Skip to Content

Live from Apple WWDC 2009: New iPhone, new MacBooks, no Steve Jobs

This is the spot for our live coverage of Apple’s (AAPL) World Wide Developers Conference.

The keynote started at 1 p.m EDT (10 a.m. PDT). All times below are EDT unless otherwise indicated.

3:05 And that’s a wrap.

There is a new iPhone, coming June 19, about a month earlier than expected. There is a $99 iPhone, available now, which is not good news for Palm (PALM). There are new MacBook Pros and price cuts on the 17-inch MacBook and MacBook Air. And we have ship dates for iPhone 3.0 (June 17) and Snow Leopard (September, a month before Microsoft’s Windows 7).

But there is nothing from Apple to compete with those hot-selling $300 netbooks.

And there is no Steve Jobs.

His name never came up and there was no news about his condition or his plans to return to Apple.

I would expect that to get a mixed reaction from Wall Street, and as the keynote ended the stock was trading at $141, down about 3.6 points (2.5%). (It recovered somewhat later in the day to close at $143.85, down 0.82 points, and climbed o.1 points in after hours trading.)

Below the fold: The rest of the keynote.

3:03 Phil Schiller is summing up the day’s news. Will Steve Jobs be his “one more thing”?

Starts talking about the 129 sessions scheduled this week for developers, the 1,000 engineers on hand to help them. Thanks the teams that got this all ready. Asks for a round of applause.

2:59 Schiller announces the price points for new iPhone:

  • 16 GB $199
  • 32 GB $299

In addition, Apple is keeping the iPhone 3G on the market for

  • $99 for 8 GB

That 8GB price starts today. CNBC’s Goldman calls it “a huge shot across the bow” of Palm.

When does the iPhone 3G S become available?

June 19 in 8 countries (including U.S) and then rolling out to 80 countries. Plays new ad, which gets a big laugh.

[UPDATE: Apple has issued an iPhone press release, available here.]

2:46 Schiller introduces the iPhone 3G S for speed. (Yes, there is a new iPhone today.) How much faster? 2 to 3.6 times faster. Not everything is as fast. Average two times faster. Open standards gets applause. Built in 7.2 Mbps HSDPA.

Amazing features (most of which we’ve heard in the rumors:

  • Built-in camera. 3 megapixel, not 3.2 as expected. Autofocus, whitebalance, exposure, tap to focus (big applause). Low light sensitivity better. Automacro as well, as close as 10 cm away.
  • Also captures video. New switch that says still or video. 30 frames per second. autofocus etc. (No second lens for easy iChat, as rumored.)
  • Edit from the iPhone.
  • Tethering. Can share your iPhone Internet connection with your Mac or PC (if your carrier allows it; big laugh because the room knows that AT&T doesn’t yet)
  • Voice control. Hold down the home button. Commands you can use are scrolling by. Call Scott Forstall. What’s playing now. Play more songs like this (makes Genius playlist on the fly.)
  • Built-in digital compass.
  • Accessibility features.
  • Support for Nike +
  • Hardware encryption (for the IT guys). Makes for instantaneous remote wipe.
  • Improved battery life. Up to 9 hours surfing with wifi, 30 hours of audio, 12 hours of 2G talk time, 5 hours of 3G talk.
  • Fastest, most powerful iPhone yet

2:44 Phil Schiller is back on stage. The anticipation in the room is palpable. Waxes on about how much the iPhone has changed things. Quotes latest Net Application numbers: 2/3 of mobile Web browsing is done on an iPhone. Chart of 50,000 apps against 4,900 Android apps. 1,088 Nokia apps, fewer BlackBerry apps, 18 Palm apps.

2:42 Forstall is back. iPhone 3.0 is free for iPhone owners, naturally. $9.95 for iPod touch owners. Available worldwide June 17. Free iPhone 3.0 gold for all developers.

2:40 We’re on the last demo (the guitar amplifier app that crashed in mid demo). If we’re going to see Steve Jobs and/or a new iPhone it should be soon.

2:08. Forstall on the some of the major new developer improvements (most of these we’ve heard before as well):

  • In app purchases (e.g. magazine subscriptions)
  • Peer to peer connectivity (for games, mostly)
  • Accessories (glucose level readers best example)
  • Maps. Embed Google Map services into your app. Turn by turn directions
  • Push notifications. ESPN score alerts. Instant messages. Numbers (like how many messages are backed up). Sounds.

Invites developers to the stage. Some games. An impressive medical app. A bookstore with magazines and textbooks. tomtom for turn-by-turn GPS directions (with optional car kit). A Zip car app that honks the horn and unlocks the car remotely. A guitar amplifier app that crashes in mid demo.

