So, Apple wants to talk iPhone today.
A little later in the year than normal, Apple has invited select members of the press to the official unveiling of its next-generation iPhone model(s) at company HQ in Cupertino.
Will the iPhone 5 pack an A5 processor? Will it boast a larger screen? Will it support NFC technology? Will it be available in white? Will it walk on water? We'll find out the answers to these and, indeed, tens of other rumours this morning (hello, USA!) / evening (hello, Europe!).
In its infinite wisdom, Apple has decided not to stream the "Let's Talk iPhone" event, meaning we'll be liveblogging from afar and 'blind', as it were. We will, however, be punctuating our up-to-the-second analysis of the event with insight from CNET, Macworld, Engadget, and ArsTechnica.
Check back here at 6pm GMT for what's sure to be the best coverage of the iPhone 5 event.
19:40: And that's your lot, folks. Game Over. Job done. See you again for the iPhone 5 launch in April.
19:37: Residents of Belgium, Estonia, Finland, and some other assorted nations can get their mitts on iPhone 4S on October 28th. We'll post the full list of countries soon.
Carriers from a total of 70 countries will be stocking iPhone 4Ss by the end of the year. "Fastest rollout ever," I hear.
19:35: Seriously, though.
You can pre-order iPhone 4S from this Friday. It'll be in stores on October 14th. If you live in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, France, Germany, and Japan, that is.
Sprint customers in the States have a new smartphone option, by the way. It's called the iPhone 4S. Wonder how it'll fare.
19:33: Did I miss something? Yes, where's that iPhone 5, please? Oh, NFC, anyone? Facebook integration? Project Spartan? 24.7-inch screen?
19:30: So, the nuts and bolts. The vital statistics. iPhone 4S will be available on contract in 16GB ($199), 32GB ($299), and 64GB ($399) flavours.
8GB model of iPhone 3GS drops to free. 8GB edition of iPhone 4 is now $99.
19:27: Cheesy commercial for the iPhone 4S time. How quaint.
19:23: Siri can understand English, French, and German. It improves over time as it learns your voice. It also works with built-in apps. The big question on my lips is...
'Where's my iPhone 5?'
Deathly silence from Siri, I'm afraid. It knows not the answer.
19:21: This Siri PA impresses me no end. It can automatically create a text message, book a calendar appointment, organise reminders, and go bonkers on Wikipedia.
All by speaking into an electronic machine. Arthur C. Clarke predicted this might happen. That lad knew his cookies.
19:17: You can ask Siri anything. Literally anything. 'Will I get lucky tonight, Siri?' 'No.' Won't bother getting dressed, then.
'Directions to Greenwich, please.' 'Easy' comes the AI reply.
19:13: Ahhh, so that acquisition of voice recognition software Siri wasn't in vain. 'Will it rain this morning in Gravesend, Kent?' is the kind of question you'll be able to pose via the Siri assistant.
Our boy Scott gives us a live demo of this new intelligent voice command system for the iPhone.
19:11: Wake up!!
With AirPlay Mirroring, you can stream whatever's on your iOS device to the big screen. I think Real Racing 2 already takes advantage of this. I may be wrong. Let me know in the Comments section below. Quick, mind, dinner's up soon.
19:07: Did I mention iPhone 4S can shoot full 1080 HD video? Yes, yes, I did. Video image stabilisation will be a helpful tool, won't it. Kinda lika a protractor.
19:05: For those dedicated globetrotters out there, news that iPhone 4S is a world phone should make you go all trembly.
The expected 8-megapixel camera on iPhone 4S has surfaced. 'Turning dreams into reality': Apple's (completely unofficial) motto. Some fascinating details about element lenses and f/2.4 apertures.
Face detection rocks, though, as indeed does the shortened time to first photo, err, time.
18:59: iPhone 4S will offer eight hours of 3G talk time, six hours of browsing, and a cup of tea at bedtime.
Phil introduces the "wireless system". This should improve the iPhone 4S's call quality. Emphasis on "should". You may recall a minor issue last summer involving an antenna.
2x faster downloads on iPhone 4S, too: 14.4Mbps v 7.2 on the iPhone 4.
18:56: Mikey decides to stop telling hilarious jokes for a moment and give us a demonstration of Infinity Blade 2. A real-time demo, no less. Live.
Looks insanely purdy. 'Impressive' isn't the word. See if you can guess what the word is.
