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LATEST iPHONE FEATURES
The iPhone 5 arrives - check back at 6pm GMT for our liveblog
By Richard Brown 12 September 2012
Game Name: iPhone 5 | Manufacturer: Apple | Format: iPhone
The iPhone 5 is almost here.

Don't take our word for it, though. That's what Apple wrote in its email invitation to a press conference being held tonight. At 6pm GMT, Tim Cook will stride onto the stage at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco and reveal the next generation of iPhone.

The rumours point to a thinner phone, with a much taller screen. It probably won't have Near Field Communication, but it might have a 4G chip for much faster mobile broadband.

We should also get the release date for iOS 6 - the next version of the iPhone and iPad's operating system. New maps; better Siri functionality; system-wide Facebook support; and a place to keep your boarding passes, tickets, and gift cards are the expected headline features in iOS 6.

Surprise, surprise

There might be some surprises in store, too. Maybe not an iPad mini or a full-blown Apple TV set, but iPod fans should definitely listen out for a few interesting announcements.

We could see some games being showcased, too. At the iPhone 4S event last year, we got our first glimpse of Infinity Blade II, for example.

Join us here at 6pm GMT, where we'll be liveblogging Apple's iPhone 5 announcement, and letting you know what's new in the world of iOS.

But, first: what would YOU like to see from iPhone 5? Let us know in the comments below.

(Refresh page)

19:59 - And... that's yer lot. Goodnight. Namaste. We'll see you back here in March for the unveiling of "the newer iPad". Hopefully.

19:50 - Before Dave + The Boys finish their barnstorming set and scuttle off back to their no doubt insanely pimped-out trailers, spare a thought for the following iPhone 5-related rumours...

AuthenTec fingerprint wizardry
Liquidmetal chassis
WiTricity wireless charging
N. F. C.

May you rest in peace. Until next week.

19:47 - My Top 3 Foo Fighters tunes are 'Times Lie These', 'Cold Day in the Sun', and 'Weenie Beenie'.

Yep, I'm filling time here.

19:42 - To quote Daniel Bryan: Yes! Yes! Yes! No Coldplay. No Norah. No McCartney.

Foo Fighters are rocking out the building. Gawd bless you, Dave.

19:40 - Mr Video Man (probably called Chris) over at The Big A has whipped up a funky fresh ad for the new iPod range. Expect to see it 14 gatrillion times before Xmas.

19:38 - Prices, prices everywhere!

iPod shuffle (2GB) = $49
New iPod nano (16GB) = $149
New iPod touch (32GB) = $299
New iPod touch (64GB) = $399

Apple will start shipping the brand spanky new iPod touchs and nanos in October.

19:36 - These delightfully whitefully EarPods are available from today as a standalone accessory. They'll also be bundled in with the new iPod touch, iPhone 5, and new iPod nano.

19:34 - Jeepers creepers, there's more. A group of unfortunates over at Apple HQ spent three years developing some earbuds.

They're called "EarPods". Why didn't the Cupertino Kids just call them iPo... Ahh, I see the problem.

19:33 - And now for some iPod touch firsts... In no particular order:

FaceTime HD camera
AirPlay mirroring
Siri
Five different colour options (see if you can guess 'em)

19:31 - You, you, and you may have noticed there's a little circle at the bottom of the new iPod touch. Apple calls it the "loop".

For bracelets, basically.

19:29 - Apple has built an iSight camera into the new iPod touch. Glory be.

5-megapixel sensor, LED flash, panorama mode, sapphire crystal. Ooooooo, sapphire crystal. You had me at 'sapph'.

19:27 - A demonstration of the Tamagotchi-esque Clumsy Ninja app from NaturalMotion now. Who'd have thunk it? I was hoping for CSR Racing II, in truth.

19:24 - For those of a technical bent, the new iPod touch is rocking the dual-core A5 processor. Sexy as hell, innit.

19:22 - iPod touch Up Next. Ahem.

Wowsers! The fifth-generation iPod touch is the thinnest ever. No, really. 6.1mm thin. Oh, and its screen is 4 inches wide. Hmmmm. I see.

