OK, sit down, relax and prepare for what could be the most boring keynote ever, nah we’ll wait and see first. Tim Cook takes the stage with his signature ‘Good morning, thank you’, now lets prepare for a rundown of the commencing year and stats.
After a video of new Apple Stores opening and fans enjoying all new Apple gear, Tim talks stats. With 380 retail stores “our stores offer the best buying experience and the best customer service on the planet”, with 83 million visitors last quarter alone, “its absolutely amazing”.
On the Mac side of things, “We’ve had a very busy summer for the Mac. We launched Mountain Lion in July. Mountain Lion is the ninth major release of the best OS on the planet.”, with PC mag saying its the “best consumer operating system”. Mountain Lion was also the fastest selling version of OS X. The Retina MacBook Pro was introduced, and together Apple’s notebook range is #1 in the US in Marketshare with 27% of the market captured overall, with 15% year on year growth compared to 2% on the PC.
On the iPad side of things, “the iPad is driving the post-PC revolution and an amazing pace”, and as USA Today says, its “The finest tablet you can buy”, Apple have sold 84 million iPads just in June, more than any PC manufacturer has sold in their entire PC lineup, the iPad also holds a 62% tablet marketshare last year “April-June 2011”, and the iPad has an insane 91% web traffic of all tablets, “I don’t know what these other tablets are doing! They must be in warehouses or store shelves or maybe in peoples’ bottom drawer.”, says Tim. The iOS App Store now has 700,000 apps in the store, with 250,000 of those specifically made for iPad. Customers on average are using 100 apps, and 90% of those apps are downloaded every month.
Now, to the iPhone. Apple has sold over 400 million iOS devices just through June. “Today, we’re taking it to the next level, making a huge leap. We have some very exciting news to tell you about iPhone”, and up comes Phil Schiller. Phil starts by quoting Time magazine in 2007 “it is the phone that’s changed phones forever”.
And now, we begin, iPhone 5 is its name!
The phone was introduced oddly, the phone risen up from the floor of the stage, which naturally makes it impossible to see for attendees, but now its on screen. Guess what, its the leaked device. “So, iPhone 5. It is made entirely of glass and aluminum. It’s designed and built to an exacting level of standard unlike anything we, or anyone in our industry, have made before.”, says Phil. The iPhone 5 is 18% thinner than the iPhone 4 and 4S, at just 7.6mm thick, and the lightest weighing just 112 grams, which is 20% lighter than the 4S.
The iPhone 5 still features the Retina Display at the same 326ppi, despite being 4 inch, with higher resolution obviously of 1136×640. We won’t tell Apple that the PPI is lower than the Nokia Lumia 920. The iPhone 5 has an extra row of apps on each page, great. Although someone did note that the Calendar has October 1st written on it, could that be release? The display also has 44% better colour saturation, with full SRGB rendering. “We couldn’t be prouder of it”.
Current App Support
One thing Apple told us about which we needed to know, whilst Apple’s apps look just great redesigned, what about old apps? Well, old apps will run letterboxes, with black borders on the side, which honestly is a bit disappointing, of course apps can be quickly updated, but still.
iPhone 5 features something Apple are calling “Ultrafast Wireless”. The iPhone 5 will support HSDPA+ at 21MBps (like 4S), but also DC-HSDPA at 42MBps and full LTE, which can go up to 100MBps on a great day! As for Carriers, in the US: Sprint, AT&T and Verizon, Canada: Rogers, Telus, Bell, Fido and Virgin, Asia: KDDI Softban, KT, SK Telecom, SmartTone, and in Europe it will be on DT and Everything Everywhere, oddly though O2 was also listed in the UK which don’t have 4G yet.
The iPhone 5 will feature the all new A6 processor, which makes the 5 in the name seem odd. The processor is 22% smaller too and much more energy efficient, with apps loading typically 2x faster. EA Studios comes on stage to show off some A6 processor action, starting with Real Racing 3, a program EA purchased off Firemint. Now I don’t about you, but Real Racing 2 was by far the best racing experience I’ve seen on a mobile device, so Real Racing 3 is sure gonna be hot. One thing to note, is it just me that can’t see an optical drive on the iMac behind the man demoing. Anyway, Real Racing 3 coming later this year.
