Live Blog: Apple's 'Let's Talk iPhone' Event
This is a live blog from CNBC Tech Correspondent Jon Fortt, reporting from Apple's "Let's Talk iPhone" event at the company's corporate headquarters in Cupertino, California.
Real-time stock price:
The event is being hosted by CEO Tim Cook and is the company's first major product launch since the departure of Steve Jobs.
All times are Eastern.
2:55 pm: In what appears to be an indication of how much interest there is in Apple's announcement, Apple.com is down. We're getting the message: Access Denied. You don't have permission to access "http://www.apple.com/" on this server.
2:44 pm: The event is over.
2:42 pm: Tim Cook is back on stage. For the first time in a decade, music isn't center stage and the iPod line gets no design update at all. It's about software and services.
2:40 pm: In 28 more countries a week later. 70 countries by year end.
2:38 pm: The iPhone 4 and 3GS will live on. The 3GS is officially free with a contract. I think this is Apple's first time offering three models at once. October 14 launch for the 4S. Sprint will have the phone. So will KDDI in Japan.
2:36 PM: Is this disappointing? For the geeks, yes. But for investors, this minor hardware change means Apple will have an easier time satisfying demand in its busiest quarter.
2:34 pm: I think this is all the hardware we're going to get! 4S with Siri and voice recognition as the headlining feature.
2:32 pm: Forstall asks, "Who are you?" The phone answers, "I am your humble personal assistant." It also takes dictation.
2:31 pm: That's me pointing out the competition with Google. Apple hasn't mentioned the search giant.
2:30 pm: Apple has partnered with Wolfram Alpha for voice search, going head to head with Google in mobile search.
2:30 pm: You can use voice to check messages, have them read out, reply to a message requesting a lunch appointment, and schedule the lunch.
2:28 pm: "Wake me up tomorrow at 6 am" sets the alarm. A partnership with Yelp will find a restaurant on voice command.
2:25 PM: Apple introduces Siri, voice recognition for the iPhone 4S. You can ask a natural question about the weather and it will answer.
2:23 pm: Ah: but now the best feature. Voice.
2:18 pm: Schiller is wrapping up talking about the iPhone 4S.
2:17 pm: The iPhone 4S now takes 1080p HD video. Schiller is showing a video demo. (None of it is low light, which is where the camera would tend to have trouble, you'd think.)
2:13 pm: The iPhone 4S takes pictures more quickly than competitors, Apple says.
2:12 pm: There is a five-element lens in the 4S, up from four in the iPhone 4.
2:11 pm: A new camera in the iPhone 4S: 8 megapixel sensor, 3264 x 2448. That's 60 percent more pixels. Image quality is better because the sensor gathers 73 percent more light.
2:08 pm: (That game will be available 12/1) Schiller says the 4S will have 8 hours of 3G talk time, more than before. Also, there's an upgrade to the wireless system. The 4S can switch between antennas to improve call quality. The 4S will be HSDPA compliant, downloading data twice as fast.
2:04 pm: We're getting a demo of Infinity Blade 2, an iOS game with very sophisticated graphics. Console-like, even.
2:03 pm: iPhone 4s has an A5 chip, dual core CPU and graphics. (This suggests to me a bigger hardware announcement is coming later in the announcement.)
2:00 pm: Now, iphone. iPhone 4s.
1:58 pm: Now, iPod touch. iOS 5 will make it better. It now comes in both black and white. The entry price drops $20 to $199.
1:57 pm: Now, the nano starts at a lower price of $129 for 8GB.
2:20pm: As you may have guessed, we've had a technical problem that has prevented us from updating this live blog for roughly 30 minutes.. Catching you up ...
1:47 pm: $24.99 for iTunes Match. It goes live at the end of October.
1:43 pm: New app: Find My Friends. You can see where friends are who are sharing location with you. Parents can even keep kids from turning it off.
1:41 pm: (Editor's note: Shutterfly and American Greetings shares plunge on Apple's announcement of that app to create and mail a card anywhere in the world.)
1:40 pm: Like iOS 5, iCloud will be available on October 12.
