TechRepublic Head Technology Editor Bill Detwiler and I will be offering live analysis and commentary on Apple's iPhone 5 event at 1:00PM Eastern / 10:00AM Pacific on Tuesday, October 4. Bill and I will offer perspective on what the announcements mean for businesses and IT departments.
The event is officially called "Let's talk iPhone" and it will take place at the Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California. We are expecting an announcement of the next generation iPhone hardware, which could be dubbed "iPhone 5" if it follows the convention from last year's iPhone 4, and there is also speculation that Apple could reveal a slightly-retooled version of the iPhone 4 at a lower price point (possibly $99). We'll see if these expectations play out and what surprises could be in store. Some have predicted news on Apple TV.
The other significant part of today's event is that it will be the first one for Tim Cook as Apple CEO since he took over when Steve Jobs resigned on August 24.
To follow our commentary and analysis, simply come to this page to view the updates. Afterward, I will also be moderating the Great Debate on iPhone 5 over on ZDNet, where Matt Miller and Jason Perlow will argue whether or not the new iPhone is a must-buy.
2:45PM EST: The reports about a Sprint exclusive for iPhone 5 was bunk and so were all the leaked case designs.
2:34PM EST: Here's the pricing: iPhone 3GS: Free (with contract), iPhone 4 8GB: $99, iPhone 4S 16GB: $199, iPhone 4S 32GB: $299, iPhone 4S: $399. In the U.S. it will be available on AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint.
2:32PM EST: Siri will support English, French, and German. It's still in beta, but no Spanish or Chinese?
2:27PM EST: So, keep in mind that Siri is doing some processing in the cloud. My ZDNet colleague Jason Perlow wonders how long it will take Google to match these features in Android and it has a lot more cloud processing to make it go faster. When a bunch of iPhone users jump on this, we'll see how well Apple's new North Caroline data center can handle it. Meanwhile, Bill Detwiler says the cloud processing will make him (and other enterprise users) nervous about using it for business tasks for security reasons.
2:20PM EST: The Siri voice recognition aims at making the iPhone able to respond to natural language queries and the demos are pretty impressive. Interested to see how well it works for the average person, especially while walking the streets of New York, for example.
2:18PM EST: The "S" in iPhone 4S is for "Siri" the voice recognition software.
2:15PM EST: Shiller: "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!"
2:12PM EST: Shiller: "I don't know what Droid Bionic customers have to do between taking pictures... like, go get coffee." Apple has no room to talk here. Its camera software has bad lag at times, too.
2:09PM EST: The iPhone 4S has an upgraded camera sensor with 8 megapixels and 3264x2448 resolution. I think that makes it official that there's not iPhone 5 coming today.
2:04PM EST: The iPhone 4S is now a world phone with dual CDMA and GSM radios -- international business travelers will be glad to hear that.
2:03PM EST: Shiller: “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.”
2:01PM EST: Shiller says that although they have a faster CPU in this new iPhone, they've actually increased battery life. It has 8 hours of talk time.
1:59PM EST: They've moved on to game demos. This iPhone 4S might be the only phone they announce. Stay tuned.
1:56PM EST: Shiller, "It's all new inside" with a dual-core CPU and dual-core graphics.
1:55PM EST: Shiller announced the iPhone 4S, with an updated A5 processor
1:53PM EST: The iPod Touch gets only a slight update, which could predict what to expect from the next iPhone. Phil Shiller is on stage now, by the way, to give the hardware update.
1:51PM EST: Apple is announcing a new iPod Nano. I've only ever seen one person with one of these in the real world.
1:48PM EST: My big question: Will small businesses feel comfortable enough with Apple to use iCloud? I suspect some Apple enthusiast professionals will and the rest will take a wait-and-see approach.
1:40PM EST: Next, Eddie Cue jumped on the stage to talk about iCloud -- the thing I'm most interested in hearing about. Cue mostly reviewed things we heard in the spring, like iTunes sync, Photo Stream sync, and documents sync.
1:38PM EST: Forestall also talked up Mail improvements (still not nearly as good as Android for Gmail and Google Apps) and tabbed browsing in Safari (it's about time).
1:35PM EST: Here are the devices that can run iOS 5: iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, iPad 1, iPod Touch 4th gen, iPod Touch 3rd gen.
1:35PM EST: iOS 5 will be available for download on October 12.
1:34PM EST: The Camera app gets a lot of updates in iOS 5, including the ability to edit photos within the app, which is huge. I just hope they improve the responsiveness of the Camera app itself. Sometimes, it just takes way too long to load and then the moment is lost.
1:31PM EST: Apple is introducing iMessage in iOS 5, which basically combines text messaging, instant messaging, and a lot of features similar to BlackBerry Messenger, which a lot of enterprise users use for quick, short conversations and updates to help cut down on emails.
1:27PM EST: Forestall says 100,000 developers have already had their hands on iOS 5. He's recapping the 200+ new user features. This is the real meat of what's happening today. The new hardware will be fine, but there's a lot more happening with software, and don't forget that existing iPhone users will get most of this stuff as well.
1:24PM EST: Scott Forestall is now on stage to talk about iOS. He says the iOS app store has experienced 18 billion downloads. Wow, that's a lot of apps. It's a software world. Forestall also says Apple has paid out $3 billion to developers (which means Apple has made $1.5 billion from the transactions since it takes 30% cut).
1:23PM EST: According to Cook, 92% of Fortune 500 are testing the iPad.
1:21PM EST: Cook: "It’s not just consumer, 93% of the Fortune 500 are testing or deploying the iPhone. It’s consistently rated #1 in every customer satisfaction ranking I can find.”
1:17PM EST: Cook: “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."
1:15PM EST: Cook is now playing up the iPod and the iTunes (my least favorites piece of software ever created, next to Lotus Notes).
1:13PM EST: CEO Tim Cook has introduced himself, said loves Apple and has some special stuff to announce today in terms of both hardware and software. Then, he went through the normal business updates, Apple store updates, and some information about Macs.
Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the upcoming book, Follow the Geeks (bit.ly/ftgeeks).