As usual, there were plenty of rumors and speculation in the months ahead of today’s Apple event, some of which managed to spoil the surprise. Since so much was announced just a few minutes ago, including the brand spankin’ new iPhone 5, we’ve put together this hefty guide to make sure you stay in the loop on all things Cupertino.

Stats, Stats, Stats

Opening up the event, Tim Cook has revealed a number of new statistics. Most notably, there are a total of 380 Apple stores in 13 countries, all of which support 1 million visitors a day. Apple has also announced it has sold 7 million copies of Mountain Lion, and that downloads have more than doubled in just two months.

Later on, Cook shared that 90% of the over 700k apps in the App Store are downloaded every single month. Additionally, Apple announced that there are now 200 million iTunes in the Cloud users.

iPhone 5

As expected, Apple has revealed its latest iPhone, dubbed the iPhone 5, featuring a larger 4″ screen, support for 4G LTE (and HSPA+, DC-HSDPA), Apple’s A6 chip with 2x faster CPU and 2X faster graphics capabilities, improved battery life, wideband audio and a faster, 8MP camera.

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More specifically, the new device is 7.6mm thick (which is 18% thinner than the iPhone 4S), 112 grams and 20% lighter than the iPhone 4S. Additionally, it still features a 326 PPI display, despite the screen size increase. It is priced the same as the 4S was at $199 – $399; as such, the 4S now costs $99 and the 4 will be free with contract. All three of these devices will run iOS 6.

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“It’s a jewel. It’s the most beautiful product we’ve ever made, bar none,” said Apple’s Phil Schiller.

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There can be 5 rows of icons now, instead of four, as the screen has been elongated vertically with 176 rows of pixels. All of Apple’s iLife suite has been updated to take advantage of this new screen size. Pre-orders begin on September 14th, and the device will start shipping on the 21st.

To learn more, check out our first look at the new iPhone 5. You can also read more about the iPhone 5′s upgraded FaceTime camera.

Lightning Connector

Named similarly to its older brother, Thunderbolt, Apple’s new Lightning connector is 80% smaller and more durable than the old 30-pin connector from 2003. Sadly, an adapter for that old connector will cost you at least $29.

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This move was surely made to make room for the iPhone 5′s upgraded components. Read more here.

iOS 6 (Arrives September 19th)

Apple has announced today that iOS 6 will be available for download starting September 19th. As we said above, iOS 6 is coming to the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, 4S and iPhone 5. We’ve known most of the details relating to iOS 6 since it was first announced months ago, and now it’s finally ready for the masses. Read more here.

iPod Touch

Apple’s iPod Touch has also received a major update today, featuring a 4″ display, Siri, Airplay and a 32nm A5 chip. The device will be available in 5 colors (black, silver, blue, red, yellow), is 6.1mm thick and weighs just 88 grams.

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Read more here.

iPod Nano

Apple’s iPod Nano continues to evolve: the device is now 50% thinner with a 2.5″ multitouch display and Bluetooth support. The Nano continues to support video playback, and comes in 7 colors (black, magenta, blue, silver, green, yellow and red).

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Read more here.

EarPods

The classic white Apple headphones have received a major update and a new name: EarPods. The new EarPod headphones feature a “natural fit and increased durability,” plus improved acoustic quality. Given that the previous headphones were known for their sub-par fidelity, this is a welcome change.

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EarPods are shipping today. Read more here.

iTunes 11 & iCloud

As you’d expect, iTunes 11 has been announced, bringing integration for iCloud right inside the software. But what’s perhaps more interesting is what Apple appears to have done with Ping, its less-than-impressive social networking service which was built into iTunes last year. Artists can now share photos directly with listeners and search has been improved.

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Apple also touted that there have been 29 billion iTunes song purchases across 63 countries. Read more here.

Conclusion

All in all, today is clearly an important day for Apple, but it comes without many surprises — thanks to all the leaks that surfaced over the past few months. The iPhone 5 was the star of the show, and all of the above releases keep Apple looking quite competitive against its rivals.

There is no word on new Mac updates or if NFC will ever be embraced, but you can see all of TNW’s Apple event coverage by clicking the image below:

 Heres everything you need to know about Apples iPhone 5 event

Via: MacworldEngadgetThe VergeGDGT & Wired under Creative Commons license. Featured image by Dennis Goedegebuure, originally posted at DPictures.com at Apple White Logo, color background. Creative Commons 2.0 License: Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)