LIVE BLOGGING: Apple Announcements For Today. Yup Steve Jobs Was There.

Latest updates towards the bottom of the post.

This morning in California, Steve Jobs appeared on stage at the Apple Rock and Roll event that was scheduled for today to discuss what some of the new Apple products coming up are.

Steve Jobs talked about how he received a liver transplant from a mid-20’s person that passed away in a car crash and that he wouldn’t be here without such generosity. He said that he hopes everyone can be generous and donate organs too. Jobs thanked the community for support, the Apple exec team, and Tim Cook.

Apple has sold over 30 million iPhones. There are over 75,000 applications in the App Store which have over 1.8 billion downloaded. That download count does not include updates. iTunes 9 will also have improved application management.

Jobs also announced a new iPhone operating system: version 3.1. In the App Store, there is now a Genius function too. iPhone OS 3.1 will be free and is available today.

Over 30,000 ringtones have been added. Ringtones will cost $1.29. These ringtones are from all four major labels.

iTunes: #1 music retailer in the country and available in 23 countries. iTunes 9 will be available today. Over 8.5 billion songs sold. Over 100 million accounts now on iTunes with valid credit cards.

Over 27 million libraries submitted for Genius features on iTunes. The Genius database is becoming smarter this way. Genius is being applied to create a new service called Genius Mixes. Genius Mixes is like a DJ that plays an endless mix of songs from your library that sound good together.

iTunes now has improved syncing. You can sync individual genres, artists, playlists, etc. Through iTunes 9, you can arrange the icons and applications of your iPhone or iPod Touch home screen and sync it the way you want it.

Home Sharing: You can sync songs, TV shows, etc. with up to 5 computers in your house.

The iTunes store has been cleaned up too. iTunes LP has been launched too. You can hear the music, photography, liner notes, essays, etc. that were available back in the day when LPs were popular.

In the music section there is an arrow that appears next to “buy.” In the buy section you can send wish lists to Twitter or Facebook. Jeff Robbins gave a demo of the new iTunes and iTunes Extras. iTunes Extras offers more interactive stuff for DVDs.

Steve Jobs introduced Phil Schiller who will discuss iPod sales. Over 220 million iPod sales thus far. The iPod controls 73.8% of the total portable music player market. Microsoft has 1.1%, Sandisk has 7.2%, and other has 17.9%. About 20 million iPod Touch devices have been sold.

Schiller pointed out that consumers really like to use iPod Touch devices like a pocket computer that actually fits in your computer. Then he showed a picture of a person trying to shove a netbook in their pocket, ripping it in the process.

Schiller also jabbed at the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS or not having an App Store or an iPod built in. The games for those consoles are expensive and there is no multi-touch user interface either. Schiller pointed out Xbox games are $30-$30 and DS games are $25-$35.

Some game developers will be called on stage. Ubisoft is the first. Ben Mattes, a producer of Assassin’s Creed is showed off the sequel of the game. In the sequel, you can put your own picture on a wanted poster using the iPhone camera.

Next on stage is Bart Decrem of Tapulous. Tapulous is introducing a new game called Riddim Ribbon. One of the songs in the game is Boom Boom Pow from The Black Eyed Peas.

Bart Decrem of Tapulous talks about Riddim Ribbon from Dean Takahashi on Vimeo.

[Update: VentureBeat managed to get an interview with Decrem – Video above]

Mark Hickey of Gameloft came on stage after Decrem and said that Gameloft received about 20 million downloads. Gameloft has about 35 games in the App Store. Hickey is giving a demo of their latest game called Nova. Nova looks intense. The frame rate looks to be as good as if you were playing Halo on the Xbox. While playing Nova, you can listen to your iPod music and the game even has multiplayer through WiFi and Bluetooth.

Travis Boatman of Electronic Arts is took the stage next. Boatman is showing off Madden NFL 2010. In the demo, Boatman had the 49ers playing the Steelers. After Boatman finished the demo, Schiller came back to the stage.

Schiller said that the iPod Touch is affordable at $229 and doesn’t require monthly fees. Now Apple is dropping that price from $229 of the iPod Touch to $199 for an 8GB. The 32GB will cost $299 and the 64GB will cost $399. The 64GB will also have OpenGL|ES support.

The iPod Classic price will cost $249 for a 160GB. The price of the 120GB used to be the same price. The iPod Shuffle will NOT be phased out. New Beats by Dr. Dre headphones will be released to control the iPod Shuffle. The thin-sized iPod Shuffle which does not have a screen will now have a voice that will tell you when the battery is full and when the airlock will be closed.

New colors for the iPod Shuffle will include pink, blue, silver, black, green. These will cost $59 for a 2GB and $79 for a 4GB.

“One More Thing” says Steve Jobs. An Apple Video camera called Flip. A 4GB Flip video camera will cost $149… wait scratch that. Every iPod Nano will have a speaker and a video camera built in. Flip video cameras are 10.9 cubic inches and the iPod Nano is 1.1 cubic inches points out Jobs. Jobs then showed off some of the video capabilities of the video camera built in to the Nano.

The new iPod Nano devices have a built in camera with 2.2″ display, colors available in glossy pink, purple, yellow, blue, green, red, and orange. 8GB will cost $149, 16GB for $179. iPods are “green” too and environmental-friendly too. Each iPod has Arsenic-free glass, BFR-free, mercury-free, PVC-free, and highly recyclable.

Norah Jones came on stage after Jobs to perform a song or two.

This article was written by Amit Chowdhry. You can follow me at @amitchowdhry or on Google+ at
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