All the pre-event speculation turned out to be surprisingly accurate: Apple indeed will launch two new models of its iPhone, both with larger screens than their predecessors and lots of other impressive technical details, to be available in the U.S. and eight other countries on Sept. 19, and 115 countries by end of the year. A new version of the mobile operating system, iOS 8, will be available for free on Sept. 17.
The company also rolled out its much-anticipated wearable device, the Apple Watch, which is tightly integrated with the iPhone but won’t arrive until early next year. The watch contains a series of sensors to detect heart rate, elevation, distance and more; will come in three main groups of models and promises “millions” of ways to customize the face.
On the business side, the company has launched Apple Pay, a sophisticated mobile payment system designed to securely allow people to use their iPhone (or Apple Watch) to pay online and at 220,000 retail locations including Starbucks, McDonald’s, Walgreen’s and Bloomingdale’s. It also rolled out what CEO Tim Cook called a major initiative in health and fitness, with lots of technology to track how users take care of themselves and subtly help them do better.
And though there was no special mention of their recent $3 billion acquisition, Beats Music, Cook did bring out the band U2 to play its new single and announce that Apple is giving away the band’s first new album in a while, Songs of Innocence, to all 500 million users of iTunes.
Wall Street was initially excited about the event’s news, bidding share prices up past $100, before settling back below the day’s opening price by the end of the two-hour presentation, held in the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, Calif.
To see our live blog of the event itself, read below:
Hi all. David Bloom and I are here for Apple’s big event. What do you think, David — a game changer?
Way too early to tell on game changer. The breathless speculation sure hopes it’s worth all that breathlessness.
I think long-term, the much-rumored mobile payment system could be a big game changer, particularly tied in with Apple’s existing iBeacons technology, which retailers are already using to send deals to nearby customers as they browse in stores. Anything that makes it more liquid for money to change hands has big potential, I think.
And of course, if your phone is your wallet, you may be more willing to stay with that device and payment system. Just ask Visa how that works.
I agree that the payment scheme had better be compelling, Apple investors are expecting something revolutionary. I need to be convinced.
Hmm, big shock. Getting some interruptions in the feed. You wrote about this just yesterday. We’ve got the big stream demands for this event, plus the release of the MASSIVELY anticipated game “Destiny,” which will eat a lot of bandwidth this whole week. Grrr.
Well, Apple’s into fashion these days.
Don’t we just LOVE seeing this?
And, it’s showtime
So why is Apple only showing the live blog to people with its devices and software? Odd strategy for a company that wants to win new customers.
Oh, the feel-good perfectly produced Apple ad to open things up: “Keep trusting there is always another way.”
Need to find another way to handle the hit on the servers….
It is an interesting approach, to only make it work if you’re using Safari and an Apple device….
For what it’s worth, Apple shares trading just a little above $100 as the event begins. I expect investors to sell on the news — but we’ll see whether Tim Cook can impress.
Tim Cook is on the stage
Cook says the iPhone is the most loved phone in the world — but iOS isn’t the best loved operating system, at least based on sales.
Couldn’t be more excited to show biggest advancement in history of theiphone
The iphone 6 has two sizes, as expected
6 and the 6 Plus
The camera lens sticks out? Hmmmm.
Gives a chance for zoom beyond the digital one
Seamless design with no corners, wide color range, for those who are into that sort of thing (better displays
“Dual-domain pixels.” Oh, That’ll move units.
4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays
1 million pixels for the 6, 2 million-plus for the 6 Plus
Both are thinner than the already ridiculously thin 5S
Here’s some nice bits, new virtual keyboard with dedicated keys for things like cut, copy and paste that take advantage of the screen
So far looks like the leaks about the features were accurate.
That’s for the Landscape view on the Plus, which provides plenty of room (though not at the level of Samsung’s Note, perhaps)
Built-in scaler to make pages that aren’t up to date look better on different sizes of displays
Here’s an eye-popping number: more than 1.3 million apps for iPhone now.
They’re doing some tech talk now, X Code for developers to deal with the new displays, chip-fabrication numbers that show how they get their home-made A8 processors to go so fast, with better battery life and power usage
Up to 50X faster than original iPhone, and a big jump even over the 5S
App number impressive — but AppStore says Google Play has 1.36M apps. Parity.
Graphics are getting an even bigger bump, up 84X over original
Big push on games, but makes sense, given their huge recent footprint in the game space.