19:20 - Say 'hello' to the seventh-generation iPod nano.

It's teeny. It's got a multi-touch 2.5-inch display. It's got physical controls down the side. It's got a Home button. It's got an FM tuner. It's got Bluetooth. It's got the lergy.

19:19 - Here come the new iPods. Greg Joswiak's turn now. Greg's the VP of worldwide iPod, iPhone, and iOS product marketing, don't ya know, don't ya know.

19:18 - iCloud built in, Mini Player, and Up Next are the three tentpole features of "the new iTunes". Well, that's what I'm calling it, anyways.

It's out in October, incidentally.

19:16 - Blow me down and call me Shirley. Apple is introducing a new version of iTunes for PC and Mac.

Now pick me up again.

19:12 - Eddy confirms a completely redesigned iTunes Store. Uniform design across Apple's online storefronts (iTunes Store, App Store, iBookstore), in fact.

What be some of these bold, new design and functional elements?

Well, Facebook Likes integrated into the stores. Improved performance. Previews while browsing.

19:11 - "Let's talk about iTunes. It's the #1 music store in the world," Eddy says. Okay, Ed, let's.

19:10 - We're not done yet, though. Eddy Cue struts onto the stage like he owns the place. He might do.

19:07 - iOS 6 will be available on September 19th.

Tim Cook also confirms that iOS 6 is compatible with the following devices...

iPhone 5
iPhone 4S
iPhone 4
iPhone 3GS
The new iPad
iPad 2
Fourth-generation iPod touch
(+ fifth-generation iPod touch - see above)

19:05 - So, you want one, yup? Well, you can pre-order the iPhone 5 from September 14th. A.k.a. this Friday.

Apple will ship the iPhone 5 on September 21st to residents of the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

The rest of the world has to wait. By December, Apple will have rolled the iPhone 5 out in 100 countries, mind. And on 240 carriers.

19:04 - 8GB model of iPhone 4 drops to free on contract. 16GB edition of iPhone 4S is now $99.

19:01 - Prices! Availability! Contracts!

16GB iPhone 5 = $199
32GB iPhone 5 = $299
64GB iPhone 5 = $399

The iPhone 3GS ceases to exist. Goodbye, old chum.

18:59 - If I told you this promotional video for the iPhone 5 had been shot guerrilla style on a Steadicam over in 'Nam, would you believe me?

And nor should you.

Instead, there are dollops of white emulsion all over the back wall, loads of close-up shots of complex engineering innards for hardware onanists to get worked up over, etc., etc.

18:57 - Still no mention of Steve. Is it too soon?

18:54 - It's video time!!!! Booyah.

18:52 - In homage to Michael Jackson, Phil Schiller confirms the iPhone 5 will be available in black and white.

Crumbs, they love their music over at 1 Infinite Loop.

18:49 - After explaining Photo Stream Sharing to an unimpressed me, Scott moves onto Siri. More precisely, some improvements and enhancements to Apple's beloved / oft-vilified voice command system.

"Siri has also learned a lot more about movies, so I can ask 'Can you recommend a good movie in theaters?'" Scott states.

Yes, The Dark Knight Rises.

18:46 - Finally, something exciting. Sort of. Passbook. I was kinda hoping Passbook would herald the adoption of NFC by Apple.

I was wrong. MacGuffin, indeed. A red herring, in fact.

18:45 - Full-screen mode in Safari. iCloud tabs. VIPs in the email client.

18:44 - You can tap to tweet or post to Facebook from Notification Center.

18:43 - New Google-less Maps. Built-in turn-by-turn navigation, 3D Flyover view, all that jazz.

18:42 - My all-time favourite Apple senior VP for iOS software Scott Forstall positively bounds onto stage.

He's here to introduce us (again) to iOS 6.

18:40 - In homage to Queen's 'Bohemian Rapsody', The Big A has dubbed its all-new 8-signal dock connector 'Lightning'. So, Thunderbolt and Lightning.

Mr Schiller! You will not let me go, let me go...

18:38 - Do you like that 30-pin connector at the bottom of your blower? Well, time to move on, squire. There's a new port, errr, in town.

