iPhone 7 launch as it happened

Apple iPhone launch liveblog

Update: The Apple event is now over - we heard all about the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, Apple Watch Series 2 and much, much more. Read on below to see how the event went down minute by minute.

Is it already that time of year again? You better believe it, as Apple's iPhone launch event is upon us once more as we prepare ourselves for an onslaught of new devices from the Cupertino firm.

We're coming at you live from the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, reporting from Apple's special event at which we expect to see the new iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and Apple Watch 2 break cover.

That's not all though, as there's also a chance we'll see a wave of new Macs (maybe), the iPad Pro 2 (unlikely), iPad Mini 5 (highly unlikely) and perhaps even a new iPod (highly, highly unlikely), minus a headphone jack.

All times in PT (San Francisco)

11.49 - Tim's back on stage. We're wrapping up now. Thanks for sticking with us guys - you rock the most! Stick around for our imminent hands on reviews with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus - it's a long way from over yet!

11.48 - The new iPhones can be pre-ordered from September 9, and to buy from September 16 - with the usual places (UK, US etc) at the start.

iOS 10 will be released on September 13, and the Airpods will cost $159 from October. Weird that there are such disparate timings.

11.46 - Finally we're getting 32GB, 128GB and 256GB sizes. The new models start at $649, and the iPhone 7 Plus starts at $749. Jet Black will only be available on 128GB and 256GB sizes. Interesting move.

11.44 - Watching a video now on how all the new stuff will help you do everything easier, more simply and better than ever. It's certainly a better phone than I was expecting, but then again I was ready to be underwhelmed.

iPhone 7

11.43 - Going through all the features now - and there are a lot of them. But how much will it cost?

iPhone 7

11.42 - Battery stats are up. The longer battery life ever in an iPhone - which you'd expect. This lasts two hours more day to day in standard usage than an iPhone 6, and an hour longer than the iPhone 6S.

11.41 - 'Nothing proves performance like 400 flying monkeys'

11.38 - We're seeing what this chipset can do now - Adobe apps on there and console quality gaming on the phone. I swear I've heard this every year for a while now.

ThisGameStudio on stage now, looking cool but nothing mind-blowing. We're used to seeing great graphics on smartphones now - they can render a lot on this app, but it's going to be a tough sell as a single feature.

The new Airpods

11.35 - Finally onto performance. With the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus 'blows away' everything that's been done before. The new chip is called A10 Fusion, a quad core CPU.

Two cores are high performance, 40% faster than the 6S and 6S Plus. The other two cores are high-efficiency cores, can help you get longer battery life. We've seen this before in Android phones, but at the same time it'll help get your Apple phone lasting longer.

11.34 - Apple Pay is coming into Japan, as the new iPhones and Apple Watch Series 2 will have Felica (a rival tech to NFC) packed inside.

11.32 - Beats headphones are doing the same thing, using the same W1 chip, and there's PowerBeats 3 Wireless and Beats X. So a new wireless experience.

But this is all locking you into Apple devices. Is that a bad thing? Do you ever connect your wireless headphones to a computer, or only to a phone or tablet... and if you have an iDevice, you probably don't have both.

11.30 - Dammit, no heart rate monitoring. Probably would have eaten all the battery though. You only need to put them near your iPhone, and open the case. Looks pretty slick -- and straight into the Apple Watch as well.

But is it Bluetooth or a proprietary format?


11.28 - Wireless Airpods are a real thing. Using the Apple W1 chip, designed to stay connected with high performance, with infra red sensors that can tell when they're in your ear, and you can tap them to access Siri too.

They can hear your voice and understand when it's happening through vibration recognition, and target your voice. There's a wireless charging case, that can pump them full of charge for 5 hours.


11.27 - Losing the headphone jack is being promoted as a noble step to help rid us wires into our phones, that this kind of move has to be made to get rid of phones packing the 3.5mm port.

11.23 - There are now over 900 million Lightning enabled devices. Apple is talking up how the connector is perfect for audio... unsurprisingly. At least Phil is addressing the lack of 3.5mm headphone jack - there'll be Lightning Ear Pods and the 3.5mm adaptor in the box.

Phil is posing the question: 'Why would Apple drop this?' 'COURAGE'. That was the word he used.

Phil saying that the Lightning connector is a great way of sending audio. Also, that smartphones have new technology that are fighting for space, and maintaining an 'ancient, analogue' connector doesn't make sense.

