The Copyright Board of Canada has released its decision on the application of a private copying levy to iPods and removable memory storage cards, including the popular SD format. Backing the levy is the Canadian Private Copyright Collective (CPCC), while the Canadian Storage Media Alliance and Retail Council of Canada are both against it, arguing that the Federal Court has struck struck down a previous levy on digital audio recorders as being outside the Copyright Act. Despite this earlier ruling, the Copyright Board has sided with the CPCC, and in fact stated that the levy might possibly expand to cover items such as cell phones and computers as well.
“CSMA expressed misgivings about the possibility that cellular phones and computers might end up being leviable,” the decision states. “We see no inherent problem with this scenario. A thing that is ordinarily used by individual consumers to make private copies should not be excluded from the private copying regime for the sole reason that it has other uses. Indeed, all media that are currently subject to the levy can be used for purposes other than private copying.” The entire 41-page decision is available online (PDF Link).
OtterBox, known for its waterproof protective cases, has informed iLounge that it is hard at work on the OtterBox for iPhone. The case will feature three layers of protection, and the phone will remain protected at all times, thanks to a patented touchscreen membrane that allows full use of the iPhone’s multi-touch interface while still in the case. All buttons will be protected and useable via pass-through buttons, and the Dock Connector, silent/ring switch, and headphone ports will remain usable through plugs. The OtterBox for iPhone, which is still several months from hitting store shelves, will include a swivel belt clip that provides full impact protection for the screen. Keep reading for larger views of early product renderings.
ColorWare is now offering its custom color service for the iPhone. Coloring can be done on a previously purchased iPhone that gets sent to ColorWare, or customers can purchase an iPhone pre-colored, directly from the company. 29 different colors are available, and can be mixed on the phone — the iPhone’s back, bottom, frame, home button, logo, earbuds, and dock can all be colored. Pricing is set at $149 for coloring of an already-purchased iPhone, $649 for a ColorWare Custom 4GB iPhone, and $749 for an 8GB model.
An Apple patent application from December of 2005, recently discovered online, describes a way to use Wi-Fi-enabled multimedia devices, such as the iPod, as a wireless remote control. In a section of the application titled “Summary of the Invention,” it states, “A portable multimedia player (such as the iPod.TM. manufactured by Apple Computer, Inc. of Cupertino, Calif.) is used to wirelessly access and control a media server (such as a personal computer running iTunes software) that is streaming digital media by way of a wireless interface to a media unit (such as a stereo/speakers in the case of streaming digital audio).” The patent also goes on to specifically name Apple’s Airport Express as a wireless interface, but makes no mention of the then-unannounced Apple TV, which in many ways circumvents the system described in this patent.
Cellular NationWide Network is now offering an Apple iPhone OEM Metal Black Rear Cover, which replaces the silver metallic rear plate of the phone. Installation of the cover appears to be a lengthy process, requiring the user to at least partially disassemble the iPhone, however, the results of the process do look professional. While the product claims to be OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer), the part does not appear to be officially sanctioned by Apple, and installing such a modification will most likely void the iPhone’s warranty. The Apple iPhone OEM Metal Black Rear Cover is available now for $49.
Discussing the iPhone in a quarterly conference call, Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin said that the company was concerned with the current iPhone’s lack of 3G technology. “It’s clearly a good, software-driven device, but we’re concerned about wideband area coverage so that 3G (third-generation) or HSDPA (upgraded 3G) connectivity with the iPhone is something that we look forward to.” Recent rumors have speculated that the iPhone will be offered through competing carriers in Europe, including Telefonica’s O2 and Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile, however, an image of the Vodafone logo has been found in the device’s file system. “Every product, every alternative, every choice here has a price and we just have to be conscious of what it is that we’re doing for our customers and our shareholders,” Sarin stated. He also claimed that virtually every cellular company was having conversations with Apple, but declined further comment.
