Want a liveblog of Apple’s “brighten everyone’s day” event with an Australian perspective? Today’s liveblog, direct from Apple’s Cupertino event has already started. Remember to hit refresh for the latest updates.
That’ll be 10am California time, which is where I am as I type this. Local times wherever else you may be could vary; check a clock.
I’ll also be — so Apple’s invite specifies — having breakfast beforehand. What does Apple serve at breakfast? It’s that kind of cutting edge insight that you won’t find anywhere, else, folks!
More seriously, Apple’s expected to announce the successor to the iPhone 5, quite possibly a ‘budget’ iPhone model, and maybe the imminent arrival of iOS 7. It all goes down in a bit over twelve hours as I write this (but then, I must sleep; the last time I slept it was Sunday night Australian time.. which was something like 36 hours ago).
Network willing, I’ll be bringing you insight — and later in the day, my hands-on impressions — of Apple’s latest iDevice(s). Also possibly pictures of what iBreakfast looks like.
A quick reminder: hit refresh for the latest updates.
5:30am Don’t get too excited; nothing has started yet, but thanks to the wonders of jetlag I’m awake right now, and so it’s prediction time!
We’ll get 5-10 minutes of stats on how well Apple’s doing; this may cover other devices in the ecosystem such as Macbooks, but it’s likely to be strongly iOS-focused. Apple will naturally pick the stats that make it look best, but then everybody does that anyway. If we’re getting two phones, I’d expect them to lead with premium (“5s”) iPhone, simply because you’d want to talk up the big features first and for longest; it appears that if there is a budget phone the selling points will be price and colour, and you can’t say quite as much about those.
Everyone always holds out for “one more thing”, but I’m calling that a dead meme; it only really works if you’ve got a few small announcements to make and can then fake out a crowd; otherwise it deflates the impact of other announcements. It’s not exactly clear if Apple is going to stream the event live or not, either.
Now, I need coffee…
6:00am I’m not the only one starting — or in this case, stopping — early. As Macrumors notes, the Apple Store online has gone offline prior to this morning’s announcements. Which would suck, I guess, if you wanted to order an iMac right now.
7:30am It’s not exactly a hive of activity at the Stockton Street San Francisco Apple store, although there were reports of people queuing in New York.
I’d better skedaddle down to Cupertino to catch today’s action, then, hadn’t I?
9am. Here we are in Cupertino, and there’s a definite colour theme in the air.
Time to start a wildly unsubstantiated rumour: Apple to release a Kermit The iFrog. Hey, they’ve done it before.
A couple of quick reminders:
1) I’m liveblogging. There may be errors and typos. It happens.
2) Apple will probably mention pricing, and it’ll be US pricing; this is a US launch event. US handset pricing usually involves the handset repayment upfront (typicall $100-$300) and then a two year, locked contract with a locked handset. Australian contracts work differently; usually on contract there’s no upfront payment, but it’s built in, or you can buy outright for a totally unlocked phone. So please don’t start moaning about how “the iPhone is only $300 in the US but it’s $999 here”. Different markets, different approaches.
3) I’m reliant (mostly) on US mobile networks. They’re not always the most stable of creatures. If it all falls over, that’s probably why. Hit refresh anyway; it’s good for your soul.
9:15 iBreakfast is happening; coffee and muffins. There is also a fruit platter, although oddly it does not appear to have actual Apple on it. I suppose that might be seen as cannibalism.
9:50 The press is entering, in that special “herd of confused sheep” way.
9:55 Spooky voice asks for all electronic devices to be set to silent. My pacemaker!
Observation: More of a mix of laptops than I would have expected. Still mostly Apple, but a lot of Lenovo as well. Make of that what you will.
Tim Cook: We are really excited to show you things. But before we dive into that, a few things happening around the company.
iTunes Festival: “30 unforgettable nights. We can’t wait to see Justin Timberlake and Katy Perry.”
