The lead plaintiff in the iPod nano scratch class action lawsuit claims that he never wanted to be a part of the case. In a public letter, Jason Tomczak explains that he was greatly mislead and abused by the law firm of David P. Meyer & Associates Co. “At no time did David P. Meyer & Associates or Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro ever receive any attorney-client agreement form from me,” Tomczak says. “On their own time and based on their own schedules and plans, they prepared the paperwork and filed the iPod Nano Class Action suit in California using my name as Lead Plaintiff, however this was done without my knowledge or consent… Whether I am successful or I am financially crippled by David P. Meyer & Associates’ and Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro’s defense firms, it is my sole intent to communicate the truth of what happened so that I can begin to find some peace of mind after the hate, harassment and embarrassment brought about by the misuse of my name in the iPod Nano suit.” Tomczak’s detailed story has much more.
Targus has introduced the Eyelet Security Lock for iPod, a Dock Connector lock that works with Targus cable locks to secure your iPod. “It provides end-users an affordable way to secure their iPod while at work, without having to purchase an entirely new, more costly solution,” says the company. “The eyelet lock also serves as a unique and innovative security device for corporate customers that need to lock multiple iPod demo products.” The lock features a resetable 3-digit combination and is compatible with any dockable iPod (3G, 4G, 5G, nano, and mini). [via Gizmodo]
Several iLoungers note that Apple has quietly added highlights from the NHL Conference Finals to the iTunes Music Store. Apple is currently offering 20-minute highlight videos of the first two games in both conferences for $1.99 each. The final two teams in the East are the Carolina Hurricanes and the Buffalo Sabres, while the West battle consists of the Edmonton Oilers and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. Highlights from the forthcoming NHL Stanley Cup series are also expected to be offered. NHL content has been expected on the iTunes store since January.
Confirming whispers heard by iLounge over the past several months, an individual familiar with the product disclosed that Apple’s first wireless iPod accessory—the Nike+iPod Sport Kit—will use a proprietary 802.11 protocol, rather than Bluetooth, for communications. Announced earlier today, the $29 Sport Kit consists of an in-shoe sensor that transmits running performance data, and an iPod receiver that helps record the data and provide audio feedback to the runner. Though not conclusive in any way as to Apple’s future plans, the company’s use of a proprietary 802.11 protocol rather than the widely-licensed Bluetooth 2.0+EDR standard, combined with the surprisingly low price point and small size of the Nike+iPod Dock Connector-based Adapter, suggests that future iPod wireless accessories will use similar technology. Such a move could conceivably help Apple avoid the bandwidth limitations associated with Bluetooth standards, and reduce the number of fully “iPod-compatible” wireless accessories released by third-party developers.
An analyst with Credit Suisse believes future growth of the iPod looks strong. “We believe Apple is still in the early stages of its product expansion and that the company can grow its iPod units at least 20% for the foreseeable future,” analyst Robert Sempl said in a report to clients. The analyst’s prediction is based on the relatively low penetration rate for the iPod, estimated at about 10% of PC users, or an “active installed base” of about 40 million units worldwide. Sempl sees Europe as ripe for further growth. “Europe remains the biggest opportunity for Apple, in our opinion, based on its penetration rate of only 7.1% and similar demographics and buying patterns to the U.S.,” he said. “However, the company has only demonstrated a moderate inclination to compete in the region, having opened only six retail stores in the U.K. and nowhere else in the region, choosing instead to leverage reseller partners.”
Nike and Apple have teamed up to launch a new line of Nike+iPod products. The two companies today announced the first product developed through the partnership—the Nike+iPod Sport Kit, a wireless system that allows Nike+ footwear to connect to an iPod nano to store information on time, distance, calories burned and pace. The kit provides real-time audible feedback through headphones, and includes an in-shoe sensor and a small receiver that attaches to the dock connector of the iPod. The new Nike+ Air Zoom Moire is the first footwear designed to work with the kit. The Nike+iPod Sport Kit will be available “within 60 days” for a retail price of $29.
UK-based Ubahn Clothing has announced a new collection of its Hoodie iPod cases for this year’s World Cup. The company is offering 32 different Hoodies (designed to resemble grey hooded sweatshirts) featuring screenprinted flags of tournament qualified countries. The Hoodie cases come in sizes to fit full-size iPods, the iPod mini and iPod nano. The World Cup Hoodies are priced at £12.99 (about $24).
Navio, a startup based in Apple’s hometown of Cupertino, California, has developed new software that will let content providers offer copy-protected music and videos that will play on iPods. “Navio has built a system that stores the rights associated with a piece of music, a game or a movie in the file itself,” reports Business 2.0. “When you buy a song or video from a Navio-powered website, information about your purchase is stored in a ‘digital locker’ that tracks your rights. The key difference from iTunes: Navio doesn’t care where you get the content. And that opens up any number of websites to the possibility of selling digital content. For music labels and movie studios, Navio provides an opportunity to reach consumers through a huge number of outlets, and experiment with selling and bundling content in a way that isn’t restricted by the rules of a particular service or online store.”
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.
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 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.
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, 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.
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 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 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.”
The select ABC television shows available online have been viewed about 3 million times since the network launched the free service two weeks ago.
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.
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.
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.