Live Blog: Apple iPad Event

Thanks for reading our live coverage of Apple’s iPad event in Cupertino, Calif. All times are in Pacific Time.

11:23am Yep, that’s all, folks. It was a short one this time—well, comparatively—but there will be plenty of new tablets and computers to ogle on your next trip to the Apple Store. Keep checking Businessweek.com and Bloomberg.com today for more coverage and hands-on video with the new products. —Milian

11:22am

11:21am Over and out. It’s off to the demo room for a magical experience. —Burrows

11:18am Why, why, why do Apple executives insist on repeating the by-now-totally-meaningless mantra, “This is the best lineup we’ve ever had.” Make it stop. —Burrows

11:17am And now, Bono will play a full concert for the next 45 minutes. No, not really. —Milian

11:16am Some more news, for you Mac Mini lovers out there. There’s a new version, starting at $499—also $100 less than the previous low-end model. —Burrows

11:15am

11:13am Here’s the thing about a screen this sharp: There’s not much content that’s optimized for it. Websites don’t use billboard-size images. Netflix only has a handful of movies and TV shows in 4K. But, you know, text will look really nice. —Milian

11:12am Apple designed a new chip to handle the firing of so many pixels, and a new material called oxide TFT (whatever that is). These are the kinds of capabilities that Apple has been bringing in-house in recent years. It seems $11 billion in capital spending can fund a lot of R&D equipment. —Burrows

11:11am

11:10am

11:07am Schiller is showing off a new “Retina 5K” screen on the 27-inch iMac—14.7 million pixels. “It is the world’s highest-resolution display.” He says it has seven times more pixels than an high-def TV and 67 percent more than the new 4K TVs. —Burrows

11:05am You have to admire Apple’s pricing discipline, which we’ve become so used to. Even with iPad sales stalling in recent quarters, they didn’t slash prices in a huge way—just enough to keep customers from straying from Apple land. —Burrows

11:04am The old iPads are sticking around. Here’s the full pricing chart. Simple?

11:02am

11:01am Price is $499 for 16 gigabytes, $599 for 64 GB and $699 for a new 128 GB version. Those last two are $100 cheaper. —Burrows

11:00am

10:59am It’s going to be a very good day for Aidas Dailide and his brother, co-founders of video-editing app-maker Pixelmator. They just did a bug-free demo. Same with Jeff Boudier of Replay, which makes an app for instantly constructing home movies with one tap, according to the demo. Remind me to call them tomorrow to see what happened to sales. —Burrows

10:58am This Phil Schiller quote is too good not to post: “For the first time, you can do burst selfies, which the kids love to do,” says Cool Dad. —Milian

10:56am

10:56am There’s a guy showing an app that lets you simulate sand or something? I don’t know. —Milian

10:55am

10:54am Good. I could totally see the people who take photos with iPads trying to do tap-and-pay with their tablet at Walmart. —Milian

10:53am The Touch ID fingerprint sensor will work on the iPad, Schiller says. So will Apple Pay, but only for online purchases (not in retail stores). —Burrows

10:51am Schiller is talking specs—3 billion transistors versus 1 billion in the first iPad, with graphics performance 180 times better. It’s got a camera, which opens up opportunities for developers to do great new imaging-related apps. Cool, but I’m still not feeling it: This is mostly speed and feeds. Of course, Apple will sell millions. But will millions of non-nerds spend a few hundred dollars to replace a product that already works just fine? What am I missing? —Burrows

10:50am Just catching up? Here’s the first take on today’s announcements from Bloomberg News.

10:49am

10:48am Phil, please don’t encourage people to take photos with their iPad in public. —Milian

10:46am Thinner and faster. Thinner and faster. Say it ten times fast. —Milian

10:44am So the iPad Air 2 is 18 percent thinner. Phil Schiller, the senior vice president of worldwide marketing, is explaining how the touchscreen and other elements are now melded in one component, saving air space. —Burrows

10:43am “What do you do when you make the best tablet in the world? How do you make it better?,” Cook asks—and cues a video showing a pencil being shaved by about a third. Wow, who’d have guessed. —Burrows

10:42am

10:41am “Customer sat” is one of my favorite Tim Cookisms. —Milian

10:40am Case in point: iPad Mini Retina has scored a 100 percent customer satisfaction rating. “You just don’t see these numbers in customer sat,” says Cook. As Apple’s ops chief for much of the remarkable last decade, he should know. —Burrows