According to a new research report from DRAMeXchange, Apple may end up using as much as 25 percent of the world’s flash memory in the third quarter. This projection is contingent on Apple wishing to generate strong holiday sales of the iPhone, as well as the introduction of a video-capable iPod with flash storage. “If Apple also unveils upgraded iPods in Q3, which may include new iPod video products that employ Flash for storage, the required amount in 3Q07 from both the iPhone and iPod will be more than 25%,” claims the report. “Therefore, with Apple’s products given a high priority in the Flash supply, the future sales of the iPhone will most certainly affect the NAND Flash market in 2H07.” Samsung currently provides the flash memory used in most iPhones, the report mentions, and the company’s flash business has been boosted by strong iPhone sales.
To cater to developers interested in creating iPhone-compatible Web 2.0 applications, Apple has announced iPhone Tech Talks, a series of five day-long developer gatherings in four major U.S. cities, spread throughout the month of August. Starting with an August 2 event at the Los Angeles Marriott, and continuing with events at the Westin San Francisco (24th), Allerton Hotel Chicago (28th), and American Conference Center in New York City (30th, 31st), the events are free to Apple Developer Connection developers and promise assistance in optimizing applications for use on iPhone. Registration is open now.
DLO has announced that it is adding brown leather and black nylon variations to its line of HipCases for iPhone. Both the brown leather and black nylon HipCases feature a horizontal design, with a velcro flap and center notch cut-out for easy removal of the iPhone. While the brown leather version is feature-identical to the black leather model, the black nylon case adds an interior pocket for essential items like credit cards and cash. The HipCase for iPhone in brown leather sells for $35, the HipCase for iPhone in nylon for $30; both are available now.
Atlantic has announced its iceBar Waterproof nano Speaker Case, sibling to the EGO Waterproof Sound Case for iPod. The iceBar is a completely waterproof, floating, two-speaker system for first- and second generation iPod nanos. Features include a flip-out leg, nylon wrist strap, a miniature “buoy,” shatterproof polycarbonate body, Click Wheel membrane for control of the nano when it’s secured in the case, and external mute and power buttons. The iceBar is powered by three AAA batteries, which provide enough power for 18 continuous hours of music. The iceBar Waterproof nano Speaker Case will sell for $70 when it becomes available this holiday season.
Philips has debuted four new speaker systems for iPod, all with integrated iPod Docks, in the UK. The DCM230/05 is a boombox-style system that features USB Direct for connecting other media players, a built-in CD player, digital tuner, dynamic bass boost, remote control, and 30W total power. It sells for £200. The DC199 is a small, cube-shaped 2.1-channel system with built-in subwoofer, USB Direct, digital tuner, remote control, and a wake up and sleep timer. It is available for £140. Philips’ AZ1330D is another boombox system, featuring bass reflex speakers, a built-in CD player, digital tuner, remote control, and 2x4W power. It sells for £100. Finally, the MCM398D is a bookshelf-style system that features a built-in CD player, 2x100W power, dynamic bass boost, digital tuner, wake up and sleep timer, wood-finished speakers, and a remote control. It sells for £140. [via Engadget]
Neat Products has introduced its Hangman accessory for iPod. The Hangman is a uniquely designed Dock Connector accessory that securely attaches to the iPod, and features a metal loop at the opposite end for attaching to a purse, belt loop, or backpack. The flexible body of the Hangman also serves as a cord organizer, including a notch to hold the earphones and cord in place when not extended for listening. Hangman is compatible with all Dock Connector iPods, and is available now for $20.
Sony has introduced a new clock radio, the ICF-C1iP, and boombox, ZS-S2iP, both with integrated iPod Docks. The ICF-C1iP clock radio works with standard Dock adapters, but doesn’t require them thanks to an adjustable backstop mechanism. Other features include iPod charging while docked, automatic time setting, an alarm that allows users to choose between waking to the iPod, radio, or buzzer, and an included remote control. The ZS-S2iP boombox also charges the iPod when docked, and features a digital AM/FM tuner, an integrated CD player with CD-R/RW support, wireless remote, an auxiliary-in port, Sony’s Mega Bass sound system, and a retractable Dock tray. “Consumers are treating the iPod as a format, like the compact disc, which is why Sony is now delivering audio products to support it,” said Andrew Sivori, director of personal audio products in the Digital Imaging and Audio Division at Sony Electronics. Both models will be available in August in both black and white designs, and will sell for around $100.
