Apple iPhone 4S liveblog 2011
NEW! Here's our full Apple iPhone 4S review
For starters, here's our iPhone 5 rumour round-up
Picture the scene: journalists and analysts jockeying for position in the hallowed halls of 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, home of Apple Computer Inc. In the wings, the company's newly-minted CEO, Tim Cook, tucks a slither of metal and glass into his pocket, takes a sip of water and prepares to let the year's biggest tech cat out of this century's most capacious gadget bag. The lights dim and a hush falls over the crowd. This is the moment we've all been waiting for... drumroll, please for the iPhone 5.
Note: oldest posts first. Scroll down for newer revelations...
17:55 So, here we are at the Covent Garden Apple Store in London. The event begins in five minutes. Prepare for launch, captain.
17:56 Bon Iver on the stereo. Four minutes of foot-tapping left...
17:59 And we're comfortably perched in the front row. Only the best for Stuff.tv.
18:01 There's a much smaller turnout than previous Apple launches. Probably less than 100 journos so not as buzzing as normal.
18:03 The lights are down, the music's off, our trousers are tightened. Tim Cook takes to the stage in Cupertino: "I love Apple."
18:04 They're in the same room that launched the original iPod 10 years ago. Awww.
18:06 Tim's isn't quite as charismatic as Steve. A bit like your friend's dad who works in a posh bank. He's taking us through the world's new Apple Stores. One in Hong Kong, one in China. Both look pretty plush. Can we go there for the next product launch please, Apple?
18:08 We're seeing a video shot in the new stores soundtracked by The Shins. Let's hope the music stays at that calibre.
18:08 There are now six stores in China. 6006 if you count the fake ones. Time for some Lion chat. Grrr. Six million copies downloaded. 80% more than Snow Leopard. It took Windows 7 20 weeks to hit 10% install base. Lion did it in 2 weeks. Pow!
18:09 Mac outgrowing PCs by almost six times. Apple's on a roll.
18:11 Still only have 23% market share though. Some way to go yet.
18:12 300m iPods sold around the world in 10 years. Sony took 30 years to sell 222k cassette Walkmans.
18:14 More number chat from Tim. Feels a bit like the most highly polished maths lesson we never had.
18:15 96% of iPhone users are either 'satisfied' or 'very satisfied'. Happy bunch. "More coming up on iPhone," says Tim. Hurry up!
18:18 Pilots apparently taking iPads into the cockpit these days. Does anyone else feel slightly worried by that? Can the iPad fly?
18:20 74% of tablets sold in the good ol' US of A are iPads. Lots of clapping on the live stream from California. None of that nonsense here. We're British.
18:23 iOS devices have 43% of the market. Android a close second. 140,000 dedicated iPad apps now available. In just over three years over 18 billion apps downloaded from the App Store. In layman's terms, that's quite a lot.
18:24 First new app: Cards.
18:25 Quick recap of iOS 5: new notifications system accessible via the lock screen, free BBM-style iMessage service, location-based reminders, integrated Twitter, Newstand for mag and newspaper subscriptions.
18:30 iOS 5 recap: enhanced camera with editing features, gridlines, pinch to zoom, use of volume button as shutter release and AE/AF lock.
18:31 iOS 5 recap: Reader on Safari formats web page for reading later. Strips out ads and other stuff. Some people won't like that...
18:33 iOS 5 recap: tabbed browsing for iPad, formatting enhancements to Mail and PC-free setup. No need for a computer to own an iOS device.
18:36 iOS 5 recap over. We'd forgotten how awesome all that stuff sounds. Hopefully we'll get news of its launch date before the end of the presentation. Now on to iCloud.
18:37 All iTunes music downloads via Apple devices now automatically download to all your iThings. Same thing happens with photos taken on your iPhone/iPad. It's called Photostream. Come on, Apple, let's have something new!
18:38 Guess what? The same happens with apps too. Oh, and books.
18:40 iCloud does a daily back-up of all your content in case your drop your iThing in a canal. New Find My Friends app shows you shared locations of all your family and friends. No more hiding from people you owe money to.
18:42 You can set sessions of location sharing so it's not always on.
18:44 5GB free on iCloud for your mail, docs and back-up.
18:46 iCloud 'ships' on Oct 12th, iTunes Match "before the end of the month." Those are US dates. We'll find out UK info after the presentation.
