Editor's note: We used Cover It Live for this event, so if you missed the live blog, you can still replay it in the embedded component below. Replaying the event will give you all the live updates along with commentary from our readers and CNET writers Josh Lowensohn, Scott Stein, and Declan McCullagh. For those of you who just want the updates, we've included them in regular text here. To get the key points from today's announcement, you can check out our summary of what got announced, in our story here and see a complete list of all our coverage from the day's event here.
Apple is holding its "Let's talk" event today, and we'll be there live to bring you the news.
The event is expected to bring Apple's next iPhone. The previous version was unveiled at last year's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. This time around, Apple is hosting its event at its decidedly more intimate headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.
We'll kick off our live commentary and coverage at about 9:30 a.m. PT. The event itself starts at 10 a.m. PT. Read this story for a full rundown of what to expect.
As usual, we'll be using Cover It Live to bring you updates and photos from the event. Just bookmark this page and come back to it or sign up to get an e-mail reminder just ahead of when it starts.
Transcript of live blog starts here:
10:03 a.m.: Tim Cook just came out. "This is my first product launch since being CEO" Cook says.
"I love Apple. And I consider it the priviledge of a lifetime to have worked here almost 14 years to work in this new role."
Cook talking about the room we're in the town hall. Just 10 years ago the original iPod was launched in this room.
And just one year ago it was the MacBook Air (at October's event.) Today will remind you of the uniqueness of this company, Cook says.
10:05 a.m.: It's an extraordinary time to be at Apple, Cook says. Last weekend company opened up store in Hong Kong and one in Shanghai.
Opened 100k visitors in one weekend in the Shanghai store.
10:06 a.m.: Cook is now going over the Hong Kong store, which has a view of Victoria Harbor.
10:07 a.m.: Sold more Macs in that store on opening day than in any other store in the world. Best opening day in retail history, Cook says.
Now we're getting a video of that store's opening.
Showing a ton of people gathering to come to the store's opening. Tons of cheering, photographs, and yes, people buying things.
10:08 a.m.: "I think I've watched that 100 times," Cook says. Up to 6 stores in China, now up to 357 stores in 11 countries. Now we're getting some updates on products.
10:10 a.m.: First up is Mac, including Lion and its digital download only. "This is incredible, and the results have been staggering," Cook says. 6 million downloads since release. 80 percent more than Snow Leopard (previous OS)
10:11 a.m.: Cook now talking about the MacBook Air, "customers love it and competitors are trying to copy it."
MacBook Pro and the iMac are the #1 best selling notebook and desktop in the U.S.
Year-over-year growth for the Mac is 23 percent, compared to the 4 percent on the PC. That's from four quarters of Apple & IDC data.
10:12 a.m.: Mac install base is currently at 58 million. Now in U.S. retail, Macs are 23 percent of the market share, Cook says.
That's the Mac. Next up is Music. Cook bringing up iTunes and iPod, pointing back to the iPod's 2001 release.
10:13 a.m.: Cook saying the iPod revolutionized the music industry, but more importantly it reminded us of how important music is. "Across that creative time, the iPod became the #1 music player across the world." Now it's been above 70 percent for a very long time, Cook says. 300 million iPods sold around the world.
To put that in perspective, it took Sony 30 years to sell 220,000 WalkMan cassette players, Cook says.
10:14 a.m.: 45 million iPods from July 2010 to June 2011 sold.
More than half of those are going to people who have bought their first iPod.
10:15 a.m.: That started with iTunes, and the iTunes Music Store. Now up to 20 million songs up for sale. #1 music store in the world, Cook Says. More than 16 billion songs Downloaded. It's mind boggling, Cook says. And that's it for music.
10:16 a.m.: Next up: iPhone. This could be a reason why the room's full today, Cook jokes.
iPhone's become the #1 smartphone in the world, Cook claims. 125 percent YoY growth. 93 percent of Fortune 500 companies are employing the iPhone, Cook says. And rated #1 in customer satisfaction
10:17 a.m.: For 6 times in a row, JD Powers has been rated #1 in smartphone category
10:18 a.m.: Despite all that, Cook says iPhone has 5 percent market share of worldwide mobile phone market. This market is 1.5 billion units annual, and a big opportunity for Apple, Cook says. And that's it for now, Cook jests. Next up, the iPad, Apple's "youngest" product category.
