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Mophie offers Wraptor case for 2G iPod nano

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Mophie has announced the Mueva Wraptor case for Apple’s second-generation iPod nano. The silicone case features a clear polycarbonate collapsible cord wrap for iPod earbuds, “putting an end to the dangles and tangles forevermore.” The case also provides full-screen protection and a play-through click wheel guard. The Wraptor case will be available in five colors—black, frost, pink, blue, and green—in February for $25.

iPhone requires Cingular contract; No other carriers anytime soon

The iPhone will require a two-year Cingular service plan, according to reports. “We spoke with Cingular and confirmed that Apple’s new iPhone will require a two-year cell phone plan and will not be sold without it,” reports the San Francisco Chronicle’s Ellen Lee. At a CES press conference in Las Vegas following the iPhone’s introduction, Cingular confirmed that customers must agree to a two-year contract in order to buy the iPhone, even if that requires customers to renew their current service plan with the company. Cingular also said that the company’s exclusive rights to sell the iPhone is a “multi-year agreement in the U.S.,” meaning the device won’t be offered by other carriers anytime soon.

Cisco sues Apple over iPhone name

Cisco Systems filed suit against Apple today, claiming that the company is using the iPhone name without permission. The suit comes after an apparent licensing deal fell through this week following years of negotiations over the iPhone trademark, which Cisco has owned since 2000.

“Cisco entered into negotiations with Apple in good faith after Apple repeatedly asked permission to use Cisco’s iPhone name,” Mark Chandler, Cisco’s senior vice president and general counsel, said in a statement. “There is no doubt that Apple’s new phone is very exciting, but they should not be using our trademark without permission.”

As of yesterday, Cisco said it was confident Apple would agree to its latest terms, noting that it was expecting to receive a signed agreement from Apple. Cisco said the paperwork never arrived, and today filed a lawsuit, asking a U.S. district judge for Northern California to order Apple not to use the iPhone name during this week’s Macworld Expo.

Natalie Kerris, an Apple spokeswoman, dismissed Cisco’s suit. “We think Cisco’s trademark lawsuit is silly,” she said. Several companies already use the name “iPhone” for Voice-over-Internet products, Kerris said. “Apple is the first company to ever use the ‘iPhone’ name for a cell phone. We believe that Cisco’s trademark registration is tenuous at best. If Cisco wants to challenge us on it, we are very confident we would prevail.”

iLounge announces 2007 Best of Show Award winners

iLounge has just announced the winners of its Best of Show 2007 Awards:

Alpine X001 Digital Media Receiver
Altec Lansing iM600 Portable Speaker System
Apple iPhone
Belkin Bluetooth Dock Adapter for iPod
Belkin Clear Acrylic and Brushed Metal Case for iPod nano
Belkin TuneStudio
Elgato EyeTV 2.3.3
Griffin Evolve Wireless Speaker System
Harman Kardon Drive + Play 2
iSkin Cerulean Bluetooth Earphones
Lenntek Hookup-Lanyard
Macally TunePro Flat Panel Stereo Speaker with AM/FM Alarm Clock
Power Support Silicone Jacket for iPod shuffle
Roxio Toast 8 Titanium

Congratulations to the winners! Full details are now available in this linked article.

Motorola offers Bluetooth iPod adapter, wireless headphones

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Motorola has announced a new Bluetooth iPod adapter for use with wireless headphones. The Motorola Bluetooth Adapter for iPod D650 is compatible with any dock connector iPod, requires no batteries, and features an indicator light for power and pairing. Alongside the adapter, Motorola also announced its Bluetooth Active Headphones S9. The lightweight, behind-the-head earphones work with the iPod adapter or a Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone. The Motorola Bluetooth Adapter for iPod and Bluetooth Active Headphones S9 are expected to be available in the first half of 2007. Pricing was not announced.

Mix: Jobs interviews, iSecrets, Beatles, Zune phone

  • January 10, 2007

Apple CEO Steve Jobs appeared in two televised interviews following the announcement of the iPhone yesterday. Jobs spoke with both CNBC and ABC’s Nightline. Watch videos at the links.

