It ain’t broke, don’t fix it.That seems to be Apple’s motto with the latest iPhone, the iPhone 4S.
The design of the iPhone 4S is exactly the same as the iPhone 4. The guts of the phone are upgraded though, and Apple says the new phone is blazingly fast.
So is it a let down? A little bit. We were expecting a new design.
Why did it take Apple this long to release the iPhone 4S?
Perhaps it’s the new software. iOS 5 has a lot of neat features. None cooler than the Siri feature, which allows users to talk to their phone.
For instance, you can say to your phone, “What’s the weather?” and it will pull up the weather for you.
Yes, voice recognition generally stinks on phones. But, so did touch screens before Apple came along. We’re cautiously optimistic Apple will get this one right, too.
Below is our live blog of the event. For more coverage see:
- No iPhone 5! Meet The iPhone 4S
- Here Are All The Killer Features Coming To iOS 5
- Apple Announces A FREE iPhone 3GS
- I Fully Expect Apple’s Voice Recognition To Suck — Don’t You?
- Apple Launches Foursquare-like Find My Friends App
Our live blog notes: Here. We. Go.
Click here for the latest, or just refresh your browser.
12:53: A lot of people noting that AT&T Wireless CEO Ralph De La Vega is in the house. As is Twitter CEO Dick Costolo.
12:59: Should be starting shortly …
1:00: Waiting. Sprint’s logo popped up on Apple’s website … so that looks even more likely.
1:02: No Steve Jobs yet. Tim Cook just took the stage. No standing O, per GDGT. He says, “I love Apple,” and I’m happy to host you. He’s talking about his love of Apple.
1:03: Via Bloomberg: ‘I LOVE APPLE AND I CONSIDER IT A PRIVILEGE OF LIFETIME’ to be CEO.
1:05: Image of Cook on stage:
1:05: Cook is talking about Apple’s new store in Shanghai. Says it had 100,000 visitors on Day 1.The LA store took a month to hit that goal (via Engadget)
1:06: Now he’s playing a video of the retail store in Hong Kong opening. Says he’s watched the video 100 times and he would watch it 100 more times. Apple will be doing a lot more stores in China says Cook.
1:09: On Lion, he says it’s been downloaded 6 million times in two weeks reaching 10% of the users. Cook says it took Windows 7 20 weeks to reach that sort of install base, according to GDGT. Of course, Windows has a much bigger install base, which is why it took longer.
1:12: 1 in 4 computers sold in the US is now a Mac.
1:11: iMac and Macbook Pro are the number one selling computers in the US. Mac platform has grown by 23%, the rest of the PC market only up by 4%, via Engadget.
1:13: The ceiling for Apple’s Mac sales is extremely high, since so many people still buy PCs.
1:14: Now it’s onto the iPod. Apple has sold 300 million iPods globally, with 45 million sold in the last year ending in June. 16 billion downloads through iTunes.
1:16: Onto iPhone 4: half of all iPhone sales in history are iPhone 4 sales.
iPhone’s now account for 5% of all mobile phone sales — that includes feature phones and smartphones.
1:17: 93% of Fortune 500 companies are testing the iPhone. “iPhone is pummelling the competition,” says Cook via Fortune’s Miguel Helft. Of course … it’s not. Android phones are selling (or getting activated) better overall.
1:18: He says more on the iPhone shortly … but for now it’s time to talk about the iPad. The customer satisfaction on the iPad is 95%, people love it. Lots of schools are testing the iPad. Says Cook, Kids are going to be awesome on these touchscreen keyboards. (via TIMN)
1:21: Cook claims aeroplanes are more efficient because iPads replace 40 pound manuals … what do we think? True?
1:22: “Despite everybody and their brother trying to compete with iPad, three out of four tablets sold in the US are iPads.” — Miguel Helft tweets Tim Cook.
250 million iOS devices out there, now. Here comes software boss Scott Forstall.
1:24: 500,000 iPhone apps, and 140,000 iPad apps … 18 billion app downloads. $3 billion to developers.
1:25: New app being revealed! Cards … Create and mail beautiful cards from your iPhone (really??? What a snooze! Could be cool for mum?)
