Live from Apple’s iPhone event

October 4, 2011, 3:38 PM UTC

Fifteen months after the iPhone 4 was introduced, Apple unveils its successor: the iPhone 4S

Cook wraps it up. Photo: PED

Apple on Tuesday introduced a new iPhone, the iPhone 4S, and a new voice control system called Siri that it hopes will keep it ahead of its competitors by changing the way people communicate with their mobile phones.

Siri, however, is still in beta — or not quite finished — mode.

And the phone most of the world was waiting for — the iPhone 5 — did not materialize.

The result: A special event that was more an update on existing products than the breakthrough many were expecting.

The market reacted by punishing the stock. By 2:11 PM, Apple was trading at $360.44, down $14.46 (3.9%) from its opening price of $374.90. Only two weeks ago it hit an all-time intraday high of $422.86.

The stock recovered somewhat by the end of the day to close at $372.50, down only $2.10 (0.56%) for the day.

Below: Our live blog of the event in reverse order, with the most recent entries on top.

2:36: Tim Cook is back. Reviewing today’s announcements.

Only Apple could have introduced these products and features and integrated them.

Thanks us for coming.

And that’s it. No iPhone 5 today. No Facebook integration. No Steve Jobs (not that we were expecting him).

Schiller. Photo: PED

2:34 PM EST: Prices. Starting at $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32

iPhone 4 down to $99 for 8GB

iPhone 3GS Free with 2-year contract.

Preorders Friday. On sale on Oct. 14, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint.

Oct 28, 22 more countries

By Dec. over 20 countries, 100 carrier partners.

2:27 PM EST: Schiller is back. “That is Siri. The coolest the new feature in iPhone 4S.”

It also does dictation.

Summarizes Siri.

Supports English, French, German. Beta at start (that’s a warning).

Summarizes iPhone 4S. Shows video.

Will there be one more thing?

2:12 PM EST: If there’s going to be one more thing, now’s the time.

Schiller introduces voice. Talks about what a let down current voice control is. We want to be able to talk to our device using natural language.

That’s a feature Apple calls Siri, after the company it acquired last year.

Demo: Warning: Beta software. Risking embarassment, invites Scott Forstall back up to demo.

Forstall with Siri. Photo: PED

“What is the weather like today?” Here is the forecast for today. It knew the meaning and the place.

“What is the hourly forecast.” Here is the weather for today.

“Do I need a raincoat today?” It sure looks like rain today.

Integrated with weather, clock.

“What time is it in Paris?” The time in Paris France is 8:16 and shows clock.

“Wake me up tomorrow at 6 a.m.” OK, I set it for 6 am.

Integrated with stocks.

“How is the NASDAQ doing today.” Down o.6% today.


“Find me a great Greek restaurant in Palo Alto.” Found 5 in Palo Alto, sorted by rating.


“Give me directions to Hoover Tower.” Shows map.

When text message comes in, press headset button and it will read the message aloud. Check calendar. “Send reply.” Knows that he means Schiller, sends message.

Schedules lunch for Friday. Hand free.

But there’s more.


“Remind me to call my wife when I leave work.” Sets reminder: Call Molly.

Web searches. Wikipedia.

“Search Wikipedia for Neil Armstrong.” Goes to page.

Wolfram Alpha.

“Define Mitosis.” Let me think about that. Pulls up Wolfram definition.

Currency exchange.

“How many dollars is 45 euros. $59.59.

“How many days are there until Christmas.” 82 days.

i button is a guide that shows you what kind of questions you can ask.

1:59 PM EST: Demo of A5 chip over, Schiller returns to the stage.

Battery: 8 hours of 3G talk time on the battery, 10 hours watching video. 40 hours listening to music.

Wireless system. Intelligently switch between two antennas for send and receive. (?).

2X faster downloads. Max performancs to 14.4 down from 7.2 mbs. 5.8 up. This is what competitors describe as 4G.

World phone: GSM and CDMA in one.

Camera system: Shows graph that iPhone 4 is the most popular camera for posting on Flickr. 8 megapixel sensor, as rumored. 3264 x 2448. 60% more pixels than iPhone 4. Backside illumination 73% more light per pixel than iPhone 4. 1/3 faster. Hybrid IR filter. More accurate color, more uniform colors. Five-element lens. (4 on iPhone 4) 30% sharper. F2.4 aperture. A5 contains an Apple designed systems like face detection, white balance, fast photos. To take first picture HTC sensation takes 2.1 seconds, iPhone 4S 1.1 seconds. 0.5 seconds for second. Others are 2-3 times longer.

Video recording: 1080p HD video for first time for Apple. Image stabilization. Noise reduction. Demo: Home movie of a baloon trip.

Demo: Photos taken with the iPhone 4S. Blown up on big screen, they do look pretty sharp.

AirPlay: Stream music, photos, videos to your Apple TV. Added: AirPlay Mirroring for game play.

Wrapping up the iPhone 4S.

1:53 PM EST: Schiller switches to the iPhone.

Introduces the iPhone 4GS. (Feels too early in the event for this to be the big news.) The rumors about this device so far are true. Same form factor as iPhone 4. A5 chip. Schiller stresses speed in games. Introduces Mike Capps of Epic Games for a demo of Infinity Blade 2.

1:47 PM EST. Phil Schiller takes stage. Going to talk about the iPod.

Two updates. Starts with iPod nano. Screen icons that make it easier to switch app. New bells and whistles for fitness app as well.

For the 3rd party watchband accessory market, has created some new watch faces, including Mickey Mouse watch. Now $129 for 8GB and $149 for 16GB.

iPod touch. No. 1 portable game player. Of course, runs iOS 5 and takes advantage of iCloud. Now white too. Now $199 for 8GB, $299 32GB and $399 for 64GB.

