During Apple’s fourth quarter conference call with analysts and press Tuesday, a senior Apple executive said that the final phase of a complete iPod lineup revamp would be revealed before the holiday shopping season, hinting that full-size iPods would soon receive a makeover and new features—possibly at tomorrow’s special event in San Jose, California.
While discussing the iPod family and the new iPod nano, which just replaced the iPod mini, Tim Cook, Apple’s executive vice president of worldwide sales and operations, said that his company had some “very innovative new products that we have yet to introduce” for the holiday season. Cook noted that Apple began working on “revolutionary” new versions of its iPods more than a year ago, and that last quarter was the final quarter for the older models.
Also during the conference call, Cook said that Apple sold over 1 million iPod nanos in the first 17 days of the product’s availability (before the fourth quarter ended), and that the company is seeing “staggering” demand and an “enormous backlog” for the tiny device.
Reporting record fourth quarter and year-end financial results on Tuesday, Apple announced that it shipped more than 6.4 million iPods during the quarter, the 10th consecutive quarter of record iPod sales.
Apple’s net profit for the quarter was $430 million, or 50 cents per share, on $3.68 billion in revenue—the highest quarterly earnings and revenue in the company’s history. These results compare to a profit of $106 million and revenue of $2.35 billion last year. For fiscal 2005, Apple had a net profit of $1.335 billion on revenue of $13.93 billion, representing the highest annual net profit and revenue in the company’s history.
With today’s report of Apple shipping 6,451,000 iPods during the quarter—about 300,000 more than last quarter and approximately 4.4 million more than a year ago—the total number of iPods sold now stands at over 26 million.
In an SEC filing, Apple said all iPod models accounted for more than $1.212 billion in revenue during the quarter, an increase of 126 percent compared to last year. Apple’s “Other Music Products
Contour Design has announced two new hard cases for 20GB and 30GB fourth-generation iPods. The cases are expected to start shipping on October 26th. Pricing information was not available.
Showcase Sport ($32.95)
The new Showcase Sport builds on the design of the original Showcase hard case. It features a new, secure sliding latch, smoother shock absorbing rubber, and a streamlined design to offer “superior protection and looks.”
The Contour ToughShell is made of a lightweight transparent material that “complements its sleek and streamlined design without compromising a hard case’s ultimate protection.” It also sports a snap-tight latch.
Apple will report its fourth quarter financial results later today. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call estimate the company will earn 37 cents a share on $3.72 billion in sales.
Apple’s iTunes Music Store now includes 15,000 podcasts, and visitors have subscribed to more than 7 million of the shows, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Bill Amend’s FoxTrot comic strip features a mention of Apple’s iPod nano, with one character saying he is going to design a competitor called the “jPod pico.”
Two iPod accessory makers have publicly criticized Apple for its “Made for iPod” licensing fee, which reportedly takes 10 percent of the price of a product that connects to an iPod dock connector port.
Dominique Water, head of Bose’s Asia Pacific operations, said: “All Apple partners were told of the decision some weeks ago. This is a massive license fee which will not sit comfortable with many partners. Bose is not happy as the proposed fee is excessive by any standards.”
An Altec Lansing spokesperson said: “We were told of the port fee some weeks ago. It is ridiculous. It is excessive and will result in many partners rethinking their relationship with Apple. It will also push up the cost of Apple accessories.”
Marware has introduced its new accessory lineup for Apple’s iPod nano. The new line consists of 10 cases made from neoprene, silicone, plastic, fabric and leather in a variety of styles and colors. “Rather than scaling down existing case designs to fit the nano, Marware has designed new, unique cases that complement the nano’s sleek form,” explains the company. Most of the cases, which are summarized below, will be available by the end of October.
The orca-skin neoprene case features a unique side-opening lid, clear plastic screen and click wheel protector, armband clip, belt clip, and hand strap. It comes in black, blue or silver for $29.95.
Sporty neoprene case offers complete protection and features a removable belt clip, velcro closure and a pocket to hold earphones. It’s available in black or blue for $19.95.
An ultra-slim, form-fitting case with screen protector and removable mini clip. It comes in black and sells for $19.95.
Flexible silicone case with clear plastic screen protector. The case is available in 10 colors for $9.95 each.
Sport Grip Extreme
Rugged silicone case with hard plastic screen-protector, carabiner, and lanyard. Available in same 10 colors for $19.95.
Hard plastic case with pull-out side for earphone storage. It also features a screen protector and removable belt clip, and is available in black for $19.95.
CEO Card Wallet
The full-grain leather wallet holds business cards and your nano. The $24.95 case comes in black, brown, red and pink.
