It’s here! Our annual guide to iPods and their best accessories now includes iPhone, too! Welcome to the 2008 iPod + iPhone Buyers’ Guide!
This year, we’ve completely redesigned the Guide, optimizing it for viewing on PCs, Macs, iPhones and iPod touches. Two versions—a two-page-wide edition, designed for monitors 20” and up, and a one-page-wide edition designed for smaller monitors, iPhones, and iPods—can be downloaded from the links below. Each version contains the same content: a complete guide to the iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV family, 20 exclusive accessory sneak peeks, brief reviews of over 125 top add-ons, and ratings for over 1,500 products. We’ve included shopping tips to help you get the best prices for new and used iPods and accessories, the winners of our Holiday iPod and iPhone nano Concept contests, Best of the Year awards (hint: did you win one?), and much, much more.
Single page, best for small monitors, portable devices (9.4 MB PDF)
Alternate Download Link
Double page, best for 20” and larger monitors (7.4 MB ZIP)
Alternate Download Link
Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader 6.0 or later.
As always, the Buyers’ Guide is 100 percent free for iLounge readers, and in PDF format. For additional details, click here to see the full story. And please do your part to share the Book by telling a friend, or hosting it on your filesharing network of choice. Enjoy!
XtremeMac has announced new versions of its SportWrap armband for iPod classic, iPod nano (with video), iPod touch, and iPhone. In addition, it also introduced SportWrap Pink, a special edition of its SportWrap for iPod nano (with video) which will support the efforts of the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The SportWrap features a neoprene body and adjustable strap, a clear, flexible plastic cover that allows full access to all controls, and a neoprene backing for added moisture protection. SportWrap Pink is available for iPod nano 3G, and a donation will be made to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. “We are proud to support the National Breast Cancer Foundation”, said CEO Gary Bart. “Support from corporate partners like our company help the NBCF continue its efforts to increase awareness of breast cancer and provide screening for those in need.” SportWrap is available in black with gray accents for the iPhone, iPod touch, iPod classic, iPod nano 3G and most previous iPod models. All new SportWrap models, including SportWrap Pink, are priced at $30 and available for pre-order now; shipments are expected in the coming weeks.
Marware has introduced its Sportsuit Convertible case for iPhone and iPod touch. Already available for iPod classic and nano, the Sportsuit Convertible for iPhone and iPod touch is a 3-in-1 case that converts to an armband case, a clip-on case, or a slim-profile sleeve, and features a clear vinyl cover that protects the devices’ screens while providing full usability. Other features include a neoprene armband with a stretchable Velcro closure, a removable armband carrying pouch for cash or keys, a low-profile belt-clip, and the patented Multidapt clip system. The Marware Sportsuit Convertible for iPhone and iPod touch is available now and sells for $35.
In a recent note, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said he estimates AT&T is paying Apple an average of $18/month for each iPhone subscriber, or $432 over the course of a two-year contract. Munster revised his previous estimate of $6.50/month based on iPhone sales and revenue figures disclosed in Apple’s fourth quarter earnings report. Munster explained that he was surprised by the higher estimate, and said that it showed the importance of Apple’s efforts to keep the iPhone out of unlockers’ hands. Apple recently instituted a new iPhone purchase policy, limiting sales to two per person and barring cash sales in an effort to reduce the threat of unlockers. Based on the estimate, Muenster boosted his Apple 2009 revenue estimate to $42.8 billion, and raised his price target on Apple from $220 to $250.
Mark/Space, maker of synchronization solutions for Mac OS X, has announced The Missing Sync for iPhone. This new application will provide data migration of contacts, tasks, events, and photos from Palm OS, Windows Mobile, and BlackBerry smartphones, as well as the ability to archive, browse, and search iPhone call logs, SMS text messages, and notes. “Apple has made a powerful entry into the market with the iPhone,” said Brian Hall, Mark/Space president and CEO. “Prospective iPhone customers want to know that they can take their existing smartphone data with them, and Missing Sync for iPhone is designed to meet that need. Existing and prospective iPhone customers alike will benefit from enhanced access to their Call Log, SMS text messages and Notes.” The Missing Sync for iPhone is expected to ship in the fourth quarter of 2007. Electronic downloads will be priced at $40 from the Mark/Space Online Store, and CDs will be available several weeks later for $50.