Game publishers using their new Metal development environment include Disney, Gameloft, EA, EPic and of course, Super Evil Megacorp. They bring out Super Evil’s chief creative officer, Stephan Sherman
Sherman shows Vain Glory, a battle arena a little like League of Legends, but cute, for handhelds.
Have you heard anything yet that makes your pulse race? So far looks like the usual product upgrade — really nice features, catching up on size. No surprises.
BIG opportunity for Super Evil, first game and they get that kind of spotlight ahead of the game’s release later this fall.
“equal or better battery life on every metric” than the iPhone 5S
50 hours of playback
good numbers here if true, but we’ll see what the real world does.
New generation of motion co-processor that will help fitness apps and other things, take some of the load off the main processor. The M8 can estimate distance, give credit for elevation, like stairs (the folks on the Santa Monica Stairs will be very happy.
They have a Barometer that measures changes in air pressure.
New Health app, plus Nike working on its app too.
LTE capability for up to 150 MBps, up to 20 bands for very fast connections. Now with 200 carriers around the world.
New Voice Over LTE tech, 3X faster Wi-Fi with AC. Now can do Wi-Fi calling
Will hand off a cell call to wi-fi when you move into a house, for instance. T-Mobile, EE in UK working with them on it.
Great if most of your calls are from home or office.
Slow-motion video at up to 240 frames per second. That’s going to be a boon for hand-held creators, I think.
“Burst selfies” ….not sure that’s a gain to Western civilization. The Kardashians will go Krazy over that one
I agree. But I’m starting to think that people who care about these features will prefer the iPhone 6 Plus — especially for the better battery life.
High-dynamic-range photos with just one shot, instead of usual three. That’s cool.
Yeah, could be a rewind of what happened with the 5S and the 5C. Most buyers bought the expensive one.
Some long-in-coming features like a predictive keyboard, and the ability to add voice, video and location to any message
Six colors, including Product (Red)
$199 bottom end 16 GB for 6, to $399 high end with 128 GB
That should hold a lot of video
Prices for the higher end models coming in lower than expected although all with contract.
Plus starts at $299 for 16 Gb, $499 for 128 gb.
Yeah, but what does this do to iPad sales?
Shipping Sept. 19. That’s right around the corner…10 days away. U.S. and eight other countries. Pre-order Sept. 12
Want to be in 115 countries by year end….
Pretty remarkable logistical challenge they’ve set for themselves.
Beginning Sept. 17, if you have a 4S and up, can download iOS 8 for free
Tim Cook back up on the stage.
Really have to think this is going to substantially cannibalize iPad sales going forward, but that’s what iPhone did to iPod too, so Apple has a history. And tablet sales are flagging these days, just as Microsoft is getting better at making them.
Jimmy Fallon, Justin Timberlake showcased in new ads with the phones…
Oh, meant to mention the 1080P HD video the cameras can take. THey’ll need all that storage capacity
<b> Moving to the wallet replacement now </b>
Microsoft — and everybody else. The iPhone Plus could cannibalize iPad sales. So far I’ve seen a lot of announcements that will please iPhone upgraders, but not much to win anyone over from Android.
Cook discussing the payments scheme: I want to hear what problem he wants to solve.
They’re saying the entire payment process is built on (vulnerable) technology built 50 years ago.
Cook says credit cards are antiquated? The other day an American Express exec said consumers don’t see the credit card swipe system as broken.
NFC, Touch ID, encrypted storage of information. See your credit cards on Passbook tech they’ve had for a while. Can use the cards you’ve been using, or add new ones by taking picture of it, going to bank and doing verification.
Interesting structure for the security. No need to cancel the card if device is stolen. Just suspend with Find My iPhone. Certainly answers at least some of the challenges caused by current credit card fraud issues.
Can use now in 220,000 locations. Working with Walgreens, Macy’s Bloomingdales, Staples, Subway, (good for coders) McDonald’s,
Whole Foods (good for the healthy ones), but now you’ll really see the money go out the door. Disney also will accept in all stores and Disney World,
Uber will let people order a car without creating an account. Open Table dinner-reservation site will now let people use Apple Pay to pay for dinner too
A nice beginning — but Apple’s going to need a lot more retailers to sign on to reach a tipping point. That was a big problem for Google Wallet.
How about Fandango? Can we use Apple Pay to buy movie tickets?
Yeah, no doubt about getting scale. I think Apple already has something like 800 million credit card numbers in its system. Easy changeover to that alone would be big.