“20 million people applied for tickets. It’s like the opening weekend for a product.”
100+ countries streaming. I guess they couldn’t find a 20 million seat stadium. Now showing a video of the festival.
(sidenote: Will add pics later; connection is wobbling around all over the place. Sorry, folks!)
“Also this month, a lot of excitement in retail. We’ve been expanding our footprint outside the US. This month our attention turns home. Our Stanford store has served 5 million customers in just 9 years. They’ve recently been serving 2,000 per day. This weekend we replaced it.”
It’s a shiny store, to be sure.
“Also this month we’ve been hard at work completing iOS 7. Next month we will sell the 700 millionth iOS device. Since we make updates easy and make them available to as many customers as possible. iOS 7 will quickly become the world’s most popular operating system.”
Now showing still slides of what iOS 7 looks like. It feels like a long time since Apple actually did an onstage demo… and I think that’s because it is.
Craig Federighi now showing off iOS 7. No word yet on availability, but then there has to be a tease. Siri demo very much a canned effort.
Live photo effects in iOS 7. For the Instagram generation. Photos grouped by moments. It’s almost like smartphone photography was a thing, or something.
Applause for slides. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to that (or join in with it, for that matter).
“Downloading iOS7 is like getting an all new device.”
Availability on September 18.
iWork up next.
“iWork now consists of the best selling productivity apps on any mobile platform.”
“Keynote the most powerful presentation software for any mobile platform”
(I wonder what Microsoft would say about that re: Surface RT Office?)
iOS versions of Keynote, Pages, Numbers, iPhoto, iMovie free on all new iOS devices. I wonder how they’ll balance that if you wipe the existing device?
“Now I’d like to talk to iPhone. A couple of you may have been expecting this.”
“iPhone 5 had the most successful first year of any iPhone we’ve done. iPhone 5 helped take our iPhone business to an entirely different level, becoming very huge. In the past when we’ve announced a new iPhone we’ve lowered the price of the current iPhone. But this year we’re not going to do that. The business has become so large, this year we’re going to replace the iPhone 5. With not one but two new designs.”
Phil Schiller: “The First one is iPhone 5c. Is made with all the incredible technology that customers love about the iPhone 5. A few of you might have seen some shots on the web (laughter) and that’s cool.”
“It delivers on colour throughout the product. The entire back and sides are made from a single part. The front is one glass multi-touch surface.”
“It uses a steel reinforced structure”
4 inch retina display.
8MP camera, A6 processor, and (per Schiller) a slightly larger battery than the iPhone 5. Once again, Apple’s not saying by how much capacity. Also has an improved Facetime. 802.11a/b/g/n, 100MBit down (so presumably CAT3). Blue, white, pink, yellow and green.
16GB $99, 32GB $199 (with 2 year contract) — remember folks, those will be US prices. Phil has in fact just pointed that out. $29 coloured cases — I wonder how the case manufacturers will feel about competing with Apple?
“PVC free… and Android free.”
Video now playing; I’m sure these will pop up on Apple’s site directly. Interesting stuff on design and industrial manufacture being discussed by Sir Ive. Video seems to suggest they’re entirely robot built; somehow I doubt that.
Phil: “The second is called iPhone 5s. The 5s is the most forward thinking phone we’ve ever created. Perhaps the most forward thinking phone anyone’s ever made.”
White, black, gold. “It is the gold standard in smartphones. It comes in 3 metal finishes — silver, gold and a new space grey.”
“Now customers want great performance that fits in the palm of your hand. Brand new SOC from Apple, called A7. A7 is 64-bit. First ever in a phone of any kind. I don’t think the other guys are even talking about it yet. The PC guys went from 32 to 64 bit, and it took years. We’re going to move in one day.”
iOS has been re-engineered for 64 bit as well. “This will be easy for developers” “This is seamless for customers, it’s completely backwards compatible. It runs them side by side transparently.”
