Updates from the Apple event in Cupertino, California, are in Pacific time.
11:29 a.m. Ok, that’s it. Show’s over. Thanks for following along.
11:22 a.m. Apple shares are getting beaten up, down below $500. Clearly, the market was hoping for more — particularly a China Mobile deal. But I’m personally wondering about whether Apple has positioned the iPhones far enough from each other. Is there enough great new functionality in the 5S to warrant the $100? And there were no details given here at least, regarding the unsubsidized price of the iPhone 5C — or about what happens to the 4S and 4.
11:15 a.m. He’s now singing an original version of “Radio, Radio” he wrote before he began his career, back when he thought the radio was a magical wonderful medium — not the horrible, “twisted” business he ended up making the song about.
11:09 a.m. Cook is now introducing a musician — a rarity for an iPhone launch. Who is it going to be? Drum-roll — Elvis Costello. It’s good to be an Apple reporter. First number: “What’s so funny about peace, love and understanding.”
11:07 a.m. Cook is back out to wrap up. “It’s really an amazing set of products,” he says. He’s showing a TV ad with people all over the world using the 5C. Very fun, very high-energy. “We hope you love these new products as much as we’ve loved creating them,” Cook says.
11:06 a.m. Will launch in China on Sept. 20, the first time China gets the phone the same day as the U.S. and large European countries. And yes, NTT/Docomo will carry the iPhone 5C as well.
11:03 a.m. Prices: $199 for 16 gig, $299 for 32 gig and $399 for 64 gig. No sign of the much-rumored 128 gig.
10:58 a.m. Now, it’s fingerprint-analysis time. No surprises — except that you can also make purchases on iTunes. Is that the first step towards the great payments strategy that many investors are hoping for — when Apple gets to take the cut of fees that credit card companies now take?
10:51 a.m. There’s auto-image stabilization, even in low-light. The flash uses a color that doesn’t distort the colors in the photo. There’s a new burst mode — up to ten frames a second by keeping your finger on the button. In real time, the chip analyzes the photos in the series and presents what it thinks will be best (or look at the other ones). And as expected, there’s now a slow-mo mode. Very cool; I bet we’re about to see this feature highlighted in the new TV ad that’s coming.
10:47 a.m. “We have some huge advances in technology” on the camera. There’s a new 5-element Apple-designed lens and a new sensor with 50% larger active area. He disses rivals who try to crank up the megapixel count “so it looks good on the spec sheet.” (Take that, Nokia.) However, “We know a secret. It’s bigger pixels that make a better picture.” Hmmm, sounds counter-intuitive to me.
10:44 a.m. Schiller back on stage, explaining that the iPhone 5S has a motion co-processor chip called the M7 that handles data from the gyroscope, accelerometer and compass “without waking up the A7″ processor. This will let it analyze data on movement — are you driving or running? Nike, for example, is creating an app called to help people keep moving. He says the battery life is the “same or greater” than the iPhone 5.
10:39 a.m. Donald Mustard, co-founder of Epic Games, demos the new Infinity Blade game. I’m no gamer, but looks cool. He claims there is 4 times the level of detail. “I really think this represents a sea-change for our industry.”
10:36 a.m The iPhone 5S has a 64-bit A7 chip — considered a possibility, but not a certainty in the run-up to today. “I don’t think the other guys are even talking about this yet,” he says of the move to 64-bit. He points out that it took years for the PC industry to move from 32 bit to 64-bit processors, but Apple’s ability to control the whole widget means “we’re going to do it one day.” Also, completely backward compatible with 32-bit apps. He says the chip is up to twice as fast at graphics, and twice as fast in general CPU processing.
10:33 a.m. Schiller is back on stage, introducing the iPhone 5S. ”The iPhone 5S is the most forward-thinking phone we’ve ever created. In fact, we think it is the most forward-thinking phone that anyone has ever created.” It’s “the gold standard” of iPhones, that comes in silver, gold and “space gray.”
