The attention of the tech world is on San Francisco this morning, where Apple CEO Tim Cook is now on stage at an event that is widely expected to mark the unveiling of the iPhone 5, the next version of the company’s market-defining smartphone.
How big has the iPhone economy become? One economist suggests that the release of the new device could actually have a measurable impact on GDP.
Update, 10:15: Apple just unveiled the new device on stage, rising from the floor. Confirming widespread rumors, it does have a larger screen — 4 inches diagonal vs. 3.5 inches for the current iPhone 4S. Same width as the current screen, but taller.
Older apps will be letterboxed with black borders on either side.
Update, 10:22: The phone will support 4G LTE networks. It will run a new A6 processor from Apple, launching apps faster than in the past.
10:29: Apple is promising graphics comparable to those of game consoles, but says it has still been able to improve battery life compared with the iPhone 4S.
10:33: Apple shows a new “Panorama” feature for taking images by sweeping the camera phone across the scene. The camera clocks in at 8-megapixels, with the company saying it will be better at taking shots in low-light environments and 40 percent faster photo capture.
10:44: A new Lightning dock 8-pin connector, with Apple saying it will provider adapters for old accesories. The connector is 80 percent smaller than the old adapter.
10:51: New iPhone will come in black and white, with exec calling it the “thinnest and lightest phone we’ve ever made.”
10:55: Engadget notes that NFC and wireless charging are missing in the new phone.
11:00: Here’s the pricing: $199 for 16GB. $299 for 32GB, $399 for 64GB. iPhone 4 will be free on contract, 4S will be $99. Preorders start on Friday, and the device ships on Sept. 21.
11:07: Apple has now moved on to iTunes on computers and devices, showing a new design for its music store, app store and other online stores. New iCloud integration for synchronizing content.
11:16: Now they’re moving on to the iPod. Nano is getting a larger screen, a 2.5 inch multitouch display, and the new Lightning connector, same as the iPhone 5.
This is interesting: New iPod Nano comes with an FM Tuner with recording functionality.
11:21: Now they’ve moved on to the iPod touch: Thinner (6.1 mm) and lighter (88 grams). Larger-screen display, same as the iPhone 5, and it’s getting Apple’s A5 processor, making it faster than previous versions. Siri will also be added to the iPod touch.
11:30: The iPod touch will come in multiple colors, and offer a spot in the back called the “iPod touch Loop” for attaching a wrist strap comparable to a consumer camera.
11:34: New earbuds, called EarPods. Shaped to fit the ear, but not create a seal. Multiple sound ports to improve quality.
11:37: iPod Touch will start at $299 for 32 GB version, up to $399 for 64 GB.
11:42: Tim Cook wraps it up and introduces Foo Fighters to play a song.
11:50: Make that two songs. “Times Like These” and “My Hero.”
11:52: Three songs! Sheesh.
11:58: That’s it. Stay tuned for follow-ups on GeekWire.