Battery Life on the iPhone 5 is going to be better than that on the iPhone 4S with 225hrs standby time and 8 hours of 3G and LTE browsing and 10hrs on Wi-Fi.
Camera wise, the iPhone 5, by being thinner does make things harder to do camera wise, but its still an 8 Megapixel camera but with better optics (thought we’d left the Nokia conference), with a 5-element lens and f/2.4 aperture, same as the 4S, but thinner. The iPhone 5 does however have faster photo capture and dynamic low light mode, which evaluates nearby pixels to give up to a 2 f-stops greater low light performance, Apple obviously weren’t too happy about their recent 4S embarrassing low light performance. So, a pretty hot camera on the iPhone 5 then. One thing thats a bit mad about the iPhone 5 camera is its a 28 megapixel image, thats 28 megapixels! The camera also features built in Panorama. The camera also features image stabilisation and a feature that allows you to remove people walking past (why do I hear Lumia 920 again, these are the same features nearly). The 1080P video capture, or 720P front-facing, also has better improved video stabilisation with 3 microphones built in to the phone for higher quality audio. 3 microphones, on the top, bottom and back, improve noise recognition but also cancellation. Speaker wise the iPhone 5 has something Phil calls “sideband audio”, which basically means its better quality to you and me.
All new Connector
Next that trusty iPod Connector, dating back 9 years! “So many of the things we used to do over the wire we can now do wirelessly”. The all new thinner cable is real, and Apple are calling it …. seriously they are, calling it Lightning…. yep first Thunderbolt, and now Lightning, they love the bad weather. The cable is 80% smaller than the 2003 iPod connector, adapters are available, but new docks are being made. No mention however amongst all of this of iPhone price, boo. Now, iOS6 and up comes Scott Forstall.
Scott demoing the new “now ready” maps applications Apple has created with their partners. The Maps application has integration with Yelp for business cards, and the turn by turn navigation we heard about earlier. Flyover gets another demo, oo look its Big Ben in London, all rather impressive, but still prefer the Google app they had.
Safari now has a feature from Lion/M.Lion, full screen view, tap the icons in the corner to go full screen, and iCloud Tabs will finally arrive upon the release of OS X 10.8.2 and iOS 6.
Very little changed in Mail, you can now VIP people, and flag messages for follow up, or of course use Gmail.
Passbook as mentioned before allows all your boarding passes and everything else in one app, of course if the iPhone 5 doesn’t have NFC its gonna be a bit of a let down for me. Your tickets also show up at your lock screen.
You can now subscribe to peoples Photo Streams, which sounds a bit hmm, but hey, I’m sure that will just be marvellous.
Same as previously demoed, scores, open apps, theatre times and showings were demoed same good ol iOS6 Siri, it also has movie recommendations based on Rotten Tomatoes, which to me have very inaccurate ratings so won’t rely on that. You can now post Facebook statuses, likely Tweets too, using Siri.
In the phone app you can now send a quick text or iMessage if you can make it to call back. But thats generally about all they mentioned on iOS 6. One thing disappointing though, is the iPhone 5 does not feature NFC making Passbook seem worthless.
More on iPhone 5
Phils back now to talk more on iPhone 5. The iPhone 5 will come in two colours, yes, black and white fronts, but on the back the White one will have full raw aluminium back, whereas the Black one will have a black anodised backing, which is interesting. “iPhone 5 is now the best phone we’ve ever made, and what would be a great phone without a killer video”, up comes their old classic videos, Jony Ive kicking off as usual, standard Apple promotion video.
The iPhone 5 will be priced identical to the iPhone 4S at US $199 for 16GB and $100 more each for 32GB and 64GB variants. An 16GB version of the 4S will remain available for less and the 8GB iPhone 4 will remain at a lower price.
Pre-orders start this Friday, and it will ship to the US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore on the 21st September 2012. 20 more countries next month, making it the fastest rollout ever.
The iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S, iPad 2 and 3, and iPod Touch (current) are all getting atleast some features in iOS6, which is to be released 19th September.
iPod and iTunes
Tim Cook is back on stage to talk iPod and iTunes, up comes Eddy Cue to talk first on iTunes. iTunes has been a great success with over 26 million songs on iTunes and over 20 billion songs purchased since its 9 year ago launch. Over 435 million iTunes accounts are out their all with one-click-purchasing, 66% of which are done from iOS devices. The iTunes Store has been redesigned on the iPad, same new look as on the iPhone really, improved performance and you can preview whilst still browsing.
