San Francisco - Live Coverage of Apple Special Event
1:00PM EDT, September 5th, 2007 - Digg This!
[2:24 PM] That's it. It's over. Off to get some pics of the new products. Thanks for hanging out with us and our live coverage of this event. Stay tuned to iPodObserver.com for more detailed coverage of the announcements.
[2:22 PM] KT Tunstall playing a Gretsch guitar, for those keeping score at home. She once again set up her own backing tracks live. I love that sort of thing. She put on a fantastic performance. The audience -- including yours truly -- loved it. Steve is coming back on stage.
[2:18 PM] She's switching to an electric guitar. Said she's looking forward to the "iLoop pedal," as she'd like to phone her mom from the stage. The audience laughed. Thanked Steve Jobs for making it easier to buy music than to steal it. She's joined by two backup singers.
[2:15 PM] Note that she is also hot in the other meaning of that word, too. I'm just saying.
She set herself up a drum beat as a backing track, sampling herself live. She added a tambourine, also sampled live, then her own vocal backing track. Very cool stiff. I am not familiar with her, but this is some cool stuff.
[2:12 PM] Called the product line the best iPods ever. Audience is applauding. Steve is thanking Apple employees who worked on these products. Had them stand up and get some applause for their efforts. Said many were watching on the Cupertino campus.
BTW, no word on a 16GB iPhone. Not for the holidays, at least.
Steve is bringing KT Tunstall on stage. Called her very hot, and though the auience laughed, I think he meant hot in terms of popularity. She's playing acoustic guitar now.
[2:10 PM] Said iPhone owner satisfaction is higher than any Apple product before. On track to sell the millionth iPhone this month. Dropping the 4GB model, said that customers wanted the 8GB. Price of 8GB is being dropped to $399. Starting today.
[2:08 PM] Steve is recapping again. iPod shuffle, nano, classic, touch...Oh, and the iPhone. Starts at $79 to $599. "It's pretty amazing," said Steve. Now he's saying the company wants to be even more aggressive. I think he's about to cut the price of the iPhone.
[2:07 PM] Howard Schultz said he was honored to partner with Apple on this. The audience is applauding him off the stage. Steve is back on.
[2:02 PM] iTunes access will be free at Starbucks. Mr. Schultz thinks this will drive incremental traffic to their stores, and become an increasingly prevalent way of discovering new music. He noted that when he grew up, people discovered music over the radio, but that this was becoming increasingly difficult. He also said that their number one question asked by customers is "what song is that playing?"
There's a rollout plan for the U.S. It will begin October 2nd in New York and Seattle with some 600 stores. Then San Francisco on November 7th. February in Los Angeles. March in Chicago. That will be 25% of their stores. By end of 2008, most metropolitan areas, and hopes to have all Starbucks locations in 2009. That's a lot of info.
[2:01 PM] He is talking about Starbuck's growth. 50 million customers per week, most loyal customers go 18 times per month. 7 new stores every day. More than 14,000 stores open today.
[1:59 PM] There's a Recently Played list, too. This is pretty slick, IMO. Bringing Howard Schultz, founder and chairman of Starbucks, on stage.
[1:58 PM] Steve quipped, "they just built a Starbucks backstage..." Of course, it may not be a joke.
[1:57 PM] When you get to a Starbucks, a new button will appear on your iPod touch. Steve said they've been working on this for two months. So, you walk in, hear a song, you can buy the darn thing right then and there on your touch.
[1:54 PM] Done with that demo. Steve appears to be recapping. The Wi-Fi store will be available in 22 countries the iTunes Store is available. It will also be added to iPhone. A software update will be available later this month.
Aha, we have one more one more thing. Starbucks, though, no Beatles.
[1:53 PM] The search is live, so as you type, the results are updated with each character. One might wish iTunes did that.
[1:50 PM] There are also lists for New Releases, What's Hot, and Games. He pulled up Lennon Legend, a John Lennon album, and is previewing Imagine. He previewed the tune, then bought it. All very simple.
[1:49 PM] The interface for the store is similar to the YouTube application. Songs are listed in a list, you can buy your tune, and when you next dock your iPod touch, it syncs with iTunes. There is a Top Singles and Top Albums list, but you can search for anything.
[1:48 PM] Steve is pointing out an empty spot in the dock of the iPod touch. It's for the itunes Wi-Fi Music Store. The audience is cheering. This would suggest there will be no Beatles announcement, for those keeping score at home.
[1:48 PM] "One more thing..."
[1:47 PM] They are shipping "this month," with no specificity, other than to say that it was plenty of time for the holidays. Steve is showing us the commercial for the device.
[1:46 PM] Coming in two configurations. 8GB and 16GB. The 8GB unit is $299. The 16GB unit is $399.
[1:45 PM] It's been localised to about 20 different languages, and will ship world wide. Battery life is stated at 22 hours of audio playback, and 5 hours of video playback.
[1:43 PM] The darn thing is pretty cool, and is going to be a mega hit. It's worlds ahead of anything else, IMNHO.
[1:42 PM] Steve is demoing Safari now. Cruising a newspaper Web site. Using Google Search now. Looking at Facebook.