10: 30 a.m. Now, showing video on the design with Jony Ive’s voiceover. I didn’t catch the full quote, but says it is “unapologetically plastic.” He’s showing how it’s produced, that results in a “solid, dense feel that you would not expect from a plastic product.” Wow, they’re talking a LOT about color. That’s great, but let the “let’s-slap-on–a-coat-of-paint is no substitute for real innovation” criticism begin. “I think it’s quite remarkable when something feels familiar and yet is new at the same time,” says the pre-recorded Ive.
10:26 a.m. The iPhone 5C has a slightly larger battery, better high-def camera with improved illumination and clearer FaceTime audio calls. It supports more LTE bands than “any other smart phone in the world.” Costs $99 for 16 gigabyte or $199 for 32 gigabyte with a mobile contract. He says it meets Apple’s environmental standards, saying the 5C is “PCB free, BFR free … and Android free.”
10:23 a.m. The iPhone 5C. “A few of you might have seen some shots on the Web — and that’s cool, because a lot of people are really excited about it.” He cuts to a video showing off the happy, new colors. Hmmm. Colors. Entire back and side are made from one part. “It creates an entire experience of color,” when you combine the 5c with IOS 7. Plus, the team has created new cases, such as one with a cut-out pattern so you can “create the exact look that you love.” Made of hard-coated polycarbonate, with a “steel-reinforced” internal structure.
10:21 a.m. iPhone 5 time. “iPhone 5 helped take our iPhone business to an entirely different level,” in sales. “The business has become so large that this year we’re going to replace the iPhone 5 — and this year, we’re going to replace it with not one but two new iPhone 5s.” He invites product marketing chief Phil Schiller to the stage.
10:20 a.m. “No other platform has any apps like these. We think that all IOS devices are made even better if they have these apps, and almost all of our customers want these apps. So today, we’re announcing that we’re making all five of these industry-leading apps … free.” Wow, didn’t see that coming. Keynote, Pages, Numbers, iMovie and iPhoto. This is for any new iPad, iPhone or 5th generation iPod Touch.
10:17 a.m. Cook is back on stage, to talk about iWork. He says it is the best selling productivity app on any platform. (I’m assuming he means mobile platform. If he’s including Office, that’s the first big news of the day.)
10:13 a.m. Federighi walking through IOS user interface and capabilities, including the ability to see a preposterous number of your photos in tiny thumbnails if you want to see everything from the past year. But with a Retina screen, he insists it’s very easy to actually see enough of the photos to easily find the ones you’re looking for. He’s pumping new versions of apps from Evernote, Zillow and NBC. Why not give the love to apps we don’t already know!
10:08 a.m. Next month, Apple will sell its 700 millionth IOS device. Unbelievable. Cook gives a dig at Android fragmentation, but pointing out how quickly IOS7 will become the most used mobile platform. Now, he hands the mic to IOS chief Craig Federighi. It’s demo time.
10:04 a.m. They’re showing a video about the iTunes Festival. Looks fun, but I think this is indicative of something larger: Apple’s efforts to maximize the impact of its brand at launch times, in the post-Steve Jobs era. Involving more people from around the world in events — not just us journos — makes a lot of sense.
10:01 a.m. Tim Cook — does he sound nervous? Can’t quite tell. He’s talking about the iTunes Festival taking place in London. “Despite it being the hottest ticket in London, we don’t charge anything to get in.” He says that 20 million people wanted tickets, and they’re live-streaming to more than 100 countries.
9:58 a.m. Ok, we’re all seated in Town Hall. Capacity crowd … and I can see only one Windows PC in use around me. OK, here we go.
8:00 a.m. I’ll be live-blogging from Apple’s Town Hall in Cupertino, California. The event is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Pacific Time, when Apple is expected to unveil its new iPhone 5S and a cheaper model aimed at emerging markets. Will Apple finally plug the hole in its product line that’s allowed Android to win over hundreds of millions of less-affluent shoppers — or will it simply give existing fans a cheaper alternative? Tough trick to pull off.