Apple Releases iPhone 4S: Live Blog

Apple is hosted a press conference today in Cupertino, CA called ‘Let’s Talk iPhone’ where they unveiled the new iPhone 4S. We couldn’t be there for the event, but we live blogged the events as they unfolded on the video stream of the event, as well as from other blogs including Wired.com and Engadget. Below is our coverage:

1:01 Apple CEO Tim Cook is on stage for his first product announcement since he took over as CEO.

1:03 Video stream is not working anymore, but we’re following along online.

1:04 Via Wired: “Today, Apple wants to remind us of the uniqueness of their company as they announce innovations of their mobile operating system, applications and hardware, and integrating them into a single experience.”

1:06 Via Engadget: “Hong Kong opening, they sold more Macs on opening day than they have in any other store in the world!”

1:09 Cook is talking about the success of Lion over Windows, and Lion is prominently displayed on Apple’s homepage.

1:14 Via NYTimes: “We’re now getting news about other Apple product lines, like Lion, the Mac operating system. This is the rhetorical equivalent of putting the milk in the back of the supermarket: We’re all here for iPhone news, but first you have to walk past all this other stuff.”

1:16 Via Engadget: “Over 300 million iPods have been sold. ‘It took Sony 30 years to sell 220,000 Walkman casette players.’”

1:18 Tim Cook: “iPhone is 5% of worldwide mobile phone market.”

1:21 Video has crashed again, but Engadget is reporting that Cook is talking about how iPads are being used in schools and to fly planes.

1:23 Via Engadget: “iOS is now the number one mobile operating system, 43 percent compared to Android’s 33 percent as of the July ComScore number Apple is quoting.”

1:26 Scott Forstall, Apple’s iOS chief, has taken the stage. Via The NY Times: “Mr. Forstall is talking about how more than 1 billion apps are downloaded in a month. A new app is being shown: Cards. You can create cards on your phone or iPod Touch, and Apple will print them out and mail them.”

1:27 Via Twitter: “Apple has paid more than $3 billion to app developers.”

1:30 Via Wired: “Cards is a new app being introduced. It lets you create and mail beauitful cards right from your iPhone or iPod touch. You make the card, Apple does the rest, printing it out on 100% cotton paper. There’s over 21 different designs in 6 different categories: including birthdays, birth announcements, love, travel.”

1:32 Engadget and ArsTechnica are down. Haven’t seen updates from Wired or NYTimes.com for a few minutes. Maybe they are having Wi-Fi issues? There were many issues during the Kindle Fire press conference.

1:34 NYTimes is back up. They are talking about iOS 5 features. This includes “iMessages,” a new text messaging feature, a newsstand and a better integration with Twitter. Here is more about the new iPhone features: “The camera app is now accessible from the lock screen. Double-tap the home button and you can go directly to the camera app, no password or anything required.”

1:38 Safari, Game Center and Mail have been updated for the iPhone. Via Wired.com: “PC Free is the next feature we’re talking about. With iOS 5, you take a device out of a box, and there’s no need for a computer. There’s support for wireless updates.”

1:41 Engadget is back up. Apple is talking about iTunes, iPhoto and syncing documents. Engadget has more: “Documents in the Cloud means your docs get pushed as well. ‘My documents are updated across my devices.’” Like Whispersync maybe?

1:43 There is a new “Find My Friends” feature that lets you find your friends based on their location. Engadget has more: “You can invite friends to share their location for a limited time, which is an interesting feature.” Let’s hope Apple has some privacy worked in to avoid another location-gate.

1:45 More on the Cloud documentas. Via Wired: “When you purchase an app on one device, it’s available on all of your iDevices. Books works the same way. Another feature of iCloud is Backup.” There is also a capability to find a lost iPhone.

1:48 Still no iPhone 5 announced.

1:49 Apple has 16 new clock faces and larger icons on the iPod nano.

1:50 Via Twitter @NYTimes: “Apples new iOS5 system will be available Oct. 12.”

1:51 8GB iPod Nano $129, 16GB iPod Nano $149.

1:53 Talk has turned to the iPod Touch as a gaming device. It will run iOS 5. New white one comes out October 12th starting at $199 for 8GB.

1:55 Via Engadget: “”I’m really pleased to tell you today about the brand new iPhone 4S.’ It has the A5 chip! ‘Of course it starts with a Retina display, of course it’s glass on the back… but don’t be deceived, because inside it’s all new.’”

1:56 Engadget is reporting that the iPhone 4S is 2x faster and has dual-core graphics.

1:58 Apple is showing off how good the A5 chip is for playing video games.

2:00 NY Times quips: “This is sort of funny – reports were out there that Apple was ‘hiding’ the iPhone 5 in an iPhone 4 body. Maybe Apple wasn’t hiding it at all.”

2:03 Engadget has more details on the iPhone 4S: “Theoretical download speeds are now twice, 14.4Mbps versus 7.2 on the iPhone 4.”

2:04 A cool feature for international travelers caled “World Phone”. Via Engadget: “The iPhone 4 was of course GSM vs. CDMA. The 4S is both — GSM and CDMA.”

2:05 There is a new camera in the new phone. Lots of updates including 30% more sharpness, an f/2.4 aperture, face detection and better white balance.

2:10 The video camera update will include image stabilization.

2:15 Apple has a new feature on the iPhone called Siri. The NY Times has more: “‘We left one thing out,’ says Mr. Schiller. ‘It’s about our voice.’ This is the fruit of Apple’s acquisition of Siri, a startup that has been working on voice-control features. Siri is now a feature on the iPhone. ‘It’s an intelligent assistant that helps you get things done, just by asking.’”

2:17 Via @Mediabistro on Twitter: “Apple shares are down about 3% following unveiling of #iPhone4S on.wsj.com/edvozy (via @WSJ)”

2:20 Engadget has more details about Siri: “‘Give me directions to Hoover Tower.’ Siri brings up map, shows the route and you’re good to go. Scott’s talking about receiving a text message while your phone’s in your pocket and you are wearing a Bluetooth headset.”

2:24 Siri can remind you to run errands, call your wife and look up things for you in Wikipedia and WolfraAlpha (funnily enough, often the most popular Android book app, not iTunes book app).

2:35 The new iPhone comes out October 14th in the U.S., Australia, the U.K., Canada, Japan, Germany and France. October 28th for other locations. It will be AT&T, Verizon and Sprint in the U.S.

2:40 The iPhone 4 is now $99, the new iPhone 4S will be $199 for an 16GB, $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64 GB.

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