Apple Live Blog: September 12 iPhone 5 Announcement

Written by Gina Smith

Apple iPhone 5 event live blog — starting now at 10 a.m. in San Francisco here at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts downtown. LIVE

Summary: At its Sept. 12, 2012 announcement, Apple announced the iPhone 5, which includes the new A6 processor, LTE connectivity, a 4-inch display, an improved and smaller camera called iSight and a new dock connector design called Lightning. Apple lists all new features here.

Pre-orders begin Sept. 14. Pricing same as Apple iPhone 4S — $199, $299 and $399 for two-year contract 16, 32 and 64GB versions. And the Foo Fighters played live at the end — three songs and a standing ovation closed today’s event.

Lots of new software announced here today, including an upgraded Apple iTunes, Apple iOS 6 and more. Watch our continuing coverage. Apple also has announced beefed up iPod Nano and iPod touch devices … and that’s not all. New Siri support for the iPod touch, too. Check out the live blog below.

The iPhone 3GS is discontinued, the iPhone 4S is $99 now, Schiller said at the event. Here’s our live blog.

9:57 a.m. They’re telling everyone to put their devices onto silent mode. Let’s go.

10:00 a.m. Right on time, here’s Tim Cook. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, takes the stage, wearing black. There must be a rule …

10:01 Lights going down …

10:02 Talking about the Apple store — oh no, not a video. Okay, it’s of Barcelona. With MWC in Barcelona, that’s a city all the journalists know and like. Know the audience, LOL.

10:04 Finally the video is over. Okay “on to the Mac” he says.

10:05 Cook says there have been more than 7 million Apple OS X Mountain Lion upgrades. That’s impressive.

10:06 Here come all the stats.

10:08: Enterprise appears to be a focus. “Almost all the Fortune 500 are testing” or deploying Apple iPads, he said. Yeah. Apple would have to be stupid to not notice tablet saturation in the enterprise. Fully expect to see enterprise ready packages for these folks today.

10:14: “This is the iPhone 5.” And a video. Phil Schiller is now on stage.

10:15: Okay, here are some details. “The biggest challenge are team has ever taken on.”

10:16: A retina display. But of course. “Anyone can make a bigger phone.” The new Apple iPhone 5 will be 18 percent thinner, 20 percent lighter. That does not sound dramatic. But let’s see.

10:16 SPECS on the screen 1136 x 640 with a 16:9 aspect ratio.

10:17: We’ve updated all the software — i am pretty sure this is referring to the new iTunes 11, I bet.

10:20: The claim is that it is the “most accurate display in the industry.” Integrated touch.

10:21  As expected, LTE. HSPA + — make that DC-HSPA — well it looks like we were dead on with the rumors.

10:22: Sprint, Verizon, AT&T in the U.S. are LTE partners, in Canada it will be Rogers, Telius, more

10:22: New WiFi 2.4Ghz and 5GHz for 802.11 speeds.

10:23 The A6 CPU — twice the speed of the A5 in previous releases. “A huge jump in performance,” says Schiller. Now he’s saying developers will like it and brings out Electronic Arts’ exec producer Rob Murray.

10:25 Murray is showing a racing game — the “ultimate racing experience” in Real Racing 3.

10:28 Phil is back up, talking battery life.

10:29: It’s still an 8mp camera, but a more precise lens, Schiller says. Oh, well. Ah, but wait. 8 megapix camera, back lit, faster photo captures, a dynamic low-light mode. These camera features are what a lot of people care deeply about. A new panorama feature.

10:32 With iOS 6 — also have 1080p HD video, works with Facetime.

10:34: Enhanced audio, Schiller, says, three mics. They’re on the back of the device and the front and bottom. Smaller speakers — a five magnet transducer, he says — wideband audio. This is sounding sound-geeky. Nice.

10:37 Remember the 30-pin connector for the iPod that has been in place forever. Well, now there is a new connector, called Lightning. All digital, “eight signal” design. “So that’s the new Lightning connector.”

10:40 Scott Forstall is coming out now …

10:41 He’s talking about GPS, turn by turn directions. I wish he could’ve been there when I was lost in Mendocino last week and yelling at Siri that Mendocino was a town, not a wine. LOL.

10:43 Works in portrait, landscape mode. Satellite imagery. That could’ve helped me in Mendocino. Oh, well. “Tap the 3D” button to get fly over mode.

10:43 Now on to Notification Center — built in social controls for tweeting and otherwise sharing to social networks.

10:44 iCloud tabs. He describes it as “sort of like Google Chrome’s sync-ing” between desktop and Android mode. No mention of iCloud outage yesterday. Didn’t expect it.

10:45 Passbook. Here is something newish. Scan your boarding pass or movie ticket or whatever, even from Locked mode, he says.

10:48 Enhancements to Siri … more accuracy. And you can post your Siri orders. He asks Siri for a good movie. “That’s a subjective question,” the software answers. Wish I had an improved Siri last week when I was lost in Mendocino, but that’s another story.

10:50 SMS messages go out when you can’t take a call. On the plus side, it will invite everyone to the sushi place you asked for.

10:51 Phil Schiller is back. It is “the thinnest and lightest phone we’ve ever made”

10:52 video of Sir Jony Ive, sr. vice president of design, of course.

10:53 So what we get in sum: Increased size of display, smaller, lighter, faster device with improved speed (A6 processor) and graphics, more Siri enhancements.

10:54 Bob Mansfield is on stage talking about how difficult it was to make a smaller phone with such improved battery life.

11:00 iTunes … long long demo, edge to edge, new interface.

11:18 Apple iPod Nano announcement. Side controls. FM tuner. Bluetooth. There’s better video playback … improved screen. This we expected.

11:22 And there’s a new A5-enabled iPod touch.

11:30 Bet you were dying for Siri to be on the iPod touch. It is now. No lie. Fancy video of iPods. Pretty. Eye candy.

11:40 Tim Cook is back. He says “Apple has never been stronger.” He credits the employees and say only Apple could do such a thing.

11:42 Now the Foo Fighters are coming on … playing an acoustic version of the hit, Times Like These.

11:47 Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters is saying how excited he is to meet “people like that” — Apple employees, presumably. Bet they got paid more than Microsoft paid the Stones to do Start Me Up for the Windows 95 announcement … lol.

They do three songs, last won is Walk. Learning to Walk again is a song about starting over. Journalists in the room give the band a standing ovation.

11:58 And we’re done. It’s over. And that is all they wrote.