Live Blog: Apple’s iPhone Announcement – Plus iTunes Update, iOS 6, New iPods

9:21: John Paul Titlow: We’ve got 40 minutes to go, and still the last-minute leaks and rumors are churning. What has been confirmed is that we’ll be getting the iPhone 5 (by that name), new iPods and an iTunes update. If history is any indication, they should be pushing out iOS 6 very soon as well.

9:24: Dan Rowinski: I am coming into this new iPhone with fairly low expectations. This time around there is less suspense as many reporters, pundits and analysts seemingly have figured out their way around the Apple supply chain to, more or less, figure out what the new iPhone is going to entail from a hardware perspective.

9:30: Dan Rowinski: There are several things I will be looking for as surprises to the day. Will Apple come out with an NFC solution, possibly tied to its Passbook application? What is in iOS 6 that we don’t already know about? How will Apple increase screen resolution, battery capacity, graphic and computer processors? It is very important for Apple to have top of the line hardware in the iPhone 5 or it will be outclassed the moment it hits store shelves.

9:44: Adam Popescu: As the world waits for the new iPhone, I can’t help but wonder if it’s going to really wow, or maybe even disappoint. And will people flock to get the soon to be vintage 4 for free rather than pay out a small fortune for the brand spanking new 5? All that and more in less than 15 minutes…

9:53: Adam Popescu: Apple also expected to launch new iPod nano, an updated iPod Touch & new iTunes 11 at today’s event. But does anyone really care about this? I want the iPhone. These others are like the ugly sisters I don’t want to marry.

9:57: Taylor Hatmaker: I’m really looking forward to the screen size bump. It’s been my biggest beef with the iPhone lately… 3.5 inches is  absurdly tiny in the 2012’s smartphone ecosystem.

Any kind of physical redesign is exciting. While i’m hoping it’s a bit of a departure from the iPhone 4/4S, I imagine Apple will maintain the industrial aesthetic that informed the last-gen design. If it ain’t broke…

9:59: Jon Mitchell: If iOS 6 doesn’t fix document syncing, the whole thing is still a bit of a charade.

10:01: John Paul Titlow: One debate that’s still ongoing is whether the new iPhone will include an NFC chip. It doesn’t look likely, but there are still those who predict it will, including iOS developer @Chronic. This would be a bit of a surprise and will make the whole PassBook thing a bit more interesting.

10:03: Brian Proffitt: Getting ready to watch the rest of the world get revved up for a phone that will undoubtedly both excite and disappoint all in one stylish swoop. Meanwhile, Android users still enjoy choice of devices.

10:03: Dan Rowinski: Retail update and Tim Cook talking about Apple signature glass staircase. I wonder if Apple has a patent on that.

10:08: Brian Proffitt: #1 in U.S. laptops is good news. Though “in the last three months” is a bit selective

10:09: Adam Popescu: Apple has 15% year over year growth versus 2% for pcs. Gee, kick em while they’re down again, why don’t you…

10:09: Adam Popescu: Apple: We are No. 1 #humblebrag

10:09: Brian Proffitt: 84 million iPads total. Great-googley moogley…

10:09: Adam Popescu: @brian thats a scientific expression, right?

10:09: Brian Proffitt: Yup.

10:15: Jon Mitchell: Schiller notes that basically everybody in the room is using an Apple device to report, so he’s staring out at a sea of Apple logos.

10:15: Dan Rowinski: These events are always so predictable. The CEO or chairman or whoever comes out and spouts a lot of numbers about how good they are doing and how their recent innovations are changing the market. In Apple’s case, that is truer than other companies, but the script is fairly standard at this point. Then we get into several cool features like highlighted third party apps and the CEO gets off stage to somebody else, like the head of marketing. Then come the products, each introduced with its own brief history and fanfare. Then an engineer type comes up and shows off some functions with a very well rehearsed spiel . Everybody fawns and tweets profusely about how great the new device is going to be. It was Steve Jobs that started this script and it works … it is just very predictable now.

10:17: Fred Paul: “This is unlike anything we or anyone else in our industry has made before.”  Really? It looks an awful like what you and everyone else in our industry is making right now.

10:17: Brian Proffitt: iPhone gets a diet. Nice feature against the slim Androids.

10:18: Taylor Hatmaker: 18% thinner than the 4S… i imagine them just driving a steamroller over it during development

10:18: Ted Greenwald: 112 grams. Is this a drug deal?

10:21: Adam Popescu: The new iPhone reflects so much light no one can see anything. This is called the wow affect. Also called glare

10:25: Ted Greenwald: Now we get to the practical speed specs. Claiming 2x improvement. Faster always equals better when it comes to buttons and screens. So what’s missing, folks?

10:26: Adam Popescu: When will the iPhone mind control app be introduced and can I beta test it? Real app heads want to know and they want to know now.

