SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple is holding an event in San Francisco during which it is expected to announce a new iPhone capable of faster data speeds. It may also come with a taller screen.
The iPhone 5 will likely go on sale in a week or two. It’s expected to work with fourth-generation, or 4G, cellular networks, something Samsung’s Galaxy S III and many other iPhone rivals already do.
Apple Inc. also plans to update its phone software and will ditch Google Inc.’s mapping service for its own. The two have become rivals as Google promotes phones running its Android operating system.
In anticipation, several gadget makers refreshed their lineups last week, hoping to beat Apple on the buzz. 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.
That said, 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 is taking place at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, where Apple has held many product launches.
Here’s a running account of the event, presented in reverse chronological order. All times are PDT. Appearances are made by CEO Tim Cook and others.
Cook gives an audience of journalists, analysts, bloggers and other guests a review of Apple’s achievements.
He says the company now has 380 stores in 12 countries, with one opening in Sweden on Friday to make 13.
Cook recalls the summer launch of a new operating system for Mac computers, known as Mountain Lion. He says 7 million copies have been downloaded so far. He says Mac computers are selling well, as are Apple’s iPad tablet computers — 84 million so far.
He pokes fun at tablets from rival companies: “I don’t know what these other tablets are doing,” he says, suggesting they are probably being kept in drawers somewhere.
That remark drew laughter.
Cook is on stage and showing an Apple store in Barcelona.
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