Live Coverage Of ‘Let’s Talk iPhone’ Event

BY Jason

Published 4 Oct 2011

Let's talk iPhone

This is it folks! Apple’s ‘Let’s Talk iPhone’ event should be underway shortly (10:00 AM Pacific Time or 1:00 PM Eastern Time).

Apple is expected to unveil the hotly anticipated next generation iPhone. Apple’s special event is being held at the Town Hall auditorium at its headquarters in Cupertino, California.

Updates will be posted from top to bottom (bottom newest) so stay tuned (hit refresh to get the latest).

You can find our roundup of all the rumors and speculations that we’ve reported so far leading up to the event.

Here are some last minute rumors:

The event hasn’t started, less than 40 minutes to go.

Apple Online Store has just gone down for maintenance. It looks like the fifth generation iPhone will be available for pre-order, when it’s back.

Apple Online Store down

Sorry folks here goes the surprise element. Rounak has just told us that Apple’s Japanese website has just revealed that iPhone 4S will be launch on October 14th. Engadget also confirms it.

Less than 5 mins to go for the start of the event. Finally!

Here’s the screenshot of Apple’s Japanese website (thanks Rounak), which revealed that Apple is launching iPhone 4S on October 14th:

Apple's Japanese website reveals iPhone 4S launch on October 14th

The Keynote has just started! As expected, Tim Cook presiding over the event.

Significance of the Town Hall as the venue for the event, it was where Apple introduced iPod 10 years ago.

Tim Cook: “Today we’ll remind you of the uniqueness of this company as we announce innovations from our mobile OS, to applications, to services, to hardware, and more importantly the integration of all these into a powerful, simple, integrated experience.”

Cook is talking about the new retail stores that Apple has opened in the recent past.

He is talking about Mac OS as a digital download, MacBook Air and MacBook Pros.

He is talking about iTunes and iPod revolutionalised the whole music industry.

Tim Cook about the iPhone: “What’s amazing is that the iPhone 4 has sold over half of our total iPhones sold in the entire time we’ve been selling iPhones. It’s the number one smartphone in the world.”

Goes on to add: “We believe that over time all phones become smartphones. This market is an enormous opportunity. That’s iPhone, more coming up on iPhone.”

Next he is talking about the iPad.

Looks like we’ll have to wait a little longer to find out about iPhone 4S. Scott Forstall is on stage to talk about iOS.

Forstall: Over 500k apps in the App Store; 140k apps for the iPad.

Apple has paid out $3 billion to developers. That’s an impressive number.

Forstall has just announced the launch of a new app called Cards – “Create and mail beautiful cards right from your iPhone or iPod touch.”

Forstall: “We’ll print it on high quality 100% cotton paper and delivery the card through USPS. You’ll also get a push notification when it is delivered. That’s pretty neat.

Forstall: “We’ll affix Apple designed postage to the card.” Cards app will cost $2.99 in the US App Store and $4.99 in other App Stores. It will be available on October 12th. It looks like iOS 5 will be released on that date.

Forstall is now going through the new features in iOS 5 – Notifications Center, iMessage, Reminders app, Twitter integration, Newsstand, Camera app (lock screen shortcut, volume button for shutter), Mobile Safari.

iOS 5 will be released on October 12th. Finally, we have a release date.

Eddie Cue is on stage to talk about iCloud. He is going through the features: iTunes in the Cloud, Photo Stream…

Apple has launched a new app called Family and Friends.

Btw, this is image of iPhone 4S on Apple’s servers, it looks exactly the same as iPhone 4 (courtesy Arnold Kim).

iPhone 4S

Phil Schiller on stage now to talk about iPod. Yawn!

He is now talking iPod Touch. iPod Nano seems to only have got some UI changes. We have low expectations about the new iPod touch.

Here we go folks! The fifth generation iPhone is iPhone 4S.

Schiller: “Of course it starts with the Retina Display. But inside it is all new. The A5 chip is now making its way into the iPhone.”

Schiller: “Dual-core CPU, 2x as fast at CPU tasks. Also dual-core graphics. Up to 7x faster in the previous iPhone. One area you really see it scream is in games.”

It’s demo time with Epic games.

iPhone 4S

Schiller: You’d think if you put a CPU like that you’d sacrifice battery life.” Increased to 8 hours talk time, damn! “Fantastic battery life.”

More on iPhone 4S: “Our engineering team has worked really hard to advance the state of the art that’s never been done in a phone before. It can now intelligently switch between two antennas between send and receive to make even better call quality.”

Schiller: “Data can now download up to 2x as fast. Theoretical max performance used to be 5.8 up and 7.2 down — now doubles to almost 14.4Mbps down.”

iPhone 4S is a world phone so it will work on both GSM and CDMA networks.

iPhone 4S gets an 8-megapixel camera.

Schiller on iPhone 4S’ camera: “CMOS backside illuminated sensor — gets 73% more light than the iPhone 4 sensor, and 1/3rd faster. On top of that, we place a high-end IR filter for greater accuracy and uniformity.”

“We have an amazing lens system, five lens elements. It’s now a really wide f2.4. Compared to most point and shoots we can let in a lot of light.”

Schiller takes a dig at other smartphones – specially Droid Bionic.

Schiller: “We take stunning Hd video, and for the first time, 1080p video. 1080p, real-time video image stabilization, real-time temporal noise reduction.”

Yup the rumors were spot on! iPhone 4S comes with the virtual assistant feature – Siri.

Forstall: “For decades technologists have teased us with this dream that we can talk to our technology. But it’s never come true! It’s such a let-down! What we really want to do is just talk to our device!”

Forstall seems to be asking Siri all kinds of stuff and it just works. Very impressive!

Scott: “I’ve been in the AI field a long time. This blows me away.”

You can also ask Siri to read out a message to you, Siri reads them from your notification queue. Perfect!

Siri's User Interface

You can do instant Wikipedia and Wolfram Alpha searches by voice using Siri

Forstall: “Compose and dictate email right to Siri. Set timers. Look up contacts, create notes, search the web, search Wikipedia. It’s absolutely blow-away. Well, who is Siri? Just ask!” Siri: “I am a humble personal assistant.”

Schiller is back on stage: “Thanks Scott, that is the coolest feature of the iPhone 4S. Siri does dictation — now whenever you see a keyboard, you’ll see a microphone. Talk to Siri, tap done, and in the blink of an eye it comes back with your text. Speak with your natural language.”

Schiller: “It’ll be built-in with support for English, French, and German. It will be beta at the start; by beta we mean we’ll add more languages and services over time.”

It’s demo time!

Schiller: “So that’s the iPhone 4S. Black and white, 16GB for $199, 32GB for $299, and 64GB for $399. 64GB is the first time in an iPhone.”

Schiller: “The iPhone 4S is not the only phone in our lineup. The iPhone 4 will now be available in Black and white for just $99. Thei phone 3GS in 8GB: free.”

iPhone 4S will be available for pre-order from October 7th and will be launching on October 14th.

Sprint will also be offering iPhone 4S on its network.

The first countries to get iPhone 4S – US, Canada, Australia, UK, France, Germany and Japan.

It will be available in 22 countries on October 28th and 70 countries by the end of the year.

Tim Cook comes on stage and wraps up.

That’s it folks! Thanks for tuning in, we hope you enjoyed the our coverage. Do let us know what you think about the iPhone 4S. We think the spec bump and Siri makes it a great incremental upgrade.

Special thanks to folks at gdgt!