10:39am

10:38am iPad time. Let’s see if Cook can overcome the single biggest obstacle to iPad sales: that the thing just works. It has sold 225 million of them, but I bet most are still being used. If Apple had a vice president of planned obsolescence, he or she needs to be fired. —Burrows

10:38am

10:37am

10:36am News? You don’t say! Both of these updates are free, by the way. —Milian

10:35am Some news! Yosemite is coming out today. And Apple 8.1 comes out this Monday (with that Apple Pay compatibility). —Burrows

10:34am Gotta say: Federighi is one heckuva good ambassador. His presentations are just fun. —Burrows

10:33am

10:32am This is actually a pretty funny bit with Colbert. You don’t get a lot of genuine laughs at a tech conference. Last one I can recall is the Andy Samberg cameo on stage with Mark Zuckerberg at F8. —Milian

10:31am Federighi is about to call Stephen Colbert, who he refers to as “our new chief of secrecy.” —Burrows

10:29am Good point, Mark, and an important one. For years, most Apple customers haven’t thought twice about whether to trust the company’s newest offerings. They just worked, for the most part. But think of all the services that have not made that list: Maps, mail, Apple Radio. It will be interesting to see how many people are willing to adopt new services, like iCloud Drive. —Burrows

10:27am We could tell you what Federighi is talking about right now, but you can read about it here. So far, 30 minutes of recap from previous announcements. —Milian

10:23am

10:22am I wonder how many people who signed up to use the Yosemite beta actually installed it. When I arrived at the beta page, I got cold feet. I’ll stick with software that doesn’t risk erasing all of my files. —Milian

10:21am Yosemite time. Over 1 million people have signed up to try out this newest version of the the Mac OS through Apple’s beta program. As a refresher, it has iOS-like features such as a full-functioning notification panel to easily see new e-mails or calendar entries. —Burrows

10:20am Federighi says they’ve seen “a flood” of apps written with Apple’s new programming language. Some of my sources say the language is “a work in progress”—a promising tool to expand the variety of people capable of writing apps, but not there yet. —Burrows

10:18am Federighi is talking about game engines and programming languages.

10:16am Craig Federighi takes the stage for the iOS update. He says 48 percent of customers are using iOS 8, and 46 percent are on iOS 7. He’s brought out the Android chart that shows the latest release, KitKat, at 25 percent after 313 days. That’s fine, but that 48 percent for iOS 8 sounds awfully low for an iOS release. For a  company that’s done a standout job training customers to immediately grab its latest updates, that strikes me as low. I know this particular Apple customer wishes he hadn’t upgraded so fast. —Burrows

10:15am

Source: Apple.com

10:13am For those watching at home, the live stream is doing a better than last time, but I’ve had to refresh once. Now, I have no audio. Feels like Real Player … buffering. —Milian

10:11am Apple Watch will ship in early 2015, with development tools coming out in November so that app makers can start adapting their software. —Burrows

10:10am Line of the day: Cook says Apple has gotten great input from people who know a lot about style and fashion—”even more than I do.” (He’s wearing his typical jeans and not-so-snazzy blue shirt combo). —Burrows

10:10am

10:09am Cook is talking about Apple Pay. “It’s easy, it’s secure, and yes, its a private way to pay for things.” Apple has signed another 500 banks in the past month, and more merchants (he didn’t give the number). Apple Pay will launch on Monday, Cook says. —Burrows

10:08am Apple will launch iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in China—”the very first time we’ve launched an iPhone on all three networks, and we’re doing it perfectly aligned with China’s LTE rollout,” Cook says. —Burrows

10:05am Tim Cook takes the stage. Cook says iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have set record for 30-day sales—”and not by a little. By a lot. A whole lot.” —Burrows

10:02am It’s showtime. Darkened room, cue the dramatic video of retail stores around the world on launch day for the iPhone 6. And no, so far, they haven’t shown the dude who dropped the first one sold. —Burrows

10:01am

Photographer: Peter Burrows/Bloomberg

9:59am I’m here with my colleague Tim Higgins, who is using a Windows machine. Just so happens that Microsoft issued an update that he’s waiting nervously to load before this event starts. Coincidence? I think not! —Burrows

9:58am A sapphire screen on the new iPads almost definitely isn’t happening. GT Advanced Technologies, the supplier that was expected to making synthetic sapphire screens for the iPhone, filed for bankruptcy on Oct. 6. Apple has some issues with the motions contained in GT Advanced’s bankruptcy proceedings, but it wants to keep them a secret. There’s a superstitious explanation for the supplier’s troubles, Adam Satariano writes on Global Tech: Apple’s sapphire factory is cursed. Well, there you have it. —Milian

9:57am Samsung is looking less scary these days. Claire Kim, a Seoul-based analyst at Daishin Securities, tells Angie Lau on Bloomberg TV that Samsung may have to change strategies in phones.