18:54: Say hello to the iPhone 4S, peeps!! Dual-core A5 chip under the hood. Retina display on front.
Mike Capps from Epic Games is trotting into view to prove how ruddy awesome the A5 chip is.
18:53: It's shoooooooooooowttttimmme. Some barbed comment about competitors trying to copy the iPhone 4 and failing miserably. Could it be SungSam? Or THC? Who knows.
18:50: The iPod touch is the #1 portable game player, according to Philly's research. A white version is on the way. Manufacturing issues withstanding.
8GB = $199
32GB = $299
64GB = $399.
Fill your boots.
18:48: Some improvements have been made to the iPod nano. Fitness freaks and 800m runners will lap 'em up.
18:46: Phil Schiller's on stage! Wooooooooooo. Wooo.
18:42: Photos, music, Documents (iWork, natch), apps: all will benefit from the not-evil and entirely reliable iCloud. Which is also launching on October 12th.
The Find My Friends service could be creepy. Or brilliant.
18:41: "iCloud stores your content and wirelessly pushes it to all your devices." Eddy's words, not mine.
18:40: Bang on cue, Eddy Cue strolls onto stage to tell us more about iCloud.
18:39: iOS 5 will be available on October 12th. I make that next Wednesday.
18:38: iOS / iPhone is going PC Free. About bleedin' time.
18:37: The Reader function in Mobile Safari looks nice. Identical to the existing desktop feature, mind.
Tabbed browsing? Woof.
18:34: 67 million Game Center account holders worldwide. All of whom will soon be able to check friend recommendations, achievement points, and see lovely avatar pics of one another.
18:32: Reminders, Newsstand, Twitter, yadda, Home screen shortcuts, yadda, Game Center...
18:30: Notifications up first - no more intrusive pop-ups during our all-important playtime. Yay.
iMessage next. Think BlackBerry Messenger on your iPhone. Good. You've nailed it.
18:28: "Let's talk about iOS 5." Yes, let's.
Scotty is running through the Top 10 features of iOS 5. In his opinion.
18:26: Scott demonstrates the new Cards app. That's a Hallmark moment for you. Out on October 12th.
18:23: Scott Forstall joins the party. Apple's senior VP for iOS software dutily informs us that there are 500,000 apps in the App Store.
140,000 of these have been designed specifically for the iPad. Customers have gobbled up 18 billion apps of all sorts hitherto.
How many have you swallowed?
18:22: 75 per cent of all tablets sold are PlayBooks. No, of course not. Just making sure you're awake. I think I am.
Apple has shifted 250 million iOS devices to date - that means lots of iPhones, iPod touchs, and iPads for the uninitated.
18:21: iPads are being deployed in every walk of life: airlines, education, hospitals, and burger joints. Everywhere, I tell you. Even there.
18:19: Tim has been sidetracked by the iPad. How could he!? He's left me all kinds of dangling.
18:17: The money shot: iPhone. The reason we're here.
Every single iPhone customer loves his Apple blower more than his mum, or words to that effect.
The iPhone represents five per cent of the overall mobile phone market. Not just the smartphone market. Overall, people, overall.
18:14: More music updates. iTunes now stocks 20 million songs. My personal favourite is 'Fake Plastic Trees'.
18:12: Attention switches to the iPod. In the 10 years since it debuted, over 300 million of Apple's portable players have been purchased.
Favourable comparison to Sony's Walkman alert.
18:10: According to Engadget, "Tim's style is a bit more subtle than Steve's, a bit more understated." Who the heck is "Steve"?
18:09: Mac OS X Lion appears to be selling well. Some might call it a 'roaring' success. Ho.
18:07: In typical Apple fashion, we have to endure stats, stats, stats before we reach the good bit. You know what that is.
Mr Cook bores us to tears - sorry, thrills us - with news of 357 Apple stores now open and ready for business in 11 different countries.
18:05: And Apple's CEO Tim Cook takes to the stage, starts saying positive things about Apple.
18:03: Incidentally, iPhone 4S has already appeared on the Japanese App Store. It's coming out on October 14th.
18:02: 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' is playing to the journalists at the venue. Which, by the way, is Infinite Loop, Apple's headquarters.
17:59: "F*ck the mic, I'll go a capella!" CoverItLive isn't working, so we'll do this the old-fashioned way. The presentation is about to begin.