10:19 a.m.: iPad has 95 percent customer satisfaction for the iPad, Cook says.
Cook says iPad can change the way teachers teach, and students learn and that "many" teachers agree with us. Every state in the U.S. now has an iPad deployment program in place, or going in. Almost 1,000 k-12 schools have a 1-to-1 program so a kid can use the iPad for an entire day. Same thing in higher education. About 1,000 universities, including Stanford, Notre Dame, and U. of Chicago.
10:20 a.m.: Over 80 percent of top hospitals in the U.S. are now testing or piloting the iPad, Cook adds.
92 percent of Fortune 500 companies are testing or deploying iPad. In less than 18 months. "This is unheard of," Cook says.
3 out of 4 tablets sold in the U.S. are the iPad.
10:22 a.m.: iPad is powered by the world's most advanced OS, along with the iPhone and iOS. This morning quarter of a billion unit sales mark for iOS devices. 250 million iOS devices sold.
"Today we're taking it to the next level."
10:23 a.m.: SVP Scott Forstall coming up now to take us through the latest innovation Cook says.
iOS #1 OS installed base at 43 percent, Forstall says. That's data from ComScore in July 2011.
Mobile browsers at 61% for iOS, graph says. More than 500,000 apps on the App Store. 140,000 of those are just the iPad.
10:24 a.m.: Apps at 18 billion download. More than 1 billion apps per month.
10:25 a.m.: Developers are being well rewarded Forstall says. More than $3 billion paid out to devs.
New iOS app called Cards. Lets you create and mail cards from your iPhone or iPod Touch. Basically like making calendars in iPhoto, but just for cards. Birthday cards, love, travel, graduation, etc.
Apple prints it, puts it in an envelope and mails it for you.
10:27 a.m.: If it's mailed to an address in the U.S., Apple adds a USPS barcode that sends you a push notification that tells you when it's delivered. Cost: $2.99 per card for the U.S. $4.99 everywhere in the world. Free download on October 12.
Now iOS 5. 100k developers have downloaded the beta.
Going over some already announced features, including the new notifications menu that users swipe down to see, as well as iMessage. Apple's new messaging service that lets iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users chat with one another.
10:29 a.m.: Now onto the Reminders app, the tool that lets you nag yourself. Okay, where's this new phone already? :)
And Twitter integration, which is a part of the OS. If you have a Twitter account you just add your account and it lets you tweet things like photos, Web links, YouTube videos, and locations from maps.
10:30 a.m.: Also Newsstand, Apple's new app for magazines and newspapers. Forstall citing The New Yorker, Martha Stewart, Allure, Vanity Fair and The New York Times as offering subscriptions.
10:31 a.m.: Next up, the Camera app. Going over how you can shortcut to the camera app right from the iPhone's home screen, and use the volume buttons to snap a shot.
Also things like holding to focus, and built-in editing functions.
10:32 a.m.: On to Game Center, Apple's social-gaming network. In iOS 5, Game Center gets photos, friend discovery, and game recommendations.
10:33 a.m.: Updates to Safari now. Forstall is going over the new Reader feature that makes Web pages more readable on mobile devices, the reading list that lets you bookmark articles for reading later, as well as tabbed browsing (an iPad-specific feature).
10:34 a.m.: And the iOS 5 feature recap continues. Onto Mail app. Forstall going over basics like searching through messages, and the new swipe to see your message list feature for the iPad.
10:36 a.m.: Forstall now going over the PC-Free features, the ones that let users set up devices without plugging into iTunes, and wireless updates that can upgrade the phone.
iOS 5 free update, available October 12. That's next week. Hmmm, when you think the next iPhone's gonna be available? October 12 is looking good. Now onto iCloud, demoing that is Eddy Cue, recently upgraded to SVP status by Cook.
10:37 a.m.: Cue is pitching the "It just works" angle for iCloud, including the photo stream feature that brings over your pics from one iOS device to another.
Cue is demoing that iCloud now makes it so you can see what you downloaded from one device, and download it to another. That includes photos and music. Nothing new there.
10:38 a.m.: Cue is moving onto photos and the photo stream feature, showing that when you take a photo on your iPhone it will show up on your iPad. And it integrates with iPhoto on the Mac too.
10:40 a.m.: Onto "documents in the cloud" and how, with iWork, your files hang out in iCloud for you to get from any device, and not worry about local storage. That's built into Pages, Numbers, and Keynote ($9.99 apps, all available on October 12. $9.99 each that is).
