Apple generates about two-thirds of its sales from the iPhone and iPad, but the markets for those gadgets are becoming saturated, with rivals from Amazon to Google to Microsoft to Samsung battling for customers and the billions they spend on mobile devices.
Soumen Ganguly, a director at consulting firm Altman Vilandrie & Co., told me last week that "A lot of other companies don't need to be as bold on a frequent basis as Apple.” But people have come to expect it from Apple, he added. "They're only as good as their last great product, and we're four years away from that."
@tyronelouie says "I'm a little bit disappointed with how the prototype / leaks of iPhone 6 looks, are you?" -- It's certainly very reminiscent of recent HTC devices in my opinion, but I think it looks nice. I'm really looking forward to holding it.
Yeah, Tim. The aisles here are not the most convenient. haha. There's no aisle down the middle so everyone who got here early took the seats on the sides so then everyone has to file past to get to the other seats.
All important music check-in: "'Till the Lovings Out" by OneRepublic. Keeping things rocking already.
Apple shares are up just under 2 percent ahead of the event, at about $100.
As Tim has mentioned, today we’re expecting one or two new iPhones with bigger screens, an iWatch, mobile payments, health-centric features, and home-automation apps.
The new iPhones likely will feature 4.7- and 5.5-inch screens, bigger than the 4-inch screen Apple has used since the iPhone 5. The 5.5-inch device would be a phone-tablet hybrid, called a phablet, and would again put Apple in direct competition with Samsung and its Galaxy Note phablets.
Apple initially designed its touch screen so it could be operated with one hand, and Cook -- and former CEO Steve Jobs -- resisted moving to a larger display partly for that reason.
There’s also speculation Apple will include a near-field communications, or NFC, chip in its new iPhones and wearable. The short-range technology makes it easy to pair two devices by holding them very close to each other. It also allows you to do things like pay for things with your phone by touching the device to an NFC-enabled point-of-sale terminal.
@leaveit2wheeler says "i want a wrist band with a jet pack" -- I'm honestly not sure that the market is ready for a wrist-borne jetpack. People still aren't comfortable with jet-powered backpacks. I think we need to wait for those to reach a higher rate of adoption before people feel confident about slapping a pyrotechnic device on their arm.
But maybe that's just me.
For Apple wearable, practicality and actually working beats anything. That's what I'm looking for, but it'll be hard to prove unless there's a full-on demo station in the White Cube.
Mobile payments is a natural progression for Apple. The company already lets hundreds of millions of users -- about 800 million, as of Apple's earnings in April -- buy music, books, and apps through an iTunes account linked to their credit cards.
By the way, I spotted Dr. Oz outside before the event began. I'm expecting him to do some sort of HealthKit pitch today. Hopefully not trying to sell snake oil...
Okay, lights are down... people are cheering...
Thanks for all your predictions, people! Let's see who wins keynote bingo!
The intro video is playing!
"To those who have always seen things different"
"The ones who follow a vision"
The video is talking about seeing things differently - a big emphasis of Apple's over the years
"The ones who perceive first as valuable"
"While others are distracted by the new, you focus on the significance of a whole new take"
Apple's definitely downplaying being first-to-market here.
That would definitely be an important point if they're launching a wearable today. Certainly, Apple wasn't first to launch smartphone, but that didn't hurt them, now did it?
Pretty sure they sold a few of those iPhones.
This ad looks very different from Apple's others. It's basically just phrases being moved around a warehouse-looking room.
"You are the difference between the world as it was and the better world that it will become"
It's a very clever video, beautiful simple music, changing perspectives to shape the words.
Different - that's the emphasis at apple. "Different, that's the one thing that will always be the same."
Big applause, and Apple CEO Tim Cook is on stage!
There's a large Apple logo behind him, the same shaded one that we saw in the invite.
Cook, 53, celebrated his third anniversary as CEO in August. Cook, who joined Apple in 1998 to run operations, was Steve Jobs’ handpicked successor.
Cook: They helped us express just how we think differently. (talking about what the ad means)
Cook: It is great to be back in the Flint Center
Cook: We're just down the road from Apple's birthplace and home in Cupertino, and we've had some amazing history here
Tim Cook is obviously quite happy to be here in the Flint Center, the place where the Mac was introduced 30 years ago. He's got a big smile on his face.
Big applause for Tim's mention of Steve Jobs introduction of the Mac here.
Cook: We've had some of the most important product introductions in Apple's history here. Jobs introduced the Mac here 30 years ago.
Cook: Apple also introduced the iMac here