Apple is holding an event in San Francisco during which it announced a new iPhone, capable of faster data speeds and sporting a taller screen. It also unveiled new iTunes software and new iPod devices.
The iPhone 5 will go on sale next week. It will work with fourth-generation, or 4G, cellular networks, something Samsung's Galaxy S III and many other iPhone rivals already do.
Apple Inc. is also updating its phone software and will ditch Google Inc.'s mapping service for its own. The two have become bitter rivals as Google promotes phones running its Android operating system.
In anticipation, several gadget makers refreshed their lineups last week, hoping to upstage Apple. Nokia Corp. and Google Inc.'s Motorola Mobility division announced five new smartphones between them, while Amazon.com Inc. updated its Kindle Fire tablet computer and announced new stand-alone e-reader models.
Sales of Apple's iPhones are still strong, though the company lost the lead in smartphones to Samsung this year.
Samsung Electronics Co. benefited from having its S III out in the U.S. in June, while Apple was still selling an iPhone model it released last October. A new iPhone will allow Apple to recapture the attention and the revenue. Analysts are already estimating that Apple will sell 8 million to 10 million iPhone 5s before the company's quarter ends Sept. 30.
Even if consumers swarm stores to buy the device, the iPhone has been trailing Android phones in sales. On Tuesday, Google executive Hugo Barra declared on his Google Plus social networking page that 1.3 million Android phones are added each day, with 500 million devices activated globally. As of June, Apple has sold 244 million iPhones since the first one came out in 2007.
Apple's event Wednesday took place at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, where the company has held many product launches.
Here's a running account of the event, presented in reverse chronological order. All times are PDT. Appearances were made by CEO Tim Cook; Philip Schiller, the senior vice president for worldwide marketing; Scott Forstall, senior vice president for mobile software; Eddy Cue, senior vice president for Internet software and services; and others.
Before closing the event, the Foo Fighters dedicate the song "My Hero" to Apple employees. Lead singer Dave Grohl gushes as he compares Apple executives to meeting leading rock stars such as Little Richard, Tom Petty and Jimmy Page.
The event ends with the song "Walk," after which the audience gives a standing ovation.
Apple's stock, which increased earlier during the event, were down $1.58, or a quarter of 1 percent, to $659.01 as the event concluded.
The Grammy-winning band Foo Fighters appears on stage after Cook praised Apple's employees for "doing the best work of their lives, work that has real significance because developing revolutionary products makes a real difference in people's lives."
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