10:40 a.m.: Cue is now talking up that purchase system working with apps and books. You buy something on one device and it shows up on others.
10:42 a.m.: Now going over the new backup feature, which stores a copy of your iOS device in iCloud, and contact, calendar, and mail sync (the latter three being carry-over from MobileMe). Cue now talking about Find My iPhone. New app, called Find My Friends. Lets you see the location of your friends and family who are sharing their location with you. Lots of claps for that one. Cue jokes it would let him see if his friend showed up at school that day.
10:42 a.m.: Cue is going over how you can create "temporary events." Can create location sharing that's only for specific people and timed. So you can ask to see where certain people are.
Unlimited storage for things you buy. Cue is going over storage options. 5GB free, with extra plans.
10:43 a.m.: Now onto iTunes Match, the new service that will look over your library.
10:45 a.m.: Cue just going over the stuff we knew from WWDC about iTunes Match. $24.99 a year. No release date on that yet.
10:46 a.m.: When do you get it? October 12. Same day as iOS 5.
iTunes ships at the end of the month in the U.S. with more countries by the end of the year, Cue says.
10:46 a.m.: Now we're getting a video of iTunes Match working. Presumably this will be on TV somewhere.
My mistake, it's an iCloud add. Showing various things you can do, like share music and photos between devices, sync things around.
10:47 a.m. (from Scott Stein): iTunes Match isn't a clear launch date yet, just end of October, it seems.
Now coming up, Apple SVP Phil Schiller to talk about the iPod (gasp!)
10:48 a.m.: "We still love music, and we're still making iPods," he says. Updates to two of those lines.
Going over iPod Nano, Apple's touch-screen mini player. Coming with this year's model. "Even easier to navigate." The apps are now big, and scrolly. Kind of like CoverFlow.
10:49 a.m.: Fitness experience is better with this year's model, Schiller says. Can track walks and runs without sensors now. Can put it on, then sync it up to Nike's site.
Schiller going over some of the fun accessories. 16 new clocks, for things like the watch accessory. Now that's kind of awesome.
10:50 a.m.: $129 for 8GB and $149 for 16GB. Now onto iPod Touch.
Apple's most popular iPod Touch, Schiller says. Interesting they're doing this before a new iPhone...
Schiller says it's become the #1 portable game player. This year's model comes with iOS 5.
10:52 a.m.: Schiller is talking about Game Center and iCloud being great with the iPod Touch. Hmmm, doesn't sound like any new big features so far...
10:53 a.m.: $199 for 8GB model. $299 for 32 GB model. $399 for 64GB model.
10:54 a.m.: Annnd that's it for iPod. No iPod Classic in sight folks.
10:55 a.m.: Now onto the iPhone (finally). Schiller says competitors haven't been able to get close to it, despite copying attempts. Going over basic features from the iPhone 4.
People have been wondering "how do you follow up a hit product."
iPhone 4S, that's official. Retina Display. Glass on front and black. Stainless steel band around. Inside is all new, Schiller says.
New: A5 chip. Dual-core processor, is twice as fast. Same with the graphics. 7 times faster graphics. Big boost is on games, Schiller says.
10:56 a.m.: We're getting a demo from Mike Capps, president of Epic Games, to give us a demo of how much more powerful it is.
Capps says for iPhone 4 we got a demo of the company's Unreal Engine running on the platform. New game Infinity Blade 2. Follow up to the popular (and good looking) Infinity Blade.
10:57 a.m.: Capps says there are some of the same graphics technologies running in Gears of War 3 (brand new XBox 360 game) that run on this.
Game looks very pretty. Lots of light filtering, reflections, shadows. Frame rate is pretty smooth too.
10:59 a.m.: Capps is talking up some of the lighting and shadows. "Makes everything feel more grounded and alive," he says.
And we're getting a demo of the main character fighting off a big boss.
Game only on the App Store, arriving Dec. 1, 2011, Capps says.
11:00 a.m.: Schiller "That was killer. That's a great example of the performance you're going to get out of the iPhone 4S."
Schiller saying battery life on the iPhone 4S is 8 hours of talk time over 3G.
2G talk time, 14 hours.
3G browsing 6 hours
9 hours of Wi-Fi
10 hours of video
40 hours of music.
11:01 a.m.: 2nd new feature. Wireless system.
Schiller going over new antenna system. "Intelligently switches between two antennas to transmit and receive."
Results in better call quality. Also faster, Schiller says.
2x faster downloads (probably HSPA+ tech here.)
11:02 a.m.: iPhone 4S has 5.8 Mbps up, 14.4 Mbps down speeds.
Schiller says the company's not getting into what's 4G and what's not.
11:03 a.m.: Feature #3. "World phone." Before you had the iPhone 4 in GSM and CDMA flavors. Now iPhone 4S is both GSM and CDMA.
Feature #4: Camera system.
11:04 a.m.: Schiller is going over how popular the iPhone 4's become, pointing to the camera being the top one on Flickr. With 4S, Schiller says the camera competes with point and shoot cameras. New specs: 8 megapixels.
3264x2448 pixels. Can print out as 8x10". 60% more pixels. Backside illumination. 73 percent more light than the iPhone 4 sensor, Schiller says.
11:05 a.m.: 33 percent faster capture. Hybrid IR filter "This is the kind of stuff you talk about with high-end DSLRs," Schiller says. Gives you better color accuracy, he says. New lens is 5 elements that results in 30 percent sharper. f 2.4 aperture.
11:06 a.m.: Schiller says that within the A5, there's an Apple-designed image processor. Adds face detection, 26 percent better auto white balance, and takes photos faster too.
11:07 a.m.: Stacking up against the Droid Bionic, Galaxy S II, and HTC Sensation. iPhone 4S is 1.1 seconds to take your first photo, and a half a second to take the second shot immediately afterwards.
11:08 a.m.: Now we're getting some example shots of photos taken on the iPhone 4S. One from Yosemite. Hot air balloons somewhere. A girl blowing little seeds off a dandelion.
Macro focus is closer too, demoed by a shot of a squirrel close up.
These shots look very good.
11:09 a.m.: Next up: video recording. New 1080p HD video.
11:10 a.m.: "Just the resolution you want," Schiller says. Also does real-time video stabilization.
Also does noise reduction filtering. Now we're getting a demo.
11:13 a.m.: Feature #5: AirPlay.
Schiller is talking about how you can watch your content from one device to another. AirPlay mirroring coming to the iPhone 4S. Can mirror what you're doing if you have an AppleTV. Also works with HDMI adapter the company sells.
And that's it for the insides.
Schiller running down the new features. iOS 5, AirPlay, 1080p, iCloud...
11:14 a.m.: "The most amazing iPhone yet," Schiller says.
One more feature. "It's all about our voice," he says.
Schiller saying voice recognition has been clunky. People want to just go "What's the weather like today?" and get a response. Or "Do I need an umbrella today?"
New feature: Siri.
"Your intelligent assistant that helps you get things done just by talking."
Now we're getting a demo.
This demo is beta software, Schiller warns.
11:15 a.m.: Forstall coming back up to give us a demo of Siri.
Forstall just asked the phone "what is the weather like for today" and it transcribed it, then presented the weather for him.
11:16 a.m.: Users hold the home button for two seconds and it pops up (instead of Voice Control). Also works with "Do I need a raincoat today?" And it responded by saying (literally saying) "It sure looks like rain today."
Now "What time is it in Paris?" "The time in Paris, France, is 8:16 p.m."
Really impressive demo.
"Wake me up tomorrow at 6 a.m." and it goes "OK, I set it for 6 a.m."
Very widget-like experience.
11:18 a.m.: "How is the NASDAQ doing today?" responds "NASDAQ composite is down right now, at 2,321.70"
Partnered with Yelp, Forstall says. "Find me a great Greek restaurant in Palo Alto"
responds with "I found 14 Greek restaurants, 5 of them are in Palo Alto," then lists them with Yelp star reviews.
11:19 a.m.: Now Forstall asks for directions to Hoover Tower. Then fires up the maps app, complete with directions.
11:20 a.m.: Forstall is now showing how you can use Siri to respond to text messages. It reads the text message when it comes in, and lets you respond with your voice. Forstall first asks Siri if his schedule is clear before responding to an SMS from Schiller if he can meet up for lunch on Friday.
11:21 a.m.: Forstall goes ahead and books a meeting, saying he wants to meet with Schiller for Friday. It pulls up a calendar invite. "All hands-free just by talking to my iPhone, and by talking to Siri. But there's more," Forstall says.