Mac and PC clients of iTunes are to be updated too, Eddy called iTunes “the worlds most popular media player” and the new iTunes “dramatically simpler”, with a new grid system. A new “in the store” button is features as well so you can easily and quickly buy more stuff from iTunes. Don’t think anyone is really that excited about the new iTunes but it looks pretty nice, finally looks different!
Finally iTunes will have a “coming next” button where you can see whats coming next as well as changing whats next too. The mini player in iTunes also has a much better look and feel and actually does things now, not just pause, play next and previous!
The new iTunes Store has the same all new interface as found on iOS 6 devices, with the carousel interface, same for apps and books, all in all a pretty good iTunes to be honest, I’ll definitely be upgrading straight away, like it, although not until October sadly.
Greg Joswick, nice name, comes on stage to talk iPod. Apple has sold over 350 million iPods to date, although Apple “don’t do this just for the numbers. iPod and music are part of the DNA of the company. We love music.” says Greg. First up, Nano.
The 7th generation iPod Nano, yep there’s been seven, has a pretty nice look and feel to be honest, looks a bit unusual at first, but nice! Based on the size of the volume controls, its pretty small. The iPod Nano, has a Home button, a 2.5 inch display with multi touch capabilities, and big circular buttons, and in natural Nano style available in 7 colours, likely to match the generation number! Also features an FM Radio built in, nice Photo and video viewer too. Whilst the Nano doesn’t feature any app support it does have a massive 30 hours of music playback on the very iOS 6 looking Music app!
Price wise, the iPod Nano will be $149 for a 16GB version.
iPod Touch next, with 175,000 games available, 150,000 available with Game Center support, the iPod Touch is certainly an incredible gaming device, and this is the 5th generation iPod Touch. It weighs 88 grams and is just 6.1mm thick, with the same new dock connector on the bottom as the iPhone 5. The new iPod Touch also features brushed aluminium, so none of that annoying Chrome to scratch up. The iPod Touch also has the same 4 inch display as the iPhone 5 which is awesome, with the A5 processor bringing dual core capabilities, no mention of iPhone’s processor in core capabilities on the A6. The A5 processor in the iPod Touch was demoed with a freaky game called ‘Clumsy Ninja, which is something, the A5 is expected to bring 7x faster graphics compared to the previous gen iPod Touch.
The iPod Touch will give you 40 hours of music playback, 8 hours of video, which is actually a slight increase on the 4th gen. Also features an “iSight” camera on the back, which is 5 megapixel, and now has a built in flash! The camera has backside illuminated, f/2.4, 5-element lens and that same sapphire crystal lens cover, the way this is worded does make is sound like Jewellery, but its an iPod. The camera also has 720P video recording, and the iPod Touch can now play 1080P and use iMovie. Airplay Mirroring also runs on the iPod Touch, as well as finally, the iPod Touch will get Siri!
The iPod Touch will come in 5 colours, raw aluminium, black, blue, yellow and red!
iPod touch Loop button
The iPod Touch at the back on the bottom left features an odd button, which apparently can be used to attach a little wrist strap on it!
Existing 4th gen iPod Touch will remain available for $199 and $249 for 16 and 32GB, and the new iPod Touch will be available in 32GB and 64GB for $299 and $399 respectably.
Next up, Apple are creating new earphones, if there anything like their current premium headphones, I’m fine. The EarPods look like the same earphones that leaked recently, a video is been played showing how the odd design of the EarPods has been made. The shape of the EarPods is actually made from geometry of the human ear, so likely incredibly comfortable. The EarPods will start shipping today!
ALL iPods will have Product [RED] versions too.
A whole new lineup of iPods, minus the Shuffle which remains the same. New iTunes Music Player, which actually looks pretty clean, and the new iPhone 5, the fastest most thinnest iPhone ever shipped, even though its the 6th generation, they don’t seem to remember that! Oh, and EarPods.
The keynote ended with a performance from the Foo Fighters.
What we didn’t see
-NFC capabilities in the iPhone 5
-iPad Mini, or any iPad news