XtremeMac has introduced three new cases for the iPhone. The Sportwrap for iPhone is a neoprene armband that features full, clear protection for the iPhone’s screen, a moisture-resistant lining, an adjustable strap, and an integrated pouch for storage. It will sell for $30. The Onyx is a black leather portfolio case that features a protective interior lining, headphone and sleep button access, an integrated belt clip, and a flip-style magnetic closure. It will also sell for $30. The TuffWrap for iPhone is a two-tone silicone case, featuring ridges for a more secure grip, full access to the phone’s jacks, buttons, and switches, and it includes a clear plastic film to protect the iPhone’s screen. It will sell for $20. All three cases will be available in August; pre-orders are now being accepted through the XtremeMac website.
Enthusiast site Apple Hound has put together a list of known iPhone bugs. 68 bugs are listed, ranging in severity from “UI/Usability” issues, up to problems that may cause “Crash/Hang/Data Loss.”
iPhones are causing problems for Duke University’s wireless network. “The misbehaving iPhones flood the access points with up to 18,000 address requests per second, nearly 10Mbps of bandwidth, and monopolizing the AP’s airtime.”
SPI Labs is encouraging iPhone owners not to use the device’s Safari feature that allows dialing of numbers found on the web with a simple tap. The group claims that this feature can be exploited to perform various attacks, including preventing the phone from dialing.
Flickr user Stillframe has uploaded a set of photos named “iTrapped,” showing his friends appearing trapped inside his iPhone.
ezGear has announced that its line of ezSkin cases for the iPhone will include InvisibleShield scratch protection. The ezSkin Slimline for iPhone features a separate removable belt holster, as well as access for all ports, speakers, and microphones. It is now available for $30. The ezSkin Max for iPhone features extra thick corners and sides to provide better shock and drop protection, and gives the user full access to all ports. It sells for $35. Both the ezSkin Slimline and ezSkin Max are available in 4 colors — Onyx Black, Frost White, Cool Blue, and Princess Pink — and include an InvisibleShield screen protector. The ezSkin Edge protects the iPhone’s front and back with InvisibleShield, while the perimeter of the iPhone is protected by the case itself. The ezSkin edge includes a belt holster, is available in four colors, and will ship later in July with a cost of $37.
Handset makers Inventec Appliances and Quanta Computer are competing to become Apple’s second assembly partner for the iPhone, according to a DigiTimes report. Quanta president Michael Wang has set a goal to aggressively strive to become a partner for iPhone production. A recent Goldman Sachs report claims that while Foxconn Electronics remains the exclusive supplier for US-bound iPhones, orders have been split with Quanta for the European version of the phone. The firm also claimed that Foxconn, Quanta, and Inventec are all bidding to become suppliers of the Asian version of the handset. The report notes that it “would be difficult for either Inventec or Quanta to compete with Foxconn to win iPhone orders, given the investment Foxconn has already put into production of the iPhone. However, Apple may still choose to outsource a small portion of iPhone assembly to manufacturers other than Foxconn, in order to lessen its exposure to one partner and lower its market risk.” [via MacWorld UK]
Electronic Arts has released its new The Sims Bowling game for fifth-generation iPods. Features include Click Wheel control, accurate physics, a “Sims Life” mode in which you can create your own Sim to compete in a popularity contest, “Pass-n-Play” two-player mode, and a practice mode. The game requires 38MB of space and sells for $5. EA had previously revealed that they planned to release The Sims Bowling this year, along with three other games.
Blue Flavor has launched a new set of web-based iPhone applications, called Leaflets. These small applications offer iPhone-specific interfaces for popular sites and services such as The New York Times, Newsvine, Flickr, Upcoming, as well as interfaces for search, RSS, and a directory of iPhone applications. The Leaflets are also optimized for AT&T’s EDGE network, by reducing the amount of images and other data-intensive interface elements. The applications can be used by visiting getleaflets.com from an iPhone; screenshots and a demo are also available at the site for users visiting on a desktop.
iLive has announced its latest iPod speaker system, the iC2807. The iC2807 features a “folding” design that allows the system to lay flat for storage and portability. Other features include stereo speakers, built-in Dock, video out, line-in, and USB connections, digital clock and alarm, an included carrying pouch, and the ability to run off the included AC adapter or off four AA batteries. The iC2807 is available now and sells for $100.