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Apple iPhone 5 launch: live blog

19:42 GMT: Thanks everyone for tuning in. We'll see you again for the real iPhone 5 launch...

19:41 GMT: Nothing like Steve Jobs' famous "one more thing..." That really is all, folks. The iPhone 5 lives to launch another day...

19:40 GMT: And he's off... no iPhone 5 after all. Egg on the collective faces of IT hacks around the world, and Apple gets the last laugh.

19:39 GMT: Tim Cook' back on stage. Any 'last-minute' announcements...?

19:38 GMT: Correction to earlier release date we gave: pre-orders from October 7th, launch date is October 14th.

19:31 GMT: Quick recap on the new iPhone 4S's specs: A5 processor, new dual antenna system, improved camera optics, HD video and the Siri personal voice-operated assistant.

19:29 GMT: We've just heard that Orange and T-Mobile will be stocking the iPhone 4S from the launch date, 1st December.

19:27 GMT: Phew. That's it for Siri the personal assistant at 13 minutes. "And that is the coolest feature of the new iPhone 4S."

19:26 GMT: Yeah, yeah. We get it. Voice control.

19:23 GMT: Even handles Wikipedia searches and dictionary definitions.

19:20 GMT: Text messages dictated by voice, too. Neat.

19:19 GMT: Directions, local restaurants sorted by rating... it does it all (in the demo, at least).

19:18 GMT: "Wake me up tomorrow at 6am", and the alarm's set.

19:16 GMT: Demo time - “What’s the weather like today?” and we're given an instant forecast.

19:15 GMT: “For decades technologists have teased us with this dream that we can talk to our technology. But it’s never come true! It’s such a let-down! What we really want to do is just talk to our device!”

19:14 GMT: Ooooh. And now we're getting to the iPhone 4S's voice-activated app, Siri. Take that, Android!

19:10 GMT: Applause as Phil Schiller announces that the new iPhone 4S will take 1080p video for the first time. With real-time image stabilisation.

19:08 GMT: And it's 2-3 times quicker to take photos.

19:06 GMT: “CMOS backside illuminated sensor gets 73% more light than the iPhone 4 sensor, and is a third faster. On top of that, we place a high-end IR filter for greater accuracy and uniformity. We have an amazing lens system, five lens elements. It’s now a really wide f2.4. Compared to most point and shoots we can let in a lot of light.”

19:06 GMT: And it's got an 8-megapixel camera.

19:05 GMT: All courtesy of automatically switching between dual antennas.

19:04 GMT: “Where have I heard these numbers before? This is what our competitors call 4G… the iPhone 4S is just as fast as all of these phones, even faster in real-world use.”

19:02 GMT: Faster downloads too: data rate doubled to almost 14.4Mbps downstream.

19:01 GMT: Improved battery life, too: 4S eight hours' 3G talk time; six hours of browsing; nine on WiFi. 10 hours of video, and 40 hours of music. "Fantastic battery life."

18:57 GMT: Gaming demo on the new handset.

18:56 GMT: Now it's the iPhone 4S: Retina Display, Cortex A5 dual-core processor. As we suspected. Dual-core graphics too - claimed up to seven times faster than previous iPhone 4.

18:54 GMT: Touch will get iOS 5 and iCloud. Price cut from $229 to $199 for 8GB; $299 and $399 for 32GB and 64GB.

18:53 GMT: Now it's iPod Touch. Apparently it's now the most popular mobile gaming platform in the world.

18:51 GMT: New iPod Nano prices. iPod nano 8GB for $129; 16GB for $149. Available today. Doubtless UK users will pay their pound premium on those US prices...

18:50 GMT: ...And a selection of clock faces so you can use it as a wristwatch.

18:49 GMT: First iPod update: iPod Nano. Bigger icons on multitouch display. Better design for joggers.

18:48 GMT: Phil Schiller, senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, now talking about the iPod.

18:46 GMT: Video demo of the new iTunes Match: “It scans and matches your library against our 20m songs, we’ll upload what we don’t find."

18:44 GMT: All part of iCloud, free for iOS 5 and Lion users.

18:43 GMT: "At the end of the day, location sharing stops automatically. Easily locate friends and family, temporary sharing options, simple privacy controls…”

18:42 GMT: And now it's a new FourSquare-like geolocation app called Friends and Family.

18:40 GMT: iTunes in the cloud? Check. Photo Stream - that's photos in the cloud too. Plus docs, syncing documents, contacts, calendars, mail.

18:38 GMT: Now it's the turn of Eddie Cue, senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, to talk about iCloud.

18:37 GMT: Free update to iOS 5 for existing users, out October 12th.

18:36 GMT: And PC-free operation. “We have a lot of customers who want to use the iPad or iPhone as their only device.” Now, Apple reckons, they can.

