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DLO releases Jam Jacket with cord management

Digital Lifestyle Outfitters has announced the release of updated Jam Jackets for iPod nano and the 30GB fifth-generation iPod. These new Jam Jackets feature a headphone management system that secures both the cables and earbuds to the back of the case, as well as full click-wheel protection and larger opening for the Dock Connector. “Dealing with constantly tangled cords is a huge headache for any iPod user,” said Rick Case, executive vp of sales for DLO. The DLO Jam Jacket for iPod nano is available in clear or black for $20; the DLO Jam Jacket for 30GB fifth-generation iPod is only available in black and sells for $20 as well.

EyeTV 2.4 update adds Apple TV support

Elgato Systems has released EyeTV 2.4, a free update to its EyeTV software which brings one-click video export for the Apple TV. “The feature functions in the same way as EyeTV 2’s easy iPod export button,” says Elgato. “Simply select a video from the list of recordings and click the new Apple TV button in the menu bar. Alternatively, the export can be automated as part of the recording schedule.” EyeTV 2.4 also offers bug fixes and other improvements, including support of third-party infrared hardware, Program Guide enhancements, and support for Apple’s Spotlight search technology.

More iPhone cases found online

A list of various iPhone cases has been spotted on the trade site Ali Baba, a site where merchants find manufacturers and vice-versa. The cases, not meant for direct sale to individuals, are available in silicone, leather, and even metal. As mentioned in our recent article “Consequences of iPhone’s early debut,” it is still unknown whether these cases were designed using real iPhone shells, or if these manufacturers are using rough mockups with the intention of finalizing the cases after iPhone’s launch. As of this writing, there are no known US distributors for the cases.

Cisco comments on iPhone ‘interoperability’

Following an agreement earlier this year to share the iPhone brand name, Apple and Cisco are currently exploring ways to make the iPhone work with Cisco’s business and consumer equipment. “We’re optimistic, but it’s still early,” Cisco Chief Development Officer Charlie Giancarlo said. Ways in which the two companies’ products can work together “are now being investigated by both technical teams.” Giancarlo said Cisco wants the iPhone to work with its corporate phone systems, allowing users to get the same services, such as instant messaging and teleconferencing, on their Cisco desk phones and iPhones. In a statement in February, Apple only said that the companies would “explore opportunities for interoperability.”

iTunes Store offers ‘Great Albums’ sale

Apple has kicked of a “Great Albums” sale on the iTunes Store with over 100 music albums priced at $7.99. Apple has organized the albums by years—1920s-1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s-2000s. Among the popular artists and bands are Nirvana, Johnny Cash, Oasis, Elvis Presley, U2, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, and Eminem. Regular price on the albums, like most on the iTunes Store, is $9.99.

Blue Raven intros replacement batteries for iPod

imageBlue Raven Technology has announced the immediate availability of a complete line of replacement batteries for first- through fifth-generation iPods and iPod mini. The batteries, which are available at retailers such as CompUSA, Micro Center, and Amazon, include detailed instructions and all required tools. In addition, the replacement batteries offer up to 30% more capacity, resulting in longer battery life. “Changing your own iPod batteries is actually quite easy and inexpensive,” said Blue Raven’s President and COO, Glen Kashgegian. “With this new line we are empowering consumers to maintain their own devices to get more value and use out of their investments.” Blue Raven iPod replacement batteries are available now from $30.

Keyspan debuts black TuneView iPod remote

imageResponding to customer suggestions, Keyspan has introduced a new black version of its TuneView for iPod remote. The black enclosure will begin shipping on all TuneView remotes starting in May, and will also be made available as an accessory for current TuneView users. “Customers have told us that they love TuneView’s ability to browse and manage an iPod throughout their house,” said Keyspan president Mike Ridenhour. “However, many customers have said that they would favor a different look for the remote. We tested several concepts in recent months and found that the black enclosure was a big hit.” The Keyspan TuneView for iPod sells for $180.

iPhone cases spotted at electronics fair

imageAlthough Apple’s iPhone isn’t scheduled for release until late June, Chinese accessory manufacturers have already been working on case prototypes, which were shown at the latest HK Electronics & Computer Fair in Hong Kong. Cases shown include what appears to be a hard plastic case, a silicone sleeve, and a leather case, all allowing access to the device’s touchscreen as well as side and home buttons. No release or pricing information for the cases has been released.

