Biz Break: Apple’s iPhone 7 makes its debut

Top Of The Order:  

An Apple A Day: Did you hear about Apple’s first-ever official tweet? No? Well, if you blinked you missed it. Because it seems like Apple tweeted out details about the new iPhone 7 on Wednesday, then yanked the tweet off the Twitterverse almost as soon as it was first posted. Chances are, the many journalists covering Apple’s “special event” on Wednesday weren’t too happy about Apple’s initial tweeting efforts.

In the meantime, Apple did roll out the iPhone 7. You can order one on Friday and the new phones will be available Sept. 16. The iPhone 7 starts at $649 and the iPhone 7 Plus will cost you a minimum of $769.

The Merc’s own Michelle Quinn got up bright and early Wednesday to join the masses at the Bill Graham Civic Center in San Francisco and she has all the details you need in order to start your Christmas shopping right away.

Middle Innings: 

Westergren Speaks: Pandora Media Chief Executive Tim Westergren hasn’t done a lot of public speaking since coming back to the CEO chair at the Oakland-based internet radio company earlier this year. Wednesday proved to be the exception to the rule, however.

Westergren spoke at a Citigroup tech conference Wednesday morning, and while he didn’t give many nuts-and-bolts details about Pandora’s plans for an upcoming, on-demand subscription-based streaming music service, he did address the topic, and other matters.

As a reminder…Pandora offers two music-listening options: a free version with ads that allows users to set up radio “stations” based on music artists, songs or genres, and a $4-a-month version without ads. However, neither model currently lets you say, pick a specific song or album to hear, like those service from rivals like Spotify and Apple Music.

Westergren said the new Pandora offering “won’t be like anything you’ve seen before” and the company “was not approaching this from a ‘me-too’ mentality.” Westergren also said that he still favored a “lean back” approach to music listening that makes it easy for listeners to have music, in effect, brought to them rather than making consumers have to put too much effort into hunting down the songs they want.

“We think consumers need a lot more help (with streaming music),” Westergren said. “We’re going to build a whole new demand curve.”

Reports have said the new Pandora service might come in $5-and-$10-a-month versions, but Westergren said nothing about upcoming subscription prices.

No, Really…I Was Only Doing Research: Well, it seems like as good a time as any to remind you that any place, anywhere online can get hacked. So, maybe spending time on the Brazzers site isn’t the best idea after all. Especially since a big, giant hack of the porn site has exposed almost 800,000 email addresses, user names and passwords. Yeah. Best just stick with fantasy football, instead.

Bottom Of The Lineup:

Here’s a look at how some leading Silicon Valley stocks did Wednesday..

Movin’ On Up: Gains came from the awesomely named Bio-Rad Laboratories, as well as Nektar Therapeutics, Finisar, NeoPhotonics and Depomed.

In The Red: Decliners included Sigma Designs, Advanced Micro Devices, Rambus, GoPro and Maxim Integrated Products.

The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.2 percent to 5,283.93.

The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped by 0.1 percent to end the day at 18,562.14.

And the broad-based Standard & Poor’s 500 Index closed at its break-even point of 2,186.15.

Quote Of The Day: “The best iPhone we have ever made.” — Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, at the event in which Apple unveiled the new iPhone 7 Wednesday. But, really…Would he have said anything else?

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Photo: Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the iPhone 7 at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. (Gary Reyes/Bay Area News Group)


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