CEO Billfold Wallet
A full-featured black leather wallet that holds your nano, credit cards, cash and other essentials. It sells for $34.95 and features plastic screen and click wheel protector. Marware notes that it is for jacket pocket use only.
Animal print case come with lanyard and carabiner, and is available in seven different prints. It sells for $19.95.
Nano-sized version of its holiday-inspired iPod sleeve. It includes lanyard and carabiner and sells for $19.95.
Miniot has introduced the iWood nano, a new iPod nano case hand-crafted from wood. The iWood nano—available in varieties such as maple, mahogany, pear, wengé and walnut—is carved from a single piece of wood and features a hinging lid. It can be ordered with a monogram initial on the outside and a two-line message inside. Pricing was not immediately available.
“The iWood nano is made from the best gift of nature: wood. Massive wood of course from various kinds of trees. Carefully selected and carved with precision, the iWood nano fits and protects the iPod nano like a glove. The iWood nano’s own natural color is not all that makes it unique. Your own monogram engraved on top makes it even more personal, let alone the discretely hidden message inside.”
Japan’s music industry has asked the government to charge a royalty on portable digital music players. “Money earned from the fee, likely to be 2 percent to 5 percent of the retail price, would go to recording companies, songwriters and artists as compensation for lost revenue from home copying.”
7-11 stores in Japan will start selling iPods later this month. “Japanese consumers will be able to buy five types of iPod from the chain, including the iPod nano.”
Police in the UK have blamed an increase in street robberies on the popularity of iPods and mobile phones. “Figures to be released by the Home Office later this month are expected to reveal that muggings rose by almost 40% in some parts of the country last year.”
Newsweek has an article looking at the music industry’s crusade to collect shares of ad and content revenue for its music videos and artist searches on search engines like Google.
iAttire has announced a new line of handmade Halloween costumes for iPods. Priced at $39.99, the costumes are available in seven styles for the iPod, iPod mini, and iPod shuffle. You can choose from Frankenstein, Ghost, Pirate, Vampire, Witch, Mummy or a Paper Mask assortment.
“Get into the fun of Halloween without having to wear a costume yourself. For the Halloween enthusiast, the gadget freak who loves Halloween, and for avid collectors of all types, these costumes are made for you to enjoy. Designed to be replicas of people costumes, these costumes fit and wear just like those you might select for yourself.”
Yahoo! has embraced podcasting in a major way with the launch of a new online destination that lets users easily find, listen to, rate and subscribe to podcasts. The service, which is now in beta stage and located at podcasts.yahoo.com, features a large podcast directory, community tools, and compatibility with iTunes and iPods.
“Yahoo! Podcasts offers community ratings and reviews to help people find the right podcasts for them, user tagging for better searching and discoverability, and a comprehensive podcast search,” explains Yahoo!. “In addition, Yahoo! is providing most popular and highest rated lists, category browsing and editorial picks. Yahoo! plans to add more features to Yahoo! Podcasts throughout the beta period, including personalized recommendations and easy-to-use publishing tools, which will allow anyone to create and publish their own podcasts.”
Following complaints from Korean digital music player makers, Samsung and Apple could be facing an antitrust probe over NAND flash memory chip pricing. Samsung is said to have sold its flash chips to Apple for the iPod nano at below-market prices, crippling makers of iPod competitors who cannot now build comparable devices at the same price points.
“Speaking at a local radio talk show, FTC Chairman Kang Chul-kyu said questions about Samsung and Apple engaging in unfair trading could be investigated by the antitrust body,” reports Asia’s Yonhap News. “The issue of whether Samsung provided cheap flash memory chips for use in Apple’s latest MP3 music player was raised earlier this week during a parliamentary audit on the FTC. Rep. Kim Hyun-mi claimed that Samsung sold its NAND chips for US$54, or roughly 50 per cent of market prices.”
Altec Lansing has released the inMotion iM402 Wireless Bluetooth Mobile Headset, which lets you quickly switch between listening to your iPod mini and your cell phone. The iM402 consists of a receiver unit that plugs into the mini and a clip-on remote unit that you plug your headphones into. It works up to 30 feet away, and features controls for volume, play and pause. The iM402 sells for $179 and offers up to 5 hours of talk time and up to 5 hours of stereo playback time.
“The Altec Lansing iM402 wireless headset is now the only thing that ever has to come between you, your cell phone and your iPod mini. The iM402 puts your iPod mini and cellular phone directly under your command, letting you use both at the same time at an incredible level of freedom and convenience. You can listen to your iPod, hear a phone call come in through the headset, take the call with the touch of a button, then go back to the iPod the same way.”