Image of cards from GDGT:
1:26: You lay out the card digitally, and then you send it as a physical card. Costs $2.99 per card sent in the US. $4.99 per card sent elsewhere in the world.
1:27: Now we’re on to iOS 5 talk. A recap of things we’ve heard previously. Talking about new notifications …
1:28: (SAI commenter Sammy The Walrus just noted that Apple didn’t reveal iPad sales … must be waiting for the earnings release.)
1:29: Now Forstall is talking about iMessage, which we are SUPER excited for. We hate paying for texts.
1:30: Good lol from Michael De La Merced on Twitter: “Apple developed Cards to help bail out the USPS.”
1:31: Forstall has just revisited the newsstand, the Twitter integration … now he’s on to the camera. Talking about the shortcut to the camera on the lock screen, which is a lovely feature, but we already knew about it. (People are getting restless for new stuff.)
1:32: You can edit photos to remove red-eye, which is cool, but we want no red-eye from the start!
1:33: For what it’s worth, Apple’s stock is modestly down. Let’s than .5%.
1:34: Hilarious alert from Bloomberg: “American Greeting Turns Negative After Apple Promotes Cards App”
1:34: BOOM! Some news: October 12th you can get iOS 5, which has all the great stuff in it.
1:35: No more plugging the phone or iPad into the computer. It’s all wireless.
1:36: Next up, Eddie Cue. He’ll talk iCloud. Talking about syncing stuff and what a pain it is. iCloud wirelessly syncs photos.
Here’s pic of Cue from All Things D:
Photo: All Things D
1:40: Basically, so far this has been a total recap of what we already know + some rah rah stuff about Apple sales + Cards, the new card making app. Not complaining here! This is how Apple rolls, just pointing it out.
1:41: New app! “Find My Friends” You can see where your friends and family are at. Creepy? Foursquare-killer? Probably not! But, it’s interesting. (Can’t believe Apple didn’t call it “Places.”)
1:43: You set when and how you are sharing your location.So, if you want your location to be aware from 3 PM to 11 PM, you can do that. Anyone going to use this? We doubt it.
1:43: From Bloomberg: APPLE SHARES EXTEND DECLINES, FALLING 1.2% TO $370.18
1:44: Now Eddie Cue is onto iTunes Match, which scans your music library and keeps it backed up in the cloud.
1:46: More from Bloomberg: Apple Stock Drops as Much as 1.6% as iPhone Event Continues (we’re not sure that means anything, but it’s fun to notice … )
And now we’re at a demo according to the great GDGT blog.
1:47: What do we think so far? Bo-ring. We’re 47 minutes into this thing! Where is the meat? Cards, Find My Friends? Give us something great. Not trying to complain! Just saying …
1:48: And now Marketing boss Phil Schiller is on stage talking about the iPod Nano. Some updates to make it easier to use. It also has software tracking how you walk and run.
1:50: Schiller says Apple added 16 new clock faces to the iPod Nano since people like to use it as a watch.
Cute Mickey Mouse watch interface:
Photo: The Verge
1:51: The new iPod Nano is going for $129 at 8 GB and $149 at 16GB.
1:52: Now we’re talking about the iPod Touch. It’s a good gaming machine … and all that stuff. A white iPod Touch. $199 for the 8 GB model, $299 for 32GB model, $399 for 64 GB model.
1:54: HERE WE GO … SCHILLER TALKING ABOUT THE IPHONE
How do you follow up the iPhone 4? With the iPhone 4S. (There ya go.)
Design is the same, “inside is all new.” It has an A5 chip. 7X faster graphics. Dual core. Better for gaming.
(Odd that Schiller not Cook revealed, right?)
1:58: Now they’re doing a game demo. This is definitely a let down. But, big picture, as Apple repeatedly stressed, the iPhone 4 is a great selling phone …
Photo: The Verge
1:59: We’d show you a picture of the phone, but it looks exactly like the iPhone 4. Images at This is my next, tho.
Some battery life stats: 8 hours 3G talk time, 6 hours 3G browsing, 9 hours wifi browsing, 10 hours video, music is 40 hours
2:02: Next, the wireless system is supposedly improved. It switches between two antenna to find the best signal. Curious to see how that works.
