloads. What will it take to get others to sign on? I think Apple will have to sell a lot of them, and probably show that programs available for rent result in increases in TV viewing, not decreases. Networks tend to worry most about cannibalization, which would lead to lower ad revenue.

2:05 PM/ET: Despite its many features, the major weakness of this device is that only two TV networks have signed on.

2:04 PM/ET: The interface looks really clean. He orders the movie, and after about 10 seconds it's ready to watch. He skips ahead to another chapter, and it starts playing immediately.

Source: apple.com

That's solid.

2:03 PM/ET: You can generally start watching within seconds of renting.

Now, a demo....

The slideshows are reminiscent of the iPad, which suggests this is indeed running a TV version of iOS.

2:00 PM/ET: Jobs is showing off the interface: very different from handheld iOS devices. This is a TV-specific interface. Rotten Tomatoes reviews and Tomatometer are built in.

1:59 PM/ET: This box also has NetFlix streaming. It also has YouTube, Flickr photos, MobileMe content, too.

1:59 PM/ET: The shows are commercial-free. ABC and Fox are the only two on board.

1:58 PM/ET: HD TVshows will be 99 cents to rent.

1:58 PM/ET: First-run HD movies will be 4.99.

1:57 PM/ET: It does movies, TV shows, it's all HD, it's all rentals, and there's no storage problem.

You can stream content from a computer, including music, photos and video.

1:55 PM/ET: The new generation of Apple TV is a quarter of the size, and you can fit it in the palm of your hand. On the back: power, HDMI. It connects via Wi-Fi.

1:54 PM/ET: Jobs goes on to say that consumers don't want to manage the storage of files. And they don't want to sync to a computer.

They want the hardware to be silent, cool and small.

1:54 PM/ET: Apple introduced it four years ago. It hasn't been a big hit. Apple has learned that people want Hollywood movies and TV shows. They don't want user-generated content like YouTube. They want lower prices. They don't want a computer on the TV.

The price breakdown for the new iPod Touch.
Source: apple.com
The price breakdown for the new iPod Touch.

1:53 PM/ET: Next: one more thing. One more hobby. He's talking TV.

1:52 PM/ET: Jobs is now showing the concert activity, and how it lets people see everything you post about an artist.

Interesting note: Ping is available on the iPhone and iPod touch now, available in the iTunes store. (Sounds like it's not on the iPad or the low-end iPods yet.)

1:49 PM/ET: Now Lady Gaga is talking about iTunes 10 and the new Ping features in a recorded video. (It's not clear how much detail she had about the feature ahead of time)

1:48 PM/ET: It's important for investors to note that iTunes itself is not a huge revenue or profit generator for Apple, historically. So what this Ping social feature will do, if it works as Apple hopes, is boost loyalty to iTunes, and hook people into Apple's ecosystem. That should make them less likely to defect to rival platforms like Android and Windows Phone 7.

1:46 PM/ET: There are more than 17,000 concert listings. It's open to 160 million users immediately.

1:45 PM/ET: You can get as private or as public as you want, Jobs says.

1:44 PM/ET: Jobs continues to elaborate on Ping: You can follow people, let everyone follow you, or screen who's allowed to follow you.

1:43 PM/ET: I wonder if there's Facebook integration here. This doesn't strike me as much of a threat to Facebook, so I suspect there is a Facebook tie-in or one is coming.

1:42 PM/ET: Now in iTunes 10, there's Ping, a social network for music, built into iTunes.

This is a big assault on MySpace, which built itself on being exactly that.

You can find people through search. You get a custom top 10 chart based on what people you follow are downloading from iTunes.

1:41 PM/ET: One of the things Apple has focused on is discovery: How to find new music and concerts.

1:41 PM/ET: In the list view, you can now see album artwork.

1:41 PM/ET: Today, the release of iTunes 10 and it gets a new logo. No more CD in the logo. It's a blue circle with notes in the middle.

NOW ON TO iTUNES

1:40 PM/ET: Now on to iTunes...

Apple is about to cross 12 billion songs sold, 450 million TV shows, 160 million credit cards.

1:39 PM/ET: The first ad features the touch nano. It showcases the clippability, wearability of it.

Source: apple.com

The second ad shows the touch doing gaming and FaceTime. It's clear this is what Apple sees as the big selling point here.

1:38 PM/ET: The packaging has changed, too. Very streamlined. Now Jobs is showing ads.

1:37 PM/ET: This is probably the most significant news so far. I mean, definitely. This means the old iPod OS is gone, practically. The nano and touch both run versions of iOS. $229, $299, $399. Shipping next week.