PumpOne, developers of portable personal training programs for the iPod and other portable devices, has announced the launch of PumpOne Video. PumpOne Video is a new trainer series that incorporates exercise video, images & audio coaching to create a “portable personal trainer.” Each PumpOne Video Trainer consists of a series of exercises images, audio tips and video clips demonstrating proper form. Once viewed, the user can then perform the exercise. “For today’s busy person looking to lose weight, gain strength & get in great shape, these video workouts are essential,” says Craig Schlossberg, President of PumpOne. “PumpOne Video mixes individual needs in the most user-friendly format –all accessible on an iPod, nano or iPhone. You can take your complete workout program with you wherever you go.” PumpOne Video Trainers are compatible with the iPod classic, touch, nano (3G), iPhone, and any other device that supports MPEG-4 video, and retail for $19 for 12 workouts (includes both video & image-based trainers).
iSkin has announced the release of its Cerulean F1+TX Bluetooth accessory package for iPod. Previously sold separately, the Cerulean F1 is a pair of wireless stereo Bluetooth earphones that feature integrated mono headset functionality, and the Cerulean TX is a Bluetooth transmitter and receiver for iPod, which features stereo Bluetooth audio capabilities, is powered by the iPod, and can also be used with a Mac or PC. “The new Cerulean F1+TX brings together all of the innovative wireless stereo Bluetooth accessory technologies available for the iPod and wraps them up into one great package,” said Kristian Ward of iSkin. The Cerulean F1+TX bundle is available now from iSkin.com for $190; it will roll out to resellers in the coming weeks.
Yellowpages.com has announced the launch of its new web application for iPhone and iPod touch. The application allows iPhone and iPod touch users to find local businesses and services by inputting a search term or category and location, and provides additional details such as user ratings, mapping, and driving directions. The new iPhone-optimized Web application provides a design developed specifically for the touch-screen and keyboard interface, and automatically resizes for both the vertical and horizontal layout of the screen. The new web app can be used by visiting yellowpages.com on an iPhone or iPod touch, and can also be accessed through Apple’s web apps directory.
Citizen:Citizen is now offering the ccPhone, a limited edition iPhone with a matte black finish, done by Colorware. The phone comes with a black dock, and selected artwork, video, music, and Citizen:Citizen‘s address book, which will be updated twice yearly. The ccPhone is available in a limited edition of 50 and sells for $2000.
T-Mobile, the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in Germany, has posted pricing and information for its monthly iPhone plans. The three plans, Complete M, Complete L, and Complete XL, are priced at €49, €69, and €89, include 100, 200, and 300 minutes of voice usage, and 40, 150, and 300 SMS text messages, respectively. The M package also includes 200MB of “unlimited” EDGE data, while the L offers 1GB and the XL 5GB. All three plans include Visual Voicemail, and require a 24 month contract. The iPhone launches in Germany on November 9. [via TUAW]
Update: All three packages also include Wi-Fi access at any of T-Mobile’s 8,000 HotSpots in Germany.
“This means that users can enjoy the fantastic experience of the mobile Internet on the iPhone with no worries,” said Philipp Humm, managing director, T-Mobile Germany. “The incredible combination of T-Mobile’s powerful EDGE network combined with the country’s largest offering of Wi-Fi HotSpots and the exclusive ‘iPhone Complete’ rate plans give T-Mobile customers everything they need to experience the iPhone to the fullest. The transparently structured Complete rates thus confirm our brand motto ‘simply closer.’”
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with T-Mobile and can’t wait to start selling the iPhone in Germany in just a few short weeks,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “Starting at just €49 per month, we think these three rate plans give customers the flexibility to experience all of iPhone’s revolutionary features at affordable and competitive prices.”
NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker has said that along with flexible pricing experimentation, the company was seeking a cut of Apple’s hardware sales during iTunes contract negotiations. Speaking at an event organized by Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications, Zucker said “We wanted to take one show, it didn’t matter which one it was, and experiment and sell it for $2.99. We made that offer for months and they said no,” Zucker said. “Apple sold millions of dollars worth of hardware off the back of our content and made a lot of money,” he added. “They did not want to share in what they were making off the hardware or allow us to adjust pricing.” NBC Universal, in partnership with Fox, today launched a public beta of the Hulu.com video service. Responding to a separate question, Zucker said that “Apple has destroyed the music business. If we don’t take control on the video side, they’ll do the same” to video.
The iPhone Elite Dev Team has released a free Revirginizing Tool for iPhone that is able to repair phones that were “bricked” during the 1.1.1 update process, allowing these users to restore their devices, and safely upgrade to the latest version.
A new “instant Jailbreak” has been developed for the iPhone and iPod touch, making installation of third-party native applications a much simpler process. To access the jailbreak, visit jailbreakme.com from an iPhone or iPod touch, and click on the “Install AppSnapp” link. Once completed, Installer.app, a third-party application installer, will be present on your device’s home screen.
A small number of iTunes users are reporting problems with the bitrates of iTunes downloads and imports following the installation of Apple’s newly-released Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard operating system. It appears that Leopard uses different criteria when determining the bitrate of songs, which is causing some downloads to show different bitrates than expected. An inspection of older iTunes purchases using Leopard showed similar variances in bitrate, suggesting that the differences in bitrate are not new, but are instead being reported differently, if not more accurately, in OS X 10.5.
Sales of iTunes Digital Release album cards, which entitle the purchaser to a specific album, as well as bonus materials, are doing well, according to a new Billboard report. The cards, which debuted at Starbucks, are now being sold at the coffee retailer and at Safeway grocery stores as well. As an example, the card for Eddie Vedder’s soundtrack for Into the Wild comprises 6 percent of overall scans for the album, which has scanned 95,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan. “People are pleasantly surprised by the results,” said Sony BMG Music Entertainment senior vice president Adam Mirabella. “This is a new product, and the customers are just learning about it,” EMI Music Marketing senior VP of sales Darren Stupak said. “So the sales can only get better.”
