Live From London: Apple’s Remote iPhone Event

When the media invites went out for today’s Apple iPhone event last week, I thought “crap, I’m gonna be in London”. Turns out, that’s not such a bad thing. Apple has set up a live broadcast of the event at the Covent Garden Apple Store here. I’m here, ready to liveblog from 5,000 miles away.

What will we see? The iPhone 5? The iPhone 4S (sure seems like it). iOS 5? Nuance-powered voice controls? New iPods? No iPods? Something else?

(Here’s the liveblog — we had planned to use ScribbleLive, but it’s down, so we’re doing it old school!)

Tim Cook takes stage

Good morning. This is my first product launch since being named CEO. I’m sure you didn’t know that. It is a pleasure to host you today.
I love Apple.

This campus serves as a second home for many of us. It’s sort of like inviting you into our home. This room is our town hall. It has quite the history. Just 10 years ago we launched the original iPod here. It went on to revolutionize the way we listen to music. A year ago, we did the new MacBook Air.

A few updates: Apple has enomorous momentum. Apple Stores. Two new stores in China. Both are setting new record. In Shanghai, 100,000 visitors for opening weekend. In LA, we thought it was awesome when we did 100,000 in one month!

Hong Kong store. Cool spiral staircase “only Apple could do this”.

Cook is now showing a short video to show off “excitement and energy around our retail”.

Video over. “I think I watched that 100 times. I could watch it more easily”

6 stores in China now — we will do more! 357 stores in 11 countries.


You can’t talk about Mac without talking about Lion. Reviews are incredible. Walt Mossberg loves it. First time ever we offered Lion as a digital download only. The results have been staggering. We have downloaded over 6 million copies of Lion. That’s 80% more than Snow Leopard.

It took Windows 7 20 weeks to reach 10% of installed base. Lion did this in two weeks.

We also released the new MacBook Air. Our customers love it.

The MacBook Pro and the iMac are the #1 best-selling notebook and laptop in the U.S. The Mac outgrew the PC market by over 6 times. We’ve done that 5 years in a row. We are now approaching 60 million users around the world.

Our market share has steadily increased. U.S. retail Macs are now about 1 in 4 PCs sold in stores. Not too long ago, this number was in the mid single digits. But 77% of people are still buying something else. This just means we have a high ceiling here.


10 years of the iPod. It reminded all of us how much we love music. It became a part of our lives again. It becomes the #1 music player in the world. In the U.S. the market share has been above 70% for a very long time. We now have sold over 300 million iPods cumulatively. It took Sony 30 years to sell 200,000 walkmans.

iPod is still a large and important market for Apple. We sold 45 million iPods in the past year. Almost half of those are going to people buying their first iPod. And many are going to people being introduced to Apple. This is a very important business for us.

iTunes started 8 years ago. 200,000 songs at first — we now have 20 million songs. It’s the number 1 music store in the world. Over 16 billion songs downloaded.


iPhone 4 in a very short period of time has sold over half of the total iPhones sold the entire time we’ve been selling them. It’s the #1 smartphone in the world.

It’s not jst in consumer space. 93% of Fortune 500 companies are deploying or testing iPhone. It’s number one in customer satisfaction. “The iPhone is pummeling the competition.” For six times in a row JD Power has rated iPhone #1 in customer satisfaction in smartphones.

The iPhone has 5% share of the worldwide market of handsets. I could have shown the bigger smartphone numbers. But we believe overtime all handsets become smartphones. This market is 1.5 billion units annually. Enormous market.

More coming up on iPhone… (laughs).


People have been thrilled with original iPad and now iPad 2 from earlier this year. There is a lot of love for this product.

They’re showing up everywhere. iPads in schools, for example. We think they help both teachers and students. Every state in the U.S. now has an iPad deployment or test. 1,000 universities in the U.S. all have iPad programs too.

In the cockpit too! Pilots are using it to replace 40 pound notebooks. Also in hospitals. Over 80% of the top hospitals in the U.S. are now testing or piloting iPad. 92% of Fortune 500 companies are testing or deploying iPad. This is in less than 18 months. This is unheard of.

“iPad is the undisputed top-selling tablet in the world.” Despite everyone and their brother trying to compete with iPad, 3 of the 4 tablets sold in the U.S. are iPad.

We have passed 250 million iOS devices sold.

Today we’re taking it to the next level. I’m going to have Scott Forstall come up to show us the latest.

Scott Forstall

We’ve already sold a quarter billion iOS devices. It’s the number one mobile OS with 43% of the market.

Mobile browsing, iOS is 61% of the market. Over 500,000 apps in the App Store. 140,000 just for the iPad. It’s the number one store for mobile apps.

