A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Apple over the iPod nano’s tendency to get scratched easily. The complaint was filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California in San Jose on behalf of nano owner Jason Tomczak and others who have purchased the device.
The lawsuit alleges that nano screens “scratch excessively during normal usage, rendering the screen on the nanos unreadable, and violating state consumer protection statutes… and causing Plaintiff class members to incur loss of use and monetary damages.
Market research firm iSuppli has taken apart the new video-enabled fifth-generation iPod and concluded that the 30GB device, which sells for $299, costs Apple $151 to manufacture—a profit margin of around 50%. “This is in line with what we have seen with other iPod products from Apple,” says iSuppli analyst Chris Crotty.
Like a similar report earlier this week, which estimated that the 30GB model cost $143.50 to build, the researcher documents the suppliers of components in the new iPod. iSuppli notes that Broadcom makes the video chip, while PortalPlayer and Wolfson Microelectronics produce the audio chips.
“In this case, the Broadcom chip is just for video and the PortalPlayer chip is just for audio,” Crotty says. “Right now, Apple is keeping the functions separate. Over time, you’ll see more chips that do everything. But now it’s probably more cost effective for Apple to do it with separate chips.”
Griffin Technology today announced a new iTrip FM transmitter for Apple’s iPod nano. The latest iTrip uses the nano’s LCD display for on-screen tuning, and features a new “sled” design that wraps around the bottom and back of the nano, and securely connects via the iPod’s dock and headphone connectors. The nano slides into the device and stays attached using “patented micro grip technology.”
“Griffin’s SmartDisplay technology seamlessly integrates all functions and features with the iPod nano,” explains the company. “iTrip information is displayed on the best screen in the industry: the gorgeous iPod nano screen. This innovative approach to displaying station and set up information is a first and only available with Griffin products. One touch navigation puts all iTrip functions at your fingertip. This also makes iTrip for iPod nano the easiest-to-operate FM transmitter, ever.”
The new iTrip also features SmartSound volume control, selectable mono or stereo modes, stores the last 3 used station presets and supports US, International and Japanese tuning modes. The iTrip for iPod nano’s introductory price is $49.99 and is expected to ship in November.
In its third-quarter earnings report, Motorola said that more than 250,000 iTunes-enabled ROKR mobile phones have shipped to wireless carriers since it debuted.
USA Today’s Edward C. Baig reviews the new 5G iPod: “Even if you never watch a second of video, the latest devices make terrific iPods,” Baig says. “In that respect, the world’s foremost portable music players have gotten only better. Seeing is believing.”
Reuters reports: “Microsoft, already under government scrutiny over its behavior toward competitors, told manufacturers of iPod-like portable audio devices that they were not allowed to distribute rivals’ music player software, but then pulled back after one company protested.”
Just a week after its introduction, Apple has released the first software update to iTunes 6. The new version, iTunes 6.0.1, includes “several stability improvements over iTunes 6,” according the brief release notes accompanying the update. “After purchasing music from the iTunes Music Store with iTunes 6 or later, you will also need to upgrade your other computers that purchase music from the iTunes Music Store to iTunes 6.0.1.” No further details were provided.
Tunewear has announced the Waterwear shuffle, a new water resistant case for the iPod shuffle. Made of clear hard plastic, the case is designed to protect your shuffle from temporary submersion into water or other liquids and protects it from dirt and sand. The Waterwear shuffle features a play-through silicone wheel, lanyard, and a headphone isolator plug. The company also said the case can withstand the weight of an adult stepping on it or being thrown against the wall. The Waterwear shuffle will be available next month for $24.95.
Following several delays, Apple appears to be ready to launch its iTunes Music Store in Australia. The company has announced that it will hold a special media event next Tuesday in the country with two senior Apple executives. An Apple spokesperson told ZDNet Australia that Eddie Cue, vice president of iTunes, and Greg Joswiak, vice president of iPod product marketing, would be talking to the press at 9:00 am, but provided no further details. The Australian store is expected to provide nearly one million songs at between AU$0.99 and AU$1.69 per song.
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters today announced that its DLO HomeDock home entertainment center for iPods is now shipping. The iPod docking center enables users play their music through their home stereo, display photos and videos on their televisions, charge their iPod and sync it to their computer. The HomeDock features RCA connectors, Composite Video, S-Video, USB 2.0 and comes with a 14-function remote control. It costs $99.99 and works with all dockable iPods, including fourth and fifth generation iPods, iPod nanos, and iPod minis.
