Apple CEO Steve Jobs is about to unveil new iPods and maybe a new Internet TV device.
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12:55 Waiting for the event to begin.
12:56 It looks like Apple is using Akamai to stream the event — judging by the Edgesuite.net domain name — so the idea that this is some “Apple live streaming TV service” doesn’t seem like it’s true, unless it’s a partnership with Akamai.
1:00 Apple copyright screen is showing on the live stream, so it looks like it’s time to begin. Just saw Steve Wozniak in the audience.
1:01 Steve Jobs takes the stage, is NOT wearing a mock turtleneck. He introduces Wozniak as his “partner in crime” and has him stand up for recognition.
1:02 Steve talks up the new Paris retail store, and the new store that just opened up in Shanghai, which includes a 40-foot high glass cylinder. So far, the live stream is working perfectly, by the way.
1:03 Steve is thin but looks good today. Seems to have a lot of energy.
1:04 New London store was 300th store, in 10 countries. Soon going to open first store in Spain. Remember when Macworld used to get 30,000 people coming to it? We’ve got single days where over 1 million people visit.
1:05 Now we’re talking about iOS. 120 million iOS devices shipped since iPhone launched in 2007. We are activating a little over 230,000 iOS devices per day — new activations. “We think some of our friends are counting upgrades in their numbers,” referring to Google Android. 6.5 billion apps downloaded, 200 apps every second. “Whoosh, there goes another 200.”
1:07 Over 250,000 apps on the store; 25,000 now iPad apps. Today, introducing iOS 4.1, the next release of iOS. Fixed a lot of bugs: Proximity sensor, Bluetooth, iPhone 3G performance bugs, “all the bugs that we get mails on.”
1:08 Added “HDR” photos, “high dynamic range.” Upload HD video to YouTube over wifi. TV show rentals in addition to purchases. And Game centre, Apple’s social gaming network, making its debut to users.
1:09 HDR photos are good for taking pictures of washed-out scenes. Takes 3 versions of the same photo with different exposure settings; software stitches them together into nice images. Looks very good.
1:10 Game centre: Both APIs for developers, and an app right on the phone. All about multi player games, allows you to challenge your friends and them to challenge you. If you don’t have any friends, it will match you with people. [Lots of laughs.]
1:11 Angry Birds is named as one of the games using Game centre.
1:14 Epic Games is showing off a very cool new castle/fighting-looking game, which uses Game centre.
1:15 Sorry, folks — looks like we’re having some technical difficulties.
1:15 “It’s on a phone.” “Pretty remarkable.” iOS 4.1 available next week for free for iPhone and iPod touch. NOT for iPad.
1:16 Sneak peak at 4.2 “later this year,” and it’s “all about iPad.” Bringing everything to iPad.
1:16 Wireless printing is coming to iOS. And we’re adding something really cool called AirPlay, which we’ll talk about later.
1:17 AirTunes is becoming AirPlay: Stream audio, video, and photos over the air to other devices.
1:19 Jobs showing off basic iOS 4 features on an iPad: Folders, multitasking, etc.
1:20 iOS 4.2 coming out in November. So that’s when the iPad will get iOS 4 features.
1:20 Now I’d like to get on to the entree today: iPods. Apple has sold 275 million iPods since they launched 9 years ago. One of the secrets to the iPod’s success is that even though it has a very high market share, we’ve added improvements every year. “And this year, we’ve gone wild.” All-new designs for every single model of iPod. Biggest change in iPod lineup ever.
1:22 iPod shuffle. People miss the buttons in the latest generation. So the new one goes back to the previous generation’s look, including buttons. Apple basically admits that the 3rd gen iPod shuffle was a failure. (Can handle voice commands like the newer one, though.)
1:24 $49 for the new iPod shuffle.
1:24 Now let’s look at the iPod nano. Going through the nano’s history. “Was a stunner when it first came out.” New one is smaller and has multi-touch, just as all the leaked case designs had suggested. “It’s very tiny.” And it has a clip on it. Basically an iPod shuffle with a multi-touch UI. Almost half as small and almost half as light as predecessor.
1:26 AAPL shares up 3.1% to $250.63, says MarketWatch
1:26 24-hour battery life on the new iPod nano
1:27 “One of our board of directors members is going to clip it onto an arm band as a watch.”
1:30 The new nano comes in a lot of colours, and has very cool looking packaging.
1:31 iPod touch, the most popular iPod. Used to be the nano, but in the last year, the touch has become the most popular. iPhone without a contract. And the no. 1 portable game player in the world, by unit sales. Outsells Nintendo and Sony portable game players combined. Over 50% market share for portable game players.
1:32 New iPod touch is thinner. Experiencing some hiccups with the stream!
1:33 Looks like an iPhone 4 from the front. Includes the same retina display from the iPhone. This is very nice for gaming. Also includes the same A4 chip, gyro, and front-facing camera and FaceTime. And a rear camera with HD video recording.