And 'when you have a vision of how audio should work on mobile devices', this is what you have to do. But Phil's going one further: making it wireless.

11.22 - Stereo speakers on the iPhone! Top and bottom! This is what we're talking about - and twice the volume of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S. That was it for audio... but wait, what about EarPods? And they're being connected over Lightning.

Confirmed no headphone jack.

11.20 - Ian Spalter, head of design at Instagram, is on stage now. He seems mega excited to be here. Instagram is getting on with the new zoom, with integrated with new haptic feedback system. And you can use the Live Photos to make a Boomerang instantly.

11.19 - The Retina HD display is 25% brighter, there's a higher color gamut, the Cinema standard of color saturation, and 3D Touch is back too. But what about the resolution?

11.18 - Interesting - it'll be a software update later this year, not coming right now. Why's that?

11.15 - It creates a depth map from that image - and can blur the background. 'A huge breakthrough with what can be done with smartphone photography'. Not sure HTC will agree with that.

But, like Live Photos last year, you can bet that Apple will make it something people are desperate to do. In fairness, the live depth of field photo is a cool feature. And the quality does look high, so will be interesting to see how it can do compared to the HTC from 2014.

iPhone 7 camear

11.14 - Next up is a 'creative project' from Apple's engineers. Phil's talking about shutter depth of field... is this going to be the same thing we saw in the HTC One M8?

11.11 - Now we're talking about the Plus - it's a dual camera array. The other camera is a telephoto lens, both 12MP. Is this like the LG G5?

It's a zoom feature built into the iPhone 7, that telephoto lens can take a picture from twice as far away, with new user interface tweaks to allow you to allow you zoom from 2x to 10x much more easily.

Interesting - this method was great on Nokia's PureView technology, but it never really caught on. Apple probably has other ideas.

11.09 - Looks like the headphone jack went because Apple needed to fit in the taptic engine. But will it be worth it?

iPhone 7 home button

There's a 7MP sensor on the front, so you'll get even better images of your face with technology taken from last year's technology.

11.08 - Now we're talking about the pictures from the iPhone that professional photographers have taken. Good low light photography, but our EIC Darren Murph is making sounds that tell me he's not super impressed...


11.05 - The new iPhone camera has an all new camera system. It's an optical image stabilisation - and oh, we're getting an iPhone 7 Plus. An f/1.8 aperture, which is pretty impressive. Larger sensor, 12MP. The flash is quad-LED, which can compensate for flickering in the atmosphere.

No dual camera on the iPhone 7 - step down. The leaks were right. But the new image sensor processor, working out people and bodies and then sets the color, white balance and focus with the Focus Pixels.

iPhone 8

11.03 - Now those things can be programmed by third party apps, the Taptic engine now in the iPhone as well. Be interesting to see how that works in real life.

The phone will also be water resistant. And it's IP67 protected - not as strong as the the Samsung, but good enough for most drops and spills.

11.02 - The Home Button is next up. It can still do all the other things that you need. But now it can't be clicked, like the iPod, electrostatic and force sensitive, works with a taptic engine.

iPhone 7

11.01 - Phil Schiller on stage talking about it. It's got a new finish, a jet black finish. A high gloss finish, seamless between black and screen. Antennas are subtle and hard to see. There's a second new black called.... black. And a black Apple logo. Looks pretty snazzy. It's also in gold, silver and rose gold.

No blue... all the leaks were wrong.

10.59 - Man, that phone looks thin. He's saying words like capillary, saturation, dye... magnetised? Particle bath? What is happening?

10.58 - Jony Ive is on video! Aluminium body, made with very few parts - and there's the dual camera again. Looks like all the leaks were completely wrong. It's excellent that they're on both devices.

This whole thing looks completely different. The leaks might have been wrong...


10.57 - 'Of course, the world's most advanced mobile operating system deserves the most advanced smartphone... here it is'.

The best iPhone we've ever created. Wait, dual cameras on the smaller model too?

10.56 - This is taking a long time now - come on Tim, we've already seen the new iPhone. Let's hear all about it!

10.54 - iPhone and iOS 10 - basic stuff on stage now. Tim talking about sales, and how big the iOS 10 launch is.

Apple Watch ceramic

10.53 - Tim is back on stage to talk iPhone. The 'Gold Standard' in the industry apparently.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.