Fortune’s Peter Lewis has written an article about how Apple kept the iPhone a secret. “Apple didn’t show Cingular the final iPhone prototype until just weeks before this week’s debut. In some cases, Apple crafted bogus handset prototypes to show not just to Cingular executives, but also to Apple’s own workers.”

Despite Apple CEO Steve Jobs playing a Beatles song during his keynote presentation yesterday at Macworld Expo, the band is still nowhere to be found on the iTunes Store.

Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft’s entertainment and devices division, said his company is considering a mobile phone integrated with its Zune media player. “It’s probably on the table of things for us to look at, but not the number one thing we are focused on,” Bach said.

Tunewear announces Tunewave FM transmitter for iPod

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Tunewear has announced its Tunewave FM iPod transmitter/charger. The Tunewave FM—which includes an FM transmitter, 12V car charger adapter and USB charging and syncing cable—allows users play an iPod wirelessly on a car stereo, home stereo or portable radio. It features a blue-backlit LED screen, safety fuse for charging, and works with all dockable iPods. The Tunewave FM sells for $50 and will be available next month.

iPhone reaction: Press, analysts, competitors and bloggers

“Apple’s new iPhone could do to the cell phone market what the iPod did to the portable music player market: crush it pitilessly beneath the weight of its own superiority. This is unfortunate for anybody else who makes cell phones, but it’s good news for those of us who use them.”—Lev Grossman, Time

“At first blush, it’s the gadget-lover’s ‘genie in a bottle’ fantasy: get three wishes fulfilled in only one wish. But like a mischievous genie, Apple has left us wanting more: a wicked video iPod with trifling storage capacity, a super smartphone that will need to be shipped back for battery replacement, and an highly visual web device that may choke on data when used on Cingular’s current cell phone network. And then there are the prices, known and unknown. Perhaps by design, it will cause envy, yet immediately require successors.”—Jeremy Horwitz, iLounge

“At $499 and $599, it’s a pretty expensive deal. Steve is more focused on not cannibalizing iPod sales than on driving volume of phones. Those are not high-volume prices.”—Rob Glaser, CEO of Real Networks

“I don’t know a single person that likes the phone they have. Everyone feels like a victim of both their phone plan and their phone hardware. Cellphones seem to be one of those things that barely works given all the drawbacks. The iPhone isn’t just a new gadget. It looks like something that will transform the way we think about cellphones.”—Matt Haughey, A Whole Lotta Nothing

“From what Jobs showed Tuesday, the iPhone really does look to be five years ahead of what anyone else has got. Maybe longer. It’s taken rivals five years to catch up with the iPod, which now looks hopelessly outdated and crippled compared to the iPhone.”—Leander Kahney, Wired News

“There’s an interesting tradeoff presented by the iPhone. While the phone can do more, and it’s interface is fluid, in some ways it widens the gulf between human and computer. When you touch it it doesn’t touch you back.”—Jason Fried, 37signals

“This goes beyond smart phones and should be given its own category called ‘brilliant’ phones. Cell phones are on track to become the largest platform for digital music playback, and Apple needed to make this move to help defend their iPod franchise as well as extend it beyond a dedicated music environment.”—Tim Bajarin, Creative Strategies

“It’s not just candy. These are entirely useful, new ways to use your phone.”—Mike McGuire, Gartner

“This thing will go through the roof, exactly according to Apple’s master plan. Prepare for a replay of the iPod lifecycle: other cellphone companies will rush out phones that match the iPhone’s feature list, but will fail to appreciate the importance of elegant, effortless, magical-feeling software.”—David Pogue, New York Times

“We are focused on the ‘pro-sumer’ and business customer, where e-mail, Microsoft Outlook and easy text entry for messaging and Web navigation is required. A full QWERTY keyboard is essential, so you can compose and edit documents fast and round-trip them back to the office rather than trying to navigate a cursor up and down and sideways.”—Marlene Somsak, Palm spokeswoman

