Apple’s iPad event live blog: New iPads, laptops and free OS X Mavericks
FORTUNE — Apple (AAPL) is expected to unveil new iPads today. As with all major product releases from Cupertino, rumors have been zipping around the Web in anticipation of today’s announcement. A redesigned full-sized iPad with faster processor and iPad Mini with Retina Display both seem like a lock. But whatever else Apple trots out – MacBook Pro Retina notebooks with Haswell chips?! — is anyone’s guess until 10 AM PST / 1 PM EST, when Apple execs take the stage in San Francisco.
Tune back in to this live blog, which we’ll update throughout the event. (Just remember to refresh.) Also, check back in to Fortune.com afterwards for our hands-on impressions.
11:24: And that’s a wrap!
11:21: Cook shows off an iPad Air commercial. Just like the MacBook Air was thin enough to fit into a manila envelope, the iPad Air is thin enough to hide behind a pencil on a table.
11:20: Cook is back onstage to sum things up: Mac Pro details, updated MacBook Pro Retina notebooks with Intel Haswell processors, OS X Mavericks, and last, but not least, the iPad Air and iPad mini.
11:19: New iPad Air and iPad mini cases, too, will come in several colors and in polyurethane and leather varieties.
11:17: $399 for the new iPad mini with 16 GB, and $529 for the iPad mini 16 GB with cellular service. Apple will also continue to sell last year’s model, dropping the price to $299.
11:17: Nice iPad Mini addition: The same cutting-edge A7 chip found in the iPad Air and iPhone 5s. (Good move, Apple.)
11:16: The number one most-requested iPad Mini feature? So now, the Mini will have one. A Retina Display, with 2,048 by 1,536 pixels, the same display found in the iPad Air.
11:15: Schiller: Next? The iPad mini.
11:14: Ive: “The iPad Air is so capable and powerful, but also the thinnest, lightest and most capable iPad we’ve ever built.” End of video.
11:13: Dan Riccio, SVP of Hardware Engineering, explains the virtues of 64-bit architecture.
11:12: Jony Ive, Senior VP of Design, walks audience-goers through the iPad Air by way of another video. The tablet’s battery is smaller, but battery life remains the same. “There’s a simplicity to it, but there’s no preciousness about it.”
11:11: $499 for the 16-gig WiFI version, $629 for the 16 GB version with cellular connectivity. The 16 GB iPad 2 will still be sold for $399. The iPad Air begins shipping on Nov. 1.
11:10: Still has “all-day” 10-hour battery life. Comes in silver and white and space gray and black.
11:10: The iPad Air includes the A7 chip, the same processor found in the iPhone 5S, enabling 64-bit performance, or faster software and graphics performance.
11:06: Meet the iPad Air, with 43% thinner vertical border, 20% thinner casing. Why the name change? The weight has dropped from 1.4 lbs to 1.0 lb. Schiller says it may be the lightest full-sized tablet in the world. It looks a lot like the first-generation iPad mini.
11:06: Schiller: Today I think we have the biggest step yet. I’d really like to show it to you right now.
11:05: Schiller: “It all began with this 9.7-inch display. … The ability to hold the Internet in your hands and make FaceTime calls. The team has been on a relentless path upgrading to newer versions.”
11:05: We’ve been busy working on the next-generation iPad. Cook hands it off to Schiller.
11:04: Some crazy adventurer hung their tent halfway up a cliff face. (Not quite sure what the iPad has do with it, but impressive.)
11:02: Clips of speed skaters being analyzed for trajectory, restaurant orders being processed, dancers at New York’s Alvin Ailey troupe.
11:01: Cook: To celebrate our customers creativity, we’ve prepared a video…
11:00: 475,000 iPad apps now. “No one else is close to this, but it’s not about quantity. It’s about quality.”
10:59: The iPad consumes 81% of tablet usage versus competition at just 19%.
10:59: 170 million iPads sold to date.
10:58: Onto the iPad! He’s briefly looking back on the tablet’s launch 3.5 years ago. Cook: “Some thought it couldn’t compete with the netbook. Who remembers netbooks?!”
10:57: With free software upgrades, “we are turning the software on its ear,” Cook proclaims.
10:57: Back to Cook.
10:56: iWork and Pages will be available for free for new desktop and iOS devices.
10:56: Cue: “With iWork, you can even collaborate with someone stuck on a PC.”
10:51: It’s easier now than ever, apparently, to build, collaborate with, and share documents like this tongue-in-cheek post with Cue’s visage. More chuckles. (Cue’s supposed grade school name? “Cue Ball.”)
10:49: Brand new user interface for Apple’s Pages software. There’s a new shortcuts toolbar atop the iPad’s digital keyboard, for instance. (A similar panel is included on the new desktop software, too.)
10:48: Amazing new versions for iOS, available for free on new devices, with software updates for older devices available today.
10:44: Brand new Garage Band demo. There’s a new feature called “Drummer,” an adjustable auto-drumming feature that keeps pace with the track users are laying down.
10:43: iMovie for iOS 7 is cleaner, simpler, making it easier to browse for family and friends. You can change the speed of the video, also. On the Mac, it’s easier to browse the library, and users can vary the video speeds, as well.
10:42: With iPhoto and multitouch, you can easily move photos around, explains Cue.
10:41: Up first on the software side: redesigned iPhone, iLife, and GarageBand for both iOS 7 and Mavericks.
