Outside Apple’s media event in San Francisco (Source: CrunchGear)
Apple today is holding its traditional fall media event where it is expected to introduce several new and updated products and services, with iPods, iTunes, and Apple TV serving as the most frequent topics of rumor and speculation. The event is scheduled to kick off at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco at 10:00 AM Pacific Time / 1:00 PM Eastern Time, or just about one hour from now.
Just yesterday, Apple announced that it will be offering live video streaming of the event on limited platforms. In addition to Apple’s video stream, we will be updating this article with coverage as the media event unfolds. We will also be issuing Twitter updates through our @MacRumorsLive account.
Apple’s online stores around the world are currently down in advance of the event.
Recent News and Rumors
- Apple’s Media Event on Wednesday – iPod and Apple TV Rumors and Speculation
- Next-Generation iPod Touch to Be ‘Slightly Thinner’ Than Current Models?
- Apple TV Reported to Retain Name, Updated Products Not Shipping Immediately?
- Apple Set to Debut 99-Cent iTunes TV Show Rentals From Fox and ABC
- Revamped Apple TV to Offer Netflix Streaming?
- Video of Next-Generation iPod Nano Touch Screen Surfaces
- Next-Generation iPod Nano to Maintain Price Range, Ship Later?
- Apple’s live feed is now active and available through this link. For users on non-compatible systems, this stream appears to be working well.
- Announcer notes the event will begin in a few minutes and asks attendees to silence electronic devices.
- Steve Jobs on stage, points out “partner in crime” Steve Wozniak in the audience. Thanks audience for coming. “Really cool stuff” to show you.
- Apple retail update: Showing off new stores in Paris, Shanghai, Covent Garden (London). Now 300 stores in ten countries with Spain coming soon. Some days see over 1 million visitors to retail stores. 80,000 One to One classes per week. Over half of Mac purchasers in retail stores are new to Mac.
- iOS update: Have now shipped 120 million iOS devices. Activating 230,000 new iOS devices per day. We think some of our friends are counting upgrades in their numbers, but we think strictly new activations is a better metric. Over 6.5 billion app downloads, 200 per second. 250,000 apps in App Store – 25,000 for iPad.
- Introducing iOS 4.1: Fixes bugs (proximity, Bluetooth, iPhone 3G performance), Adds High Dynamic Range (HDR) photos, HD video upload over Wi-Fi, TV show rentals, Game Center
- Showing off HDR photo quality. Both regular and HDR photos saved on device…choose which you prefer. Showing examples of how HDR can pull out details that are typically washed out.
- Game Center: Standalone app, as well as APIs for developers. For multi-player games, allows you to challenge friends. Showing off screenshots.
- Mike Capps of Epic Games on stage to show off Game Center on new iOS RPG game codenamed “Project Sword”. Showing off 3D virtual world in high detail. Showing Game Center-mediated multi-player action.
- iOS 4.1 due next week for iPhone and iPod touch
- Sneak peek at iOS 4.2 – “all about iPad”. Brings everything to iPad….multitasking, folders, Game Center, HDR photos, wireless printing, AirPlay
- Showing off wireless printing in Pages. “Print Center” app now shows up in multi-tasking tray to manage jobs.
- AirPlay: Formerly known as AirTunes, now allows streaming of audio, video, and photos.
- Demoing iOS 4.2 on iPad with multitasking, folders
- iOS 4.2 set for November release. Free for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.
- iPods: “Our entree” for the day. We’ve sold 275 million iPods. All-new designs for every model of iPod this year. Biggest change ever.
- iPod shuffle: Highlighting history of the device. New model now has buttons, VoiceOver, and playlists, rear clip. 15 hours of music, five different colors, $49 for 2 GB.
- iPod nano: Multi-touch screen, clip, 46% smaller, 42% lighter, volume buttons, Nike+, pedometer, 24 hours of audio. Now demoing controls.
- iOS-like interface with four icons on home screen, multiple home screens with ability to reorganize icons. Album art, photos, etc. Rotatable home screen using pinch gesture.
