Journalists and others are assembled at the "Steve Jobs" theater at the new Apple (AAPL) campus in Cupertino, named "Apple Park," for today's iPhone event, which kicks off at 10 am, Pacific, 1 pm, Eastern.
Tech Trader Daily was not invited, so we’ll be watching along the rest of the world on the webcast on Apple’s home page, starting at 1 pm, Eastern time.
People gather at Apple's new headquarters ahead of a media event where Apple is expected to announce a new iPhone and other products in Cupertino, California, on September 12, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Josh Edelson (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)Illustration: Getty Images
The live feed is running through a bunch of oldies and goodies, including Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" and the Beatles "All You Need Is Love." Seems like a Steve Jobs playlist. One imagines Jobs would be satisfied.
The music gives way to a voice-over by the late Jobs, urging Apple to "Keep us, us."
"I love hearing his voice," says CEO Tim Cook, taking the stage. "Steve meant so much to me, and so much to all of us. There's not a day that goes by that we don't think about him. Memories have especially come rushing back as we prepared for today and this event."
"It's taken some time, but we can now remember him with joy and not sadness."
"Steve was a genius," says Cook, in particular in his ability to inspire others "to do their best work."
Before getting to some "incredible products," Cook mentioned victims of HurricanesHarvey and Irma, and urged individuals to donate.
Moving into a description of the Apple Park campus, Cook notes it's "100% powered by solar." It has one of the largest solar installations in the world, he notes.
Apple shares are up 16 cents at $161.66.
Apple's retail director, Angela Ahrendts takes the stage to talk a bunch about Apple's retail stores. The focus is on things like the "plaza" that is coming to more stores.
Cook is back on stage, to talk about the first product item, Apple Watch.
The device grew 50% last quarter, says Cook. "Phenomenal growth!" He notes that it has become "The number one watch in the world!"
Cue video of people all over the world testifying to how much the Apple Watch means to them. Stories of people exercising for the first time, people having their lives saved by the device.
"There are really no words to describe what it is like to receive those notes," says Cook.
COO Jeff Williams is invited onstage to talk about what's new in watch. There are new features using the heart rate monitor, such as telling you when you have an elevated heart rate but you are not actually active. Or heart things such as "atrial fibrillation." Many people with "afib" don't feel symptoms, says Williams. "We think Apple can help." Announcing "The Apple Heart Study." A program with Stanford University Medicine, coming later this year "on the App Store."
WatchOS 4 will be available September 19th.
But now, Williams wants to introduce "the next generation of Apple Watch." Cue video!
Apple Watch "Series 3." "And it has cellular built in."
"Now you have the freedom to go anywhere with just your watch."
"The number is the same number as your phone."
"You can use maps and get directions." Third-party apps such as WeChat work over cellular.
Cellular "is going to change the way we listen to music. You can stream 40 million songs on your wrist."
There's a new dual-core processor, and a new Bluetooth chip, the "W2."
But the "biggest challenge" was adding cellular, says Williams. The company's engineers came up with some tricks, including making "the display itself the antenna." And also adding an "electronic SIM," likely a reference to the "embedded SIM" of the industry, or "eSIM."
Calling it "really magical to make a call on a device this small," Williams moves to a nearby table to demonstrate making a call to a colleague.
Showing a live feed of his colleague paddling on lake, Williams notes the quality of the sound being picked up by the "tiny" mic in her watch, calling it "magic."
The new models with run $329 for non-cellular, and $399 for cellular, and the older Series 2 now starts at $249. Orders start this Friday, September 15th, with retail availability starting on September 22nd.
Cook is back on stage to cue the video for streaming music on Apple Watch. Someone's doing crazy things like skateboarding though libraries and places where you shouldn't be skateboarding.
"This is a big moment for Apple Watch, and we think you are going to love it," says Cook.
Next up is AppleTV. It's the 4K version of Apple TV, as expected. Apple's head of Internet software and services, Eddy Cue takes the stage to walk through the new resolution quality.
Apple is bringing live sports later this year, says Cue. "If your favorite team is playing on ESPN, it will automatically appear in the next up list."
Cue wants to talk a bit about video games. JenovaChen, CEO of That Game Company, takes the stage to talk about a new game, "Sky," a "romantic, social game" that can be played with just the remote control of the AppleTV.
The AppleTV 4K model starts at $179, and also will be up for order this Friday, and shipping the 22nd.
Next up, "iPhone," says Cook, to much whooting and applause.
Cook says the company has always wanted to create something "so magical" that "the hardware just disappears."
"We can create devices that are far more intelligence, far more capable, and far more personal than ever before," says Cook.
"iPhone 8!" shouts Cook. Cue marketing veep Phil Schiller. "It has glass on both the front and back, the aluminum band matches the case," comes in a new gold finish.
New processor, "A11 Bionic," the most powerful chip ever in a smartphone, says Schiller, with 6 cores, including four "high-efficiency" cores.
