Let’s Talk iPhone Event: The Big Picture | iLounge News

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Let’s Talk iPhone Event: The Big Picture

Apple’s “Let’s talk iPhone” media event is being held today at the company’s campus Town Hall auditorium. As there are plenty of announcements expected to come from the event, we’re providing this story as a starting point—we’ll be linking to all the major news from the event right here, so check back periodically throughout the afternoon for more updates.

So far:

iPhone 4S to launch October 14, iPod nano to see update

Apple introduces Cards, a new free app that lets you create and send cards directly from your iPhone. It will mail printed cards through the mail after you design them, then provide tracking notifications to your iPhone. Cards will be $3 each when mailed within the U.S. Available October 12.

iOS 5 is coming October 12. As is iCloud.

Apple announces Find My Friends application for iCloud, enabling you to locate your friends and family if they’re using Apple’s devices.

“New” iPod nano announced - new user interface, 16 new clock faces, Nike+ without the need for shoe-based sensors. $129/$149, available today. Seven colors like the previous ones. Updated! Originally claimed to be a “new” iPod nano, this appears to be little more than a price change with a minor software update. Following the event, it was discovered that the software will be released for the 2010 iPod nano as well.

Updated iPod touch: black and white, $199 8GB, $299 32GB, $399 64GB. Available October 12. Nothing mentioned about under-the-hood changes of any sort. Updated! Apart from the color addition, there does not appear to be any change to the iPod touch hardware at all this year.

iPhone 4S officially announced with A5 processor, dual-core graphics chip that’s up to 7x faster than prior iPhone (down from 9x in prior iPad). Yet now gets eight hours of talk time, six hours of 3G browsing, 9 of Wi-Fi browsing. Now can switch between two antennas for improved call quality. Data speeds now doubled for downloading—now up to nearly 14.4Mbps downloading speed. Apple is not calling this 4G, but saying that the performance is 4G-caliber. It’s a dual-band world phone with both GSM + CDMA. Improved camera sports an 8-Megapixel sensor with backside illumination, gathering 73% more light than before, with a hybrid IR filter and 1/3 faster performance. The lens now has 5 elements and is f/2.4—really wide angle with 30% greater sharpness, macro photo feature, plus 1080p video recording.

iPhone 4S also gets AirPlay mirroring. And expanded voice controls thanks to an integrated Siri assistant. “What’s the weather like today?” can be answered by the iPhone 4S with a forecast. “Find me a great Greek restaurant in Palo Alto,” and it returns a bunch of results sorted by rating. The interface is a mix of prior Siri and the linen backdrop of OS X and iOS, tying into iOS applications to look up calendar information, messages, and other things stored on the device. It can read to you, and understand what you’re saying. It will initially be available in English, German, and French support, with other languages to follow. 16GB, 32GB, 64GB $199/$299/$399. 3GS and 4 will still be sold, 3GS free on contract, iPhone 4 is $99 for 8GB. Preorder on 7th, available October 14, Verizon AT+T and Sprint. First countries: U.S., Canada, Australia, U.K., France, Germany, and Japan, with more to follow on the 28th, then more through end of the year.

A summary of the presentation thus far is available after the break.

Tim Cook opens the event at Apple’s Town Hall, the smallest venue it uses for new product announcements. He promises to discuss the integration of the company’s software and hardware into a powerful but simple experience. A discussion of Apple’s retail successes, notably in China, follows; he then discusses Mac and OS X sales, showing the MacBook Pro and iMac as the #1 notebook and desktop machines in the U.S, with 60 million users around the world.

Next up are the iTunes and iPod—Apple’s “music” business. Ten years ago, the iPod launched, revolutionized music, and made things easy for users. It has been above 70% for years, and is now 78% of the market. Over 300m iPods have been sold, 45m in just the last year. Nearly half are first-time iPod buyers. “iPod is still a large and important market for Apple.” 20 million songs in iTunes, with over 16 billion songs downloaded, still the #1 music store in the world.

Next is the iPhone. iPhone 4 represents half of all iPhones sold since the beginning of iPhone history. Customers are extremely satisfied with it, companies are rolling it out in record numbers, and yet Apple only has 5% of the overall handset market. More to come on iPhone shortly.

Next is iPad. People love it; 95% customer satisfaction, and it’s changing education. Every U.S. state has an iPad pilot program or is deploying one. Currently 92% of Fortune 500 are deploying or piloting. It’s the top selling tablet in the world; 3 of 4 tablets sold in U.S. are iPads. There are now 250m+ iOS devices.

Scott Forstall is on stage to discuss iOS. 500,000 apps are now in the App Store, 140,000 of those for the iPad. 18 billion apps have been downloaded, and $3b has been paid to developers. One billion apps are being downloaded each month.

Apple introduces Cards, a new free app that lets you create and send cards directly from your iPhone. It will mail printed cards through the mail after you design them, then provide tracking notifications to your iPhone. $3 per card mailed within the United States.

iOS 5 has been in testing with over 100,000 developers, including the features people are already familiar with: Notifications, iMessage, Reminders, Twitter integration, Newsstand, updated Camera—complete with Lock Screen access—Game Center, Safari, Mail, and PC-Free Operation. iOS 5 coming October 12.

Eddy Cue takes the stage to discuss iCloud. Free synchronization service for all of your Apple devices, complete with iTunes in the Cloud free downloading and redownloading of content to your devices. Photo Stream handling photo synchronization across multiple devices, and Documents in the Cloud for syncing documents you create. iCloud is coming on October 12, as well.

Apple announces Find My Friends application for iCloud, enabling you to locate your friends and family if they’re using Apple’s devices. You can share location data for a limited time, and stop it from being shared when you want. Simple privacy controls.

iTunes Match now leverages 20 million song iTunes library to let you access all of your matched music from the cloud, without needing to sync it all to your iOS 5 device. $25 per year fee for it, as previously announced. End of October release date for iTunes Match.

Phil Schiller to discuss the iPod. Updates to two of the three devices today. iPod nano is becoming easier to use, now with larger icons on screen that you swipe through rather than seeing four at a time. Fitness features are improved: you can now go on a walk or a run without any sensor or device. It’s still Nike+. Sixteen new watch faces for people who like to wear it as a watch. $129/$149, available today. Seven colors like the previous ones.

iPod touch. It’s the #1 portable game player, and will obviously run iOS 5. Now it comes in black and white. No other announced changes, except 8GB model is $199.

iPhone. iPhone 4S is the followup. Design is the same. Inside it’s all new. Dual-core A5 chip is inside. Promises up to 7x faster gaming.

(Infinity Blade 2 demonstrated, complete with dramatic lighting, detail improvements and Japanese theme. Coming December 1.)

Yet now gets eight hours of talk time, six hours of 3G browsing, 9 of Wi-Fi browsing. Now can switch between two antennas for improved call quality. Data speeds now doubled for downloading—now up to nearly 14.4Mbps downloading speed. Apple is not calling this 4G, but saying that the performance is 4G-caliber. It’s a dual-band world phone with both GSM + CDMA. Improved camera sports an 8-Megapixel sensor for still pictures plus 1080p video. CMOS sensor with backside illumination, gathering 73% more light than before, with a hybrid IR filter and 1/3 faster performance. The lens now has 5 elements and is f/2.4—really wide angle with 30% greater sharpness.

Improved software lets iPhone 4S do face detection, improved white balance, and much faster first and second shot times than before. Video image stabilization, temporal noise reduction, and other technologies to improve the quality of performance. AirPlay mirroring has been added to the iPhone 4S, a big deal.

One big new feature: Voice. The integrated Siri assistant. “What’s the weather like today?” can be answered by the iPhone 4S with a forecast. “Find me a great Greek restaurant in Palo Alto,” and it returns a bunch of results sorted by rating. “How many days are there until Christmas?” can be computed, and shown to you as days, months, and years. The interface is a mix of prior Siri and the linen backdrop of OS X and iOS, tying into iOS applications to look up calendar information, messages, and other things stored on the device. It can read to you, and understand what you’re saying. You can create calendar events just by talking to the iPhone, and it uses advanced AI to remember your previous commands, placing new ones in context. It is tied into Wikipedia and Wolfram Alpha to look up encyclopedic, dictionary, and scientific data; web searches are also available.

Dictation is supported by the Siri feature, and starts good, becoming better and more accurate as it learns your voice. It’s being launched in beta along with the iPhone 4S, with English, French, and German support. That’s it initially. A video is shown to highlight everything. 16GB, 32GB, 64GB $199/$299/$399. 3GS and 4 will still be sold, 3GS free on contract, iPhone 4 is $99 for 8GB. Preorder on 7th, available October 14, Verizon AT+T and Sprint. First countries: U.S., Canada, Australia, U.K., France, Germany, and Japan, with more to follow on the 28th, then more through end of the year.

That’s it for the announcements.

« Apple: Over 300 million iPods sold, 16 billion songs downloaded

Adobe plans to bring Photoshop Touch Apps to iOS »

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Comments

1

I would bet that the nano still requires a footpod in or on your shoe.  Unless it has a GPS (highly unlikely) there is no other truly accurate way to track running without a foot pod.  I imagine that this update just removes the need to plug in the tiny Nike+ dongle into the nano.

Posted by BrennerM on October 4, 2011 at 2:11 PM (CDT)

2

I stand corrected, the new nano does not require a footpod.  I imagine that accuracy will be low without it but I guess we’ll see!

Posted by BrennerM on October 4, 2011 at 2:57 PM (CDT)

3

...there is no joy in Mudville — mighty Casey has struck out.

Posted by Alex on October 4, 2011 at 3:08 PM (CDT)

4

Siri, can you say that again….

Posted by Bob Levens in UK on October 4, 2011 at 3:30 PM (CDT)

5

Unless you were looking to be a first time iPhone buyer, or have a contract expiring about now or in the near future, that was without a doubt the lamest product update ever.

You know, right this second, the touch might technically be the number one portable gaming platform, but when you take so much time to hype a game that will only run properly on your upcoming iPhone 4S, you wind up debunking your own PR.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on October 4, 2011 at 3:33 PM (CDT)

6

I don’t think the nano is even an upgrade. Just sounds like an OS upgrade. I think the colours are the same as well.

Posted by sid32 on October 4, 2011 at 4:15 PM (CDT)

7

I bought the first iphone and paid full price for it. Fell in love and never thought I’d switch. Then came the 3g, it was nice but did not have that one thing to make me switch from the original so to it I stuck. 3gs comes along, and my need for a new phone now replaces my desire for new features so I purchase it. The 4 comes next, again feature lacking and nothing I get excited about. I hold out thinking a new phone would be a year away, but come June, and July I’m disappointed by no announcement. Rumors fly and excitment builds, then comes the announcement that today was the day that the world had been waiting for. I log in anxiously awaiting the details, and then it’s time. But much to my dismay again I sit here disappointed in the product. I now have the delima of deciding if I want to spend my money on a device that does not meet expectations. Droids are being to appeal more and more to me as they have features that apple just can’t seem to compete with. I told everyone I know that I’d be getting the next iphone, but now I’m starting to have my doubts. I don’t want the same phone as last years with minor improvements, I want something that is awe inspriring such as the feeling I got when the first iphone arrived on the market. I doubt that feeling will every arrive again… well with apple anyway…

Posted by Soon To Be Ex-iPhone FanBoy on October 4, 2011 at 4:17 PM (CDT)

8

It now makes sense to get iPhone 4 for $99. I have a Canon G12 for photographs and I don’t really care about 1080p video recording; I’m more than okay with 720p. By the time Apple announces an iPhone next year the iPhone 4/iPhone 4S design will be TWO years old; ancient design. iOS 5 will run buttery smooth on iPhone 4’s A4 chip so iPhone 4 for $99 I will get!

Posted by Luis Velázquez on October 4, 2011 at 4:42 PM (CDT)

9

So the only upgrade to the Touch is that it is available in white? Specs on Apple’s web page don’t indicate any other changes. I know at some point you can’t add any more hardware bells and whistles and all we’ll be talking about is software, but white? Seriously? That’s it?

Posted by brted on October 4, 2011 at 4:57 PM (CDT)

10

#8: Keep in mind that’s for an 8 GB model, which will fill up fast.

#9: Yes it appears the only change in the Touch line-up is white (and a price drop on the 8 GB model). No 128 GB model, no A5 processor or any other hardware upgrades. Oh well ...

Posted by rockmyplimsoul on October 4, 2011 at 5:15 PM (CDT)

11

Ho boy!  Let the whining begin….. (like it has not started already)

#10 Yeah, that is disappointing on the iPod front.  Was really hoping for a 128 GB model, with the same processor/memory upgrades the iPhone got.  Also interesting that there was no mention of the iPod Classic what-so-ever.  Wonder how long before Apple quietly kills it.  Went and ordered a new hard drive to fix the one dead one I have, thus will give me two of them.  As it stands, looks like I’ll be standing pat with what I currently got.

Posted by SkiBumMSP on October 4, 2011 at 5:25 PM (CDT)

12

I feel so let down by this release event, in fact it feels like a non event. I am in the market for a new phone and was hoping the new iPhone would really push the boundaries, setting new standards for other phone manufacturers to reach. I may look at HTC or Samsung now.

On top of that I wanted to see a memory uplift for the Touch. So disappointed.

Sorry Apple, I think you have dropped the ball !!!!

Posted by eyepood on October 4, 2011 at 5:29 PM (CDT)

13

@9: Bells & whistles? Maybe not, but the touch is limping along next to every other iOS device still in production. You’ve got 25% of the RAM of the 4S and 50% the RAM of the iPad 2. The processor is dated as well next to the A5 processor in the iPad 2 & 4S.

Never mind the toy camera it’s sporting and could have been replaced for the change I could go find in my couch cusions.

Devs are going to spend the next year with one hell of a Sophie’s choice with their games.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on October 4, 2011 at 5:33 PM (CDT)

14

Looking for a list of iOS5 features that will be available to the iPhone 4, since history indicates that not all features will be available. I’m assuming that iLounge will write a comprehensive article as they always do.

Posted by Alex on October 4, 2011 at 6:04 PM (CDT)

15

Much of what’s on the 4s is what was forecast for the 5. I like the 4 form factor. If Apple called the 4s a 5, would everyone be as flummoxed?

Apple set expectations poorly on this launch (given that it was orginally anticipated in July). It’s not the product miss. It’s our collective expectation of another “wow” that was missed. The 4s is a good product and probably IOS 5 and iCloud are the real “wow”.

Steve Jobs gone and the first strike out. Maybe he knew.

Posted by drakebullet on October 4, 2011 at 6:07 PM (CDT)

16

@15: Nobody who’s actually followed Apple was *expecting* an iPhone 5 so the name factor is largely irrelevant (the iPhone has never had a full update annually). While I was actually expecting to be disappointed, what bothers me most about today’s particulars is the increasing stratification with iOS devices in terms of capabilities and specs. Apple is seemingly going out of their way to become as messed up a developer and consumer landscape as Android. It’s one thing when a 2 y.o. device can’t do what a current device can, but we’re going to have three different concurrent iOS devices with wildly different capabilities.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on October 4, 2011 at 6:12 PM (CDT)

17

Remember how much the press mocked the Newton’s handwriting software?  I have a feeling Siri Cruise is going to go through the same hilarity as a Party Game.  Plus, disappointing that Siri’s restaurant ratings are based on Yelp!

Disappointed Apple has decided to team up with Twitter.

“Find My Friends” sounds like a great app for stalkers and relatives you can’t stand.

And where did Tom Cook come up with this figure that Sony sold ONLY 220,000 Walkmans in 30 years?  Did Apple use OS Lion’s calculator (“Lyin’”) to come up with that figure?  Surely more than 200,000,000 were sold…. not all made by Sony, but for 30 years every electronics manufacturer (except Apple) had a persona cassette player/recorder.  “Walkman” was a generic phrase.  That was a major faux pas and I hope the blogs jump all over this outright bungling of numbers.

Speaking of numbers, it sounds like Apple has truly fallen into the “We’re No. 1” syndrome.  Apparently it’s no longer about quality (just look at Lion) but all about quantity.

Posted by BillyBobSmith on October 4, 2011 at 6:57 PM (CDT)

18

Dear Apple,
It appears you are a victim of your own success.  In an era when people are so bored with life, technology, and the relative decceration in the pace of change you have nowhere left to go.  Someone commented on the disappointment they felt as resulting from a lack of awe similar to the release of the first iPhone.  With those types of expectations you should close up shop and move to the Bahamas while you still have the money.  I would imagine these are the same people who once said “Have you seen the new iPhone?  It will change your life!”  My answer to that is, it’s a phone: no, it won’t.  Next time if you do a better job of disguising all your hard work and advances by eliminating all of your old models, call the new one something revolutionary like “iPhone Universe” or even “iPhone 5”, then increase the screen size from 3.5” to 4” maybe you’ll appease those who are impossible to impress.  Your phones have never “wowed” me, but they do become more and more useful.  You don’t inspire me and drive my desire to wake up in the morning, you help me organize my life and occasionally entertain me.  Your iPhone isn’t smart, it’s just a phone and I like it.
Thanks.

Posted by howyroark on October 4, 2011 at 8:40 PM (CDT)

19

I’m still expecting an ipod event near the end of the month…

Posted by Sid on October 4, 2011 at 9:01 PM (CDT)

20

@19: Don’t hold your breath, this was it. We had everything except the musical act to close the show. You don’t start shipping “updated” touches and nanos in the week of Oct 03 just so you can surprise everybody and ship better ones three weeks later.

Apple has shored up the non-phone market and they feel no need to compete since it’s not like you have anywhere else to go. They are busy fighting in the courts to keep viable competition out of the market, and the rest of stuff out there isn’t worth considering if you wanted something comparable.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on October 4, 2011 at 9:10 PM (CDT)

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