9:55am I just saw Jeff Williams, senior vice president of operations, as we were let into the auditorium. He’s long run ops for the Mac, and also oversaw development of the Apple Watch. Hmmm, theories, anyone? —Burrows

9:54am It will also be interesting to see how the latest iPads are received by a market that Cook called “very bifurcated.” “In the BRIC countries, iPad did extremely well. The growth was very high,” he said during the last earnings call. How high? Earlier, CFO Luca Maestri said there was “strong year-over-year growth in the Middle East where iPad sales were up 64%, in China where they grew 51%, and in India where they were up 45%.” As for developed countries like the U.S.? Cook said “the market is clearly weaker there.” —Chan

9:53am Google tried to steal some of Apple’s thunder yesterday with the release of Lollipop, the latest version of Android. The software aims to not just challenge Apple but to fix some of the problems that have plagued Android practically since its inception. “Lollipop is Google’s answer to the ominous rumblings in Android land,” writes Brad Stone. Among the new products accompanying Lollipop are a tablet made by HTC and a phablet from Motorola. Yes, I just used that word unironically. —Milian

9:51am Apple needs to upgrade the seats in this auditorium to business class. Pretty cramped! —Burrows

9:50am Just sat down in the Town Hall room at Infinite Loop. Packed house … again. Apple’s record for sold-out events (that you can’t pay to get into) remains intact. —Burrows

9:49am OK, back to gadgets. Last year’s launch of the iPad Air was the most global first-day release for the product. It was also the first time it was available in China on day one. Now, Apple will have to go up against the Mi Pad, which Xiaomi introduced in May. The Chinese upstart has been giving the iPhone a run for its money at home—and in the insanely fast-emerging Indian market—and it has a decent chance of doing the same in tablets. Don’t expect to see Xi Jinping or any other Chinese officials walking around with an iPad. The devices were excluded from China’s government procurement list, Bloomberg News reported in August. —Milian

9:47am If corporate culture is your thing, you might be interested to know that Apple is one of the first major tech companies, along with Facebook, that’s offering to pay for female workers who wish to freeze their eggs. This isn’t some evil plot to make women forfeit their formative years, Brustein writes. For a deeper dive, here’s our cover story from earlier this year, “Freeze Your Eggs, Free Your Career.” If long-reads are your thing, here’s one more: Find out how Tim Cook is making Apple his in our cover story from Sept. 18. You might want to add that to your Safari Reading List for later. —Milian

9:44am Whatever new software Apple introduces today, the company needs to take care not to screw anything up. It’s received more than a couple of self-inflicted black eyes lately. Apple has made admirable attempts to beef up its security, but as Brustein writes, those changes have limits. —Milian

9:42am One thing missing from the iPhone 6 event that we can’t say we really missed was the “everything is great” filler. Longtime Apple watchers will be curious to see if Tim Cook strays further from Steve Jobs’s script. A piece of the formula Cook hasn’t abandoned is previewing a new commercial to accompany product introductions. Hopefully, he can up his ad team’s game, which has under-performed recently, as my fellow live-blogger Peter writes in Global Tech. —Milian

9:39am Despite a slow start, there are some high expectations for the mobile payments market, at least in the U.S. Apple has a little something to do with that. —Milian

9:37am But will retailers be ready for the new payment system?