Also Apple's "first-ever GPU," or graphics processing unit. The Bionic also has a new image signal processor for photos and videos, including "hardware-enabled multi-band noise reduction."
Schiller lauds the new texture and detail in the new cameras on the devices. "iPhone 8 takes fantastic portrait modes, and now you're going to get more detail and even a more natural booked."
A new software feature is something called "Portrait Lighting," which is in beta. "You compose a photo, the dual cameras and the ISP sense the scene, they create a depth map, and they actually change the lighting contours over the face."
"These aren't filters, this is real-time analysis," says Schiller.
There's also new video analysis circuitry. "Now you can shoot 1080p at 240 frames per second" for slow-mo, says Schiller. But there's a new category, a third category, for video, "augmented reality."
"This is an incredible are for us to advance in," says Schiller.
Cameras on the phone are "calibrated at the factory," which makes "an incredible difference" for AR, he says.
Schiller mentions some new apps, such as MLB updating their "At Bat" app to include overlays of the players that give you information about them.
Schiller introduces a Shanghai startup with a new game, Directive Games. CEO Atli Mar comes on stage. he's going to show "one of the world's first competitive multiplayer games designed to be played completely in augmented reality."
Schiller is back on stage to talk about the iPhone 8's wireless charging.
"Word's can't describe" how great it is to just charge the phone "all without ever having to plug it in ever again."
The company is using the "Qi" wireless charging standard. Schiller cites the vast array of companies supporting Qi, and the many companies such as Mophie that create Qi chargers already.
So that's iPhone 8. Starting at $699, for 64 gigs and 256 gigs. iPhone 8 Plus starting at $799. Again, orders starting this Friday, available starting September 22nd.
It's time for "one more thing," says Cook. "We have great respect for these words," he says, alluding to Jobs's famous use of the phrase.
It's time to "reveal a product that will set the path for technology for the next decade," says Cook. Cue the video!
"And this is iPhone X!" says Cook. Schiller is back up on stage to discuss. "It is all screen," says Schiller.
The new display is called the "super retina display," measuring 5.8 inches with 2,436 x 1,125 pixels.
The new OLED, or organic light-emitting diode screen, eliminates past limitations of OLED displays, says Schiller.
"There's no more home button," which is "an important step forward in the user experience."
Now, when you go to the home screen, you "simply swipe up from the bottom."
"Once you do it for the first time, you'll know there's never been a better way."
You can just say "Hey, Siri," or you can press the side button.
But what about unlocking the device?
Touch ID "became the gold standard," in protecting the phone, he notes.
In iPhone X, "your iPhone is locked until you look at it."
"We call this, Face ID." It is, "The future of how we unlock our smartphones and protect our information."
"We built our first-ever neural engine" into the A11 Bionic chip of the X, he says. "Built for a specific set of machine learning algorithms."
"Face ID learns your face," says Schiller, noting that the team has worked with masks a la Hollywood make-up teams, to make sure the technology couldn't be spoofed.
Chance to crack it: One in a million, says Schiller. Statistics are lower if "that person happens to share a genetic relationship with you." So you might need a passcode if you have "an evil twin."
But there's also emojis. "You can't customize emojis," notes Schiller. So Apple has created "animojis," animated emojis that you can control with your face.
Craig Federighi, Apple's software exec, is invited upstage to give a demo of iPhone X. Oops. Federighi's first attempt to unlock the phone by looking at it doesn't quite work... He moves to a "backup" device.
Federighi demonstrates integration with Snap's (SNAP) Snapchat, including very detailed masks you can res onto your face.
Federighi has some fun trying out the animojis, including creating the unicorn app, the favorite creature of startups, and the "pooh" emoji. He engages in a chat session with Tim Cook, who takes the animoji of an alien.
Schiller comes back on stage to talk about features of the iPhone X cameras, including "dualoptical image stabilization." The front camera of the phone gains the portrait lighting feature. "People are going to be amazed by the selfies they can take," says Schiller.
The battery of the iPhone X lasts two hours more than iPhone 7, says Schiller.
The X also has the Qi charging.
In addition, Schiller wants to give a "sneak peak" of a new capability. "We think we have an idea of how to make this a better experience," with a charging mat that will charge both phone and Apple Watch and also a new case for AirPods that will charge off the matt. It's called "AirPower," and Apple is going to be working with the Qi standards body to improve the technology, says Schiller.
The AirPower charger arrives "next year," says Schiller.
And now, time for the Jony Ive video!
The iPhone X goes on sale October 27th, starting at $999, shipping on November 3rd. The 256-gig model will cost $1,149.
(Apple's online store is updated with the product information, if you want to check it out.)
Cook, back on stage, says "I think Steve would be really proud," to much applause. He asks the various teams to stand up.
And that's a wrap. Apple stock is down $1.55, or 1%, at $159.95.