LIVE from the Apple launch

new ipod nano

Lots of speculation surrounding the event, from new 'Touch' versions of the nano to a smaller mini-iPad and perhaps even a new streaming music service.

The Apple Stores are down, so clearly something's on the way – keep checking back and we'll report the event as it happens.

18.00 Kick-off time is here...

18.01 Steve Jobs on stage in SF to nerdy applause. Introduces his 'partner in crime' Steve Wozniak; now he's talking about Apple Stores, after saying 'we have a lot of cool stuff to show you'.

18.03 Talking about new retail stores in Paris, Shanghai, and London...

18.04 300 stores, 10 countries: 'there are days when a million people visit our stores'.

18.06 Over half of all Mac buyers are new customers.

18.07 120m iOS devices shipped.

18.08 200 apps downloaded every second, 25,000 iPad apps available, 250k apps in total, over 6.5bn apps downloaded so far.

18.09 'Today we're launching iOS4.1.' Bugs fixed – proximity, Bluetooth, iPhone 3G –, High Dynamic Range photos, HD Video upload over Wi-Fi, TV show rental, Game Center for multiplayer games

18.12 Mike Capps from Epic games demonstrating Project Sword, realtime RPG.

18.14 iOS4.1 available next week for iPhone, iPod Touch – free download.

18.15 Now a sneak peek at iOS4.2...

18.16 'All about iPad': wireless printing, via Print Center.

18.17 And AirPlay: AirTunes to be renamed as AirPlay, will be able to stream video and audio over Wi-Fi

18.19 Jobs is playing Jack Johnson from Pandora while demonstrating multitasking.

18.20 That was just the starter, Jobs says. Now the main course: iPods. 'Some cool new music products we have for the holidays'. That's Christmas to those of us in London...

18.21 Biggest line-up change ever. New designs across the range.

18.23 New Shuffle: tiny, but 'people missed the buttons': so now it has controls; voice-over playlists; genius playlists. 15-hour battery life, $49. Showing us the packaging: 'It's realy cute.'

18.25 Now for the nano...

18.26 New nano has multitouch screen. It's just like a miniature Touch. 46% smaller and 42% lighter than current nano; comes with a clip; VoiceOver; FM radio.

18.28 Swipe and tap, just like other iOS devices.

18.30 Six colours, $149 for 8GB, $179 for 16GB.

And now the iPod Touch..

18.32 Jobs: Touch has been a remarkable product, most popular iPod, also world's No 1 portable game player.

18.33 New Touch is thinner, has Retina Display: 4x pixels of old model, 24-bit colour, LED backlight.

18.34 Apple A4 chipset, 3-axis Gyro, FaceTime with front-facing camera. HD rear camera, can edit using iMovie.

8GB $229, 32GB $299, 64GB $399. Shipping next week.

18.38 Lots of iTunes stats: 11.7bn songs downloaded, 450m TV episodes, 100m movies, 35m books. 160m accounts using 1-click.

18.42 Launching iTunes 10: cleaner, more elegant, new logo with no sign of a CD! Album cover art option in list view

18.44 And announcing Ping as part of iTunes 10 - social networking for music. 'It's like Twitter and Facebook meet iTunes'

18.45 Will allow social music networking among a circle of friends – you can see what others have bought/listened to, and post opinions and thoughts on their choices, as well as pictures.

18.47 Users can decide who follows them, so you limit it to your circle of friends, or artists can allow anyone to follow them if they wish.

18.50 Can also allow ticket sales for concerts, etc...

18.51 Ping available in computer, iPhone, iPod Touch, built into iTunes 10, available today

18.51 Oh, and one more 'hobby': AppleTV. 'Not a big hit, although users love them. So what have we learned?'

18.52 Users want Hollywood movies and TV, they want HD not amateur stuff, they want to play less and they don't want a computer on their TV, Jobs says

18.55 So, the new Apple TV. A quarter of the size of the current model 'about the size of a hockey puck'.

Matt black, HDMI/USB/optical digital audio out/Ethernet/802.11n Wi-Fi.

18.57 No internal storage, purely a streaming client. "Silent, cool and tiny'.

18.58 ABC and Fox already signed up in the States, 99c a show, commercial-free. Apple expects others to 'see the light'. Purely a rental device – click on a show, and you can rent it to watch. Or first-run movies, in HD, for $4.99.

18.59 Also Netflix, YouTube, Flickr, etc., and can stream content from home computer.

19.01 Now Jobs is renting a movie, live, on stage...

19.05 ...And now streaming TV.

19.07 Using AirPlay, you can stream content from iPad to the Apple TV unit.

19.09 And the price? Well, seems people thought the old one was too expensive at $299, so new one is...

$99.Available in 4 weeks, preorder today, yada yada...

19.11 Jobs now rounding up in his usual 'so here's what we talked about today' style...

19.13 Introduces 'one of our favourite artists' – Chris Martin. Yes, him out of Coldplay. The one with the daughter named Apple.

Full coverage with pictures to follow just as soon as we've hotfooted it home!