We’ll need to call Fandango. Seems like a natural addition, huh?
Tim Cook says “we’re not quite finished yet.”
The retailer still needs to have the machines that read near field communications. That’s an investment.
Gets a standing O from the fanboys for “We have one more thing…”
“entirely new product” “we believe it will redefine what people expect from its category”
“the next chapter in Apple’s Story”
And it’s a pretty hot-looking watch
First reaction to Apple Pay is upbeat: Shares in Verifone, which makes NFC terminals, just spiked about 2%. Apple’s also spiking — up 4.6% to $102.90.
had to do some heavy thinking on user interface “needed to do it with every breakthrough product”
“What we didn’t do is take the iPhone and shrink the user interface and strap it on your wrist”
Put extra functionality in the crown, that dial, with little sensors that can allow to input and scroll
Does it have a touchscreen?
“Thought not only of the function but of the way it looked.”
Going to a Jonny Ive-narrated video about the watches development. He’s Apple’s Sr. VP, design, should you be the sort with better things to do than track top Apple execs
Hard to tell if it’s a touchscreen…The side dial (“crown”) is the main interface, along with a click button
The digital crown operates as the home button. “Apps are designed for lightweight interaction”
Yep, it has a touch screen.
can send a sketch or heartbeat to another user’s watch.
single polished sapphire screen, only diamond harder
Display senses touch AND force
haptic feedback (they’re calling it “taptic engine”) tracks touch/tap/press
“It’s essentially miniaturizing an entire computer on a single chip”
Back crystal both connects sensors to your body, and makes it easy to power up.
Did Apple say anything about the Sapphire screen up to now? I suspect not: Shares in the company that supplies them for Apple, GT Advanced Technology, are down 7.4% during the Apple presentation.
Yes, they talked about sapphire screens
single machined face
range of watch faces, with easy personalization behind it.
Sapphire for the phones — or just the watch?
Different kinds of buckles, straps of varying materials
Worldwide Watch Business is something like a $68 billion a year industry. Wonder what this says to all those other companies? What’s the Street’s verdict, David?
Watch looks better than most out there, but still awfully chunky. Haven’t heard whether they have NFC to work with Apple Pay.
Cook back out to huge ovation.
“We’ve been working on Apple watch a long time”
“It covered every discipline at Apple”
Brings out VP Kevin Lynch, who oversaw project, to give demo
iPhone required with Apple Watch
Apple shares at $101.43 after peaking today at $103.08.
Millions of ways to customize a watch face.
The watch can give a slight tap to wearer when, say, there’s a notification coming
Looks like a nice luxury item, not a must-have. Let’s see how much it costs.
Lots of people spend a ton of money on luxury watches, but given the range of offerings, have to think they’ll price this across a range
Siri works on it to do things like look for movies playing in the area
This is Apple’s first new product since 2010. I hope it isn’t looking to be a niche of a niche market.
Maps app could be useful. Can zoom in and out. That’s pretty cool.
Does it work with Google Maps?
No mention of Google Maps…I’m betting you’ll have to hand add that….
Apple’s integrated its own, increasingly pretty good app into its mobile systems.
Apple post says the watch will even send you a tap to tell you to go left or right when you’re busy using maps to find some place
Apple releasing a developer WatchKit to make it easy for them to create new apps for the watch.
Can tweet on the watch, get through American Airlines process, Starwood hotels will let you use the watch to open door to room in W Hotels.
BMW will let you see charge level for its car, and directions back to where you parked it. MLB has sports cars, Lutron controls house lighting.
Cook back out, talking about health and fitness capabilities. He says it’s a very important area for him and for Apple.
That’s what I’m looking for. I’d like to use a smartwatch to do things for me. Most of the other features would seem to work just as well with a phone.
Two new apps for cycling and running on the watch. Going to show another video
Uses accelerometer, GPS, sensors for heartbeat. Tracks calories, Stand Ring tracks whether you’ve stood up every hour over 12 hours each day. Deadline editors never get time to stand, so we’re SO going to fail on this one.
Fitness app, Health App. Over time watch tracks your workouts, suggests goals, keeps on workout schedules.
Apple Watch not wowing investors: The stock is back down to $100.71…gave up most of the gains through the Apple Pay reveal.
David Pogue, the long-time tech writer who’s done a ton of Mac-related books, says this is “by far the richest and most complex smartwatch OS ever”
Interesting on the street reactions to the watch versus the payment system. They must be betting it’s too expensive for mass audience.