18:48 Phil Schiller takes to the stage to talk iPod. iPod Classic conspicuously absent from the picture of the iPod family.
18:49 New iPod Nano! Nano navigation tweaked allowing you to swipe from icon to icon. Similar to Cover Flow.
18:50 The news you've all been waiting for: 16 new clock faces for the Nano. Added to tie in with popularity of watch accessories. 8GB = $130, 16GB = $150. Available today in the US.
18:52 Don't forget all those iOS 5 features will come to your iPod Touch as well. $200 for 8GB, $300 for 32GB, $400 for 64GB. Available 12 Oct in US.
18:55 Still no talk of the iPod Classic. Has it gone to live on a farm?
18:56 Right, on the iPhone. This is it, right? It has to be. Please, Phil, please!
18:57 It's the iPhone 4S. "Inside it's all new." iPhone 4S gets an A5 chip. Dual-core processor and graphics. Up to 7x faster graphics.
18:58 Mike Capps from Epic Games (of Gears of War fame) now on stage. He's showing off Infinity Blade 2.
18:59 It looks pretty incredible. Amazing lighting effects, reflections in water, amazingly detailed world. Out on 1 December
19:00 iPhone 4S battery gives 8 hours talktime, 6 hours browsing, 9 hours Wi-Fi, 10 hours video, 40 hours music.
19:01 That troublesome antenna has been tweaked to switch between the two, offering faster downloads and better phone signal (finally).
19:02 New download and upload figures match claimed speeds of 4G. Impressive.
19:03 iPhone 4S is a 'world phone'. Works on GSM and CDMA, meaning you'll be able to pick up a signal wherever you are in the world.
19:05 iPhone 4S camera is 8MP, 60% more pixels than iPhone 4 camera. Backside illuminated (oo-er) CMOS sensor. A third quicker than the iPhone 4 camera.
19:07 New face detection (of up to 10 faces), better auto white balance. Phil's dissing the Moto Droid Bionic for being tardy at taking pics. Ouch.
19:08 Showing some sample iPhone 4S pics. One of a squirrel eating a nut. "Do you know how hard it is to get a squirrel to stand still?" asks Phil. It's easy if you stuff them, Phil.
19:09 Video camera now shoots 1080p HD.
19:10 Comes with real-time image stabilisation, temporal noise reduction. Helps in low-light situations. Frustrated gig-going movie makers everywhere breath a sigh of relief. The people standing behind them do not.
19:11 Again, that's not to mention all the iOS 5 features.
19:13 There's a one more thing! Sort of… it's voice related.
19:15 You can ask your phone questions and it'll find the answer. It's called Siri. Disclaimer before the demo: "It's beta software."
19:16 "What's the weather like today?" he asks. And Siri produces the forecast with a female voice saying: "here's the weather for today". It's all a bit HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
19:17 It's sentient, isn't it?
19:18 Asking "What time is it in Paris?" produces the world clock. "Wake me up tomorrow at 6am" sets the alarm.
19:19 It's like KITT, HAL and Gerty from Moon in your phone. If this actually works it'll be amazing.
19:20 Partnered with Yelp so you can ask for nearby restaurants. Also integrated with maps allowing you to ask for directions.
19:21 Siri can read out messages to you. Simply ask it to check your calendar and then tell it how to reply. Allows you to create reminders by voice. It even knows who your family members are. This is terrifying.
19:24 Partnered with Wolfram Alpha to define terms by voice. Also performs currency conversions.
19:25 It's turbo-charged voice control. There are no specific terms to learn, it works out what you want by listening to the words you use. We can't wait to try it out ourselves.
19:26 You can even ask Siri who he/she/it is.
19:27 His/her/its answer? "I am your humble personal assistant." Terrifying.
19:28 Can also dictate to any field that brings up a keyboard. How will it cope with Geordies?
19:31 Happily Siri still has a weird robotic voice. We don't want our androids getting too human. Yet.
19:34 iPhone 4 pricing: 16GB = US$200, 32GB = US$300, 64GB = US$400 on two-year contracts. iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 remain. We'll track down UK pricing Pre-orders for the 4S start on Fri 7th, launched on 14th in the UK.
19:36 And that's it. No iPhone 5 for you. Or me. Or anybody. iPhone 4S looks nice though, right? We're off to tell it what to do.