[1:39 PM] There are still a couple of blank spots in the icons for the iPod touch on the display. Ah, another one will be YouTube, just like the iPhone.
[1:38 PM] He's talking about other devices with WiFi couldn't navigate login screens. So, it will indeed have Safari. It's like I'm Nostradamus, or something.
[1:37 PM] Clearly the touch is going to have Safari, too.
[1:36 PM] "But, there's more." Aha, the iPod touch has WiFi built into it, 802.11 b/g.
[1:32 PM] Steve is demonstrating the unit. We've seen photos and music, moving on to videos.
[1:32 PM] Full screen interface, of course. Landscape viewing. Same home button on the bottom of the unit. It has the same slide-to-unlock feature as the iPhone.
[1:29 PM] It's 8mm thin. He said "we think it's one of the 7 wonders of the world." It basically has the same interface as the iPhone's iPod interface.
[1:29 PM] "But, we're not done yet." Talking about the iPhone, and how he called it the best iPod ever. "People have been asking us when we're going to bring this technology to the iPod. The answer is today." It's called the iPod touch.
[1:28 PM] The new iPod classic will also be in stores this weekend. It has an all-metal body, BTW.
[1:27 PM] Can hold 40,000 songs. Steve called that amazing. 40 hours of audio playback and 7 hours of video playback. That's impressive. The 80 GB unit will be $249. The 160 GB will be $349. The audience is applauding.
[1:26 PM] Another unit will be 160GB!
[1:25 PM] "The iPod has kind of a funny name. It was just called the iPod, because it was the first one. We didn't add a suffix to it." It will now be called "iPod classic." The new unit will be 80GB, and even thinner than the old 30GB unit. Audio is 30 hours and video is 5 hours. It will use the same interface as the nano.
[1:23 PM] There will be a 4 GB and 8GB unit. The 4GB will be silver only. The 8GB version will be available in all the colors mentioned for the shuffle. $149 for 4GB and $199 for 8GB.
[1:22 PM] They shipped from the factories today, and should be available in stores this weekend. A new Nike+ unit, too. Moving on to a new ad.
[1:18 PM] He's showing he iPod nano now playing screen, which shows the album cover, text info on the song, and a progress bar. Looks pretty good.
[1:17 PM] We're seeing some Beatles music during the new nano demo. Sign of things to come?
[1:15 PM] Another game is Sugoku, made by EA. Another nice looking game.
[1:12 PM] Resolution will be 320 x 240! That's the same as the current iPod video. The display is 204 ppi, the densest display Apple has shipped, according to Steve. Cover flow is navigated via the touch wheel. The unit will come with three games. First is Vortex, a sort of spiral breakout that looks way cool.
[1:12 PM] Steve said customers want video and a larger display on the nano, as well as Cover Flow mode for browsing. Games and more storage, too. Also a "full metal design." He is showing a fat nano that looks a lot like the ones shown on the Internet last month. It's VERY thin, kind of squat, with a comparatively wide display. Same colors as shuffle, including a [RED] version.
[1:10 PM] New colors for the shuffle. They are less pastelly, but still pastel. A sort of muted maroon, silver, steel blue, aqua, and greenish/grey color. They look nice. Apple is offering a Product [RED] version of the shuffle, too. 1 GB for $79. Moving on to nano. He's going FAST. That suggests there is a lot in store today.
[1:10 PM] Sold 110 million iPods to date. Apple will be refreshing the entire iPod line, including the shuffle, nano, and video.
[1:10 PM] The ringtone feature will be launched next week. An iTunes update will be needed, of course. Moving on to iPod.
[1:07 PM] During the demo, he played John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance," and said, "That's for when NBC calls." The audience laughed loudly.
[1:06 PM] Another special thanks to Michael Johnston of iPhone Alley for assisting me with hacking my iPhone for tethering.
[1:04 PM] There will be a new icon in iTunes. Click it and an interface comes up that lets you select which part of the song you want to use. When you're ready, clck a buy button, and you get a ringtone. He's now demoing the feature.
[1:02 PM] Apple is introducing a custom ringtone maker for iPhone built into iTunes. You can choose from 500,000 songs available on iTunes, with more to come. This will cost you $0.99, in addition to purchasing the song. If you already own the song, you only pay the additional fee.
[1:01 PM] iTunes is also the #2 music retailer in U.S.
The store now carries 550 TV shows. (No mention was made of the Universal spat.) Sold 95 million TV shows! That's impressive. 125,000 podcasts available. Said that 1/3 of the music releases in the U.S. last year were digital only, i.e. no CD. Said that stat blew him away.
Apple is adding ringtones.
[1:01 PM] iTunes is the #1 music store in all 22 countries in which the store is operating.
[1:01 PM] Here and up! Connection is slow. Steve Jobs just walked on stage. Starting with iTunes.
[12:59 PM] We're trying to get connected now. Hopefully news live from the event will begin appearing here shortly.
[9:02 AM] Technology-permitting, at 1pm EDT on Wednesday, September 5th, we will have live coverage of Apple's special event.
[1:21 AM] A test from our MacBook Pro tethered through the iPhone.