Cook says “the list of features is a mile long” and will likely get longer when developers get hold of it.
That’s the pattern: Apple introduces a lot of interesting features, but little that others can’t quickly replicate.
Integrated tightly with iPhone, will work with the iPhone 5 and 5S, 5C, but not the 4 models. Still means +200 million potential users
starts at $349
Available early 2015
Haven’t heard anything about wireless charging. That was expected.
“It’s something functional yet incredibly beautiful”
Early 2015? Goodbye Christmas shopping season.
That price isn’t particularly off-putting for folks who routinely pay much more, but many, many Millennials, for instance, don’t use watches at all.
They can find the time on their phone, if they want to know it.
$349…about $100 more than the Moto 360.
And yes, no Xmas shopping season.
Oh, he mentions in passing that Apple Pay will work with Apple Watch.
So does the Watch have NFC?
On the other hand, they’re going to sell a LOT of the iPhones, I think.
“It will redefine what people expect from a watch”
So, one more one more thing, this about music
Could be bluetooth instead of NFC — which would be a battery drain.
Yes, you could be right on Bluetooth. No mention on how it connects to iPhone and Apple Pay
Cook talking about collaboration with U2
Band is going to perform at the event now.
He should thank Jimmy Iovine. Interesting no word about Beats.
What’s THAT going to do for the stock price? ;)
They mentioned Beats in passing with some of the other services about midway through, but yes, there were no big announcements.
Re: Beats. They only did the deal two months ago, so maybe a little premature to expect much so soon.
Uh-oh: Apple’s down to $99.40, below where it was at the start of the event. I know, buy on the rumor and sell on the news. But still…
I think it’s the Street reacting to U2 playing.
I think investors still haven’t found what they’re looking for.
Nice shoutout at the end by Bono to the late Joey Ramone and all the Ramones. New single played.
Bono: “We’re the blood in your machines, O Zen Master Tim Cook.”
Completed new album, “Songs of Innocence”
White-label copy of new LP…
“If we gave it away for free” could send it out.
Well, they can download the new album from U2 for free on iTunes. Another way to clog the Interwebz today, huh?
And great line about those investors….
Cook: “Every iTunes customer gets this incredible album for free. That’s over half a billion customers, and it makes history because it’s the largest album release of all time.”
Thanks. …I’m surprised that today mostly confirmed all the news that had leaked.
Now they have the ad they made with the band about the free offer. That’s going to blow out a lot of record records, I think
BTW, is the Apple Watch waterproof? I don’t recall hearing anything about that. Sony’s pushing that hard.
In terms of information security, you’re right about the leaks. More accurate leaks than perhaps ever, I think. Not that that’s bad. In some ways, the street’s reaction prices in the rumors, which were true?
Cook gives shoutouts to some key Apple execs and wraps up the event….
So, what’s your take, David? We’ve got two nifty new phones, including bigger ones; overhauled mobile operating system; lots and lots of Apple Watches; health and fitness functionality. Am I missing anything?
Oh, and the free U2 album
No question, great products and I don’t doubt that lots of Apple fans will want to upgrade. But I’ve seen projections that the company will sell about 20 million watches in the first 12 months — and I haven’t seen anything to give me confidence that Apple is that far ahead of the pack. The payment system is good, but I wanted to hear more about the details….how will it work with credit cards, any opportunity for pre-payment…any patented processes? I think the expectations were high, and Apple didn’t quite meet them.
Yeah, high expectations, which Cook played into over the past few earnings calls and investor conferences. But also, some of it is just what happens when your stock hits the heights that theirs did before the big stock split, etc.
Oh, and Apple shares now trading at $97.50 — not only below the start of the event, but down on the day.
Apple fans want to believe that it has a competitive advantage in quality and creativity. And I didn’t see anything today that Google and the army of manufacturers that use its software can’t duplicate.
Oh well. Next time.
Yeah, it’s an interesting question. On the other hand, Samsung rolled out its own watches last week, as did Sony, and no one got hot and bothered by what they had to show. Biggest issue to me is the watched don’t arrive until, what, Valentine’s Day?
Apple’s like a box of chocolates, I guess.
And that’s a wrap on Apple’s Fall Media Frenzy 2014. On to the reactions, and Sept. 19, and Christmas and U2 albums….
Say good night, Forrest.
You’re supposed to say ‘Good night, Forrest.’
Sorry, a Laugh In reference — right? Seems appropriate.