Lap Locker has announced its PodLock iPod locking case. The case is designed to fit all full-size iPods except the 30GB 3rd generation model, original 20GB iPod photo, and the 40-60GB iPod photo. The system consists of a tapered aluminum frame to contain the iPod and a Master Lock carabiner-style combination lock. The lock allows the case to be secured to belts, backpacks, purses, and, using a clamp-lock device, the case can be locked to a table or desk. The PodLock allows access to all the iPod’s controls and ports. The PodLock is available now and sells for $39.99.
Two pre-order versions of the upcoming Madonna album Confessions On a Dance Floor are now available at the iTunes Music Store: a single-track continuous dance mix, and a traditional album divided into twelve tracks. A radio edit of the album’s first single, “Hung Up,” is immediately available for download with a pre-order—a first for the iTMS.
Television advertisers are being forced to think of new means of delivery following Apple’s announcement of commercially available advertisement-free television downloads.
Students at Jamestown Elementary School in Arlington, VA are making their own podcasts and using iPods as learning tools. The podcasts are to be used as supplemental learning tools in the future.
Griffin has announced a new version of its USB audio adapter iMic. The device sells for $39.99 and includes LP recording software.
Investment bank Jeffries & Company has posted an investment summary that includes details about the chips used inside the new iPods, as well as a few pictures. The chips include the PP5021 decoder and CPU “system on a chip” from PortalPlayer, a BCM2722 video decoder/processor from Broadcom, a K4S56163PF 256Mbit SDRAM module from Samsung, a WM8758 audio codec chip from Wolfson Microelectronics, a SST39WF800A 8Mbit Parallel Flash chip from Silicon Storage Technology, and a CY8C21 PSoC Mixed Signal Controller for the click wheel from Cypress. The report indicates that the estimated total cost of components for the new 30GB iPod is $143.50. [via TUAW]
Notably, the hard drive shown and glossed over in the Jeffries & Company report is a Toshiba 30GB MK3008GAL, a super-slim 1.8” hard disk that to date has only been produced in 20GB, 30GB, 40GB and 60GB (MK6008GAH) capacities. Consequently, Apple would need to use the thicker, less power-efficient MK8007GAH drive for an 80GB version of the 5G iPod, or wait for a thinner 80GB version matching the 60GB model to be produced.
Pacific Design has announced its iPod nano Flip Case. The iPod nano Flip Case features a flip-top design to help protect the nano’s screen and click wheel, a soft clip on the back for attaching to a belt or armband, and the case allows access the nano’s headphone jack, hold switch, and dock connector. The iPod nano Flip Case is available in Carbon Black, Precious Pink, Big Sky Blue, and Rally Red—pricing and release information have yet to be announced.
In his column for the Wall Street Journal, Walt Mossberg has taken a look at the new iPod 5G (video), including a close look at the device’s video functionality.
“Our verdict is that this new iPod is an excellent music player. It has all of the strengths that have made prior iPods monster hits, and a few subtle refinements. Plus, it’s a surprisingly decent video player, with crisp, smooth vivid playback of TV shows, music videos, short films, video podcasts and home videos… We wouldn’t want to watch a full-length movie on this iPod—the screen is just too small. But, for short things like music videos, video podcasts or even hourlong TV shows shortened by stripping out the commercials, as Apple is doing, the new iPod provides a pretty good experience.”
Tunewear has announced its Prie Ambassador 5G and Icewear 5G cases for 5G iPods. The cases are available for both the 30GB and 60GB models, and both include Tunefilm 5G, a thin protective sheet for the iPod 5G. The Prie Ambassador 5G and the Icewear 5G will be available next month.
Prie Ambassador 5G
The Prie Ambassador 5G is made from nappa leather, and features three ways to carry the case—using the removable hook to attach it to a belt loop or strap, using the removable clip to secure your iPod to a pocket or belt, or simply removing all clips and hooks and slipping it into a pocket or bag. The case also features vinyl covers for the screen and click wheel, and access to the hold switch, headphone jack, and dock connector. The Prie Ambassador comes in 3 colors: black leather with red stitching, black leather with white stitching, and white leather with white stitching. It sells for $49.95.
The Icewear 5G is a transparent silicone case for the iPod 5G. The case’s design allows access to all ports including the headphone jack, dock connector, hold switch and click wheel. Ribs are featured on the sides to increase grip and help protect the iPod inside in the event of a fall. The Icewear 5G is available in transparent silicone for both the 30GB and 60GB iPod models and sells for $24.95.