Around 2:00 The blog ate one of the coolest improvements: Find My iPhone. It’s available only for Mobile Me customers and may be the best reason yet to buy that service. If you lose your iPhone, you can go to Mobile Me and it will bring up a Google Map that shows where your iPhone is (as long as it’s turned on). You can send a message to the phone and it will display a message and sound an alarm, even if you left it in silent mode. If you’ve really lost it, you can remotely wipe all your data (the IT guys will love that). And if you later find your missing phone, you can plug it into iTunes and restore all your data.

1:54 Forstall back after video. Now he talks about iPhone 3.0. This we’ve heard before. 100 new features, starting with …

  • Cut copy and paste. Works with all apps, built in or downloaded from App Store. Undo gesture; shake and it undoes the last thing you did.
  • Landscape and landscape keyboard to Mail, Notes and Messages.
  • Speaking of messages, MMS. Send and receive photos, contacts, audio in real time over the cell network. 29 of carrier partners in 79 countries will launch around the world. But not AT&T; they won’t do it until later this summer. Boos!
  • Search: Search contacts, notes, e-mail, not just messages downloaded to phone, but also the ones back on your mail server. Adding Spotlight — a single location on homescreen to search across phone, including apps.
  • iTunes: Can rent and purchase movies right from your phone (getting scattered applause because this was announced at the launch of iPhone 3.0.) iTunes U as well (this might be new).
  • Parental controls: Added control of movies, TV shows and apps.
  • Tethering: Allows to share iPhone’s Internet connection with computer. Works with PCs. 22 carriers support. AT&T not on the list. Laughter because Forstall skips right over that.
  • SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark: 3 X faster than iPhone 2.
  • HTTP 5 streaming audio and video. (But not Adobe Flash)
  • Auto fill passwords. (Finally!)

1:47 Scott Forstall starts on the iPhone. An incredible year for iPhone. Response staggering. More than 1 million SDK downloards. Now more than 50,000 apps on the App Store (not all are active, I believe.) We’ve already sold more than 40 million iPhones and iPod touches. On April 23 crossed 1 billion apps downloaded in 9 months. I’d like to say Thank you! To customers and mostly to developers. Video of stories from developers.

1:46 Serlet. How should we price Snow Leopard. Leopard was $129. Snow Leopard priced at $29. Huge cheers and applause. Family pack for $49. Available this September and a “near final” version available for developers today. That concludes the event on the Mac and Snow Leopard.

[UPDATE: You can get Apple’s MacBook press release here.]

1:45 Serlet is back. Points out that Apple is throwing in Exchange support for free, while Microsoft usually requires you to buy a new product.

1:40 Serlet on fitting into business. How to get the Mac into enterprise. What was missing was Exchange. So Exchange support is built into Mail, iCal and Address Book. Just fill in email and password and you are set. Federighi comes back to demo Exchange. Lots cool ways to move stuff from calendar to exchange.

1:34 Scalet is back to talk about how Snow Leopard is taking advantage of advances in technology: GB of memory, MHzs of processor speed. Multicore CPUs. 64 bit. Threads. Open CL.

1:28 Craig Federighi, vice president of Mac OS, went over details of refinements. Lost an update.

1:23 Serlet is going over the refinements. Faster. Less space. Smarter cut and paste. Here’s news: Shipping Safari 4 today for Tiger, Leopard and Windows (big laugh, applause.) 100% Acid3 standard (whatever that means. IE 8 is 21% standard. Included in Snow Leopard. Crash resistance in Snow Leopard. The No. 1 cause of crashes in OS X are plugin crashes. Now they are isolated.

1:17 Bertrand Serlet takes the stage to talk about Mac OS X in a thick French accent. Sharp contrast with Vista — gets a laugh. Microsoft has dug a big hole with Vista. Trying to get out of it with Windows 7. But the same underlying problems. Defrag. User account control. Same old technology as Vista. “Fundamentally just another version of Vista.”

We are coming from a very different place. We love Leopard. We are proud of Leopard. Challenge to build a better big cat. Refinements, Powerful new technologies. Exchange support.

1:15 $700 price cut on top of the line MacBook Air. These are pretty aggressive price cuts, but they don’t offer anything to compete with $300 netbooks.

1:14 That completes the MacBook pro family.

1:12 The 13 inch notebook also gets the new battery and the SD card slot. (The battery is not replaceable, I believe). Can also expand to 8GB, 500 GB storage, backlit keyboard. Firewire 800 slot gets a huge cheer. Also being called a MacBook Pro. Starts at $1,199. That’s less expensive than the 13 inch aluminum that it replaces. Up to $1,499 for the top of the line specs. Available today.