“What you cannot appreciate looking at iPhone photographs on your computer display is how amazing its screen is. 166 DPI is an amazing resolution—tiny, tiny text is amazingly legible. And the device itself is very thin. The battery policy, though, is exactly like that of other iPods: it’s sealed inside the case, and is not swappable.”—John Gruber, Daring Fireball

“Prospects for the new device are positive, but it is not a given that Apple can win against a slew of wireless providers, phone manufacturers, and Microsoft, all of whom are similarly motivated to raise their flag on the same territory.”—James L. McQuivey, Boston University professor

“At the risk of playing into the hype of the iPhone, seeing is believing with this device.”—Gene Munster, Piper Jaffray

“Apple’s bothersome tradition of non-user-servicable batteries continues. There’s no reason to do this, frankly, aside from the kind of implied ‘we’re aesthetic obsessives’ claim that Apple still gets away with.”—Rob Beschizza, Wired

“This product could not have been done two years ago and come to market the way that it has. Yes, I know other devices can do a lot of what the iPhone can do but that’s like saying there’s a lot of other music players out there as well.”—Michael Gartenberg, Jupiter Research

“It just confirms our message, and it’s good to have others preaching the same message. The best company will win in the end, so I think it’s good news for us. It’s not a threat, although of course it’s hard competition, but that usually makes you perform better yourself.”—Pekka Pohjakallio, VP of Nokia Nseries Computers

“OS X. On your phone. Damn.”—Merlin Mann, 43 Folders

“While its $499 and $599 price points appear high, they are highly functional devices and best-in-class. We would not be surprised to see simpler cell phones in the future at much more aggressive price points… Apple will likely follow its iPod strategy, which is to start out at the high-end and then trickle down to mid-range and low-end.”—Shaw Wu, American Technology Research

“I’ve already ordered two. I don’t know what the cost is and I don’t care. The higher it is the more I like it as a shareholder.”—Nick Kaiser, Saturna Capital

“Wireless is hard. Success in this industry has confounded other companies like Microsoft and even Motorola at times.”—Mike Abramsky, RBC Capital Markets

“The iPhone is a lot of things: A widescreen iPod, a smart phone and a mobile web browser. It also might be the death knell of the current iPod.”—Pete Mortensen, Wired News

XtremeMac intros cables, HDMI switcher for Apple TV

XtremeMac has introduced a line of home audio and video cables for the new Apple TV streaming media device. The XtremeHD product line also includes a four-port HDMI switcher designed to complement the Apple TV. The XtremeHD cables include: HDMI to HDMI ($20), HDMI to DVI ($20), Component Video ($20), Toslink Optical Audio ($20), and RCA stereo ($15). The XtremeHD four-port HDMI switcher, which will be available next month, enables users to connect up to four HDMI sources—such as Apple TV, DVD players, satellite systems and DVRs—and then connect to a single HDMI input on a television. Any one of the connected video sources can then be selected using the button on the front of the HDMI switcher or via the included remote control.

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iPort update enhances control, video functionality

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iPort, known for its Apple iPod focused in-wall music system, unveiled today a hardware and software upgrade for their IW (in-wall) and FS (free-standing) music systems. These Authentication IC upgrades offer expanded iPod 5G support including video output and browsing of the iPod video menu including playlist and view list data, via RS-232 control systems. Upgrades to existing systems can be performed to replace the RS-232 circuit card found in level 4 and 5 iPort models that incorporate RS-232 serial control for integration with remote keypads or touchscreens.

Apple now fourth-largest music reseller in U.S.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs said today that the iTunes Store is now the fourth-largest reseller of music in the U.S., recently passing Amazon.com. During his keynote presentation at Macworld Expo, Jobs revealed that iTunes now holds the No. 4 spot behind Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Target. Separately, Jobs announced that more than 2 billion songs have been purchased and downloaded from the iTunes Store since it was launched in 2003.