Apple has posted iPod Updater 2005-10-12 for download on its website. The update includes iPod Software 1.0 for Apple’s new video-enabled fifth-generation iPod, but does not bring any new features to current iPods. According to the brief release notes, iPod Updater 2005-10-12 “contains the same software versions as iPod Updater 2005-09-23 for all other iPod models.”
Apple’s new fifth-generation iPods have begun arriving to those in the U.S. who placed their order shortly after last week’s announcement. iLounge editors and several forum members have already received their new iPods, with many more iLoungers reporting that theirs have been shipped. In addition, it has been confirmed that most Apple retail stores have received a limited number of the new iPods.
We’ve posted a six-page photo gallery featuring the unpacking of a 30GB black iPod and a 60GB white iPod. You can also check out our Top Ten Things You Wanted to Know About the 5G iPod article, our original first look article on the device, as well as our gallery of 300+ pictures from the special Apple event where the new iPod was unveiled. Stay tuned to iLounge for our comprehensive review.
In an interview with Fortune, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said there’s more iTunes-enabled mobile phones to come besides Motorola’s ROKR. “There are more phones yet to roll out,” he said. “Cingular has been great to work with.”
If it becomes popular enough, the video iPod could begin to “raise the value of television programming in the mind of the consumer,” says Steve Hoffenberg, director of electronic media research at Lyra Research. “People pay $30 or $50 a month for unlimited cable television for a couple hundred channels that they can watch 24 hours a day. Now all of a sudden, when one hour of TV is a dollar or two, it changes the value proposition for television.”
Engadget has posted a guide on how to get TV shows off of a Series 2 TiVo and on to the new video-enabled 5G iPod.
BusinessWeek’s Ronald Grover says it’s now the Hollywood studios’ turn to learn that digital downloads are the future. “Wake up, Hollywood. What are you waiting for? Either let Steve Jobs have your movies or—and this is a novel idea for any entertainment mogul—beat him to the punch with your own efficient, cost-effective way for consumers to get flicks off the Web.”
CBS has announced that it is now offering a slew of free audio podcasts, from “60 Minutes” to “Guiding Light,” on Apple’s iTunes Music Store. Other offerings include: “Face The Nation,” “Survivor Live,” “CBS Soapbox,” “NFL Hot Topic,” and “Fantasy Football: Roster Trends.”
“Podcasting has become a way of life for an increasingly growing population, and I’m confident our programming will find a whole new audience on this hugely popular platform,” said Larry Kramer, CBS Digital Media president. “With one click on iTunes, users can now receive podcasts from each of our divisions, including entertainment and sports. We’re very pleased to be working with iTunes on this promotion, and we look forward to exposing and sharing our programming with an audience that might not be traditional TV viewers.”
Sumo Cases has provided iLounge with an exclusive look at its new leather cases for the recently introduced iPod nano and fifth-generation iPod. Pricing and availability were not announced.
Nano Flip Case
The Nano Flip Case features leather construction, a flip-top front cover, and a soft interior. The case provides access to the dock connector and headphone jack, and comes with a removable wrist strap. It’s available in black and red.
Nano Stripe Case
Sumo’s Nano Stripe Case is made from molded leather over eva foam for better protection, and sports a contrasting white stripe. Also available in black and red, it features a front face cover, access to all ports, and a removable wrist strap.
iPod Ballistic/Leather Case
The Ballistic/Leather Case for Apple’s new fifth-generation iPod features premium leather and ballistic nylon construction, a horizontal mounted belt clip, and access to all controls and ports when open. It’s available in black.
iPod Stripe Case
Sumo’s new iPod Stripe Case, also made from premium leather with a contrasting stripe, features a horizontal mounted belt clip, and access to all controls and ports when open. The Stripe Case is available in a sleek black-and-white design.
Griffin Technology today announced the AirClick with Dock Connector, a new version of its wireless remote control for iPods. Unlike previous models, the receiver of the new AirClick connects to an iPod’s bottom dock connector instead of the top headphone and remote ports.
The AirClick uses RF technology that allows users to control their iPod from up to 60 ft. away and through walls. The remote control features five buttons—play/pause, next track, previous track, volume up, and volume down—and also has a hold switch and rear clip. The new AirClick works with fourth and fifth generation iPods and iPod minis. It is priced at $39.99 and is scheduled to begin shipping in mid-November.