Tim Cook launching Apple News
Image Credit:
oprah
Oprah Winfrey Image Credit: Apple

11.07pm

Oprah Winfrey joins Tim Cook on stage to close out the show. They announce two new shows with Oprah.

And that concludes our coverage of the event! Thanks for following along.

10.38pm

Apple TV+ will be an ad-free subscription service, and will launch globally in the autumn.

10.33pm

J.J. Abrams and Sara Bareilles are working on a new series called Little Voice about young musicians in New York.

JJ Abrams and Sara bareilles Apple
J.J. Abrams and Sara Bareilles Image Credit: Screengrab/Apple

10.26pm

Pakistani-American comedian and actor Kumail Nanjiani is now on stage, talking about his new show with Apple that covers the lives of American immigrants. It'll be called Little America.

Kumail on Apple TV PLus
Pakistani-American comedian and actor Kumail Nanjiani on stage, talking about his new show with Apple that covers the lives of American immigrants. It'll be called Little America Image Credit: Screengrab/Apple

He's telling the audience of a young Indian boy whose parents were deported, and ran his parent's motel for 10 years. This'll be a new show on Apple TV+.

The show will feature stories of immigrants from the Middle East and elsewhere around the world.

10.17pm

Steven Spielberg has appeared from the darkness on stage. Now Jennifer Anniston and Reese Witherspoon. Oh, and now Steve Carell.

Apple TV Plus launch
Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston at the Apple TV+ launch Image Credit: Screengrab/Apple

Jason Momoa on stage now, talking about his new project with Apple - a post-apocalyptic world in which everyone is blind.

Mamoa with Apple TV PLus
Jason Momoa on stage, with Alfre Woodard, talking about his new project with Apple, for Apple TV+ Image Credit: Screengrab/Apple

Apple bringing out the big names.

10.11pm

We are now being treated to an artsy black and white video, backed by classical music, of famous actors and directors talking about the process of creation.

Apple TV Plus
Apple TV+ announced Image Credit: Screengrab/Apple

10.08pm

Tim Cook has finally announced Apple's long-awaited Netflix rival. The service will be called Apple TV+, and will change the way we watch TV, apparently.

10.03pm

The app will be available from May, across all of Apple's devices. It'll also be available on smart TVs, including arch-rival Samsung, plus LG, Sony, and Vizio.

Apple TV will be available in over 100 countries, the company says.

9.56pm

Apple has consolidated a number of streaming and cable services on the new Apple TV app. Looks much slicker than the old Apple TV interface. The service will combine the likes of HBO, Starz, Prime Video, and Showtime, curating content and allowing users to queue TV shows and so on.

Apple TV
Apple TV Image Credit: Screengrab/Apple

9.44pm

Apple launches Apple Arcade, a games subscription service. 

Apple Arcade 2
Apple Arcade Image Credit: Screengrab/Apple
Apple Arcade
Gaming with Apple Arcade Image Credit: Screengrab/Apple

9.43pm

Apple will also offer a physical, titanium credit card for countries where the digital Apple Card is not accepted. Apple Card will launch in the US this summer. No word on any global rollout for now.

9.35pm

Apple Card will allow you track payments by category, such as food, entertainment, and so on. There's nothing really like this in the UAE at the moment, offering a easy-to-use banking app. It'll be interesting to see if they say when this will launch in the region.

Apple Card
Apple Card will allow you track payments by category, such as food, entertainment, and so on. Image Credit: Screengrab/Apple

Apple says there will be no late fees, no annual fees, and no over fees. The company says it wants to have one of the lowest interest rates in the industry. To do this, Apple says it partnered with Goldman Sachs.

9.27pm

Tim Cook launches the Apple Card, a credit card service.

Apple Pay Apple Card
Apple Card launched at Apple Event on March 25 Image Credit: Screengrab/Apple

"It's built on simplicity, transparency, and privacy," says Cook.

Apple News
'Apple News Plus' will cost $9.99 per month. The application will feature content from National Geographic, People, Popular Science, Billboard and The New Yorker Magazines 'Apple News Plus' will contain articles from digital publishers the Skimm, Tech Crunch And Vox. - Reuters

9.25pm

To a rapturous round of applause, Rosner says that neither Apple, nor advertisers, will be able to track what you read.

9.20pm

"No one has made digital magazines as gorgeous as this," says Roger Rosner, Apple’s chief of apps, who is now on stage speaking.

Apple Event Image Credit: Screengrab/Apple

9.18pm

Apple News+ will contain 300 magazines, all curated to the user's tastes.

The magazines have all been carefully designed to look great on iPhones, Apple says.

9.10pm

Apple has packaged its new news subscription service, which now includes magazines such as Time and National Geographic, calling it Apple News+.

9.07pm

"With news being so important to us, it is critical that it is credible", Tim Cook says announcing the launch of the Apple News application.

apple mag
apple mag Image Credit: apple mag

9.06pm

Tim Cook, CEO of the largest technology company in the world, is now on stage talking about “world-class services.”

9.03pm

Tim Cook launching Apple News
Tim Cook at Apple Event in California on March 25 2019 Image Credit: Agencies

Right, the event has started. The lights have gone down, and Apple is now playing a promotional video for its products.

8.30pm

With just half an hour to go before Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, is set to take to the stage to write the next chapter in the Californian company’s history, and we’re still waiting to be seated in the Steve Jobs Theatre.

Still waiting
Still waiting... Image Credit: Ed Clowes/Gulf News

Key questions

We're now here at Apple's Steve Jobs Theatre in Cupertino, waiting to be seated. It is only the third time since the 1,000-seat theatre opened that the company has used it, underscoring the importance of today's announcement.

Apple
Apple's Steve Jobs Theatre in Cupertino Image Credit: Edward Clowes/Gulf News

Some key questions going in to today's event:

■ How will Apple differentiate its reported streaming service from the likes of Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime?

■ Will Apple keep its original content exclusive to its platforms, or allow it to appear elsewhere too, such as on Android devices?

■ Will we see the launch of a rumoured Apple credit card in conjunction with Goldman Sachs?

■ What impact will today's announcement have on Apple's share price?


“It’s show time.”

Those were the words that accompanied Apple’s invitation to a special event taking place in California today.

Analysts have speculated that the company may be preparing to launch a streaming service in a billion-dollar play to rival the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime, but the truth is we won’t know until Apple CEO Tim Cook steps on stage at around 10am (9pm in Dubai).

One expert said that today’s event was likely to represent the technology company’s greatest direction change since the first iPhone in 2007.

“This is a pivotal shift for Apple and in our opinion the biggest strategic move since the iPhone was unveiled in 2007," said Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities.

"There is massive pressure on Cook and Apple to deliver on services, with streaming content a potential linchpin of growth,” he told Bloomberg News.

Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty said in February that she though Apple could reclaim its trillion-dollar status if it launched a media bundle of music and television streaming, in addition to a news service.

There has been some speculation that the company may also launch some kind of news service.

We are set to find out exactly what Apple is planning, and how big this shift away from hardware will be, in just a few hours now.

- With inputs from Nathaniel Lacsina, Dona Cherian and Karishma Nandkeolyar