1:11 Also new 17 inch with faster processor and $300 lower price. Both shipping today. 1:08 Still talking about the new MacBook. 60 percent brighter screen. Dropped the PCI slot, replaced with SD photo card slot. Up to 3.06 GHz Dual Core. Up to 8 GB memory. Up to 500 GB hard drive or 256 GB solid state. Starts at $1,699 (but not with all those specs). Shows a graphic with the breakdown.

1:05 Bertrand Serlet and Scott Forstall will follow, but Schiller starts with the Mac. Talks about aluminum unibodies. Insanely thin and light. Customers couldn’t be happier. We don’t want to stop. Showing brand new version of 15 inch MacBook Pro. Unibody. New battery lithium polymer, like 17 inch pro. Up to 7 hours of battery life. 1,000 recharges vs. 300. Five years of life before diminshed battery life — longer than most laptops live.

1:03 Phil Schiller takes the stage. 5,200 developers. Chart of OS X users to 2007. Over the last two years, has to change the scale of the chart (a la Al Gore). Tripled installed base. No wonder everyone is trying to race behind us.

1:00 Apple all rights reserved sign. John Hodgman, the PC guy tries to wsh the developers welcome. Can’t quite get it out.

12:57 “Please silence all cellphones and pagers.”

12:51 Video cameras are sweeping the crowd and projecting selected images on the giant screens. The crowd watches, looking for their own faces and waving to the cameras like fans at Yankee Stadium.

12:45 Apple shares are down 3 points (2.14%). Sell on the buzz?

12:40 The developers arrive. They jostle for seats.

12:35 The big metal doors to the great hall open like the last scene of Close Encounters, as TIME’s Josh Quittner puts it. You almost expect an unearthly light to shine from within. Rock music blares out. The press rushes forward. The TV crews occupy a platform at stage right.  The room is dominated by three giant grey screens with the big white Apple logo.

12:10 The Apple Store is down, the universal signal that new products are about to be announced.

12:00 With a full hour to wait, the sound of the press eating and greeting and trying to impress has risen to a dull roar.

11:30 There’s a long slow line for media registration. I count 52 filthy press ahead of me and another dozen behind. The PR woman who told us to come at 11:30 (8:30 PDT) takes pity and slips a few of us clip-on media badges. As the escalator carries us toward the third floor I count 70 media types still waiting in line. This is as big — if not a bigger —  media turnout as I have seen at a WWDC. They have not come today to see Phil Schiller.

A herd of developers is penned in a second floor hallway behind black crowd-control belts.

11:27 Meet CNBC’s Jim Goldman outside the press entrance chatting with Apple’s top two PR people. He’s shorter than he looks on camera.

11:25 Heading back to Moscone. The developer line is no shorter and has now slowed to a crawl.

11:00 Parked at the 4th St. Starbucks. The developers are still streaming by the window.

10:43 There’s a tangle of TV equipment parked outside the press entrance, just in case Steve Jobs shows up and walks in the front door. A newswoman from Fox Business is describing the things she “knows” about the iPhone that she assumes is going to be introduced today. “This is huge!” she says.

10:40 A software hawker at the corner of 4th and Howard tells me they opened the doors to Moscone West at about 10:30. The developers stream by, many of them looking for their apps among the hundreds pasted on the windows.

10:30 The keynote is two and a half hours away, but the line of pre-registered developers stretches up 4th St., down Minna St., and as far as I can see toward 5th St. As Microsoft’s (MSFT) Steve Balmer might put it, “Developers! Developers! Developers!”

– – –

Some 5,000 Apple developers have descended on San Francisco for five days of demonstrations, technical sessions and hands-on training, but the keynote — traditionally given by CEO Steve Jobs — is headliner and usually packs the Moscone Center main hall.

This year, with Jobs on medical leave, marketing vice president Phil Schiller and a team of Apple execs are scheduled to lead things off, but a surprise appearance by the ailing CEO cannot be ruled out.

The theme this year is software: Mac OS X Snow Leopard and iPhone 3.0 (hence all the oversized app icons pasted like subway graffti on Moscone West’s ground floor windows).

“One year later. Light-years ahead,” reads a banner above the registration tables that manages to mix a metaphor (time and distance) and get the dates wrong — unless of course the “one year” refers to the 2008 unveiling of the iPhone 3G and is promising a similar unveiling at WWDC 2009.

If there is to be a grand unveiling, who will do the honors? When we know, you’ll know.

See also: