Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Live from Apple's fall product launch

September 1, 2010: 2:00 PM ET

Steve Jobs, with the new Apple TV. Photo: Michael Copeland

This is the spot for our live coverage of Apple's (AAPL) Sept. 1 music event.

In sum, Steve Jobs delivered on most of the rumored new products and services. The headlines:

  • A new $99 Apple TV that streams (rather than downloads) $4.99 movie rentals and 99-cent TV rentals from ABC and Fox.
  • A new lineup of iPods, chief among them the iPod touch equipped with two cameras, one a front-facing camera that can do Facetime video chats
  • A new version of iTunes with a social networking feature called Ping that tracks the downloads of friends and celebrities
  • A new version of iOS 4.2, promised for November, that will bring multitasking, folders and other goodies to the iPad.

No Beatles. No Apple-branded TV set. No updated iPhone 4. But all-in-all, a solid fall product launch with more news to chew on than we've seen since 2007, when the iPod touch first appeared.

Coldplay's Martin. Photo: Michael Copeland

11:11 Wraps up by introducing this year's musical guest: Chris Martin of Coldplay.

11:08 Steve Jobs' review. "Strongest lineup of iPods ever." Shuffle, nano, iPod touch, with Facetime. New iTunes, with Ping, a social network for music. iOS 4.2 with HDR photos, GameCenter. Apple TV for renting movies and TV shows. "I hope you're as excited as we are."

11:07 Apple TV price goes from $229 to $99, as rumored. Available later this month, pre-orders open today.

11:05 Something else that's "really cool": AirPlay. Streams "Up" from his computer to the family room Apple TV. That's what AirTunes used to do with music. Lets you start a movie on your computer, watch the rest of it on your Apple TV.

11:04 Demos a photo slideshow, with music and professional editing.

11:03 Jobs demos Netflix. He has a long list of instant movies. Claims its "by far the best implementation of Netflix" (that gets laughs).

10:02 TV shows.You can set up favorite TV shows. The interface shows you how many episodes you haven't seen. Orders up an episode of Glee. For what it's worth.

Ironman 2. Photo: Michael Copeland

10:58 Jobs runs through the Apple TV interface, which seems much improved. Orders Ironman 2. It's ready in a few seconds.

10:55 Largest library of movies in the world $4.99 the day they come out on DVD. To buy TV shows, now 99-cents, as widely reported. Commercial free. ABC and Fox. We think the rest of the studios will see the light and get on board pretty fast.

In addition, Netflix subscribers can stream content from their collection. Also can watch anything on YouTube. Photos from flicker and mobileMe.

10:53. Introducing second generation Apple TV today. Same shape, much smaller. 1/4 the size. Black, palm sized. No power brick. HDMI. Ethernet. Wi-Fi built in. Comes with a remote. It's real easy. Music, TV, Movies. All HD, when available. All rentals, no purchases. No storage. Can stream content from computers, no syncing. Photo slideshows. Silent, cool and tiny.

10:50 One more thing. Actually it's one more hobby. Apple TV. Never been a huge hit. But users love them. What have we learned from our users? They want Hollywood movies and TV shows, cheaper. They don't want amateur hour. They don't want another computer. They don't want to manage storage. Don't want to sync to a computer. Want it silent, cool and small.

10:45 A reader watching the livestream writes: "The video stream quality is amazing, much better than what I'm used to seeing when Apple posts something after the fact.  Whether this has anything to do with today's announcements, I dunno, but it is noteworthy in my book."

10:44 17,000 concert listings. open to over 160 million iTunes users in 23 countries immediately. Demo. Uses his PR aide Katie Cotton as an example. Big applause from team Apple. Video from Lady GaGa in hotpants.

10:43 You can be as private or as public as you want.

10:39 What's new in iTunes 10. New hybrid view for albums. Big focus on discovery. How do you find new songs with 12 million songs in store. What are my friends listening to? How do I tell my friends what I like.

Adding "Ping." A social network for music. Facebook and Twitter meet itunes. Follow your favorite artists and friends. Find out what they are listening and downloading. Custom chart of what the people you follow are downloading. Uses Lady GaGa as an example.

Photo: Michael Copeland

10:37 iTunes. 11.7 billion songs downloaded. 450 million TV episodes. 100 million movies. 35 million books. 160 million credit card accounts. No. 1 online media store in the world. iTunes 10 launching today. New logo. Because iTunes on track to surpass sales of CDs in the U.S. next spring.

10:35 Jobs plays new ads. These will sell some product.

10:32 What's new: Retina display, like iPhone. 326 pixels per lunch. Apple A4 chip. 3 axis gyro. iOS 4.1. Front-facing camera and Facetime, as rumored.   And a rear-facing camera too. 40 hours of music playback.  Shipping next week. Three models: 8 GB $229, 32 GB $299, 64 GB $399
iPod Touch prices that I missed. Three models: 8 GB $229, 32 GB $299, 64 GB $399. (Thanks CA.)

