Live from Apple's iPad event

October 23, 2012: 12:58 PM ET

Will Apple finally unveil the heavily-rumored iPad mini?

FORTUNE -- If you've been waiting for Apple to launch a 7-inch version of  its wildly successful iPad, that day may finally be here. Also  potentially on tap for today: a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina screen, refreshed Mac Minis, and maybe -- just maybe -- a slightly refreshed 10-inch iPad with Lightning cord.  Of course, until 10 AM PST / 1 PM EST, when Apple execs take the stage in San Jose's plush California Theatre, it's anyone's guess.

Tune back in to this live blog, which we'll update throughout the event. (Just remember to refresh!)

10:01: The lights are dimming in this fancy faux-gold gilded theater. Tim Cook is taking the stage to wild, prolonged applause. He's rocking the untucked blue polo. Cook: "We've got some very exciting to things to show you."

10:02: Cook: We sold out the first weekend, selling more than 5 million units. This is the most iPhones sold -- and most phones -- sold in an opening weekend.

10:03:  Video of iPhone 5 video playing. Crowds galore waiting at NYC 5th Ave location. (No surprise, there.)

10:04: Apple employee shaking the paws of some super cute, shaggy dog. That's customer service.

10:05: Cook is taking the stage again and talking up the new iPod Touch. He's quoting reviews. "It's the best on ever!"

10:06: Apple has sold over 3 million new iPods already. (They started shipping this month.)

10:06: Just after one month, over 200 million devices are now running the latest mobile software update, iOS6. Pretty impressive, or in Cook's words "Pretty phenomenal."

10:07: 125 million documents in the cloud now.

10:08: Customers have already sent 300 billion iMessages, at a rate of 28,000 a second.

10:09: 160 million Game Center accounts now...

10:09: Over 70 million photos shared on the latest iPhoto.

10:10: 275,000 iPad apps. Cook: "These are apps that have been custom designed to take advantage of the iPad's big beautiful canvas." Another milestone: 35 billion apps downloaded  from App Store (total).

10:11: Apple has paid out $6.5 billion -- yes, billion -- to app developers.

10:11: Over 1.5 million books now in Apple's book store.

10:12: Cook's announcing a new version of iBooks with continuous (read: near-infinite) scrolling. In other words, you can keep scrolling to your heart's content instead of swiping to flip pages. Integrated social sharing with say, Twitter and Facebook, too.

10:13: New iBooks available today. Cook: get it!

10:14: The Mac is the #1 desktop and notebook in the U.S., y'all! *cue loud applause*

10:15: SVP Phil Schiller is taking the stage. More applause. He's starting to talk about the MacBook line. #1 most popular selling notebook and Mac is the 13-inch MacBook Pro. He's also patting himself on the back for the awesome Retina display in the 15-inch MacBook Pro.

10:17: He's introducing the new 13-inch MacBook Pro... BAM.

10:17: .75-inch thick, 20% thinner, just over 3.5 lbs. That makes it a pound lighter than the previous generation. Looks like the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina only smaller, of course.

10:19: 4 times the pixels of the previous generation. That makes it the world's 2nd highest resolution screen. 2,560 x 1,600 resolution. Almost 2 million more pixels than an HDTV. 29% higher  contrast ratio. 75% reduced glare.

10:20: Schiller: "Surfing the web can be like reading a magazine..."

10:21: And in case you were worried about compatibility, Schiller's basically saying there are many apps for that, include Evernote.

10:21: Better stereo speakers.

10:22: Reengineered motherboard with up to 8GB of memory, up to 768 GB of flash memory, Ivy Bridge i5 or i7 processors.

10:23: Power nap. Starts with 2.5 GHz dual core i5, 7 GB RAM, 128 GB flash for $1,699. Fairly priced? You decide.

The new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display

10:25: Brief video ad plays. Next... The Mac Mini.

10:26: Upgraded components: dual or quad core Ivy Bridge i5 or i7 processors, USB 3.0 ports. UP to 1 TB standard hard drive drive or 256 GB flash drive. The cheapest starts at $599 and tops out at $999 with quad-core i7 processor.

10:27: iMac update now. It's the #1 desktop in the U.S.

10:28: Now a brief walk down memory lane, starting with that pastel-colored all-in-one iMac. He's introducing the next-gen iMac. Oh, it's SLIM. Like SUPER SLIM. It doesn't look real -- like a faux render. The edge is 5 mm. thin. Yes, seriously.

The new ultrathin iMac.

10:32: No more optical drive. Yep, Apple just REALLY killed it across all but its Mac Mini line.

10:33: New friction stir welding, full lamination design, plasma deposition process. All that fancy speak means much thinner, 75% less reflective display.

10:34: My editor, Matt Vella, points out Schiller has NOT mentioned a Retina display. Hm...

10:34: Now up to 32 GB of RAM now, max of 768 GB flash storage. Reengineered motherboard just in case.

10:35: A new hybrid Apple Fusion Drive with 128 GB flash storage coupled with either 1TB or 3 TB standard hard drive. The operating system will work with the Fusion Drive automatically.

10:36: Schiller's pointing out the benefits of the Fusion Drive, where apps are stored automatically on either drive. Performance-wise, expect the Fusion Drive to perform -- but not quite as quickly -- as a 100% flash drive.

10:37 21.5 inch Mac with 2.7 GHz quad core i5 8 GB RAM, GeForce GT 640 M graphics ard, 1 TB HDD, for $1,299. Oh yes, there's an optional external optical drive in case you want to ruin all that newfound minimalism. Begins shipping next month.

10:39: Schiller is done. Back to Cook.

10:39: Cook: "Next, I want to talk about the iPad..."

10:40: More iPad shipped during the second quarter of 2012 than competing PC computers. The iPad also accounts for 91% of tablet Web traffic.

10:41: How much do people love their iPads? Cook counts the ways, nearly feature-for-feature: battery-life, camera, oh, and that screen, obvs.

10:42: Chatter about how the iPad is revolutionizing education.

10:44: iBooks textbooks are now in over 2,500 classrooms throughout the U.S.

10:44: Announcing the latest version of iBooks Author with the ability to embed new fonts and multi-touch widgets. Easy for publishers to update their books, too.

10:46: 94% of Fortune 500 (holler!) companies are testing or deploying the iPad.

10:47: "But we are just getting started..."

10:47: Cook is passing the baton to Schiller again.

10:47: Just over half a year, they're announcing the 4th generation iPad with faster A6X chip with double the processor and graphics performance. Updated WiFi performance with 2x the speed, expanded LTE coverage, updated camera, Lightning cord.

10:50:  Same price scheme: 16 GB in white and black for $499, etc.

10:51: Yes, here's the iPad mini. Thinner border on the left and right side. Thin as a pencil, light as a pad and paper! Comes in black and white. Silver back on the white, black slate on the back of the black model. The screen is 7.9 inches versus the larger iPad's 9.7-inch display.

The new iPad mini.

10:56: The iPad mini will run previous apps -- all 275,000-plus of them. Schiller is comparing the borders and weight to a typical Google Android 7-inch tablet. (I believe it's the Nexus 7.) The iPad mini has 35% larger display.

10:58: Up to 50% larger viewable of a Web site vertically, up to 67% larger viewable horizontally.

10:59: Schiller points out that many Android tablet apps are basically glorified "stretched out" version of the Android smartphone app.

10:59: Onboard: dual-core Apple A5 chip, a FaceTime HD camera, 5 megapixel iSight camera, and the same ultrafast LTE technology and twice as fast WiFi. Also, Lightning cord.

11:01: 10 hour battery life, the same as the 4th gen iPad.

11:01: Oh, here's a video. Jony Ive is kicking it off. A doctor is carrying a white iPad mini around the hospital. (Hygenic? Maybe not.)

11:03: Ive is talking about the new unibody process here. Also, that thinner border on the size isn't just for show: it's apparently to make it easier for people to hold and use with one hand.

11:05: Largest and thinnest cell battery. .68 lbs.

11:06: Optional smart covers in blue, green, pink, light gray and dark gray. Starts with 16GB with WiFi only at $329.

11:07: Pre-orders begin Oct. 26, with the WiFi models going on sale nearly a week later.

11:08: Cute new iPad mini ad showing off two people playing piano on a 10-inch iPad and the Mini. Wins over the audience to loud cheers and applause.

11:10: Cook gushes: "That's very cool!"

11:10: Cook is recapping: Great iPod sales, new 4th gen iPad, iPad mini, iMacs, refreshed Mac minis. "Yes, it has been an incredible year with all of these new products... With all of these new products and cloud services. This has been a truly prolific year for Apple."

11:12: Cook is thanking the Apple peeps. "It's a privilege for me to work with them."

11:13: That's a wrap. Hands-on time. Look for our impressions shortly!

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About This Author
JP Mangalindan
JP Mangalindan
Writer, Fortune

JP Mangalindan is a San Francisco-based writer at Fortune, covering Silicon Valley. Since joining in 2010, he has written on a wide array of topics, from the turnaround of eBay to the evolution of net neutrality. A graduate of Fordham University, Mangalindan has also written for GQ, Popular Science, and Entertainment Weekly.

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