1:34 PM/ET: New iPod touch also has the A4 chip, 3-axis gyroscope, and FaceTime with 2 cameras.

1:33 PM/ET: The new iPod touch has a Retina display.

1:32 PM/ET: Now the iPod touch....

The touch became the most popular iPod in the last year.

1:31 PM/ET: It comes in four colors like the new shuffle, plus two more: graphite and red. A share of profits from the red version will go to charity.

1:30 PM/ET: Jobs mentions "other iOS devices" when referring to this nano, which suggests that the nano is running a verison of iOS. That's really interesting. I wonder if Apple is going to let developers target this device in any way?

1:29 PM/ET: He's playing Ella Fitzgerald. I must say, this touch nano is far different than anything on the market, and Apple has squeezed a lot of functions into this.

1:27 PM/ET: It's a tiny little box. It now has a clip too, like the shuffle. 46 percent smaller, 42 percent lighter weight. FM radio. 24 hour audio playback.

1:25 PM/ET: Now the nano.

It's smaller and better, Jobs says. The clickwheel is gone. Now multi-touch.

New price-point for the shuffle.
Source: apple.com
New price-point for the shuffle.

1:24 PM/ET: The new shuffle is 49 bucks!

1:23 PM/ET: First, the iPod shuffle: people clearly missed the buttons on the shuffle. Smaller than the second generation, but the buttons are back.

1:23 PM/ET: Apple has all new iPods this year for every single model, the biggest change in the lineup ever.

1:22 PM/ET: Now I'd like to get on to the entree, Jobs says. iPods.

....drumroll...

Apple has sold 275 million iPods. Wow!

1:20 PM/ET: In the demo, Jobs is playing a Jack Johnson song on Pandora while multitasking. These are features iOS has had on iPhone for a while. He's demoing folders, too. It's coming in November, Jobs says.

Apple couldn't be happier about iOS development.

1:19 PM/ET: Wireless printing is pretty simple as demonstrated by Jobs.

Now, AirPlay. AirTunes updated.

It will let you stream photos and video from your device, not just music.

1:18 PM/ET: Now, a sneak peek at iOS 4.2. (4.1 won't work with iPad).

Wireless printing will be available in 4.2, which is all about iPad, Jobs says.

1:17 PM/ET: Jobs calls it pretty remarkable, the gaming capability. iOS 4.1 is available next week for free.

1:17 PM/ET: Again, the speed of this gaming experience is impressive, and has this crowd cheering. It's Unreal Technology's Project Sword.

1:16 PM/ET: A game developer is on stage demonstrating online gaming on the iPhone 4. The online connection quality is pretty amazing. Very smooth, not choppy. Often gaming via online connections isn't so great.

1:15 PM/ET: Game Center allows you to find people to compete against in iOS games. That's coming in this release. This could differentiate Apple's devices vs Android because Apple remains much stronger in games. Microsoft will try to challenge that with Windows phone 7 this fall.

1:11 PM/ET: This is interesting because good HDR photos typically require a tripod, and this is a mobile device. Wonder how that will work.

1:10 PM/ET: High dynamic range photos are a feature normally found in semi-pro cameras. It takes three photos and combines them for a higher-contrast image.

1:09 PM/ET: Apps: 200 downloaded per second.

On iOS 4.1, there are bug fixes, high dynamic range photos, HD video upload over wifi and game center.

Steve Jobs announcing the opening of a new Apple store in Paris.
Source: apple.com
Steve Jobs announcing the opening of a new Apple store in Paris.

1:08 PM/ET: Apple has stores in 10 countries. He points out that some days, more than 1 million people visit Apple stores, which helps explain the broader awareness of Apple's products. Still more than half of Mac buyers at retail are new to the platform.

1:05 PM/ET: Now, Jobs is discussing the London store in Covent Garden, Apple's second largest store in London. Apple now has 300 retail stores.

1:04 PM/ET: Jobs starts with a retail update, including the Paris store. Apple spent 18 months restoring it. Apple also opened a second store in China, which is an important growth market. Jobs calls it a landmark in glass engineering. It's a fantastic location, he says.

1:01 PM/ET: Steve Jobs just introduced Steve Wozniak, calling him his partner in crime.

This is a live blog from the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, CA, where Apple's CEO Steve Jobs and his team are readying for what has become an annual fall event – the Apple September briefing.

We’re expecting a music-themed event as the Apple team unveils a myriad of product and technology announcements.

1:00 PM/ET: Steve Jobs is on stage - the event is beginning.

Questions? Comments? TechCheck@cnbc.comAnd you can follow Jon Fortt on Twitter @jonfortt

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