2:03: Download speeds are twice as fast, per Bloomberg. It is HSDPA. It does 14.4 Mbps, which is 4G-like speed.
The phone is a world phone, meaning it works on GSM and CDMA.
2:04: Now we’re onto the camera. Schiller flashes a slide from Flickr showing how many people are uploading iPhone 4 photos.
New iPhone has a better camera. It has a new sensor with 8 megapixel camera.
From Bloomberg terminal: APPLE IPHONE 4S CAMERA ARE IN 3264X2448, 60% MORE PIXELS
2:06: He’s getting wonky on the camera here — ISP, Hybrid IR, etc. Bottom line: this is a better camera, which is good.
2:08: Schiller is talking about the speed the camera comes up. He disses Android’s slow camera speeds. Via GDGT: “What do Droid Bionic customers have to do between taking pictures? Get coffee?”
OK, Phil … but our camera is SLOOOOW and it started fast.
2:09: Latest on the stock from Bloomberg: Apple Falls 2.3%; RIMM Down 5.9% as Apple Introduces IPhone 4S
2:10: True high def video with the new camera: 1080p HD. Video stabilisation.
NYT tech writer Nick Bilton tweets, “Quality looks utterly amazing. + 1080p HD Video. RIP point & shoot cameras.”
2:12: Here’s our breakout coverage of the iPhone 4S.
2:13: The one more thing … “VOICE”
2:14: From GDGT, Schiller: “For decades technologists have teased us with this dream that we can talk to our technology. But it’s never come true! It’s such a let-down! What we really want to do is just talk to our device!”
2:15: They’re calling it Siri, after the app they acquired. Now it’s a demo. It’s all about asking questions of phone.
2:16: Scott Forstall is on stage, demoing. Hold down the home button and then the mic pops up. Pretty cool: “Do I need a raincoat today?” Siri responds “It sure looks like rain today.” (via Engadget)
2:18: We’ve got to say, this looks really cool. Photos from Engadget’s great live blog:
2:20: We’re excited to see how all of this works, will it be iPhone 4S only? Is this how it sells the iPhone 4S?
2:21: It looks like it’s just as 9 to 5 Mac reported. Ask a question, get an answer. There is Yelp integration so you can ask for a nearby restaurant and it will get it for you based on Yelp ratings.
2:23: Interesting note from This is my next: You still have to speak slowly like you’re talking to a child. But, overall, it’s “amazing.”
2:24: It’s partnering with Wolfram Alpha to do dictionary searches and other calculations.
2:26: You can speak out emails or text messages. If this is done right, it will be awesome.
And now Phil Schiller is off stage.
2:28: Now Forstall is back, says that’s the coolest feature of the iPhone 4S. (Does that mean it’s not for iPhone 4???)
2:29: Siri will support French, English, and German to start. Another demo is coming up. Still waiting for price and availability.
2:34: Pricing! APPLE IPHONE 4S RANGES FROM $199 8GB, $299 16GB, $399 64 GB
2:35: iPhone 4 will be $99, the 3GS will become free!
iPhone available October 14. Preorders start October 7. It is available on Sprint.
Phil Schiller says this will be the “fastest roll out” to date.
2:37: Tim Cook is back on stage to recap what we saw. Here’s what he said, per GDGT: “When you think about it, only Apple can bring all these things together in such a powerful and integrated experience. I am so incredibly proud of this company and all of the teams that work so hard to bring the innovations you’ve seen today to reality.”
2:39: AND THAT’S THAT, FOLKS!
Click here for the latest, or just refresh your browser.
Preview post: Apple’s newest iPhone is about to be revealed and we’re going to bring you the most important news and commentary as it’s going down. (Note: We’re not on hand, but we’ll be keeping track of all the news from all the outlets as it breaks.)
What do we know (or think we know) so far?
It looks increasingly unlikely that we’re going to see a redesigned iPhone 5. Instead, all signs point to an iPhone 4S, which would be just like the iPhone 4, but with faster guts and expanded storage.
It should be on sale October 14.
That’s the hardware. What about software? We’re expecting to hear about new software features like a voice activated assistant. Hopefully Apple can do for voice activations what it did for touch screens. We’re sceptical, but curious to see what Apple has on tap.
The event gets under way at 1 PM eastern.