- Same colors as shuffle, plus graphite and Product RED. $149 for 8 GB, $179 for 16 GB.
- iPod touch: In the last year, has become most popular iPod. “iPhone without the phone, and the contract”. #1 portable game player…outsells Nintendo and Sony combined.
- New iPod touch is even thinner, Retina display, A4 chip, gyroscope, iOS 4.1, front-facing camera with FaceTime, rear-facing camera with HD video recording.
- Can run iMovie on iPod touch, can FaceTime between iPod touches and iPhone 4s.
- Three models: 8 GB $229, 32 GB $299, 64 GB $399
- All iPod models (shuffle, nano, touch) available for pre-order today, shipping next week.
- Now showing new iPod nano and iPod touch ads
- iTunes: 11.7 billion songs downloaded, 450 million TV episodes, 100 million movies, 35 million books, 160 million accounts with credit cards. #1 online media store in the world.
- iTunes 10. With iTunes set to surpass physical CD sales next year, so new icon with no CD.
- New “hybrid” view. With albums of at least five songs, now shows album art right in list view.
- Social features: New feature called Ping. Facebook and Twitter meet iTunes…social network for music. Follow favorite artists and friends, find out what they’re listening to and talking about. Customized top-ten songs and albums lists based on the people you follow. Showing off artist page for Lady Gaga with posts, favorite songs, concerts, etc.
- Discussing how to be followed: can allow anyone to follow, can have approved followers, create “circle of friends”…as private or public as you want.
- Demo of Ping
- Ping available in iTunes and on iPhone, iPod touch…new button in iTunes Store app.
- iTunes 10 available today…free download at apple.com
- One more thing…no, one more hobby.
- Apple TV: Never been a huge hit, but no one has made a hit in this sector. Users love the Apple TV though, so what have we learned?
- Users want Hollywood movies and TV shows whenever they want them, everything in HD, lower prices, no computer on the TV. Don’t want to manage storage or deal with syncing. Want hardware to be silent, cool, and small.
- New Apple TV…one-fourth the size of the previous model. Back has power cord, one HDMI connector, optical audio out, and Ethernet. Wi-Fi 802.11n built-in.
- Movies, TV show, and music, all HD when available. All rentals, no purchases, so no storage management. Can stream from computers, no syncing required. Photo slideshows.
- Can rent first-run HD movies for $4.99. Prices drop over time. HD TV show rentals at $0.99…commercial-free. Big step for the studios, so ABC and Fox at first. Rest of them will see the light and follow along.
- Netflix streaming included for subscribers. YouTube integration, including HD content, photos from Flickr, video and photos from MobileMe, stream from Mac or PC.
- Apple TV interface similar to existing, but simplified somewhat.
- Demoing browsing and rental process…showing off “Iron Man 2″.
- TV shows: Can list favorite shows, with icons showing how many unwatched episodes from the current season there are. Showing off “Glee”.
- Netflix: Showing Instant Queue…”by far the best implementation of Netflix”.
- Demoing streaming photos from a networked Mac.
- AirPlay coming to iOS 4.2 in November. Can stream content from an iOS device to an Apple TV. Demoing streaming Pixar’s “Up” from iPad to Apple TV…audio is quickly and easily pushed to the Apple TV.
- New Apple TV priced at $99. Available in 4 weeks, pre-order today.
- Recapping today’s topics: iPod shuffle, iPod nano, iPod touch, iTunes 10 with Ping, iOS 4.2, Apple TV
- Talking about philosophy of music focus. A lot of people at Apple love music, and we like to remind ourselves of why we do this. Special guest: Chris Martin of Coldplay. 50 million albums sold, 7 Grammy Awards. On stage to play a song. “We’ll keep goin’ until you feel like lunch.”
- End of event.
Alongside new iPod models, Apple today introduced a new version of iTunes, dubbed iTunes 10. The new version of the media management application features a streamlined interface and a new networking feature called Ping, along with a new, more modern icon.
