According to a survey taken by ChangeWave Alliance, Apple’s iPhone is primed to have an immense effect on the rest of the cell phone industry. “The findings of our latest ChangeWave cell phone survey invite extremes to describe the startling impact the Apple iPhone is having on the cellular industry. Nearly one-in-10 respondents (9%) say they are likely to buy the new iPhone once it becomes available in June,” writes Paul Carton of ChangeWave. “Thanks to our early adopters of the ChangeWave Alliance we are able to see with stark clarity how the Apple iPhone is set to rock the cell phone industry.” Tobin Smith, founder of ChangeWave Research and editor of ChangeWave Investing, added: “As more and more consumers switch to the iPhone, we are going to see a huge migration from cell phone manufacturers like Motorola to the hipper, cooler iPhone.” [via TUAW]
Boston Innovative Products has introduced its iMep line of iPod boomboxes. All three models offer the same features, including an integrated Dock Connector, 7-inch LCD screen, MP3-CD playback, integrated NTSC TV tuner, AM/FM tuner, RCA inputs, USB port and SD/MMC/MS memory card slot. The first device, the black MP-701-388, sports a front-mounted screen and uses a light-absorbing coating to reduce glare. The other two, the MP-702-388R and 388B feature a flip-up screen and come in red and black, respectively. All three models are priced at $300.
Best Buy is offering a Mother’s Day gift set featuring a pink or silver 4GB iPod nano and a variety of chocolates. “This special gift set pairs mom’s love of music with her love of chocolate and wraps them in a charming, polka-dotted box inspired by the prism of iPod nano colors and the retro design that is all the rage this spring.” The gift set is now available at Best Buy stores for $215.
They Might Be Giants have announced that their new album, “The Else,” will be an iTunes exclusive for nearly two months. The album will be released in stores on July 10th, but will be available from the iTunes Store starting May 15th.
Engineers at the University of Toronto and Microsoft Research are working on audio menus for portable media players. “The researchers have designed an auditory menu technique—called earPod—that provides audio feedback when a person drags his or her finger around the touch pad,” reports Technology Review. “Although it’s not ready to replace the expansive menus on real iPods, the results are encouraging, says Patrick Baudisch, a research scientist at Microsoft Research, in Seattle, who worked on the project.”
iPodMods has changed its name to Rapid Repair. “This name change is due to an expanding support base, now including the Zune,” said the company. “We have not forgotten about the iPod though, and will be offering repairs and mods on the iPhone when it is released.”
Mophie is now offering the Bevy keychain case for the second-generation iPod shuffle. The small case can function as a keychain, and also features an integrated earbud wrap and a color front plate, available in green, pink, blue, silver, and orange. The Bevy can also serve as a bottle opener when the shuffle is removed from the case. The Bevy is available now and sells for $15.
An internal email from AT&T to its employees has been leaked, revealing that company’s launch window for Apple’s iPhone is June 15 through July 15. While the email does not list a concrete launch date for the device, it does warn employees that vacation requests during the launch period will not be approved. “To ensure proper staffing during the product launch period, Sales personnel planning to take approved time off are encouraged to schedule their vacations before June 15 or after July 15 to participate in the iPhone launch.” In addition, the email revealed that the carrier considers the launch to be “the biggest selling period we have seen in a few years.”
Ticketmaster has announced that it will give customers complimentary digital music with every concert ticket purchased online. With every concert ticket purchased at Ticketmaster.com, the company is providing a 10-song digital music sampler, which showcases “a variety of emerging and established artists.” In addition, with the purchase of every ticket to any summer concert scheduled to take place between Memorial Day (May 28) and Labor Day (Sept 3), Ticketmaster customers will receive a free download of their choice from the iTunes Store.
Memorex will soon introduce the Mi1111 iPod speaker system. The 2.1 tabletop system features a built-in iPod docking station, top-loading CD player, digital radio, audio line-in, and advanced wireless remote. The Mi1111 will retail for under $100 and is expected to be available in June.
This week in the iLounge Discussion Forums: Do you own an iPod nano? Have questions or opinions to share with the iLounge community? The iPod nano forum is nearing its 40,000th post, with the clearly titled iPod nano Washed raising the prospect of how to absorb a washing machine’s liquidy addition to a nano. Some iLoungers suggest using uncooked rice—we’ll be watching to see whether this one gets resolved.
