The wait is
(almos t) over: Apple and Motorola are finally unveiling the first iTunes phone today. Engadget bestest buddy Paul Boutin is there, and just like at WWDC he will be live-blogging the event for us. Stay tuned - we should be underway shortly:
1:00pm - The lights are going down. Al Gore is reportedly sitting in the front row. Steve is on stage.
1:01pm - "Apple is leading the digital music revolution, but to us, at it's core, it's all about the music." Steve introduces "16 time grammy award winner, the incomparable Yo Yo Ma" in the audience. "He's mad at me now, probably."
1:02pm - "Let's start today, I'd love to give you an update on itunes..." over half a billion songs sold, 1.8 million songs a day. "iTunes has an 80% market share here in the US." 85% of the global music market.
1:04pm - "Let me give you an update on podcasts." 7 million subscriptions to Podcasts. 15,000 podcasts in the Podcast Directory. 21 languages including Finnish, Serbian, and Thai. House Democrats and Senate Republicans are among the podcasters. Top 9: iTunes New Music Tuesday, Al Franken, Adam Curry (hey, we still in the top 30!)... 2 million songs now in the iTunes library.
1:06pm - "This next statistic we've never shared with anyone before: we have just crossed 10 million accounts on
iTunes." Average account has purchased 60 songs (mathematically that's just the number versus the number of accounts).
"iTunes may be the second largest Internet store behind only Amazon." New exclusive content: Harry Potter. All 6 audio
books only on iTunes.
1:07pm - New Harry Potter iPod, which has the crest engraved on the back.
1:08pm - 1-click purchase of entire Harry Potter collection. Other exclusive: Madonna, all 15 albums available by album and by song. Steve is calling Madonna on iChat AV.
1:09pm - Madonna to Steve: "I got tired of not being able to download my own music." Steve: "Do you have an iPod?" Madonna: "Of course I do! That's so dumb! Every time I get one a new one comes out the next week."
1:11pm - iTunes 5! Pretty much same display, but cleaned up. Can organize folders of playlists.
1:12pm - The search bar can search just podcasts, just albums, etc. now. The search bar is also in the music store.
iTunes 5 now also autosyncs contacts and calendars from MS Outlook.
1:14pm - Smart Shuffle feature. "We've had a lot of people say our shuffle's not random" (laughter) "We've actually added Smart Shuffle to make it less random. But it seems more random." From the UI: "Smart shuffle allows you to control how likely you are to hear multiple songs by the same artist." Reviews added to iTunes.
1:17pm - iTunes 5 demo. Steve is searching for some musician named "Dylan" in the store. Results layout is more GUI, layout of album covers by artist.
1:20pm - Here it is: "There's One More Thing about iTunes that we're announcing today ... Today we are introducing the iTunes phone: Motorola ROKR E1. 100 songs or other downloads."
1:21pm - You load it via USB cable. "It's basically an iPod shuffle for your phone." No click wheel. It has auto-shuffle.
1:22pm - Steve is playing "Let's Get it Started" on the phone. Sounds good—lots of bass. The ringtone is still cheezy, which makes a nice contrast of how much better the music audio quality is than you'd expect. When the phone rings, the music pauses. "I hit the wrong button," Steve apologizes.
1:23pm - Ron Garriques, President of Motorola's mobile phone division, is on stage.
1:27pm - Garriques on the ROKR: "It's a great ARPU story." That's Average Revenue Per User.
1:28pm - Sneak preview of TV ad. Madonna and a bunch of other people. Hey, there's Iggy Pop without a shirt!
1:29pm - Steve's on stage again: "The number one wireless carrier in North America, Cingular, is going to be the
1:30pm - Ralph de la Vega, COO of Cingular is onstage. "Today, the talk ends, and the music begins."
1:34pm - Ralph says he knows we're worried about battery life. He says he flew cross-country with it yesterday, made some phone calls at his hotel, then left it on the table overnight. The battery gauge still showed full in the morning.
1:35pm - Previews of outdoor ads (billboards): "Now you can KISS and tell", "smashblabbermouth", and "Matthew Sweet talk".
1:37pm - Magazine ads. "Elvis may have left the building, but now you can get him on the
1:41pm - "Now, I'd like to give you an update on iPod. Almost 22 million sold as of June. New automotive Made For iPod products: Honda, Acura, Audi, VW adding iPod capabilities.
1:42pm - 30% of all cars in 2006 sold in US will offer an iPod option.
1:43pm - "Today, we're gonna focus on the iPod mini." Most popular MP3 player in the world. "Today, we're going to do something pretty bold... we're going to replace it." With...
1:44pm - The iPod nano. 1,000 songs.
1:45pm - It has a color display and a click wheel. Looks like a shrunken iPod photo.
1:46pm - 1/5 size of original iPod. 62% smaller by volume than mini. 1/3 size of mini.
1:47pm - Steve is comparing the nano to other players and cellphones. 30-pin dock connector same as other iPods. Color screen.
1:48 - New clock, can add multiple time zones. They show inverse mode at night. Games, calendars, stopwatch, and lap timer. Screen lock with password. "If you have your contacts and calendars on, you might want to lock your screen". "Some people are going to forget everything, so they're going to forget their combination." When you redock your nano, it opens the lock. It's 1.5 ounces, 42 grams, less than 8 quarters. It fits in watch pocket of jeans, and has USB 2.0.
1:49pm - 14 hour battery life, both PC and Mac.
1:50pm - "One other thing..." The nano will come in a second color, black. The 4GB/1,000 song model will go for $249, the 2GB/500 song model for $199.
1:51pm - The nano ships today. "They will be in some stores as early as tomorrow afternoon or Friday." Accessories: $29 dock, $39 lanyard headphone. 5 armband colors, $29.
1:52pm - New accessory: "nanotubes". Colored skins, a box of 5 colors will run $29. Rolling out to stores over the next four weeks. "Again, the key messages here are 1,000 songs in your pocket, impossibly small"
1:54pm - "My prediction is this is instantly going to become the highest-volume, most popular iPod in the world. At events like this, we always like to remind ourselves that the most important thing is the music." So who's the guest star? Kanye West, that's who.
1:55pm - Kanye West: "I'd like to thank Steve Jobs for still letting me perform."
1:58pm - Kanye just dissed Bush again.
2:04pm - Peace out from Kanye. Steve is back on stage. "Thank you all for coming, and we'll see you soon. Buh-bye." That's it!