Apple still working to license iPhone trademark

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Even though Apple has already announced that its new mobile phone will be called the iPhone, the company has yet to sign an agreement with Cisco, the holder of the iPhone trademark. According to Cisco—which launched a line of VoIP phones last month under the iPhone brand—the company has recently been in extensive discussions with Apple about licensing the trademark. Cisco said that “it is our belief that Apple intends to agree to the final document. We expect to receive a signed agreement today.” Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president for worldwide marketing, would not confirm to the Associated Press whether the company had agreed with Cisco on terms of use of the name. “There are a number of companies that have used ‘iPhone,’ but this is the first use in a cellular phone,” he said. “We feel fine using it as a cell phone name.”

Apple stock soars, smartphone makers sink

Following the introduction of the iPhone today, Apple stock rose $7.10, or more than 8 percent, to end the trading day at $92.57 a share. Meanwhile, being negatively affected by the iPhone, shares of smartphone makers Palm and Research In Motion (RIM) fell sharply. In the wake of the announcement, investors sold off shares of RIM, maker of the Blackberry line of devices, causing the stock to fall nearly 8 percent, or more than $11. Palm, maker of the popular Treo handheld, saw its stock drop nearly 6 percent.

iPhone, Apple TV shown at Macworld keynote

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During his keynote presentation at Macworld Expo today, Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the long-rumored iPhone to rapturous applause from the large audience in attendance. Jobs also showed off the retail version of the iTV, now called the Apple TV, and revealed other news such as a company name change and the latest iTunes sales.

Apple unveils revolutionary iPhone
Apple TV announced
iTunes Store sells 2b songs, 50m TV shows, 1.3m movies
Apple drops ‘Computer’ from company name
Apple now fourth-largest music reseller in U.S.
Cisco sues Apple over iPhone name
iPhone reaction: Press, analysts, competitors and bloggers
Apple’s Jobs: ‘You don’t want your phone to be like a PC’
iLounge Macworld Expo flickr photos
iLounge Apple keynote photo gallery
Macworld Expo 2007 keynote video

Apple posts new iPod+iTunes ads

  • January 9, 2007
  • iPod

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Apple has posted the two new iPod+iTunes ads that were shown earlier today during the Apple keynote presentation. The commercials are more colorful and more “illustrated” than previous ads. Both spots feature the song “Flathead” by The Fratellis.

Apple drops ‘Computer’ from company name

Toward the end of his keynote presentation today, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced that his company is dropping the “Computer” from its name and will now officially be known as Apple Inc. Jobs noted that of Apple’s four main product lines—the Mac, iPod, Apple TV, and now iPhone—only one was a computer. The name change was more than likely made possible by a settlement last year with The Beatles’ Apple Corps.

iTunes Store sells 2 billion songs, 50 million TV shows, 1.3 million movies

Apple today announced that more than 2 billion songs, 50 million television episodes and over 1.3 million full-length films have been purchased and downloaded from the iTunes Store. Apple said iTunes now offers over 4 million songs, 250 feature films, 350 television shows and over 100,000 podcasts. As expected, Apple has added more than 100 movies, priced at $9.99 each, from Paramount Pictures to the iTunes Store.

“iTunes has crossed another major milestone by selling over two billion songs—with over a billion of them sold in the last year alone—making it by far the world’s most popular music store,” said Apple CEO Steve Jobs. “And by selling 50 million TV shows and over 1.3 million movies to date, iTunes is already the largest online video store in the world as well.”

Apple TV announced

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In addition to the iPhone, Apple CEO Steve Jobs also unveiled the retail version of the pre-announced iTV streaming media device. Now called the Apple TV, the living room gadget allows users to wirelessly play audio and video content from a Mac or PC on a television. Jobs said the device will begin shipping in February for $299.

Along with the features previously shown, including the interface and browsing, Jobs revealed that the Apple TV will have a 40GB hard drive (for up to 50 hours of video, 9,000 songs, 25,000 photos or a combination of each) and is capable of delivering high-definition 720p output. Jobs also said that using high-speed AirPort 802.11 wireless networking, the device can auto-sync content from one computer or stream content from up to five additional computers to a TV.