"Remind me to call my wife when I leave work."
"Here's your reminder for when you leave work...shall I create it?" Siri asks.
Tapped into the Reminders app, created an alert to call his wife when he leaves the Geo-Fence it set up.
11:22 a.m.: "Search Wikipedia for Neil Armstrong," Forstall says into the phone. And it just pulled up the page in Safari.
Another partner, Wolfram Alpha.
11:23 a.m.: Now to define a word, you ask Siri, Forstall says. "Define Mitosis."
And it pulls up a quick definition from Wolfram Alpha in a little snippet.
11:24 a.m.: Forstall now describing a situation where you're in Europe, and you want to have it do a currency conversion. Converted 45 Euros to dollars. Also gives you a breakdown of other currencies
"How many days are there until Christmas?" Forstall asks. Uses Wolfram Alpha to give him 82 days as the answer. Also 2 months 21 days.
So much to ask, there's a guide for it, Forstall says.
11:25 a.m.: Tapping the "i" button in the app gives you a list of commands
Can play songs, call people, create text messages, set up meetings, reminders, directions, and dictate e-mails. Also does weather.
11:26 a.m.: Also: stock prices, set alarms, look up addresses, write notes in the Notes app, search the Web.
Look up things through Wolfram Alpha, Wikipedia.
"It is absolutely blow away," Forstall says.
Followed by saying "Who are you?" and Siri responds "I am a humble personal assistant."
11:27 a.m.: Goes everywhere with you, and can do things just by you asking, Forstall says. And that's the end of the demo.
Also does dictation. Adds microphone to keyboard that can dictate.
If this is an iPhone 4S only feature, I think people are going to be quite irritated.
11:28 a.m.: Schiller's back up, running down the features:
"Natural language, conversational, contextual, personal, works with built-in apps, dictation everywhere, works on 3G + iPhone"
With iPhone 4S works with English, French and German. That's in the beta. Adding more languages and services as it goes.
11:29 a.m.: Schiller running down all the features now. A5, new antenna, new camera, 1080p recording, AirPlay, Siri...
Now we're getting another video.
11:30 a.m.: Greg Joswiak, VP of iPhone product marketing talking about it the A5, processor, Camera, and Siri.
11:31 a.m.: Now we're getting another demo of Siri and its slightly creepy robotic voice. Getting demos of it working, including a guy running and rescheduling a meeting while running. Then a man driving and responding to a text message while driving, then setting up a reminder to send a present when he gets home.
Now going over games, including Infinity Blade 2, and the antenna that can switch, along with the "world phone" features.
11:32 a.m.: Annnd the ads go on. Now going over the iPhone 4S' camera. Going over optical changes to the lens (the fifth lens element) and 1080p 30fps video recording with gyro-enabled image stabilization.
11:33 a.m.: Showing people taking photos at Yosemite. I bet they did that right in front of other people given that this looks just like the 4 from the outside.
Annnd the video's finally done.
11:34 a.m.: Video comes in black and white. 16GB for $199. 32GB for $299. 64GB for $399.
11:36 a.m.: Yep, there's the 64GB. iPhone 3GS 8GB for FREE. iPhone 4 in 8GB model for $99.
Those models will continue to exist, Schiller says.
December 2011, over 70 countries, over 100 carriers. "Fastest rollout ever," Schiller says.
That's the iPhone 4S. Tim Cook back up now. "It's pretty incredible isn't it?" he says.
11:38 a.m.: October 14 release date in the U.S. Oct. 7 for preorders. That's this Friday.
Cook breaking the rest of today: iOS 5, iCloud, and iPhone 4S w/new features and Siri.
When we look at each of these, they're great and fantastic, they're industry leading in and of themselves, Cook says. But what sets them apart is how they're engineered to work together so well. "Only Apple could make such amazing software, hardware and services, and bring them together into such a powerful yet integrated experience." He says.
(From Scott Stein): So, Sprint users...you've got your iPhone. T-Mobile the only odd one out.
11:38 a.m.: "I want to thank you for joining us this morning," Cook says. And that's it.
No "one more thing," the lights just went up.
11:39 a.m.: Alright everyone. Thanks for joining us. We're gonna go try and get our mitts on this thing.
Editors' note: The original, barebones version of this story was published October 3 at 12:08 p.m. PT.