Now available is the thirteenth iLounge podcast, co-hosted by iLounge’s Bob Levens and Jeremy Horwitz. This week’s podcast discusses at length iLounge’s take on next week’s “One More Thing” Apple event and the surrounding rumors, the current Lounge Poll and what people really want Apple to add to the iPod, reviews of Klipsch’s iGroove and Oregon Scientific’s iBall, Oakley’s Thump 2 sunglasses, and by request, what’s hot in the iLounge Discussion Forums.
If you haven’t listened to our podcasts before - or if you have taken a break from them - this is definitely the one you should hear.
Past podcasts are available through our iTunes Music Store podcast pages, as well as our podcast feed below. As always, your comments are welcomed.
In our look back at this week in the iLounge Discussion Forums: Although a tutorial was posted recently on the web regarding using Brasso to remove scratches from iPod nanos, it is not a new discovery. Nearly three years ago, Brasso was suggested as a suitable polish for iPods. But be warned - if you work the surface too hard you could end up with this problem...
In the Hacks & Mods forum, members continue to display their iPod painting skills. One has painted his 4G iPod blood red, and not content with that mod, he has also changed the display. Another member has painted the front AND back of his 4G iPod.
The iPod mini may have been relegated to the history books - for now - but it is still a popular model and it is still supported on iLounge, with forums for General Discussion and also Problems & Solutions. And if you feel the “tough kid” on the Apple block needs protecting, there is always the iPod mini Cases forum.
Finally, we have re-established a channel on IRC for those iLounge members who wish to chat with other members. If you’re an experienced IRC chatter the server is: irc.hashmark.net and the channel: #ilounge - availability permitting, we hope to have a member of Team iLounge available as often as possible. More info can be found here.
ezGear has introduced the ultraEars SX70 earphones. UltraEars SX70 in-ear earphones use a 9mm sound driver incorporating Direct2Ear technology to offer clearer treble and bass response. Silicon Direct2Ear earpieces have a conical shape that channels sound into the ear canal increasing stereo separation and sound quality, and reducing external noise. The SX70’s come with three sizes of earpieces to provide a more personalized fit. The ultraears SX70 headphones are available now for $49.98.
FastMac is offering free iPod battery recycling to all customers who purchase a TruePower iPod battery upgrade from FastMac. This program is also available to iPod owners who purchase third party battery replacements.
“We make it easy to be green. FastMac’s battery recycling program is a painless way to be good to the environment
Piper Jaffray believes Apple could sell 5 million iPod nanos in Q1, Forbes reports.
Geoffrey Frost, Chief Marketing Officer for Motorola has been named one of Brandweek Magazine’s “Marketers of the Year” for his involvement with the ROKR and “Hello Moto” ads.
GameSHOUT is now offering all of their radio shows via iTunes podcasts.
English as a second language kindergartners in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch district are using iPods to help learn vocabulary and vocal skills. (Free registration req.)
PodGear is now offering two new lines of cases for the iPod, ipod mini and iPod nano—the JumpSuit Plus and the LeatherJacket.
The JumpSuit Plus is a silicone case available for the iPod mini, iPod 20/30, 40/60, and will also be available for the iPod nano in two weeks. It comes complete with hard screen protector, detachable belt clip and two different size lanyards. The JumpSuit Plus is available now in six different colors and sells for approx. $26.50.
The LeatherJacket is a leather case with velvet lining that deters scratching when taking the iPod in and out of the case. It comes with a detachable belt clip, a snap button closure and allows for access to screen, click wheel and ports. The LeatherJacket is available for the iPod mini, iPod 20/30, and iPod 40/60. Each size comes in black; the LeatherJacket mini is also available in Salsa Red, Paradise Blue and Baby Pink. All sizes of the LeatherJacket are available now for approx. $35.00.
Pixelgirlshop has updated their lineup of iPod cases to include two new iPod nano cases, the iPod nano Slip and the Sculptured Leather iPod nano Case. Also added are new iPod cases from Gerbera Designs including a limited edition Retro Computer design, along with new iPod Slips and limited edition PodSchtickers. All cases are available now.
XtremeMac has announced a compete line of accessories for the iPod nano. The lineup includes a variety of cases, chargers and car accessories, as well as a new version of the company’s AirPlay FM Transmitter, dubbed AirPlay2, and MicroBlast, billed as the first portable speakers designed specifically for iPod nano. All of the new products are expected to be shipped between now and the first week of November. Renderings and additional details are available in Read More below.