Ping is a social network for music that will help users discover new music, allowing users to follow favorite artists and friends. Ping will also create a custom chart showing music selections based on those followed. Users can choose to allow others to follow them automatically or by approval. There are over 160 million iTunes users, all of whom will be able to sign up for the new Ping service immediately.
Apple today introduced iTunes 10 with Ping, a new music-oriented social network for following your favorite artists and friends to discover what music they’re talking about, listening to and downloading. iTunes Ping lets you post your thoughts and opinions, your favorite albums and songs, the music you’ve downloaded from iTunes, plus view concert listings and tell your friends which concerts you plan to attend. iTunes 10 also features HD TV show rentals for just 99 cents an episode and AirPlay wireless music playback.
In a demonstration, Jobs showed how users can post videos and photos to the service, as well as search concert information and tag concerts attended. Ping will be included in the iTunes app on the iPhone and iPod touch.
iTunes 10 will be available later today as a free download.
As hinted early in the keynote with the mention of TV show rentals, Steve Jobs today announced the second generation of Apple TV hardware, a significant redesign for the device. At one-fourth the size of the original Apple TV, the new device features HDMI and digital audio outputs, as well as Ethernet and 802.11n Wi-Fi and will offer only rentals from the iTunes Store.
Unlike the previous Apple TV, the new model will not have any significant internal storage, relying on streaming content only. Additionally, media can no longer be purchased but only rented. First-run HD movies can be rented for $4.99 on the day the DVD is released. Renting HD TV shows will cost $.99. At launch, only ABC and Fox will offer their HD shows for rental at this price.
Apple today announced the new Apple TV which offers the simplest way to watch your favorite HD movies and TV shows on your HD TV for the breakthrough price of just $99. Apple TV users can choose from the largest online selection of HD movies to rent, including first run movies for just $4.99, and the largest online selection of HD TV show episodes to rent from ABC, ABC Family, Fox, Disney Channel and BBC America for just 99 cents.
Apple TV also streams content from Netflix, YouTube, Flickr and MobileMe, as well as music, photos and videos from PCs and Macs to your HD TV. Enjoy gorgeous slideshows of your photos on your HD TV using Apple TV’s selection of built-in slideshows. Apple TV has built-in HDMI, Wi-Fi, Ethernet and an internal power supply for easy set-up, and features silent, cool, very low power operation in an enclosure that’s less than four inches square – 80 percent smaller than the previous generation.
The new Apple TV’s support for Netflix’s streaming service allows subscribers on a DVD rental plan costing $8.99 or more per month to access streaming content for no additional charge. Apple TV users will also be able to stream content from YouTube, Flickr, and MobileMe.
Apple’s new AirPlay, which replaces AirTunes, will allow the streaming of content from an iOS device to an Apple TV. During the keynote, Jobs demonstrated streaming a movie from an iPad to an Apple TV over a Wi-Fi network.
Apple TV content will be available in six countries to start, with more coming later this year. The new Apple TV, priced at $99, comes with a remote control and will be available starting in about four weeks, with pre-orders starting today.
Over the weekend, a new Web-based jailbreak became available for iOS devices, offering users a simple method to open their devices to installation of unauthorized third-party applications.
At the time, we noted potential security implications of the method, which involves a security hole in how the mobile Safari browser included on all iOS devices handles embedded fonts. Exploiting the hole allows a remote site to gain control over a user’s device. In the case of the new JailbreakMe site, the exploit is offering a convenient delivery method for a service, but others could use the same method for malicious purposes.
Reuters reports that it has received an official response from Apple on the issue, which notes only that it is investigating the security hole.
Company spokeswoman Natalie Harrison said the company was aware of the report.
“We’re investigating,” she said.
There is no word yet on a timetable for a fix. While many users are no doubt appreciative of the simple jailbreak method, Apple will certainly want to close the security hole as quickly as possible to both prevent malicious exploitation of it and to thwart the simple jailbreak process, a system modification frowned upon by the company.
Amongst the changes to the developer release of iOS 4.1 last night, Apple has removed support for Game Center on the iPhone 3G and 2nd generation iPod Touch.