“Apple TV is like a DVD player for the 21st century—you connect it to your entertainment system just like a DVD player, but it plays digital content you get from the Internet rather than DVDs you get from a physical store,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Apple TV plays the same iTunes content that users enjoy on their computers and iPods, so now they can even watch part of a movie in their living room, and watch the rest later on their iPod.”

Apple unveils revolutionary iPhone

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Following literally years of speculation and rumors, Apple CEO Steve Jobs today introduced the iPhone, a sleek all-in-one device combining a mobile phone, widescreen iPod, and internet communicator. The iPhone boasts a 3.5-inch widescreen display and runs a version of Apple’s Mac OS X operating system with an innovative new user interface for using just a finger to control the device on-screen.

It comes in two capacities—4GB and 8GB—and includes support for quad-band GSM, EDGE, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0 EDR wireless technologies. The iPhone also sports a built-in 2 megapixel camera and will work with Macs or PCs. Apple’s Jobs confirmed that the exclusive carrier for the iPhone will be Cingular.

Jobs said the phone is 11.6mm thin—thinner than any smartphone available, including the Motorola Q and Samsung BlackJack. The iPhone has built-in sensors—an accelerometer, a proximity sensor and an ambient light sensor—that serve to automatically rotate the display from portrait to landscape, and to turn off the display to save power and prevent inadvertent touches. Battery life is said to be 5 hours for talk time, video or browsing, and 16 hours of audio playback.

The iPhone will be available in June. The 4GB iPhone model will sell for $499, while the 8GB model will sell for $599, each with 2-year contracts. Apple said Cingular will announce service plans for the iPhone before it begins shipping in June. The iPhone will be available in Europe in late 2007, and Asia in 2008. Jobs said he was announcing it today and shipping nearly six months from now because Apple needs FCC approval. The iPhone will sell in Apple Stores and Cingular stores.

Users are able to make calls in several different ways, including simply pointing at a name or number with their finger. The iPhone syncs contacts from a PC, Mac or Internet service, and allows users to easily create conference calls. Another new feature called Visual Voicemail lets users look at a list of their voicemails, choose which messages to listen to, then go directly to those messages without having to sit through prior messages. The iPhone also includes an SMS application with a full QWERTY screen-based touch keyboard to easily send and receive SMS messages in multiple sessions.

In addition to a mobile phone, the iPhone includes a major new iPod portion. The device features touch controls for play-pause, chapter forward-backward and volume. To go along with the iPhone’s widescreen display, there’s now a Cover Flow view for browsing your music library by album cover artwork. (The iPhone is switched automatically to Cover Flow view by simply rotating the device into its landscape position.) Movies and TV shows are obviously also now viewable in a full widescreen view.

The iPhone runs a slimmed-down version of Mac OS X, including email, web browsing, searching and maps. A rich HTML email client fetches email in the background from most POP3 or IMAP mail services and displays photos along with the text. The iPhone comes with a mobile version of Apple’s Safari web browser, allowing users to view web pages as they appear on a PC, and then zoom in to expand any section by simply tapping on iPhone’s multi- touch display with their finger. The iPhone also includes Google Maps for viewing maps, satellite images, traffic information and directions. The iPhone also includes a calendar application and a photo management application, which can be automatically synced with your PC or Mac.

Several iPhone accessories will also be available in June, including a new Bluetooth wireless headset and new pair of iPod-like earbuds with integrated microphone.

Report: iTunes Store to get Paramount movies

Apple’s iTunes Store is set to offer movie titles from Viacom’s Paramount Pictures, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. The deal, at least for the time being, will only cover Paramount’s back catalog. Paramount’s catalog titles include hits such as “Forrest Gump” and “Mission: Impossible.” Apple CEO Steve Jobs is widely expected to announce new partnerships with Hollywood studios today during his keynote speech at Macworld Expo.

“The Hollywood studio has stopped short of also providing its new releases in an effort to allay concerns of DVD retailers about competition from iTunes,” reports the Journal. “Paramount decided that by only providing catalog titles, which will be sold at $9.99, it would get most of the benefit from the download service and less of the hassle from retailers… They reasoned that catalog titles will provide more revenue than new releases.”

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