1:39 pm: Cue is talking about how new iTunes purchases automatically download to all PCs and devices. Now he's going over Photostream, which makes photos available instantly on all devices. He moves on to documents in the cloud. Same idea.
1:36 pm: He's wrapping up. iOS 5 will be available for free next week. Eddie Cue is coming to walk through iCloud. (This, too, is likely to be mostly a rehash of Apple's June announcement at WWDC.)
1:34 pm: Forstall is now rehashing new iOS 5 features in Safari, Mail, etc.
1:32 pm: Other features: reminders, Twitter integration, Newsstand. (So far, these are features that were all announced earlier this year.) Game Center has been out a year, and has 67 million users.
1:28 pm: Forstall is now going through features in iOS 5 including notifications and iMessage.
1:26 pm: Apple adding a new app: Cards. You create the card on your phone, Apple prints it, addresses it, puts a stamp on it and sends it. Apple will even notify you the day it's delivered. It costs $2.99 to mail in the U.S., $4.99 anywhere else in the world. (This is the best thing to happen to the postal service since Amazon.)
1:24 pm: Scott Forstall is now on stage. Apple now has half a million apps on the app store, 140k of them for the iPad.
1:23 pm: 92 percent of Fortune 500 companies are testing or deploying iPads. "This is in 18 months." This is despite "everybody and their brother" trying to compete. Three out of four tablets sold are iPads.
1:20 pm: Cook points out that pilots are beginning to use them in the cockpit.
1:19 pm: iPad: Cook first talks about iPads in schools. Every state in the U.S. now has an iPad pilot or deployment.
1:18 pm: "We believe over time all phones become smartphones." Apple sees its market penetration as just 5 percent.
1:17 pm: In customer satisfaction, 70 percent of customers are very satisfied, 96 percent at least satisfied.
1:15 pm: Next up is iPhone. "This could be the reason the room is full today." The iphone 4 accounts for half of all iPhones ever sold. 93 percent of Fortune 500 companies are testing or deploying the iPhone.
1:14 pm: iTunes: Apple has delivered more than 16 billion songs.
1:13 pm: Next: Music. iTunes and iPod. It revolutionized the music industry, and reminded us how much we love music. In the U.S., iPod market share has been above 70 percent for a long time. Apple has sold more than 300 million units. Apple sold 45 million iPods in the past year ended in June. Half were the buyer's first iPod.
1:10 pm: Cook is pointing out that the Mac has outgrown the PC market for five years, approaching 60 million total users. Apple is now at 23 percent share for Apple PC retail.
1:08 pm: The new MacBook Air: "Our customers love it and our competitors are trying to copy it. They're finding it's not so easy."
1:06 pm: Apple has delivered more than 6 million Lion downloads, outperforming Snow Leopard.
1:05 pm: Cook is going through Apple's four product categories. First, the Mac.
1:04 pm: Excited employees, throngs of people .... Looks like a U.S. launch, only bigger. Cook: "I think I've watched that 100 times and I could watch it 100 more, easily."
1:03 pm: He is showing a video about Apple retail in China.
1:01 pm: Last weekend Apple opened two new stores in China. Both have set new records. One of the stores welcomed 100k visitors in a weekend. When Apple opened an LA store it welcomed that many in a month and thought it had done well.
1:00 pm: Cook says Apple launched ipod from here 10 years ago.
12:59 pm: "This is my first product launch as CEO. I'm sure you didn't know that."
12:58 pm: We're beginning. In walks Tim Cook.
12:49 pm: I remember being in this room for the iPod launch about 10 years ago. Many of the same Apple executives are still here, which is remarkable. A lot more salt and pepper in the hair, though.
12:40 pm: The doors to Town Hall are open, and media are filing into the auditorium. No sign of Steve Jobs at this point. I see Phil Schiller, Scott Forstall, Bob Mansfield and other Apple execs up front. Ralph de la Vega, the AT&T Mobility CEO, just sat down right behind Apple execs. (That makes a Sprint exclusive look more unlikely.)