18:36 - Three microphones?! Woof. Treble-woof. Er. In surround sound.

18:34 - Phil's showing off the new panorama mode in the iPhone 5's iSight camera. FaceTime camera is now HD, by the way. And FaceTime calls can now be made over a cellular network.

This is nice (and not especially novel) - you can take photos while shooting video on the iPhone 5.

18:33 - Always time for a sly dig at the competition, eh, Phil? Cheap shot at Nokia's expense = "Here's pictures from the iPhone 5. These are from the camera... untouched."

18:31 - Focusing on the camera now. Geddit? Good.

8-megapixel snapper. Backside illumination (bit risqué for 10am, no?), five-element lens, and, ooooooo, sapphire crystal.

18:29 - Phil Schiller returns to the stage dressed as a horse. I kid you.

Phil reels off some fascinating stats about the battery performance of the iPhone 5.

The iPhone 5 will offer eight hours of 3G talk time, eight hours of LTE / wi-fi browsing, ten hours of video playback, 40 hours of music playback, and a hug at bedtime.

18:26 - Rob Murray from EA Mobile / Firemint is now on stage demoing the lush-looking Real Racing 3. Groovy Tuesday.

18:25 - Let's dive under the bonnet... The iPhone 5 is powered by the A6 processor. 2x faster graphics and 2x faster CPU than the A5 chip.

18:22 - If you're playing iPhone 5 bingo at home, LTE has just been confirmed. I hope you've won. Or sutin.

18:20 - Cheeky little scamp that Phil is, he gave some iPhone developers early access to the iPhone 5 so that they could practise yoga.

And tweak / optimise their software for the larger screen.

For the sake of impartiality, I won't list them here.

18:17 - All those rumours about the display were true. (I think.)

So...

4-inch screen = check!
1136x640 resolution = check!
326 pixels per inch = check!
16:9 aspect ratio = check!

18:16 - It's 18 per cent thinner than the iPhone 4S (that'll be that fancy-dan in-cell technology, won't it). It's also 20 per cent lighter.

Glass and aluminium are the key ingredients. Note the second 'i' in 'aluminium' there, US readers. Grand.

18:14 - "Today, we're introducing iPhone 5." Oh. This is somewhat of a surprise move, Philip. How rude.

18:13 - Like a particularly smooth Jamaican Olympic relay runner - who shall remain nameless - Tim hands over the presentation reins / baton to Apple senior VP for worldwide marketing Phil Schiller.

Hello, Phil!

18:12 - "We've sold over 400 million iOS devices," Tim triumphantly declares. Good on you, soldier.

18:11 - According to Timmy, Apple's App Store now stocks over 700k apps. 250k of which are tailored for the iPad.

18:09 - Apple's share of the worldwide tablet market has increased from a 'lot' to 'a little bit more than a lot' over the past year.

From 62 per cent to 68 per cent, actually.

18:07 - Now, the iPad. "The reviews have been incredible," Tim assures us. I believes you, sir.

Apple sold 17 million iPads in the last quarter.

18:05 - It's a MacAttack! A MacStatsAttack, in fact.

7 million copies of OS X Mountain Lion have been downloaded since it debuted in July. Woof.

18:03 - Annnnnd... back in the room. Tim runs a video on the recent Barcelona Apple Store launch. Make it stop. Please.

18:02 - As always, calm before the storm, peeps. Apple never shoots its load early.

Numbers, figures, and... oh, where was I?!

18:00 - Tim is out! Nope, not like that.

17:57 - Pre-event odds on Carly Rae Jepsen's popular ditty 'Call Me Maybe' figuring prominently at this press conference are 6/1.

Raymondo is officially da' man.

17:52 - Probably too late now, but if you fancy taking a very last-minute flutter on the details of the next-generation iPhizzle, call Ladbrokes for the latest odds.

Or Ray Winstone.

17:48 - As I type, Tim Cook is presumably being fussed over by a make-up lady backstage. Furiously. I wish them both well.

17:46 - So, the cat's out of the proverbial bag. Tonight, Apple will unveil the iPhone 5 (who knew?!), a new iPod touch, and a new version of iTunes. Blindin'.
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