9:35am Apple Pay was probably the biggest surprise from last month’s event. We may get more on that today—perhaps even a national U.S. rollout. Card networks should be excited for the service, writes Bloomberg News’s Elizabeth Dexheimer. Banks probably aren’t as psyched to pay fees to Apple, but they’re going along with it anyway. Apple will want to move quickly. Alipay, the Chinese mobile-payment affiliate of Alibaba, is now targeting the U.S. —Milian

9:30am iPads are a pretty safe bet to be among Apple’s announcements today, and maybe we’ll get some type of appliance to go with the company’s HomeKit platform. Just don’t expect an Apple smart lock for your front door, despite all the hype around them right now. The company is about to start carrying Yves Béhar’s August lock in its stores. Apple doesn’t like to sell products that compete with its own. Maybe that’s why it’s reportedly dropping Bose from Apple Stores since acquiring Beats, or getting ready to ditch Fitbit before the Apple Watch comes out, according to Recode. It’s not all bad blood among fitness trackers, though. Jawbone’s CEO says Apple has been like the company’s “big brother” in an interview on Bloomberg TV. —Milian

9:25am A man who some businesses love to hate is Carl Icahn, and the activist investor has some love for Apple he thinks should be more contagious.

9:22am That is to say, all of this excitement over big phones doesn’t bode very well for the iPad. The product is suffering from the “tablet doldrums,” Brustein writes. One potential savior: businesses. Oh, and an old rival named IBM. —Milian

9:19am Regular smartphones will continue to dominate the smart device market, but global shipments of phablets are projected to easily surpass tablets and portable PCs by 2018, according to data from IDC. —Marcus Chan

9:16am In the unlikely event that you didn’t catch last month’s Applepalooza, you can now buy an iPhone 6 with a bigger screen or an iPhone 6 Plus with an even bigger screen. (The geeky industry name for these types of phones is “phablets.”) Next year, you’ll be able to buy an Apple Watch. Here’s everything you need to know about it, according to Brustein. And one more thing to know: Watch makers aren’t worried. By the time the watch comes out, you’ll be able to buy it with Apple Pay on your iPhone 6. —Milian

9:10am Apple is planning to live stream the presentation today, but you’ll need a Mac or iOS device to watch the video. If the stream is anything like the last one, expect periodic outages and unexplained overdubs in Mandarin. —Milian

9:07am Yes, Apple spoiled its own surprise yesterday when it posted images and some details about its newest iPad tablets on its iTunes website briefly. Summarizing the irony of this rare Apple slip-up, Joshua Brustein writes, “If you’re a company working with Apple and you leak information about its new mobile devices, Apple will fine you $50 million. Seems like the company should start writing itself a pretty big check.” —Milian

9:05am Spoiler alert: Apple is set to introduce new versions of the iPad Air and iPad mini, a person familiar with the plans told Bloomberg News. They’ll probably have fingerprint sensors like the last two iterations of the iPhone. Oh, and the iPad Air 2 is said to come in gold. Fancy. —Milian

9:00am Boot up your iPod Classic; pop in a pair of Apple EarPods; and groove to the sweet sounds of the new U2 album you can’t seem to get rid of. Over the next few hours, Peter and I will be bringing you blow-by-blow coverage of Apple’s iPad event. While Peter battles the horde for a decent seat inside the packed Town Hall room on Apple’s campus—it’s about the size of a state-college lecture hall—I’ll be right here with you, blogging from our airy San Francisco bureau. Get your trigger finger on the Command and “R” keys (or Control-R, for you self-loathing Windows people out there) and prepare for a heavy dose of all things Apple. The pre-show starts now. —Milian

8:45am Technology executives have grown familiar with a condition known as “Apple envy” ever since Steve Jobs figured out how to get the world to stop and pay attention to its every product introduction. Judging from the turnout at Apple’s campus this morning, Tim Cook has done just fine at keeping that spirit alive. Here we go again.

I’m here at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, awaiting the start of what may be one of the least eventful events in recent years. Updated iPads will be thinner, lighter and have fingerprint readers like the iPhone line. And yesterday, Apple sucked more of the intrigue out of the event by accidentally posting pictures of the new models on iTunes. The biggest surprise: Apple has chosen to go back to its old numbering system to name the new products, which will be called the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3. The company is also expected to unveil new iMacs featuring higher-resolution screens and tell us more about the newest version of the Mac operating system, Yosemite.

Of course, the company has been known to surprise even the most jaded observers in the past. Hopefully, Cook and Co. will have more to say about the Apple Pay system it announced last month. Who knows, they may also choose to announce a new, larger-screen iPad Pro, though our sources tell us such a machine would not ship until 2015. Mark Milian and I will be updating live when the event commences at 10am (1pm Eastern Time). —Burrows

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