Marware has announced the Sportsuit Sprinter, the latest addition to its second-generation iPod nano case line. Designed for runners and active walkers, the Sportsuit Sprinter ($25) features an adjustable hand strap with an adjustable Velcro closure and 2mm neoprene outer construction. The case has a soft lined interior and play-through vinyl screen and Click Wheel protection. The case also features Marware’s signature Multidapt interchangeable clip system.
According to Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster, iPod units will likely come in shy of Wall Street’s 8.6 million expectation when Apple releases its fourth quarter results next week. Citing sales data from NPD, the analyst now believes Apple will ship 8.2 million iPods during the quarter. “We have analyzed the first two months of NPD data (July & August) for the September quarter and found that it suggests iPod units of around 7.4 million. When the third month of data is released, our analysis will likely lead to a different iPod unit figure than what our analysis suggests based on the first two months of data, given data for the month of September will include data related to the new iPods that are now shipping. Given the new iPods that were just recently announced, we believe iPod units will end the quarter closer to Street expectations, but still shy of 8.6 million.”
iFrogz today announced the Tadpole, a new fifth-generation iPod case made specifically for children ages one and up. Available in multiple colors, the silicone cases features two large handles to help children maintain a solid grip. “iFrogz’s new Tadpole case for kids is a dream come true for busy parents who want a way to keep their child entertained during trips to the grocery store, doctor’s office, post office, etc. and on longer trips too,” says the company. The Tadpole case will begin shipping in early December for $25.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer expressed to BusinessWeek that he wished Apple hadn’t dropped the price of the 30GB iPod before his company released its Zune Media Player. “Apple put the hammer down there, dropped the price down to $249. If they had been $299, it would have been nicer,” Ballmer said. “They have the advantage of scale. So we’re at $249, too. We don’t make a lot of money, not to start out.”
Three New Yorkers allegedly stole more than $7,000 in iPods from a Target store in Utah and had plans to do the same in other stores, according to police. “Surveillance tape from the Target store in Riverdale showed one of the suspects stuff 39 iPods down an oversized pair of pants and walked out of the store undetected… police also found a map of every Target store in Utah and Nevada tucked inside the seat of the suspect’s car.”
TEN Technology has introduced the iRide, a new product that combines an iPod dock with a raised glove box organizer. Designed for cars with direct-connect iPod integration kits (OEM or aftermarket), the iRide ($79) features a dock that works with all Dock Connector iPods which can be mounted onto an included glove box organizer from Auto Organizers. “The iRide will keep your iPod safe and secure in your glove box, and let you connect up with just one hand,” says TEN. “The iRide can be permanently mounted onto the Glove Box Organizer shelf to keep your iPod protected from damage and vibration, and hidden from view while connected to you car’s stereo system. Slip in the particular insert for your iPod model and your iPod can ride in style.”
Contour Design has introduced the iSee nano V2, a new hard case for Apple’s second-generation iPod nano. The crystal clear case offers all-around protection and features a play-through Click Wheel cover, a removable, multi-position stainless steel belt clip, and Dock Connector/headphone jack plugs. Contour said the iSee nano V2 will be available the first week of November for $20.
Belkin has announced the TuneStage II, a new version of its Bluetooth wireless iPod solution. The TuneStage II turns your iPod into “the ultimate remote control” so you can play the music from your iPod through your home entertainment system wirelessly. The device works from over 30 feet away and features Bluetooth v2.0 technology, enhanced audio quality, improved rejection of interference, and lower power consumption than the previous model. The TuneStage II can also pair with Bluetooth-enabled devices such as headphones, car stereos, cell phones, and computers. Belkin said the TuneStage II will be available in late November for $150.
Belkin has also introduced the TuneCast 3, a new universal FM Transmitter that streams audio from any device with a 3.5mm headphone jack to an FM stereo receiver. The TuneCast 3 features cable management, a status indicator on the LED screen, and a 20-hour battery life (a power cord is included for battery-free operation). The device transmits on FM channels 88.1MHz - 107.9MHz with two memory presets. The TuneCast 3 will also be available in November for $50.
To count down to the November 1 launch of our third annual Buyers’ Guide, we have launched a new photo contest with brand new iPods as prizes. The Buyers’ Guide Countdown Contest offers you the chance to win an 80GB iPod, an 8GB iPod nano, or a 4GB iPod nano if your colorful photo of an iPod is picked as a winner. See all the details and the full rules here!
ViewSonic has announced its first two ViewDock LCD displays—the 19-inch VX1945wm ($330) and 22-inch VX2245wm ($450). As previously reported, the “Made for iPod” displays incorporate an iPod docking station and allow users to dock an iPod to watch videos or listen to music without cables or a separate device. The displays also feature four USB 2.0 ports, an 8-in-1 card reader, a microphone, stereo speakers and a subwoofer. They offer DVI connectivity, 5ms response times, 700:1 contrast ratio, and a 16:10 aspect ratio with the VX2245wm featuring a 1680x1050 resolution and a 1440x900 resolution on the VX1945wm.
See iLounge’s First Look at the ViewSonic displays for hands-on photos and further details.
Spawntek has announced the iTector, a new machined aluminum case for iPods. The iTector case—available for the fifth-generation iPod and first-generation iPod nano—features a “patented slide and lock system” and comes in silver, black, blue and pink. The 5G model sells for $50, while the nano version sells for $40. Available options include car mounts, UTV mounts, off-road vehicle mounts and boat mounts, according to Spawntek.