Analyst on iPhone: Expect rebate, bounty and Vodafone

Shaw Wu of American Technology Research has issued a new report detailing a number of iPhone developments that he expects to happen during the device’s launch. First, Wu said his sources believe AT&T will offer a rebate of $50-$150 to iPhone purchasers. “From AT&T’s perspective, a rebate is a great marketing tool to entice a customer to sign up for 2-year voice and data plans which cost $75-100 per month, meaning $1800-2400 in guaranteed bi-annual revenue,” the analyst said. Secondly, Wu said it appears Apple will be paid a “bounty” from AT&T for each iPhone customer it signs up at an Apple Store. Wu also said that Apple will likely participate in a revenue sharing agreement where it collects a recurring monthly fee—an estimated $5-$10 per user. Finally, Wu said his sources report that Vodafone will most likely be the carrier of the iPhone in Europe.

iHome to help fight breast cancer with pink iPod case

iHome is partnering with the American Breast Cancer Foundation to donate a percentage of sales from its pink iH19 Portable Sport Case to breast cancer research.

“Pink is the nationally recognized color of breast cancer support, and we are delighted to donate proceeds from the sales of our pink iH19 to help combat breast cancer,” said the company. “iHome and its parent company SDI Technologies have always played an active role in the community and we are pleased to be able to do so again with such a worthy partner as the American Breast Cancer Foundation.”

The iHome iH19 ($70) is a water-resistant case with integrated speakers and built-in remote control. The case attaches quickly to strollers, exercise equipment, and the like.

Mix: Fortune 500, Pi Phone, Microsoft, Royal Mail

Apple jumped 38 spots on the newest Fortune 500 list of the largest US corporations. Apple now ranks at 121, up from 159 a year ago.

A company, named Deeda, has supposedly introduced an iPhone-inspired touchscreen device named the Pi Phone, that includes many iPhone features such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Google Maps. This strongly appears to be a hoax.

Microsoft senior vice-president Brad Smith has warned Apple not to place too much blame on the music industry. “I’m not a big believer in just blaming the music industry for Apple’s inability to sell every conceivable iPod,” said Smith.

Royal Mail (the UK Post Office) workers are enraged after their superiors took away their iPod. It appears one of the workers had loaded a racy parody of Britney Spears’ “Oops, I did it again” onto the device, which was purchased for the workers as a morale booster.

Apple having difficulties with iPhone development?

According to various reports following Apple’s announcement of a delay for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, Apple is having troubles with the development of the iPhone, possibly pushing back the device’s launch by several weeks. “We’re hearing it’s mostly an issue with the complexity of the device, and that all the component suppliers are making their deliveries on time,” says Jagdish Rebello, an iSuppli analyst. Although Apple’s statement made it clear it still plans to ship the iPhone in “late June”, this contradicts previous reports form AT&T (formerly Cingular) stating the device had a target release date of June 11, during Apple’s WWDC conference.

Apple CEO again takes $1 salary

Apple CEO Steve Jobs again took a salary of only $1 in 2006, according to an Apple filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. “The majority of Jobs’ compensation is paid through an equity grant, though he received no new grant in 2006,” reports CNN/Money. “During the year, a 2003 stock grant fully vested, giving him Apple stock now worth nearly $1 billion.”

Other Apple executives also fared well. Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer realized $56 million in value from stock options during 2006, in addition to a $615,000 salary, a $450,000 bonus and restricted stock valued at $14 million. Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook received a salary of $697,000, a $525,000 bonus, and restricted stock valued at $22 million in 2006.

Motionbox to offer personal video downloads for Apple TV

Motionbox, an online personal video sharing service, has announced plans to offer subscribers the ability to share HD-quality videos via the Apple TV, “making it even easier for families, friends, and groups to enjoy their personal video.” As part of a set of premium services being launched later this quarter, Motionbox will give subscribers the ability to download their personal videos to Apple TV, as well as iTunes and fifth-generation iPods, supporting all video formats including HD. Subscribers and their friends and family will be able to share HD-quality personal video in their homes with an Apple TV, according to Motionbox.

Griffin intros three new iPod cases

imageGriffin Technology has announced the addition of three new iPod cases to its lineup. The Courier for iPod has an innovative design that fits on shoulder bags and backpack straps, and offers detachable cases for both fifth-generation iPods and the iPod nano. Other features include interior compartments for cables and accessories, reflective trim for safety, and an integrated headphone cord manager. It sells for $30. Find out more about the Griffin Courier for iPod in our first look article.

The iVault for iPod nano is an all-metal affair, featuring a secure magnetic closure, a rubber plug to protect the nano’s Dock Connector, and integrated screen and click wheel protection. The Griffin iVault for iPod nano sells for $25, you can learn more in our first look. The Tempo armband for iPod shuffle offers second-generation shuffle owners a lightweight, one-size-fits-all armband with a patented clip design for a secure hold. It also features an integrated cord-wrap and reflective trim for nighttime running. The Tempo armband for iPod shuffle sells for $15; you can get our take on it in our review. All three cases are available now.

Forums: iPhone deals & Divx, High-end car kits, Podcasts

This week in the iLounge Discussion Forums: Discussions of iPhones, Car Integration, and Podcasts.

In the increasingly popular iPhone forum, readers are questioning the accuracy of claims allegedly made by a Cingular/AT&T customer service representative who said that Apple and Cingular will sell the iPhone as an iPod first, with additional fees - no cellular discounts - only if you want to access the Cingular phone network. Other readers wonder whether Apple will expand video format support on iPhone to allow it to play Divx or other files rather than just H.264 and MPEG-4 videos. What do you think?

Our In-Car Solutions forum is packed with discussions of new high-end car kits. Two of the most popular discussions right now are for Alpine’s CDA-9856 and the Nissan Murano iPod interface, but there are lots of other discussions for various cars and types of iPod integration.

Finally, if you’re looking to become a podcaster, a nice thread on Getting Your Podcast on iTunes points the way to documents that will help you format your podcast and submit it to Apple’s official database. It’s only one of over 175,000 threads that might help you make more of iTunes this weekend - give the rest a look!

Mogopop offers ‘iPod Your MySpace’ service

Mogopop has added a new service that allows MySpace users to easily share their pages with iPod owners. The “iPod Your MySpace” service lets users create an iPod-like web widget that can be added to their MySpace page. When clicked by a friend, the Mogopop widget downloads and syncs the MySpace page to their iPod. The free service will download a MySpace user’s photo, blog (w/comments, updated every time the iPod is plugged in), top friend pictures, interests (movies, books, etc.), and tour or gig dates (for bands, comedians, etc.). Five widget colors are available.

USI, Foxconn to supply Wi-Fi iPod?

According to a report from DigiTimes, Universal Scientific Industrial and Foxconn are both involved in the manufacturing of Wi-Fi iPods due to appear later this year. USI is said to be making the Wi-Fi modules, with Foxconn serving as the system assembler. “USI will begin shipments later in April, while Foxconn may do so in the third quarter,” the report states. Taiwan-based Foxconn has been contracted by Apple in the past to build products such as iPods, desktop Macs, and Airport Base Stations.

Philips acquires iPod accessory maker DLO

Philips announced today that it will take over Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO), folding the iPod accessory maker into its Peripherals & Accessories unit.

“Through this deal, Philips will become a leading player in peripherals and accessories for the mobility domain, which will further strengthen Philips’ contacts to key international retailers—relationships based on solid category management and operational excellence,” Philips said in a statement. “DLO’s position as a leader in the field of MP3 accessories complements Philips’ strong position in the headphones category.”

Philips said DLO had sales of approximately $100 million in 2006, and that the company is expected to make a positive contribution to operating margins in Philips’ Peripherals & Accessories business unit.

Music labels want iTunes subscription service

The four major record labels are expected to ask Apple to launch an iTunes music subscription service during negotiations to renew their resale agreements with Apple. The discussions will reportedly begin next week when Universal Music, the largest record company, meets with Apple. Marketwatch reports: “Executives at Universal and other labels believe a subscription service could prove more lucrative for them than iTunes’ prevailing model of charging consumers 99 cents per track because it would increase consumption of music. It would also entitle the labels to a share of monthly payments, in addition to small licensing fees each time their songs are played.”

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