In just a little more than 3 years, customers have downloaded more than 18 billion apps. And it’s accelerating. More than a billion per month now.

Developers have been paid more than $3 billion for those apps.

New app from Apple: Cards. It lets you create and mail beautiful cards from your iPhone or iPod touch. We print it out for you after you make it on the phone. We’ll even mail it for you. If you mail it in the U.S. we’ll add the postal services bar code – so you’ll get a push notification the day it’s delivered. Very cool. $2.99 in the U.S. $4.99 anywhere in the world. Free download on October 12.

Let’s talk about iOS 5. Just a few months ago we showed it off. We’ve seeded over 100,000 developers. They love it. Quick recap: 200 new user features. Ten key new features (the ones gone over previously): Notifications. iMessage. Reminders. Twitter integration. Newsstand. Camera. Game Center. Safari. Mail. PC-free.

It will be a free update available on October 12 — next week.

Here’s Eddie Cue to show off iCloud.

It’s all about being automatic. There’s no syncing. There’s nothing new to learn. It just works. And iCloud is free.

iTunes in the Cloud. Over 1/3 of music we sell is purchased from iOS devices. Keeping it in sync can be frustrating. Now when I download one place, it downloads to all your devices, including your Mac or PC. And there’s the new Purchased area in the Store to find songs you previously bought. Get them all at no additional cost.

This works for TV shows too. Watch any at no additional cost. On your Apple TV too.

We’ve done something huge with Photos. Photo Stream. They’re on your camera roll, but you wish they were on all your devices. With iCloud they are. It’s built-in to the Photos app on the iPad. And it’s built into iPhoto on my Mac. And on Apple TV.

Documents in the Cloud — anytime you start a document on any device, it’s saved and stored in iCloud. Documents are updated across devices. There are APIs available too — we used them to put it into Pages, Number, and Keynote. Those updates will be available on October 12.

Apps are also automatically downloaded to all devices. Books works the same way too. Contacts updated. Calendars updated. Mail to all of your devices. Daily backups. Find my iPhone — now you can even locate your Mac.

Today we’re announcing a new app called: Find my Friends. When you launch it, you see a list of family or friends sharing a location with you. Use it at Disneyland. I can even see if my son made it to school okay. That’s great, but what about sharing it temporarily? That’s really easy. A picnic at the beach — location sharing ends on Saturday at 7PM. Location sharing stops automatically.

There are parental settings so kids can’t share with others. Or so kids can’t turn off location sharing with parents.

iCloud is free for iOS 5 users. And Lion users. Unlimited storage for purchased things. 5GB for music, etc. You can purchase more space too.

iTunes Match. Rather than upload every song in your library — which could take weeks. We’ll find and match every song with ours. Cache the songs you listen to most right on your device. $24.99 a year.

Ships on October 12. iTunes Match end of the month in the U.S. We’re working hard to bring it to other countries by the end of the year.

iCloud video time.

Phil Schiller takes the stage.

I’m really pleased to talk to you about the iPod. We started on it because we loved music. That hasn’t stopped. We’re still making them. Now let’s update two of them.

iPod nano

Customers love it. We’ve added some updates, now it’s easier to navigate with bigger icons.

Fitness is one of the most popular uses. We’ve improved it. Right out of the box you can go on a walk or run — no extra senors or devices. You go on a run, plug the device into a Mac or PC and all your data is there. It’s a really great way to get fit.

People have made iPod nano watch bands. We thought that was really fun. So we added 16 new clock faces. Schiller shows off a classic one, an LED one, etc. We have Disney characters too — a Mickey Mouse watch face!

Now iPad nano is $149 for 16 gigs $129 for 8 gigs. Most affordable nano ever. Available today.

iPod touch

Our most popular iPod. It’s the most popular portable game player as well. Now it will run iOS 5 — all the great features, iCloud, Game Center, Messages, etc.

Brand new white version

Was $229 for 8GB — now it’s $199. A key price point

32 GB – $299 – 64 GB – $399 – All: October 12.

Next: iPhone

Last year we did iPhone 4. Competitors haven’t come close to copying it yet. How do you follow it up?

I’m really pleased to tell you today all about the brand new iPhone 4S

Of course it started with a Retina Displace. Glass front and back. But instead, it’s all new.

It has a new chip: A5 chip, same from the iPad 2. This is an Apple designed chip. Dual-core processor. Up to 2x as fast at CPU tasks. Dual-core graphics – so up to 7x faster. Awesome for games.

Epic Games on stage to show off new games using a new graphics engine built for the AS — in some ways, the graphics are better than the high end consoles, they say. “This can only run on iPhone 4S — why? because it’s AWESOME”. This new game available December 1.