1:34 Steve Jobs keeps calling it a phone. “You can edit your videos right on the phone.”
1:35 Up to 64 GB. No 128 GB iPod touch, so the iPod classic lives until its 10th birthday, in theory. (Haven’t seen it yet.)
1:38 Now we’re on to iTunes. Over 100 million movies, 450 million TV episodes, 160 million accounts, in 23 countries. Clearly the no. 1 online media store in the world. Today, the next major version, iTunes 10. (Not iTunes X!)
1:39 Next spring, iTunes on pace to pass CDs in sales, so let’s ditch the CD in the logo. A new logo for iTunes 10 — looks like a Blu-ray disc. (Not really.)
1:41 New feature called “Ping.” A social network for music. “Sort of like Facebook and Twitter meet iTunes.” A social network all about music. Follow your artists and friends, see what they’re listening to. Lady GaGa is already posting to it.
1:42 You can also invite your friends from Facebook into Ping. Recent posts from Lady GaGa, etc.
1:43 With Ping, Apple is basically trying to kill MySpace!
1:44 You have to approve followers to build a circle of friends. Apple’s focus on privacy. You can get as private or as public as you want. Includes concert listings, etc. Open to iTunes users immediately.
1:46 Will be interesting to see if Ping gets a web interface, and/or an iOS app. Not sure how much time people spend inside the iTunes app.
1:48 Very funny picture of Apple PR boss Katie Cotton inside of Ping. Jobs plays a video that Lady GaGa made for Ping. Yo-Yo Ma just uploaded a photo. Steve Jobs has a profile, too, of course. Weird.
1:49 No Ping app in the iOS App Store yet. Bet the PING golf app is getting a lot of love right now.
1:50 Ping is available on iPhone and iPod touch, showing up right in the iTunes store. Not in a separate app. Interesting way to get people to open iTunes more.
1:50 iTunes 10 launches today.
1:51 One more thing… Actually, it’s one more hobby. HAR HAR.
1:51 Introduced Apple TV 4 years ago. Sold “a lot” of them, but nothing has really hit in the living room. (Uh huh. How many have you really sold?) So what have we learned?
1:52 Number 1, 2, 3 thing they want is Hollywood movies and TV shows whenever they want them. It’s that simple. They don’t want amateur hour. (A shot at Google and YouTube?) They want professional content. And they want everything in HD. HD won, everyone wants HD. They don’t want a computer on their TV. This is a hard one for the people in the computer industry to understand, but easy for consumers to understand. They don’t want to manage storage. People don’t want to think about managing storage, they just want to watch movies and TV shows. And they don’t want to sync to a computer; most of them haven’t figured out what that is. And they want hardware to be silent, cool, and small. Not too hard to understand.
1:54 Introducing 2nd generation: One fourth the size of the old one. Still called Apple TV, it appears. Tiny little box. Power supply built in, no brick. One HDMI connector. Ethernet, 802.11n wifi.
1:55 Same remote as before. Movies, TV shows. All HD when content is available. Gone to the rental model: No purchases. You rent everything. Prices more affordable, no storage problem. You don’t store things anymore. Rental prices so inexpensive that you can afford to watch something several times, still cheaper than if you had bought it. Stream content from your computer; no syncing required.
1:56 So what about content? Used to be $2.99 to buy TV shows in HD. 99 cents to rent in HD, commercial-free. A big step for studios to make; ABC and Fox are the early participants. Think the rest of studios will “see the light” and get on board.
1:58 In addition to renting, you can stream content from Netflix’s streaming library right on Apple TV. Can also watch YouTube. Flickr photos. And video and photos off MobileMe. Looks like these are built into the device’s software, and not third-party apps. So far, it looks like no Apple TV app store.
2:00 Sorry, the live stream isn’t doing so well.
2:01 Rotten Tomatoes reviews. Can rent movie in HD for $4.99.
2:02 So far, new Apple TV looks evolutionary, not revolutionary. Doesn’t look like any app store yet, or a web browser. No need for any crazy multi-touch remote. “By far the best implementation of Netflix.” Price will be big part of success here.
2:06 AirPlay coming in November with iOS 4.2. One of those things is to stream content from an iOS device to an Apple TV. So I have an iPad here, and have one of my favourite movies on iPad, “Up.” Playing it on iPad, now streaming it to family room Apple TV. Pretty cool. Can start watching movie on iPad, come into living room, watch the rest on Apple TV. (Wonder if this will be an API that other video apps can use, or just Apple’s built-in video player?)
2:08 Price of Apple TV was $229. Users would like to see it more affordable. People weren’t willing to experiment. Lowering the price to $99. Now it’s in impulse-purchase range. Available in about 4 weeks, can pre-order today. The price is obviously the best feature of the new Apple TV.
2:11 Nothing earth-shattering today, but nice updates all around.
2:12 Now it’s time for a Coldplay concert. Thanks for following our live coverage today.
2:14 Actually, just Chris Martin. The rest of the band “too lazy.” Over and out.