Cue. Photo: PED

1:35 PM EST: Eddy Cue takes the stage to talk about iCloud. So far, this is a recap of what Steve Jobs introduced (and Cue demonstrated) last June at WWDC. Syncing music. Photostream. Documents in the cloud. Calendars pushed to all devices. Mail. Find My iPhone (and Mac.)

New app: Find My Friends. List of all the family and friends who have agreed to share their location with you. Can also do it temporarily. Parental restrictions allow parents to forbid kids from turning it off.

iTunes Match. Recapping the service Jobs introduced in June. Turn on blank iPad. Turn on iTunes Match and the entire library is visible and any song can be streamed. $24.99 a year.

iCloud ships Oct. 12. iTunes Match ships end of Oct. Later worldwide (if they get the rights, we assume).

Video of iCloud in action.

Forstall. Photo: PED

1:24 PM EST: Scott Forstall runs through the iOS and App Store numbers.

Introduces Cards. Lets you create and mail cards from iPhone and iPod touch. Apple will print, stamp and mail it for you. Push notification the day it is delivered. $2.99 in the U.S. $4.99 worldwide. Oct. 12.

iOS 5: Recap of the stuff we heard at WWCD. Notifications. iMessages. Reminders. Twitter integration. Newsstand. Camera (lock screen shortcut, etc.). Game Center. Safari. Mail. PC Free (wireless updates etc.). Free update, available on Oct. 12, as rumored. Applause.

Tim Cook. Photo: PED

1:22 PM EST: Turns to iPad: 95% satisfaction rating. Starts by talking about education. Every state in U.S. has a iPad deployment in place or coming. About 1,000 universities in U.S. have iPad programs. Photos of pilots replacing 40 lbs. bags with an iPad. Hospitals accessing patient records, administer bedside care. 80% of top hospitals are testing iPads.

At this point, 92% of Fortune 500 are testing or deploying iPads. In less than 18 months.

No. 1 top selling tablet in world. Despite everybody and their brother trying to compete, 3 out of 4 are iPads.

Turning to iOS. We have passed 250 million unit sales mark. (Cue the applause.)

Today we are taking it to the next level. Introduces Scott Forstall.

1:17 PM EST: iPhones. This may be the reason you are here.

iPhone 4 is No. 1 smartphone in world. Growing faster than the smartphone market. Quotes ChangeWave “very satisfied” ratings. JD Powers too.

Despite all this, only has 5% share of worldwide market of handsets. We belive over time that all handsets become smartphones. 1.5 billion units annually.

1:15 PM EST: Cook talks about music.

Music. iPod sales more than 300 million iPods sold around the world. It took Sony 30 years to sell 220 Walkman casset players.

Sold 45 million iPods in last year ending in June. Nearly half going to people buying their first iPods.

iTunes. Now have 20 million songs. No. 1 music store in world. Downloaded over 16 billion songs.

1:08 PM EST: Cook starts a rundown of each of four product lines, starting with Mac.

Mac: OS X Lion reviews quoted. 6 million copies downloaded. 80% more than Snow Leopard (?). Took two weeks for 10% of customers to download, compared with 20 weeks for Windows 7.

New MacBook Air. And iMac are the best-selling notebooks and desktops in the U.S. Mac outgrew the PC market six fold.

Now approaching 60 million users around the world. In U.S. retail Macs selling 23% of PCs sold in stores.

1:02 PM EST: On stage: Tim Cook.

“I love Apple.” Talks about the history of this room, where the original iPod was launched 10 years ago, and the MacBook Air one year ago.

Promises innovations in mobile, services, software and hardware.

It’s an extraordinary time to be at Apple. Starts with updates.

Talks about the new retail stores in China. Video of screaming staff and customers.

Now have 357 stores, 11 countries.

12:58 PM EST Silence all electronic devices notice. Music: The Rolling Stone’s Jumping Jack Flash.

12:45 PM EST: We’re in. The auditorium holds perhaps 250 people and all the seats are filled. In the front row is Apple’s executive team, minus Tim Cook.

12:00 EST There’s a long line of media and analysts queued up by the time the event team manning the desk starts checking off names on their iPads and invited their guests to enjoy the breakfast upstairs.

I’ll say this: Apple could teach its competitors a thing or two about the care and feeding of the press. I’ve never been asked, upon entering a media event, “Cappuccino, sir?” and handed a pre-made cup with one packet each of white sugar, raw sugar and Splenda on the dish.

Apple feeds the press. Photo: PED

Inside the press are, well, feeding. There are tables filled with sweet rolls and fruit and nuts and yoghurt parfaits. There are chefs ready to prepare waffles and omelets to your liking. And if you are so inclined, you can break bread with some of the biggest names in tech journalism, including the Wall Street J0urnal’s Walt Mossberg, GigaOm’s Om Malik and Daring Fireball’s John Gruber.

11:00 a.m. Eastern. The sun had not yet risen over California’s Silicon Valley when the first TV satellite trucks pointed their dishes to the sky and began broadcasting reports from outside 4 Infinite Loop. That’s the site on Apple’s (AAPL) Cupertino campus where reporters from all over the world had been invited to witness the unveiling of the company’s newest crop of devices and services.

Photo: PED

First to beam his report to the skies was our former Fortune and Business 2.0 colleague Jon Fortt, now covering technology for CNBC. According to bleary-eyed camera crews from competing networks, he was already on the air at 3 a.m. Pacific (6 a.m. Eastern). By the time we got there, more than four hours later, there were 10 satellite trucks nose-to-nose in the visitors parking lot like long-necked dinosaurs at a Jurassic-era watering hole and the other TV “talent” were queued up behind Fortt waiting their turn in the Klieg lights. Photos below.

Photo: PED

Fortt in the spotlight. Photo: PED