10:27: Antone Gonsalves: In spouting iPhone 5 specs, chief marketer Phil Schiller makes me feel like my iPhone 4S is a dinosaur with a two-year contract.

10:28: Brian Proffitt: If they have upgraded everything, then the camera is probably going to be better, too.

10:29: Adam Popescu: @Antone the iPhone 5 is the meteor that killed the dinosaurs. Fact.

10:30: Fred Paul: My contract is up, so now I gotta decide which phone I want. And it’ll probably be a iPhone 5 (small possibility of Galaxy Note 2 – I really like BIG screens)

10:30: John Paul Titlow: This is a really, really compelling upgrade for those of us who didn’t spring for the 4S. I’ll be ditching my iPhone 4 for sure.

10:31: Adam Popescu:Apple taking if it ain’t broke don’t fix it and giving us a whole new reason to fix stuff that isn’t broke. Like my English.

10:31: Ted Greenwald: No battery life figures provided for 4G talk time?

10:33: Fred Paul: Camera specs look good, but how will it do in low light – that’s my chief complaint with the current one, not the other stuff.

10:33: Adam Popescu: Whoever is the stylist for Apple CEOs needs to be fired.

10:33: Ted Greenwald: If you wear your Google Glasses, it improves all their haircuts and aligns their tie colors.

10:34: John Paul Titlow: The iPhone 5 camera makes kids look happier!

10:34: Adam Popescu: And people less fat!

10:34: Taylor Hatmaker: 40% faster photo capture on the new iPhone 5 camera. That’s something that definitely made me prefer the One X’s camera at times.

10:34: Brian Proffitt: The ocean looks bluer, kids look happier… and the world is a more beautiful place.” You people are laughing. They probably are serious.

10:35: Ted Greenwald: I’m with @Dan, remarkably little discussion of battery life. That’s the final frontier for mobile devices. Well, battery life and coverage.

10:35: Dan Rowinski: Looking at the iPhone 4S specs and it doesn’t list mAh. Just talk time/standby etc. Somebody last week, a Nokia or Moto exec said, “Talk time is a bullshit metric.”

10:35: Taylor Hatmaker: The iPhone already owns on battery life… They’ve been leading the charge (har) on that for years.

10:36: Ted Greenwald: Leading is not good enough. We need breakthroughs.

10:37: Taylor Hatmaker: Wonder how much further it can really be pushed.

10:36: Brian Proffitt: If this thing shrinks any more, it will approach the density of a white neutron star. That will make the next launch kind of awkward.

10:37: Ted Greenwald: They can call the next phone the Black Hole.

10:37: Brian Proffitt: Thunderbolt and Lightning, very, very frightening?

10:38: Fred Paul: Thunderbolt and Lighting ?! Ugh. Uncharacteristically cheesy.

10:40: Adam Popescu: World, we’re not skeptical of the new iPhone. The truth is, each and every one of us want one really badly. Badly enough to throw verbal bars and jabs at Apple from the comfort of our Apple devices.

10:41: Fred Paul: I think Apple is underestimating the disruption caused by the new connector.

10:42: Brian Proffitt: I’m with you Fred. My daughters’ alarm clocks just got hosed.

10:43: Fred Paul: Oooh – full screen mode on Safari. All the other mobile browsers are saying “Welcome to the neighborhood.”

10:48: Ted Greenwald: Lack of NFC has big implications for the rollout of that tech. I guess it’s going to be another year or two or three.

10:48: Antone Gonsalves: No need to run out and buy an iPhone 5 right away. Apple still working with partners on updating products for new display, audio and connector. This is going to take a while.

10:49: Jon Mitchell: Apple wouldn’t skip the NFC revolution unless its analysis made it certain that the merchant side wouldn’t get on board anytime soon.

10:49Brian Proffitt: Ooo, sports scores. “Siri, when will the Cubs win the World Series?” System Crash.

10:50: Ted Greenwald: Siri news – sports scores, restaurant reservations – is underwhelming.

10:51: Adam Popescu: They need to give Siri a sexier voice already – robots aint’ sexy. Unless your name is C3PO or Bender.

10:51: Ted Greenwald: A choice of voices. My requests: Yoga angel, French maid, Sassy homegirl…

10:52: Adam Popescu: @fred As chief critic of Siri’s voice I approve that.

10:55: Ted Greenwald: Thin and light versus extended battery life. That was the big choice Apple made.

10:56: Fred Paul: Crowing about fit and finish is nice, but 1: The existing iPhones are pretty good in that regard. 2: These things only last a couple years. OTOH: you do touch them A LOT.

11:00: Jon Mitchell: Same prices, no surprise.

11:01: Fred Paul: I think a lot of people will like iPhone 4s for “free”.