10:30 iPod touch. Now the most popular iPod. iPhone without a phone. Or a contract. Now the No. 1 portable game player in the world. Outsells Nintendo and Sony combined. Over 50% of marketshare for portable game player market share in U.S. and worldwide. Over 1.5 billion games and entertainment titles downloaded.

Photo: Michael Copeland.

10:23 iPod nano. Shows generations. How do we make this better? 46%s maller. Eliminated click wheel with multitouch. It's very tiny. Comes with a clip, no more armbands. FM radio. Nike Plus. 24 hour audio playback. 7 colors. $149 8GB, $179 16GB.

10:21 Shuffle. Shows the generations. People missed the buttons in the third generation. New one smaller than second generation with buttons, voice over and playlists. Cubic packaging. Five colors. $49.

10:20 iPods. Sold 275 million. Never rested on our laurels. This year we've gone wild. New design for every single model. Biggest change in the iPod lineup ever.

10:19 iOS coming out in November.

10:16 AirPlay. Used to be AirTunes. Stream video and photos over Wi-Fi to other devices. Demo. Launches Pandora. Goes to mail via multitasking. Goes to Web. Stop and starts music.

Also Folders. Works on iPad like it worked on the iPhone.

10:15. Jobs gives sneak peek at iOS 4.2. It's all about iPad. Coming later this year. Wireless printing. (Big applause.)

10:11 First guest speaker. Mike Capps of Epic Games. Demos Project Sword, a violent high-res multiplayer game in development. Jobs: "It's on a phone! That's pretty remarkable."

10:10 More detail on Game Center. Play with friends. And if you don't have any friends it will match you with some. (cue the laughs).

10:09 Explains HDR. Takes 3 photos in rapid succession. Combines the three to make the best photo.

Photo: Michael Copeland

10:05 iOS. 120 million devices. 230,000 new activations per day. "We think we are aheady of everyone. 6.5 billion apps downloaded. 200 apps every second. Over 250,000 apps, 25,000 for iPad.

Today introducting iOS 4.1. A lot of bugs fixed. Proximity sensor, Bluetooth. Added HDR photos. Ability to upload HD video over WiFi. TV show rentals. Game Center debut.

10:02 Slideshow of new stores. Paris. Shanghai. London. 300 stores. 10 countries. days where there a 1 million visitors.

10:00 Steve Jobs walks on stage. Loud applause, even from some in the press. Gives a shout out to Steve Wozniak, "my partner in crime."

9:51 We're in. A huge photo of the guitar with the apple-shaped hole hangs over the stage. There's the usual scrambling for seats. It looks like standing room only. Cellphone silence. Lights dimming.

Photo: Michael Copeland.

9:30 The crowd in the plaza outside the entrance of Yerba Buena's auditorium is considerably smaller than it was for the iPad announcement, the last Apple event in this venue. It also boasts considerably fewer celebrities. No Al Gore. No John Doerr. No Walter Isaacson (Jobs' biographer). Not even Walt Mossberg, the Wall Street Journal's chief tech columnist, who is off vacationing in Paris. [CORRECTION: Doerr is here. Spotted in a corner talking on white earbuds plugged into a BlackBerry. And Isaccson too! No sign of the former vice president, however.]

The relatively sparse crowd. Photo: PED

8:53 Ten minutes before media check in was scheduled to start we counted 45 press types dutifully queuing up for a good spot. The guys carrying heavy camera equipment were at the head of the line. Circling around the outside, shaking hands and giving interviews, were various tech celebrities. Steve Wozniak, Apple's co-founder, was getting the most attention.

The press queue. Photo: PED

8:15 The Street seems to be betting on good news. Apple shares opened at $247.50, up $4.40 from Tuesday's close, and is now trading at $250.40, up 3% for the day.

8:00 Two hours before the event and an hour before press registration, there were only six TV satellite trucks stationed on the perimeter of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, down from the usual 11 or 12 a Steve Jobs video op usually draws. With Apple live streaming the event on the Web, there is probably less demand for the video feed the cable networks used to messenger out by DVD every few minutes.

CNBC's Fortt. Photo: PED

Perched on a white suitcase in front of the venue, right where where CNBC's Jim Goldman used to stand, we found his replacement -- and our former Fortune colleague -- Jon Fortt, looking dapper in a blue striped suit, no tie.

7:00 The first analyst report of the day has come in, from Alex Gauna at JMP Securities. He's raising his earnings and revenue estimates for Apple's fiscal 2010 and 2011. For the year that ends Sept. 25, for example, he's calling for earnings of $14.51 on revenue of $62.782 billion, up from $13.97 and $59.482 billion, respectively. He also has nice things to say about Apple's "uncluttered strategic and engineering vision, crisp execution, and unique ability to integrate software and hardware development." He illustrates that last point, as it applies to the smartphone business, with the handy chart reproduced below:

Source: JMP Securities

5:45 The sun hasn't yet risen in San Francisco, but we've filed our first piece of the day. See here.

See also:

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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