We’ve had this happen once in a while with our own iPods; now a forum member raises it for discussion. In “DO NOT DISCONNECT” message does not go away!, a reader with a 80GB iPod wonders why it’s happening. Have you had similar issues with your own iPod?
It’s a simple question to ask or answer for most people: What makes you love Apple? A design student writing her dissertation wants to know your thoughts; so add them to the thread. Not surprisingly, you’ll also see some people explain why they don’t love Apple.
Always helpful, forum moderator Audrey (honeybee1236) used to maintain FREE iTMS TV Shows Available, a list of free downloadable TV content available on the iTunes Store. Now, readers point out, Apple keeps a list on iTunes, so Audrey’s already moved on to newer and bigger things. You can monitor her recent helpful posts though this link. Thanks for all of your help, Audrey!
BusinessWeek has once again named Apple the most innovative company in the world. “For the third year in a row, the design-driven masters in Cupertino, Calif., lead the pack of creative firms on our list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies,” says the magazine. “Apple manages to dominate any would-be contenders, beating out two-time runner-up Google with more than twice as many votes.” Rounding out the top ten are Google, Toyota, General Electric, Microsoft, Proctor & Gamble, 3M, Walt Disney Co., IBM, and Sony. BusinessWeek and the Boston Consulting Group surveyed senior executives worldwide to find out which companies are the most innovative.
In an e-mail sent out today by AT&T to potential iPhone customers, additional images of the iPhone emerged, one of which subtly shows off two undemonstrated features in the device’s Google Maps application.
Buttons labeled “Map,” “Satellite,” and “List” were demonstrated by Apple CEO Steve Jobs during Macworld Expo in January, showing a drawn map, satellite imagery, and a list of locations generated by a top-of-screen search, respectively. These buttons have also been featured in Apple.com’s demonstration of iPhone. By contrast, AT&T’s photo—based on a slide only briefly shown during the demonstration—shows a new icon to the left, which appears to be a set of two arrows. The other new icon appears to the right, and shows the front view of a car. Either of these buttons may be used for a “Traffic” feature or a “Directions” feature, both of which were listed on one of Apple’s slides during iPhone’s debut, but never demonstrated. Accessed through maps.google.com, Traffic lets you monitor traffic conditions on highways in major U.S. cities, while directions provides to and from directions given two set locations.
Other than the replacement of Cingular’s logo with AT&T’s, the images are otherwise apparently unchanged in any significant way from those previously shown. [Note: This story was updated based on reader comments. Thanks!]
Belkin has introduced two new pink iPod nano cases—the Sport Armband and Hope Remix Metal—with proceeds to help fight breast cancer. For each case sold, Belkin will donate 10% of the retail price to support Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The Sport Armband ($30) features “stitchless” construction and is hand-washable and water-resistant. The Hope Remix Metal ($30; shown) is made of clear acrylic and brushed metal with a soft-touch click-wheel protector. The cases will be available from Best Buy.
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Carrie Underwood’s cover of The Pretenders’ “I’ll Stand by You” has become the first iTunes exclusive track to debut in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song, which was recorded for the “American Idol Gives Back” charity show, was downloaded 124,496 times by this past weekend. Proceeds from “I’ll Stand by You” go to benefit the Charity Projects Entertainment Fund, which helps impoverished children in Africa and America.
“This is a big moment,” said American Idol creator Simon Fuller. “The potency of Carrie’s performance on ‘Idol Gives Back’ last week was so strong that it’s set a new milestone for iTunes and is attracting people to music downloads for the first time. More than that, she is pulling in music fans from all over the world. Carrie is a phenomenal talent, a truly gifted singer, and a generous and kind-hearted spirit, so I am delighted to see the success of what her talent is making possible to benefit children in need.”
Although he only took $1 in salary, Apple CEO Steve Jobs was America’s highest-paid chief executive of 2006. Forbes reports that Jobs received $647 million in total compensation thanks to vested restricted stock. The next four top-paid CEOs also earned most of their pay from exercised stock options—Ray Irani of Occidental Petroleum ($322 million), Barry Diller of IAC/Interactive Corp ($295 million), William P. Foley of Fidelity National Financial ($180 million), and Terry Semel of Yahoo! ($174 million). Forbes said CEO pay in the U.S. was up a collective 38% last year, to $7.5 billion.
The iWay is a new device that loads digital pictures from SD memory cards to a fifth-generation iPod. “Just plug iWay into your iPod, and gain a portal that lets you instantly upload photos from any standard SD memory card,” says the online store carrying the device. “So you can take your photos anywhere, and share them on the iPod’s larger, brighter screen compared to your camera’s tiny LCD. After uploading, you can either retain the images on the SD card, or ‘erase card’ to free up space for new photos. And you don’t have to lug around your laptop to show off your photographic skills.”
The iWay sells for $70. [via TUAW]
According to a Digitimes report, Apple is in talks with Samsung over volume pricing of NAND flash chips, to be used in iPods and iPhones from June until December. The report claims that Apple is looking to acquire between 400 and 500 million 4GB NAND chips, but industry sources say Samsung is unsure of their ability to produce that many given that the request is 10-15 percent higher than what was previously agreed upon. Apple uses NAND flash in the iPod shuffle, iPod nano, and the upcoming iPhone.
Apple is offering a new service called Personal Shopping at its retail stores. It is described by Apple as a “free service where you and a dedicated Mac Specialist explore and test-drive products to find out which ones are best for you.” This face-to-face experience is meant to provide undivided attention for customers who have more questions than the typical sales experience can answer. Personal Shopping is currently available at Apple retail stores, and appointments can be made online up to two weeks in advance.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs has written an extensive update which outlines Apple’s plans for current and future environmental efforts, entitled “A Greener Apple.” In the update, Jobs discusses topics such as the removal of toxic chemicals from Apple’s product lines, as well as plans for more aggressive recycling of old products. While discussing the removal of the chemicals Arsenic and Mercury, he also sheds some light on the company’s plans for future displays. “We plan to introduce our first Macs with LED backlight technology in 2007,” Jobs wrote.
Jobs also announced plans to expand its iPod recycling program. “All of Apple’s U.S. retail stores, which now number more than 150, take back unwanted iPods for environmentally friendly disposal free of charge,” Jobs said. “As an incentive, we even offer customers a 10% discount on a new iPod when they bring their old iPod to our stores for proper disposal. This summer we’re expanding it to Apple retail stores worldwide, and we’re also extending it to include free shipping from anywhere in the U.S. No product purchases are required for any of our free take back programs. In a few months, we think we’ll have ‘best of breed’ iPod recycling programs in the U.S., and we plan to continue to expand our free iPod recycling programs globally in the future.”
Roxio this week will announce Crunch, a new Mac application that converts videos for playback on the Apple TV, iPod, and iPhone. Crunch includes support for both native QuickTime file formats including DV, AVI, MOV, and non-QuickTime file formats including DivX, MPEG-2 and DVD-Video. Roxio said the software will also convert DVDs and VIDEO_TS folders, and offers multiple optimized MPEG-4 and H.264 settings.
“With award winning technology from the leader in digital media, Roxio Crunch makes taking your video in to the living room or the palm of your hands fast and simple,” the company said in documents provided to iLounge. “Roxio Crunch is a one-stop shop for all of your video conversion needs. Batch export will make your life even simpler—converted video will be automatically added to iTunes for syncing.” Roxio’s site has yet to be updated with information on Crunch, and pricing and availability were not provided. View screenshots below.
Altec Lansing has announced the availability of the inMotion iMV712, an all-in-one audio/video iPod speaker system. First shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, the iMV712 sports an 8.5-inch LCD screen, 3-inch neodymium speakers and built-in 4-inch subwoofer. The $350 system also offers a built-in Apple universal dock, Altec Lansing SFX (Stereo Field Expander) technology, wireless remote, and an Aux input jack and RCA input connections. “The iMV712 turns the iPod Video into a complete MP3 music + video multi-component entertainment system—perfectly designed for college dorm rooms, teen rooms, desktops, even the kitchen counter,” says the company.