Phil Schiller back.

That’s a great example of the new performance you’re going to get. Will you trade off battery life for that power? No — first time you have 8 hours of talk time with 3G. 14 hours 2G talk time. 9 hours WiFi browsing. 6 hours 3G browsing.

With iPhone we revolutionized steel antenna. Now we have something new — the phone can intelligently switch to both transmit and recieve to do better call quality.

It can also now download data twice as fast as before. Previously you could do 5.8 up and 7.2 down — now it’s 5.8 up and 14.4 down. This is what a lot of our competitors claim when they “4G”. We’re not getting into that debate. It’s about real world performance. It’s faster than some of these phones.

Also, it’s a world phone. Before it did GSM and CDMA. Now the iPhone 4S has both. When you’re traveling it can pick up anything.

New camera. The iPhone 4 is the most popular camera on Flickr. We already were better than any other phone. We set our sights on making it better than point and shoot cameras. There’s a new 8 megapixel sensor. You can print an 8×10 glossy photo — that’s 60% more pixels than iPhone 4. But more pixels sometimes make it worse, but we have a new sensor to gather 73% more light. 33% faster at capturing too. Hybrid IR filter (like high-end DSLR). 5 custom-designed lenses (4 with iPhone 4). 30% more sharpness.

Inside the A5 is an image signal processor. It can do face detection. White balance is better.

Super fast photos. Time to first picture — 1.1 second. Destroys camera phone competition. Second picture just 0.5 seconds. Other guys 2 – 3 times longer. Droid users – you go to take a picture and you can go get a coffee in between — laughs.

Video recording: stunning HD video, now 1080p. We have real-time video image stabilization. Temporal noise reduction. Video showing off new quality — lot of hot air balloon action.

For many customers this will be the best still camera they’ve ever owned, and best video camera they’ve ever owned.

Next: AirPlay. It’s one of the best-kept secrets of iOS. iPhone 4S is gaining AirPlay Mirroring to Apple TV (or do it via HDMI cable).

Of course it comes with iOS 5 and iCloud. “It’s the best iPhone yet”. But we haven’t told you the best feature. It’s a feature all about our voice. For decades technologists have teased us that we should be able to talk to our machines. But it never comes true. What we really want to do is just talk to our device. “What’s the weather going to be today?” And talk in anyway you like.

Siri feature. You’re intelligent assistant that gets things done just by asking. Demo time. This is beta software — this is a tricky demo to do, but we’re gonna do it anyway. Forstall back on stage.

You can get to Siri at anytime just by holding down the home button for a few seconds. The exact words I say aren’t important, it’s the meaning behind the words. Different words, Siri figures out the meaning. “Do I need a raincoat today?” “It sure looks like rain today.”

We’ve integrated it with weather, but also all kinds of things. Like the Clock — the time in Paris. Ask it about stocks. Tell it to set an alarm. “We’ve also partnered with Yelp” Get directions. You can reply to messages. Schedule something on a calendar. Forstall is showing it all off – and it all works wonderfully.

Set a reminder with the new Reminders app. Also partnered with Wolfram Alpha. Search Wikipedia. Do currency conversions. How many days until Christmas? “You can ask so many questions of Siri” — you can’t ask everything, but it’s impressive. We decided to make a guide to show you what you can ask. You can even play songs from iTunes in the Cloud.

“Who are you?” “I am a humble personal assistant” — applause. That is Siri, you’re humble intelligent personal assistant.

Phil Schiller back on stage.

Siri also does dictation. Anywhere you type in iOS, you’ll see a new microphone key. It sends it to our server and comes back with your text. (Sounds like that Nuance deal went through). Works over WiFi and 3G. It will be built in with support for English, French, German. It will be beta to start. We will add more languages and services over time.

Video of iPhone 4S.

It comes in black and white. 16GB – $199. 32GB – $299. 64GB – $399 (first time 64GB)

The iPhone 4 will be available for $99 8GB only.

The iPhone 3GS available for 8GB for free.

The iPhone 4G pre-orders start on the 7th. It will be available on October 14.

US, Canada, Australia, UK, France, Germany, Japan on the 14th.

On Sprint in the U.S. for the first time. 

October 28 – 22 more countries. End of the year it will be in 70 countries. Over 100 carrier partners. The fastest roll out we’ve ever had for an iPhone.

Tim Cook back on stage for a review of what was just announced.

What sets all these things apart is how they’re engineered. Only Apple can make sure hardware and software services. I am so incredibly proud of this company and all of the teams that worked so hard.

That’s a wrap.