Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The beat goes on...

With last minute rumours (via CrunchGear) of a UK launch of a 3G iPhone hitting the wires in the hours before today's special event, my speculations a couple of days are suddenly looked less unlikely...

CREDIT: Engadget

I'll be following the live coverage of the event, so if you don't want to follow the event yourself, check back here later today and I'll have the high and low-lights for your entertainment.

Update (09:46am PST): The Apple Store is down ahead of the event, which pretty much confirms we're looking at new hardware...


The UK Apple Store

Update (09:48am PST): Engadget is reporting it's a fairly small audience, unlike the event in August, but that all the usual suspects are present. But Gizmodo are reporting that it's "packed in here" so I guess your milage may vary at that point...

CREDIT: Engadget

Update (10:06am PST): Steve Jobs is on stage,
Today, we get to talk about music. We’re going to start with iTunes... iTunes is clearly leading the way. We're going to ship a new version of iTunes tonight to support some new products. The biggest new feature: ringtones.

CREDIT: B. Lam, Gizmodo

Update (10:08am PST): Apparently when you plug in your iPhone a bell icon will pop up inside iTunes showing you which songs you can turn into ringtones. Pick up to 30 seconds of the song add fade ins, fade outs, and create your ringtone before you click the buy button...

CREDIT: B. Lam, Gizmodo

Update (10:14am PST): Moving on,
Now let's talk about the iPod... today we're going to refresh or replace every single product in this lineup to get ready for this holiday season.

So that's a new iPod, a new iPod nano and a new iPod shuffle?

Update (10:18am PST): Looks like it,

CREDIT: B. Lam, Gizmodo

with the iPod shuffle coming in (PRODUCT) Red as well as other colours, and the new iPod nano coming with an enhanced UI that have a lot of the features of the iPhone like CoverFlow. The leaks had the new form factor for the nano down surprisingly accurate as well...

CREDIT: Engadget

Update (10:28am PST): The "iPod" is now being renamed the "iPod classic", which is interesting. Does this hint at a widescreen iPod with the same sort of form factor and touch screen as the iPhone? The iPod classic has the same enhanced UI as the new iPod nano, which means it still has a click wheel...

Update (10:32am PST): Yup, here we go...
When we introduced the iPhone in Jan, we said it was the best iPod ever. and iPhone owners agree with us, it's incredible with its multi-touch interface, it is the best iPod ever. People have been asking us when we're going to bring this technology to the iPod. The answer is we're going to do it today. And this is what the product looks like..

The touchscreen iPod is here, and they're calling it the iPod touch. It's the same size as the iPhone, but it's much thinner, only 8mm thick...

CREDIT: Engadget

Update (10:39am PST): The big news is that the iPod touch has WiFi, if you look in the picture above you can see the signal strength meter. We've got a touch screen internet tablet here?

Update (10:42am PST): Looks to be the case, it comes with the same Safari as on the iPhone. It flips, landscapes, pans, flicks, scrolls just like the iPhone version does. This really does look to be a phone-less iPhone...

CREDIT: B. Lam, Gizmodo

Update (10:46am PST): That means it can access all the iPhone optimised websites, like the new Facebook site...

Update (10:48am PST): Gizmodo just reported that, "A reader just bought the 8GB iPhone for $399 and 4GB iPhone for $299 in an Apple store just now. Possible price drop?". The iPod touch comes in two models, an 8GB and 16GB model at $299 and $399 respectively. The other updated iPods are available now, but the touch ships in a few weeks. Some time this month?

CREDIT: B. Lam, Gizmodo

Update (10:52am PST): Did you spot the missing icon on the iPod touch dock? That'd be "...one more thing", the new iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store.

CREDIT: B. Lam, Gizmodo

It looks like browsing the store is similar to the normal iTunes application. You can tap on a song to preview it, and then tap the download button to purchase. The next time you dock the iPod touch to your computer, it’ll sync the song into your iTunes library. The new store is also rolling out for the iPhone...

CREDIT: B. Lam, Gizmodo

Update (10:59am PST): ...and there is a partnership with Starbucks,
When you get near a Starbucks a fifth button will come up in the WiFi music store -- you may have been in a Starbucks wondering what song is that playing? Now you can buy it with a tap of your finger. And if you just missed it, you can still find it...

CREDIT: Engadget

Update (11:09am PST): They've rolled Howard Schultz, the founder and chairman of Starbucks, onto stage to talk about the partnership. There is free access to the iTunes store while at Starbucks, just the store though, not the rest of the web? I guess T-Mobile, who provide wireless access for Starbucks wouldn't be too happy about that...

Update (11:12am PST): Here we go, Steve is back on stage and Apple is dropping the price of the iPhone. I guess they figure they've cleaned out the early adopter market... they’re dropping the price of the 8GB model to $399, that's a US$200 drop, and interestingly the 4GB model has been discontinued. I guess nobody was buying it?

Update (11:16am PST): Looks like Steve is winding up, KT Tunstall is on stage and will be performing...

CREDIT: Engadget

Update (11:22am PST): ...and we're done.

Update (11:37am PST): The U.S. store is back up and filled with new toys: the iPod shuffle from $79, the iPod nano from $149, the iPod classic from $249, the iPod touch from $299 and the newly reduced iPhone at $399. Interestingly the UK Store isn't back up yet, all we've got is an Http/1.1 Service Unavailable error...

Update (11:42am PST): The UK Apple Store is back to showing the "We'll be back soon" holding page. Looks like they're having problems...

Update (11:58am PST/7:58pm BST): The UK Apple Store is finally back up, about twenty minutes after the US Store. It looks like we have all the new toys: the iPod shuffle from £49, the iPod nano from £99, the iPod classic from £159, the iPod touch from £199. No iPhone though, the last minute rumours we're very accurate it seems.

With thanks to Engadget and Gizmodo for real time coverage.