11:01: Adam Popescu: Free being new contract/slavery to the Apple empire. I’m down.

11:05: Adam Popescu:“Today I’m happy to report that the iTunes store is available in 63 countries around the world.” There are that many countries? Wow, now I’m really learning something.

11:07: Fred Paul: What I really want to see is a way to listen/manage music on my iPhone without having to use the software abomination that is iTunes. The least good part of the whole ecosystem, and a deal breaker for many businesses (tho large enterprises are given a way around it).

11:08: Antone Gonsalves: Now is the time to buy Apple stock. If iPhone 5 sales exceed expectations, price will soar.

11:13: Adam Popescu:@antone @fred now is the time to be Samsung and copy the new iPhone. I mean borrow – I mean – ah the hell with it!

11:15: Jon Mitchell: That was a long demo for a total snooze of an iTunes update.

11:18: Adam Popescu: Ah the nano. In Italian nano means dwarf. That’s about the size of how much I care about it.

11:18: Fred Paul:iPods still exist? Why?

11:19: Dan Rowinski: Ooh look. New colors for the iPods. Now they can imitate the Nokia Lumia 920.

11:19: Jon Mitchell: The round bubble icons on the new iPod Nano are profoundly disappointing.

11:20: Ted Greenwald: Why do iPods still exist? Because they’re cute. And you can make them into watches on Kickstarter.

11:21: Fred Paul: Now that they’re on the iPod touch, 12-year-old boys around the world are about to start paying attention.

11:25: Dan Rowinski: How damn long is this keynote going to be?

11:25: Brian Proffitt: Wait, they put a pedometer in the Nano? The device that isn’t able to connect to the Internet so I can track this data?

11:32: Brian Proffitt: Siri on the iPod Touch. That’s a neat little add.

11:32: Fred Paul: All those 12-year-old boys now have a new best friend: Siri.

11:33: Fred Paul: “Apple is one of the biggest providers of speakers in the world. We put them in just about everything we sell.” And they all sound pretty much terrible. Musicians say it’s killing sound quality and the appreciation of it.

11:35: Adam Popescu: @fred Those earbuds literally kill your ears. Hate those. Now they’re called Earpods – yah, prob because they were no ones best buds.

11:37: Ted Greenwald: Those earbuds look good to me. Judging from the extra ports, it looks like the claim of better bass response is credible. Sold separately, unfortunately.

11:39: Fred Paul: Ooops. The 12-year-old boys are crushed: New iPod Touch starts at $299. Sure it has 32GB, but $300 is a lot of cash for a product that only exists for folks who can’t afford an iPhone.

11:40: Ted Greenwald: No monthly contract, Fred.

11:41: Fred Paul: I know, and that’s the whole point. But $300 is still $300. Too high for many of the kids who are the prime customers.

11:41: Brian Proffitt: I’m not sure, Fred. My kids could save up for one if they really tried, and they also fit the demographic Apple also wants: kids who can afford iTunes content.

11:42: Ted Greenwald: iPod is a gateway to iPhone.

11:44: Fred Paul: I’m sure they’ll do fine, but really would have liked them to make it easier for kids. iPod touch is how my son got into programming, and $300 will keep many out…

11:45: Brian Proffitt: IThe Nano is probably aimed at the lower income market.

11:44: Fred Paul: @brian, yes, but you can’t do much with it.

11:44: Dan Rowinski: The Foo Fighters is so much more impressive than the band called “The Kin” that no one had ever heard about at the Motorola Razr event.

11:47: Fred Paul: So, the biggest, most unexpected news was… iPod Nano?

11:50: Mark Hachman: If T-Mobile could only improve its spotty coverage, I’d be tempted to buy an unlocked iPhone and bring it to that network. The throughput of the network only matters if the phone’s data traffic exceeds the available throughput. Otherwise, it’s a matter of latency, and I’m willing to put up with a little more latency if I can buy a cheaper, truly unlimited data plan – like the one T-Mobile offers. Consider Rootmetrics’ recent report:

But jumping from “4G” to EDGE to no signal while on a BART train still is the most frustrating element of the T-Mobile experience.

11:51: Dan Rowinski: The LTE displacement on both AT&T and T-Mobile is crap. Verizon does a much better job displacing between LTE and its 3G CDMA network.

11:56: John Paul Titlow: Wow, I still have zero interest in using iTunes at all, ever.

11:57: Dan Rowinski: I haven’t signed into iTunes on my new iMac and I have had it since April.

12:00: Brian Proffitt: No news about a new iTunes. More evidence of Apple’s disconnection of it’s iOS devices from OS X.

12:00: John Paul Titlow: So much for those iPod Nano watches.

12:00: Abraham Hyatt: And that’s it!

Photo by DennisG.

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