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SanDisk launches ‘iDon’t’ anti-iPod campaign

SanDisk, the No. 2 seller of digital music players in the U.S., has drastically stepped up its efforts to take on the iPod with a new Guerrilla marketing campaign. The company’s “iDon’t” campaign, launched over the weekend, consists mainly of an anti-iPod website, but also includes paid foot soldiers at university campuses. The “iDon’t” website’s main purpose is to promote SanDisk’s Sansa e200 music player by communicating to consumers that owning an iPod is unoriginal and that iPod users are followers.

Analyst: Q3 iPod sales could be slightly below estimates

Acknowledging that it may be too early to make an accurate call on June quarter numbers, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says that Apple’s third quarter iPod unit sales could be slightly below estimates. Munster says that NPD shipment data for April suggests iPod units of around 8.0 million for the quarter. “The Street is currently looking for 8.6 million iPods in the June quarter, ahead of our estimate of 8.25 million and the iPod units of 8.0 million suggested by the first month of NPD,” Munster writes in a research note to clients. “Recent chatter in various articles and web postings about trends with component suppliers have suggested that iPod units were slower than expected in April, so we do not think investors will be surprised by this early datapoint. As a result of ‘Grads and Dads’ buying we believe May and June iPod sales will likely be better than what was seen in April.”

Griffin bundles cassette adapter with TuneFlex

Griffin Technology has announced that its TuneFlex car dock/charger for the iPod nano now comes bundled with a cassette tape adapter. “The TuneFlex package now provides a complete solution for charging, mounting and playing iPod nano in an automobile,” says Griffin. “Simply plug the cassette adapter into TuneFlex’s 1/8” stereo line-out jack, and slip the cassette into the auto’s tape deck.” The TuneFlex features a flexible steel neck, pass-through dock connector, and plugs into any standard 12 Volt accessory outlet to power and charge the iPod. The TuneFlex bundle sells for $50.

Mix: Steve Jobs, Macy’s, Walkman phone, CNET

Apple CEO Steve Jobs made an appearance at the grand opening of Apple’s new Fifth Avenue flagship store on Friday. He was also interviewed on NBC Nightly News and CNBC.

Federated Department Stores Inc., the parent company of Macy’s, has announced that it is installing large vending machines that will dispense iPods at 180 Macy’s stores across the U.S.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton reveals iPod playlist

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, a possible U.S. presidential candidate in 2008, has revealed what tunes reside on her iPod. She said her mix includes the likes of Aretha Franklin, the Beatles, the Eagles, and the Rolling Stones, in addition to classical music and other genres. “I’ve got everything—a total smorgasbord,” Clinton said. She received her iPod as a birthday gift from her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

Incase launches New York Landmark cases

To celebrate the grand opening of Apple’s Fifth Avenue retail store, Incase has announced a new collection of iPod and laptop cases that will be available exclusively at the New York location. Incase’s “New York Landmark Collection” features an embossed design with New York City landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, and Brooklyn Bridge. The folio-style iPod cases come in black or white for the fifth-generation iPod ($40) and iPod nano ($35). Incase has built commemorative cases for other large Apple Stores in the past. These include the “St. George’s Cross,” “Maple Leaf” and “Hachiko” cases for the London, Toronto, and Shibuya openings, respectively.

iLounge counts down to major community milestones

iLounge is pleased to announce the imminent sign-up of our 100,000th forum member and the posting of the 4,000th photo in our iPods Around the World photo gallery. In celebration of the milestones, iLounge will be giving away a custom-colorized fifth-generation iPod to the 100,000th validated forum member (if you already have an account, please don’t sign up again - tell a friend!), and a custom-colorized iPod nano to the member who posts the 4,000th validated photo in the iPods Around the World gallery. Winners will be announced on the iLounge site.

ShuffleArt vinyl skins for 5G iPods released

ShuffleArt has announced a new line of decorative vinyl skins for fifth-generation iPods. The skins are available in five designs—Hullabaloo, Atmosphere, Virtual Tour, Defender, and Kingdom—and sell for $11 each. Films are provided for the front and back of the iPod. ShuffleArt says that all of its skins are repositionable, removable and reusable for a “fast, easy and accurate installation and goo-free removal.”

Mix: iPod prices, ABC shows, Apple stores, iPod ban

In an article on the pricing of consumer goods across the globe, BusinessWeek lists the various retail prices of a 4GB iPod nano in different countries.

The select ABC television shows available online have been viewed about 3 million times since the network launched the free service two weeks ago.

Apple files suit against Creative Technology

Following Creative Technology’s announcement on Monday that it is suing Apple for patent infringement, Bloomberg News is reporting that the iPod maker also filed suit against Creative the same day. Apple claims that Creative infringes on four digital music player patents it owns. The suit was filed in a Wisconsin District Court. As reported earlier this week, Creative is suing Apple, alleging that the iPod’s interface is infringing on the company’s “Zen Patent.” It is has also filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission seeking an order to block imports of the iPod from China.