“The A7 is up to twice at fast at CPU tasks. Up to twice as fast at graphics tasks as well.”
40x performance from original iPhone, 56x graphics performance. Nice… if the code runs that well.
Donald Mustard from Epic is here. So a new Infinity Blade, then?
Yep. Live(ish) demo on stage. Claim that it took 2 hours to convert the code to 64 bit. That’s bloody impressive — maybe the first thing worthy of applause in my opinion. I’ve been hanging around too many programmers again, haven’t I?
They’re beating up dragons. I’m not sure I can approve of this.
“Infinity Blade III will be available in the app store alongside the new iPhone 5s”
I wonder how well it’ll run — if at all — on the older hardware.
M7 – a motion co-processor. For health apps. “We’re updating our CoreMotion API”.
10 hrs 3G talk time, 8hrs 3G browsing, 10hrs LTE browsing, up to 250hrs standby.
Camera: ‘it used to be the way you learned to be a better photographer, you bought lots of gear. But for most of us we just want to take a picture.”
“New 5 element lens, f2.2 aperture. New sensor as well, has a 15pc larger area. Our competitors would just cram more pixels. That’s not what we do. We know it’s bigger pixels that make a difference”
I think HTC knows that “secret” too.
Instantly takes multiple photos and analyses them to present the sharpest photo.
True tone flash — over 1,000 variations to give the right light. “The first time it’s been done on a camera of any kind.”
Auto image stabilisation being added. Burst mode, up to 10fps. Nice, but this is stuff that others have been building into their cameras. The proof will be in testing, of course.
120fps Slo-Mo camera. Again, looks good, but hands-on is needed to see how useful it is in the real world. 720P 120fps, to be precise.
“We have so much information on devices we want to protect. Our contacts, our emails, access to our accounts. We have to protect them. The most common way is to set up a passcode. This is something you do dozens of times a day to unlock and get access to their phone. In our research about half of smartphone customers don’t do this.”
TouchID: TouchID sensor. 170 microns thin, 500ppi resolution, scans sub-epidermal skin layers, 360 degree readability.
“The home button still has a tactile switch, but around it is a stainless steel detection ring.”
Can also use it for iTunes purchases. That’s neat, although I have visions of fingers being chopped off… and I’m willing to bet the hackers will want to go it furiously to see what the limitations are.
“Never stored on Apple’s servers, or backed up to iCloud”
Again, I wonder what that means in the event of a hardware failure — water on the sensor, for example.
16GB $199, 32GB $299, 64GB $399. Again, US prices… and again, no 128GB. 64GB is apparently “massive” according to Phil, but I know people who don’t think that way any more.
Wow. iPhone 4S survives in an 8GB config for carriers.
iPhone 5c pre-orders start this Friday. iPhone 5s purchase from the 20th. Including Australia.
Tim Cook “We don’t just pack in feature after feature.”
Not exactly subtle there…
And I just got my first iPhone 5s case email. Swift work there from the PR involved…
Tim Cook now wrapping up. “Before we close this morning, I’d like to return to music for a moment.”
(pick; there’s a guest behind the curtain, not an iPad)
Elvis Costello time! Nice pick!
Australian Pricing direct from Apple:
iPhone 5s comes in gold, silver or space gray, and will be available in Australia for a recommended retail price of RRP A$869 inc GST for the 16GB model and RRP A$999 inc GST for the 32GB model and RRP A$1,129 inc GST for the 64GB model. iPhone 5s will be available from the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com/au), Apple’s retail stores, and through Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and select Apple Authorised Resellers. A new iPhone 4S 8GB model will also be available for RRP A$529 inc GST.
iPhone 5c comes in blue, green, pink, yellow and white and will be available in Australia for a recommended retail price of RRP A$739 inc GST for the 16GB model and RRP A$869 inc GST for the 32GB model.
And that’s your lot. Now off to do some quick hands-on testing.