18:35 GMT: Safari's received some tweaks too: “We’ve added a number of things, including Reader. We take the story on the page, we format it perfectly on the device."

18:34 GMT: Apple Game Center - 67 million users signed up already...

18:33 GMT: More on-phone photo editing features.

18:32 GMT: High dynamic range (HDR) photography to be built in.

18:31 GMT: “Deep integration from Twitter.” Snore.

18:30 GMT: Oooh. Interesting stuff. "Push to all devices" - pick up on one device from where you left off on another. Clever stuff.

18:29 GMT: Now it's iOS5. Apple has seeded it to 100,000 developers. Now they want to share it with us...

18:28 GMT: The latest app? A paper card delivery service from iPhones, complete with push notification on delivery. The trees will be happy, no doubt.

18:26 GMT: Big numbers: 500,000 apps in the App Store; 140,000 for the iPad. Makes it the biggest app store in the world. So far, customers have download 18 billion apps - more than one billion a month.

18:25 GMT: iOS is the dominant smartphone OS: 43 percent compared to Android's 33 percent in July's ComScore figures.

18:24 GMT: Senior vice president of iPhone SoftwareScott Forstall is up now. Looks like it's iOS 5 time...

18:23 GMT: Apple has now passed a quarter of a billion sales of iDevices.

18:21 GMT: Airline pilots and hospitals are among those rushing to adopt the proddable PC, Cook says.

18:20 GMT: And on to the iPad: “The customer satisfaction ratings show a 95% score in a recent survey. They’re showing up everywhere. In schools they’re helping kids learn in amazing new ways. … every state in the US now has an iPad deployment or pilot in place today.”

18:18 GMT: Consistently voted number one for customer satisfaction.

“We believe that over time all phones become smartphones. This market is an enormous opportunity. That’s iPhone, more coming up on iPhone.”

18:17 GMT: And now to the meat of the event: iPhone. “What’s amazing is that the iPhone 4 has sold over half of our total iPhones sold in the entire time we’ve been selling iPhones. It’s the number one smartphone in the world."

18:16 GMT: iTunes now boasts 20 million songs - 20 times what it started with.

18:15 GMT: Now we're talking iPods. 300 million have now been sold.

18:13 GMT: All of which gives Apple a 23% share of US computer sales, Cooks says. Which - he says in a moment of classically Apple hubris - means there's another 77% left to grab.

18:12 GMT: Now some figures: Mac sales up 23% over the last year. PCs up 4%.

18:11 GMT: MacBook Pro and iMac the best selling desktop and notebook in the US, Cook says.

18:10 GMT: Apple OS X Lion is "the best operating system out there". Apparently.

18:09 GMT: Video celebrating Apple Stores. 357 now in 11 countries. Apparently they're going to "raise the bar at retail".

18:08 GMT: It's smart-casual as usual, but we've ditched Steve's turtle neck for an open-neck shirt. All change...

18:06 GMT: Mild-mannered Tim's no Jobbso, btw...

18:05 GMT: A big up for the shiny new Apple stores. 100,000 visitors came to on the opening weekend of the branch in Shanghai. The LA store took a month to collect that many visits.

18:04 GMT: Cook's talking about Apple's history of innovation. The iPod was launched apparently in this room at the Infinite Loop campus, called the Town Hall.

18:01 GMT: New Apple CEO Tim Cook on stage. “Good morning, this is my first product launch since being named CEO.” No standing ovation for him, though.

18:00 GMT: Now it's The Roling Stones' Jumpin' Jack Flash. Any moment now...

17:59 GMT: "Ladies and gentlemen, our presentation will begin shortly."

17:58 GMT: Warming up to the strains of The Who...

17:51 GMT: Plenty of wags are fake live-tweeting on Twitter. One commenter says, "I hope they've made it incapable of making or receiving calls, I hate talking to people". They already have. It's called the iPod Touch.

17:50 GMT: Reports coming in that an on-sale date has gone up on Apple Japan's website: October 14.

17:43 GMT: And, it seems, we're off, to a slightly ahead-of-schedule start. Not at the Cupertino event itself, but thanks to the eagle-eyed folks at 9to5Mac, who spotted the appearance of a new handset, the iPhone 4S, on Apple's website. Well, that's one rumour nailed, and Steve Jobs isn't even in the building...

If rumours are correct, Apple's much-awaited iPhone 5 handset will be announced today at an invite-only event at the company's headquarters in Cupertino, California. We'll be bringing you the news as it happens from what could be the first Steve Jobs-free iDevice launch. Then again, the turtlenecked messiah may just beam himself down for the big event. Other than that, stay tuned for surprises: what specs will the new handset have? Voice-activated controls? And will Apple take the opportunity to sneak out its first budget smartphone, the rumoured Apple iPhone 4S? All will be revealed in a little under an hour... monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.