SBS Innovations has introduced the iShok case for fifth-generation iPods. The new iShok 5G Video Case “combines a unique combination of Impact Grade Polycarbonate Plastic and Soft Thermoplastic Overmolded Rubber to protect your iPod from accidental impacts, scratches and dents while cushioning the device to safeguard the sensitive electronics inside.” The case is water and dust resistant and features play-through controls, a snap closure, and stainless steel hardware. The iShok 5G Video case sells for $23 and fits the 30GB, 60GB and 80GB models.
Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster believes more movie studios will have content on the iTunes Store in the next six months, but not likely before the holidays. Following meetings last week with four of the six major film studios, Munster said a couple of the studios indicated that they expect to have movies on iTunes within six months, but that it may require tweaks to Apple’s pricing. “We would not expect additional studios to sign on with iTunes before the holidays, however, as most studios recognize that this change could disrupt their holiday business at retailers,” the analyst said. Munster believes there are three key reasons why other studios are taking their time in partnering with Apple: Fear of retaliation from big box retailers, copy protection issues, and a desire to have a flexible pricing model.
PBS today announced that it is now offering select programming on Apple’s iTunes Store, enabling users to purchase and download documentary specials and episodes from popular PBS primetime and children’s programming. The primetime programming includes Antiques Roadshow, Nova, Now, and Scientific American Frontiers. PBS Kids shows include Arthur, Cyberchase, and Fetch. Episodes are priced from $1.99 each.
Belkin today officially introduced the SportCommand, a new a wireless fabric iPod remote that straps to your arm. First shown to iLounge in August, the SportCommand is designed for outdoor enthusiasts and lets you wirelessly control your music while your iPod stays protected. The weather-resistant and hand-washable armband remote features neoprene and velcro construction, has a 50 ft. range and provides controls for play/pause, next/previous track, and volume up/down. Belkin said the SportCommand will ship in November for $80.
GEAR4 has announced the BluEye, a new iPod accessory that combines a Bluetooth hands-free mobile connection, FM radio and remote control. “Enjoy your tunes, make and take calls, or listen to the radio all via this incredible Bluetooth remote control headphone system,” says GEAR4. “The BluEye provides a seamless connection between your mobile phone and iPod. View phone numbers on your iPod display, the BluEye will pause your tunes, alert you to an incoming calls and then resume your music once your calls is finished.” The BluEye ($95), which appears to be similar to the BluPod shown last month, is available in black or white. It works with “most Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones” and is compatible with 4G and 5G iPods, the iPod mini and iPod nano.
Target has sent a letter to movie studios expressing concern that Apple and other companies will get a better deal from the studios for digital movies than the retailer gets on wholesale DVDs. The sharply worded letter from Target President Gregg Steinhafel said the retailer didn’t object to competition but wanted “a level playing field,” and also said that if Target didn’t receive fair pricing from the studios it would reconsider its investment in the DVD business. Target accounts for about 15% of DVD sales in the U.S. The letter follows similar complaints to studios from Wal-Mart and comes just weeks after Apple added full-length movies from Disney to the iTunes Store for as little as $12.99 each.
MP3.com founder Michael Robertson believes the Zune media player will be a large failure for Microsoft. “At first glance the features seem compelling but my prediction is it will be the biggest flop of 2007 with less than 50,000 units sold worldwide,” he says. Robertson cites Zune’s disappointing wireless features and the device’s incompatibilities with “Plays For Sure” purchased songs. “Microsoft will likely spend nearly $100 million in marketing the Zune. The press will give them tens of millions of dollars in free marketing,” Robertson continues. “In spite of this publicity the Zune will be an expensive failure for Microsoft because consumers aren’t stupid. As the saying goes: Zune me once, shame on you. Zune me twice, shame on me.”
Bob Dylan’s new album “Modern Times” hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts thanks in part to Apple’s iTunes TV commercial featuring the legendary singer. Advertising Age reports: “The iTunes spot wasn’t just a run-of-the-mill celebrity-endorsement deal in which a big brand signs a big check to tap into the equity of a big star. This one flipped the formula, with the all-powerful Apple brand giving Mr. Dylan access to younger demographics and helping propel his sales to places they hadn’t been since the Ford administration. ‘The iTunes tie-in definitely did more for Bob than it did for [Apple], making him seem younger, cooler and more progressive,’ said M.T. Carney, partner at Naked Communications in New York.”
By reader request (and fulfilling our original design desires), our top-of-page headlines now have pause, rewind, and skip buttons, allowing you to stop their automatic rotation, go back to a story that caught your attention, or cut forward to something new. Though this isn’t a huge change to our main page, we wanted to let you know about it just in case you missed the “Show Previous Story,” “Show Next Story,” and “Pause Stories” buttons up there; give them a try, and we hope you like them.
ColorWare is offering Apple’s latest iPods—the enhanced fifth-generation iPod and second-generation iPod nano—in a rainbow of custom painted colors. The company says the 5G iPods are available in 24 standard colors, and the new nano can be ordered in one of 28 standard colors. Customers can also pick from “thousands of color combinations.” ColorWare is selling the custom painted iPods for $75 over their retail prices. The 30GB iPod sells for $325 and the 80GB model for $425, while the 2GB nano sells for $225, the 4GB model for $275 and the 8GB nano for $325. ColorWare also offers a service that lets you send in your iPod to have it colored in the hue of your choice for $64 to $84.