Hip-Hop stations partner with Apple

Power 106 (KPWR-FM, Los Angeles) and Hot 97 (WQHT-FM, New York) have become the first radio stations in the U.S. to integrate the iTunes Music Store into their websites. “Now, when listeners hear new music on our stations, a countdown, or mix they won’t have to work hard to find it, they just visit our station websites,” said Hot 97 Program Director John Dimick. The stations’ sites feature a custom section that uses Macromedia Flash to let visitors browse playlists and artists, but purchases are still completed through the iTunes application.

Mix: Indie suit, Ofcom, Steve Award, Gadget Locker

A group of independent music publishers have filed a class action lawsuit against several digital music services—including Apple’s iTunes—for failing to secure licenses to sell downloads.

Ofcom, the regulating body for the UK communications industries, said it is working with other regulators to draft an EU-wide standard on the use of iPod FM transmitters.

Fifth Avenue Apple Store to open tomorrow

Apple will open its extravagant new retail store on New York City’s Fifth Avenue tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. The new Apple Store features a distinctive 32-foot glass cube entrance, as well as a spiral glass staircase and cylindrical elevator that lead to the underground store. The Fifth Avenue location will be open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Apple said the new store will offer more than 100 Macs and nearly 200 iPods for customers to try, along with the world’s largest assortment of accessories. The store will also have the largest staff of any Apple Store (nearly 300), as well as a combined 45-foot Genius Bar, iPod Bar and The Studio where customers can get face-to-face support. Early reports and photos of the store have already been posted.

Waterproof Splash Pack DriPod announced

Allsop has introduced the Splash Pack DriPod, a clear waterproof case for iPods and other portable devices. The bag-like case features play-through access, an adjustable lanyard, a resealable triple-zip closure, an external heat-sealed headphone jack, and is fully submersible up to nearly 10 feet. The Splash Pack DriPod is available in two sizes—small for the iPod nano, and large for the fifth-generation iPod. Both sell for $20.

Mitsubishi “i” car sports integrated iPod nano slot

Mitsubishi Japan has announced a new Play edition of its ultra-compact “i” car. In addition to a navigation system with a 7” touch screen and 30GB hard drive, the Play edition has a dedicated slot for inserting an iPod nano. Music from the nano can be accessed and played via the system’s display and sound system.

imageThe special edition car will also only come in black or white to match the nano. Mitsubishi’s “i” car, which is powered by a 0.66L DOHC 3-cylinder engine, starts at 1,585,500 Yen ($14,500) and will be available this month in Japan. [via Gizmodo/New Launches]

Analyst: ‘True’ video iPod, iPhone likely this year

Following a meeting with Apple executives, Bear Stearns analyst Andy Neff said he believes that a “true” video iPod and possibly other new Apple products will be launched in the second half of 2006. After talking with Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer and Apple VP of Product Marketing Greg Joswiak, Neff told clients: “While Apple did not comment on potential new products, in addressing the issue of emerging competition and potential commoditization of iPod, it appeared to us that Apple is likely to refresh the iPod product line ahead the holiday season (as it has done every year since the introduction of iPod). However, ‘true’ video iPod (if launched) is likely to be offered as a complimentary product to iPods. Also, iPod phone appears to be in the works, although timing remains uncertain.”

Mix: RIAA vs. XM, American Idol, Creative suit, iPod thieves

The Recording Industry Association of America has sued XM Satellite Radio, alleging that its Pioneer-manufactured Inno device infringes on copyrights because it can save and playback music from XM stations.

Snubbing the iTunes Music Store, Fox is now selling downloads of performances from “American Idol” on the show’s official website. Video downloads sell for $1.99, while audio downloads cost 99 cents.

Jamo offers i300 iPod speaker system

Jamo recently introduced the i300 speaker system for all dockable iPods. The 2.1 system includes a standalone powered subwoofer, two compact satellite speakers, an iPod dock, and wireless remote control. “The system’s versatility extends far beyond filling your room with tunes stored on your iPod,” says Jamo. “The control dock (which charges your iPod too) is also fitted with an extra auxiliary input on its rear panel so that you can hook up your computer, portable DVD player or games console to the system. Still got another source that you want to hook up? No problem—there’s yet another input on the subwoofer itself.” Pricing was not available.

Mix: Free cases, Bono/Bush, MacBooks, XtremeMac

Contour Design is giving away 200 free iSee nano cases on its website. The company is also offering 15% off all of its hardshell cases until next Monday.

According to financial reports released by the White House, Bono, lead singer of U2, gave president George W. Bush an iPod last year.

Memorex debuts three new iPod sound systems

Memorex has introduced three new iPod speaker systems — the iListen, iMove and iWake. All of the units feature a built-in charging iPod cradle, digital AM/FM tuner, SRS WOW technology sound enhancement, backlit LCD display, and wireless remote control. The iListen (shown right) is a flat-fronted shelf system that features a silver stand and wall mounting capability. The iMove is a portable boombox-style system with an integrated carrying handle. Finally, the iWake is a clock radio with dual alarm function that lets you wake to your iPod, radio, or alarm. All three systems come in white or black and are compatible with 4G and 5G iPods, iPod nanos and iPod minis. Pricing is not yet available.

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