10:40: Schiller back to the stage. That’s it for Mac news. He turns it over to Eddy Cue, SVP of Internet Software and Services.
10:38: Video on designing the new Mac Pro. Apple SVP of Operations Jeff Williams makes a super-rare video appearance. Clips of factory manufacturing. Robotic arms swerving every which way.
10:37: It’s energy-efficient: consumes up to 70% less than the current Mac Pro, equivalent to the current Mac Mini’s energy consumption. (Genuinely impressive given how much more data it can crunch in comparison.) It’s also much quieter.
10:35: $2,999 for 3.7 GHZ quad-core Xeon, 12 GB DRAM. Available December.
10:35: Schiller talks about how the Mac Pro will make tasks like video and photo editing easier, cutting down editing time exponentially. Photos of the Mac Pro with early users. “Who doesn’t want to be sitting next one of those Mac Pros?” Cue audience chuckles.
10:35: Four USB 3.0 ports on the back.
10:34: It will power up to three 4K displays (read: displays with roughly four times the display pixels of current high-definition 1080p displays.)
10:33: The flash storage will perform up to 10 times faster than the standard non-flash hard drives Apple once traditionally employed in Macs.
10:32: The Mac Pro will also include AMD dual-workstation graphics. UP to 12 GB of graphics memory possible.
10:32: More on the upcoming Mac Pro, with Intel Xeon E5, with up to 12-core processor.
10:30: Both the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro Retina models are available to purchase today. (No word on the standard non-Retina MacBook Pro units.)
10:29: Onto the 15-inch MacBook Pro Retina: Quad-core Haswell chips now, too, with Iris Pro graphics built-in. 8 hours of battery life versus last year’s 7 hours. Price drop: From $2,199 to $1,999.
10:28: Price drop! The 13-incher is $200 less now at $1,299. 2.4 GHz dual-core i5, 4-gigabytes RAM, 128 GB flash storage.
10:27: Built-in flash storage and WiFi performance are both faster.
10:26: On the 13-inch MacBook Pro Retina: Powered by Intel Haswell chip with Iris Graphics, which are 90% faster than last year’s model. 9 hours of battery life — two more hours than previous.
10:25: Now they’re turning their attention today to the MacBook Pro. (Booyah.)
10:25: SVP of Marketing Phil Schiller is talking about the virtues of the latest MacBook Airs.
10:24: Mavericks will work on devices as old as six years. Oh, and it’s available today (again, for free).
10:23: “A new era for the Mac. Mavericks is free!”
10:22: Federighi: What’s most important to us… we want to get them the latest features. … We’ve reengineered our development process that renew your Mac all the time. So now upgrading your OS is as easy as downloading an app online.”
10:21: More on Maps. He’s zooming in on a 3-D representation of part of the city, including Coit Tower. “It’s just beautiful…. So that’s just a quick demo of Mavericks.”
10:19: Federighi is showing off the updated Safari browser, with a “top-side” view of web sites. He clicks on a news story about Apple’s upcoming new campus. Jokes Federighi: “I for one look forward to working in outer space,” in a reference to the building’s UFO-ish shape. More laughter. (Dude’s got humor.)
10:18: Cute little desktop notification. “Untucked shirt: scandalous ;-)” Types back Federighi: “Phil [Schiller] is my fashion guru.” That gets some good laughs from the audience.
10:16: Federighi is talking about how easy-peasy it is to click and drag cited quotes from a digital book to a report.
10:16: Demo time!
10:15: Talk of how Maps and Books are being brought over to the desktop. Federighi: “Looks great on the larger display.”
10:13: OS X Mavericks is apparently very good at allocating on-board memory to the tasks that need them most.
10:12: He’s talking about how they wanted to get better battery, better CPU performance, etc. On power efficiency, Federighi says installing Mavericks on this year’s 11-inch MacBook Air will afford them one more hour of battery in-between charges; another 1.5 hours on the 13-inch.
10:11: Exec Craig Federighi takes the stage to talk about Macs. Up first: OS X Mavericks (named after a Northern California surfing spot, FYI).
10:09: “Our competition is different. They’re confused. They chased after netbooks. Now they’re trying to make PCs into tablets and tablets into PCs.”
10:09: Now over 1 million apps on the app store.
10:08: On iTunes Radio: Over 20 million listeners, a number that continues to grow. They’ve listened to over 1 billion songs.
10:07: Nearly 2/3 of the devices are running iOS 7.
10:07: Cook quotes some iOS 7 reviews.
10:05: Cook back to the stage. “When we customer response like this, it makes the hard work worthwhile.”
10:04: Now a video montage of the iPhone launch. Customers lining up across the world; employees stocking those colorful iPhone 5c units on shelves. These people are unequivocally psyched.
10:03: But first Cook wants to talk about some iPhone statistics. He quotes several iPhone 5s reviews. 9 million iPhones sold over the first weekend (not new news), making it the best iPhone launch ever.
10:02: Tim Cook takes the stage in his usual outfit: untucked navy blue collared shirt and jeans. The video “reflects our values. … You’re going to see some unique products this morning.”
10:00: A video is playing. “How can anyone perfect anything…? We start to confuse convenience with joy. … surprise. love. connection. then we begin to craft around our intention. It takes time. There are a thousand no’s for every yes.”
10:00: The lights have dimmed. It’s hush time, folks.
9:49: We’ve settled into our seats here at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. (Boy, is it a foggy day.) Sighted in the crowd this morning: Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman.