Well-known hacker “DVD” Jon Johansen has discovered a way to “activate” an iPhone without signing up with AT&T. The hack allows iPhone owners to use the device’s iPod and Wi-Fi features, but due to the lack of an AT&T contract, the device’s phone features still won’t work. In a post titled “iPhone Independence Day,” Johansen posted Phone Activation Server 1.0, along with several other instructions necessary to run the hack. The hack does not unlock the iPhone for use with other carriers.
Rheinische Post is reporting that the T-Mobile unit of Deutsche Telekom has completed a deal to be the iPhone’s exclusive carrier in Germany. The report, which is a preview of a larger story set to run tomorrow, claims that the iPhone will sell for around 450 euros — around $612 — and will hit stores Nov. 1. The report did not cite any sources. Previous rumors concerning the iPhone in Europe have stated that Vodafone, as well as T-Mobile, were front runners to land the device. Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile were not available for comment.
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters has announced immediate availability of its HipCase and Jam Jacket iPhone accessories. The HipCase features leather construction, a horizontal belt clip for maximum comfort, and a Velcro tab and cut-out center for easy one-handed removal of the iPhone. Jam Jacket for iPhone is made of lint-resistant silicone, features the same headset management system found on Jam Jacket for iPod, and offers full access to all iPhone controls, Dock Connector, headphone jack, camera, and touchscreen. The HipCase and Jam Jacket for iPhone are both available now from select retailers, and sell for $35 and $25, respectively.
Teardowns by iSuppli, Portelligent, iFixit, and iResQ have revealed much about the inner workings of the iPhone. As reported by BusinessWeek, Portelligent estimates the component cost for the phone to be in the $200-$220 range, with iSuppli’s estimate of $265.83 in cost for the 8GB model slightly higher. iResQ’s teardown offers a look at the interior of the iPhone, but it doesn’t offer details of components and their manufacturers. iFixit did list some components, including Samsung ARM and memory, a Wolfson audio chip, a Marvell Wi-Fi chip, a Skyworks GSM/EDGE power amplifier, and more. Absent from their teardown was pricing information for the components, which both iSuppli and Portelligent provide.
iSuppli and Portelligent list German company Balda as the supplier for the phone’s touch-screen, with pricing estimated at $55-$60. iSuppli claims that Samsung, with its memory, ARM chip, and DRAM, was the biggest winner among iPhone component suppliers, with an estimated $76.25, or 30.5 percent, of the product’s hardware costs. Although exact costs of the the components may never be known, and although these estimates don’t include promotion or logistic costs, it is apparent from these reports that Apple — and possibly AT&T — are seeing wide margins on the iPhone.
Apple has denied reports that the Universal Music Group does not plan on renewing its contract to sell songs on the iTunes Store. “We are still negotiating with Universal,” Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said. “Their music is still on iTunes and their not re-signing is just not true.” According to earlier reports, Universal had informed Apple that they would not be renewing their contract, instead choosing to license its music to iTunes at will — allowing the world’s biggest music corporation to leave the service should they chose to do so. Universal has declined to comment.
Across the country yesterday, iPhone users experienced trouble using AT&T’s wireless EDGE network, due to network issues. The problem which caused the service outage has been identified and is currently being worked on. Warner May, a spokesperson for AT&T, said, “The iPhone was not the cause.” Indeed, it appears that users of other data-enabled phones, including 3G models, experienced problems as well. The network, which experienced problems primarily in the West and Midwest, was back up as of 7:00 p.m. EDT.
Apple has completed the purchase of the iPhone.com domain name from Michael Kovatch for more than $1 million, according to a DomainTools report. iPhone.com now redirects to Apple’s iPhone page at http://www.apple.com/iphone/ . Kovatch, who owns several other high-profile domains such as Wine.net and Golf.net, bought the iPhone.com domain in 1995 in hopes to capitalize on internet telephony, even though the technology to support it did not exist at that time. Exact terms of the sale have not been revealed, but if Apple indeed paid more than $1 million for the domain, it would make the domain name sale one of the richest in history.
Apple has posted details of its iPhone Out-of-warranty Battery Replacement Program. The program, which costs $79 plus $6.95 shipping, takes three days and clears all data on the iPhone — Apple suggests syncing your iPhone to back up your contacts, email account settings, text messages, and more. The iPhone’s lack of a user-replaceable battery has been a concern in most reviews of the device.
The Universal Music Group, the world’s biggest music corporation, has notified Apple that it will not renew its annual contract to offer its music catalog through iTunes, according to a New York Times report. Universal has said that it will instead market its music to Apple at will, a move that may allow Universal to pull its songs from the iTunes Store with little if any notice should the two companies not come to an agreement on pricing and other key terms. However, such a move might spell financial hardship for Universal, which saw 15 percent of its first quarter revenue come from sales of digital music — more than $200 million. Industry observers are skeptical about Universal’s play. “When your customers are iPod addicts, who are you striking back against?,” said Ken Hertz, an entertainment lawyer. “The record companies now have to figure out how to stimulate competition without alienating Steve Jobs, and they need to do that while Steve Jobs still has an incentive to keep them at the table.”
Apple may have sold as many as 500,000 iPhones over the launch weekend, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. Munster had projected sales of 200,000, an estimate that was beaten according to J.P. Morgan analyst Bill Shope, who estimated sales of 312,000 units. While Apple has yet to release any exact sales figures for the new device, the launch is already being viewed as a success by industry pundits. “This is a very successfully handled launch,” Munster said in an interview with Bloomberg. “The real sign of success would be what kind of legs this product has in 2008 and 2009. In 2009, we estimate a third of Apple’s sales will be from iPhone. This is a huge product.”
Spokespeople for AT&T have declined to confirm numbers, but have been enthusiastic about the launch. Mark Siegel, AT&T spokesperson, claimed “things have just gone extraordinarily well.” The cellular provider said that most of its 1,800 stores sold out of iPhone stock in 24 hours. Checks on iPhone availability from Apple’s retail web site show that more than a third of Apple stores around the country are listed as “Sold Out” of the device. In addition, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is also bullish on the device, claiming “I was going to only use the iPhone as a test phone at first, but I’m ready now to make it my primary number.” Wozniak, who got in line at 4 a.m. on June 29 to buy the phone, continued, “I was still a bit negative after a couple of test calls, but then I tried the browser and was shocked at how wonderful it was to have real Web pages.”
Miniot has introduced its iWood for iPhone wooden iPhone case. The iWood features a polycarbonate screen protector in lieu of a lid, with wood wrapping from the front edge around the sides, top, back, and bottom. Miniot is offering a service which allows customers to have their own logo or message engraved on the back. iWood for iPhone will begin shipping in July and sells for 60 Euros, or about $81.