Game Center is Apple’s social gaming network that offers iOS game developers to link into a centralized service that offers high score leaderboards, achievements and multi-player matchmaking. The announcement of the system was welcome by developers and gamers as a way to combat the increasingly fragmented existing gaming networks found on the platform.
Apple’s removal of iPhone 3G and 2nd Generation iPod Touch devices comes without further explanation. Such a move would restrict the service for the iPhone 3GS, 3rd Generation iPod Touch, iPhone 4 and presumably iPad.
The first iPhone 4 unlocking tool has been released. Version 1.0-1 of ultrasn0w provides iPhone 4, 3G and 3GS owners the ability to carrier unlock their iPhone to work across multiple providers. While in some countries customers may be able to buy unlocked iPhones, most iPhones come locked to the specific mobile carrier. The process of “unlocking” the iPhone allows you to use the same phone across other GSM mobile phone carriers. In the U.S., however, options for alternative carriers are limited as T-Mobile is the only other GSM-based carrier and they do not even support the iPhone’s 3G data network. In order to unlock your iPhone, you must first be Jailbroken. Users should, of course, proceed at their own risk, as none of these procedures are sanctioned by Apple who warns that any issues caused by these procedures could violate your warranty.
Music Labels Not Yet On Board With Apple’s Cloud-Based iTunes Strategy – reposted by Andre Di Cioccio
Addressing yesterday’s report of cloud-based iTunes streaming coming “soon”, CNET‘s well-connected Greg Sandoval reports that things still may not be as far along as many observers would like, as music labels have reportedly yet to sign on to the deal.
While it’s hard to say what Boy Genius’ source meant by “soon” it’s worth noting that Apple has yet to obtain necessary licenses from the top four recording companies, according to multiple music industry insiders. They added that Apple has indeed engaged in discussions with the music labels but the record execs haven’t even seen all of the details yet.
The way some at the major labels see the situation, Apple could enable iTunes users to stream songs from a home computer to other gadgets without requiring new negotiation, but for Apple to stream music from the company’s servers to computers and other gadgets, the labels would require CEO Steve Jobs to cut a new deal, the sources said.
The report notes that Apple could try to press the issue and roll out a cloud-based streaming service without negotiating new deals with the music labels, although it would likely find itself in court to address whether such usage is permitted under current licenses.
So, unless Apple is ready to go to war over this, don’t expect an iTunes cloud service–at least one offering music–anytime soon. Music insiders say that while that the whole sector would welcome an iTunes cloud service, negotiating the licenses will likely take months.
The possibility of a cloud-based streaming service for iTunes has been a hot topic of conversation since Apple’s acquisition of music streaming firm Lala Media late last year, as users look forward to the ability to access their music on a variety of Internet-connected devices without the need for manual syncing of content or significant local storage requirements.
The New York Times reports that Apple is preparing to launch a significant revamp of its television-related offerings, targeting at least a software overhaul for the company’s Apple TV while an entirely new hardware product remains a possibility. According to the report’s sources, Apple has recently hired a number of new user interface designers with backgrounds in television broadcast design as the company seeks to modify its iOS platform for use in the living room.
They said it was not clear whether the company would create an entirely new product as well as updating the software. They also said Apple might base a new television design on its iOS operating system, which is on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
Notably, one former Apple employee reported that much of the work has been taking place outside of the company’s Apple TV group, suggesting that an entirely new hardware product might be in the works.
Just over a month ago, Engadget reported that Apple is preparing a dramatic overhaul of the Apple TV hardware, planning to offer a new device “based directly on the iPhone 4″ with the capability for 1080p HD output and only limited onboard storage, as the device would primarily stream media from the Internet. The revamped Apple TV was also said to be set to carry a price tag of only $99.
On a separate note, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster today released a report continuing to beat his drum predicting a future Internet-connected television from Apple. He sees the inclusion of an HDMI port on the new Mac mini and the rumors of a revamped Apple TV set-top box as part of a progression that will lead to the launch of an actual Apple television with integrated iTunes/Internet access within two to four years.