Apple has posted its latest TV advertisement for the iPod touch. As reported earlier, the new ad is based on a fan commercial created by 18-year-old student Nick Haley. The new commercial features the song “Music Is My Hot, Hot Sex” by the Brazilian band CSS, and showcases the iPod touch’s various abilities and multi-touch interface. The new spot is available for viewing on Apple’s website; Haley’s original commercial can be seen on YouTube.
Apple has instituted a new policy regarding iPhone purchases, limiting sales to two per customer and prohibiting cash-only sales of the handset. The new policy, put in place on Thursday, aims to help discourage people from reselling the phones, and should also help reduce strains on inventory heading into the holiday shopping season. “Customer response to the iPhone has been off the charts, and limiting iPhone sales to two per customer helps us ensure that there are enough iPhones for people who are shopping for themselves or buying a gift,” Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris said. “We’re requiring a credit or debit card for payment to discourage unauthorized resellers.” Previously, there were no cash restrictions on iPhone purchases, and sales were limited to five per customer. Last week, Apple said that it estimates as many as 250,000 iPhones have been sold “with intention to unlock.”
iSkin has introduced its Claro and evo4 Duo cases for iPod classic, and iSkin Duo case for iPod nano (with video). The Claro features an outer polycarbonate shell coated with an anti-scratch technology and a silicone inside design to provide dual-layered protection. The Claro outer shell also features built-in screen protection and a rear belt clip with an integrated kickstand. Inner silicone layers are also sold separately as “Slims” in a variety of colored 3-packs to extend the color options of the Claro. The iSkin Claro is available for the new iPod classic 80GB/160GB and will retail for $40. The iSkin Claro Slims packs will be sold separately for $25 per 3-pack.
The evo4 Duo for iPod classic joins a silicone skin with a full-frontal polycarbonate screen protector. The evo4 also features all-around surface protection that includes the click wheel and integrated covers for the iPod’s docking and earphone ports. It comes with a redesigned removable rotary belt clip. Available colors include Crimson, Sienna, Onyx, Popstar, Electra, and QuickSilver. The iSkin evo4 Duo for iPod classic sells for $35 and is available now. Finally, the iSkin Duo for iPod nano applies the evo4 Duo design concept to a more compact size. The Duo for Nano includes a removable rotary belt clip and adjustable lanyard, and also features integrated port covers for both docking and earphone ports. The iSkin Duo for iPod Nano is available in a variety of colors, sells for $30, and is available now.
A new TV advertisement for the iPod touch, slated to debut this Sunday, is based on a fan commercial created by 18-year-old English student Nick Haley. Haley’s original commercial is set to the song “Music Is My Hot, Hot Sex” by the Brazilian band CSS and showcases the player’s music, videos, photos, Safari, and iTunes abilities. Haley uploaded the 30-second spot to YouTube, where it was spotted by Apple marketing employees, who asked TBWA/Chiat/Day employees working on the Apple account to contact Haley about producing a more professional version of the commercial. TBWA emailed Haley, saying, “We represent Apple and we’ve seen what you have produced and we’d like a chat with you.” Haley added, “This seemed ridiculous and far-fetched. My initial reaction was, someone wanted to steal it.”
Apparently little has been changed in the new version, which features more polished editing and has been shot in HD. Chairman and chief creative officer at TBWA Worldwide Lee Clow said, “we didn’t mess with his content” because “it has a charm to it, a youthful fun.” “My input was totally respected,” said Haley, stating that the agency’s efforts are “pretty similar” to his own. When asked what it means if consumers like him are willing to make commercials, Haley said, “That’s the whole point of advertising; it needs to get to the user,” adding, “If you get the user to make the ads, who better?”
Barry Gilbert, vice president of Strategy Analytics’ BuyerTRAX, has said that iPhone sales of 1.6 to 1.7 million in the holiday quarter would likely make it the top-selling handset in the U.S. “The iPhone has momentum that is basically unparalleled,” says Gilbert. In a Forbes article comparing sales of the iPhone to the Motorola RAZR, the analyst claims that the iPhone is gaining momentum faster than the now-ubiquitous RAZR, which reportedly sold 750,000 units in the first 90 days. “If you add up all the RAZR products, it’s still the leading family,” says Gilbert. “But if you look at any given model, like the v3, the iPhone seems to have surpassed that.” Apple sold 1.12 million iPhones in its last fiscal quarter.
ezGear has introduced its ezSkin MAX silicone case for iPod classic. The ezSkin MAXwas designed using special silicone rubber and corners reinforced with extra padding to provide extra shock and drop protection. Features include a hard clear plastic screen protector, Click Wheel cover, access to the headphone jack, Dock Connector, and hold switch, and a packed-in ezSkin belt clip and neck strap. Charlie Bernstein, president of ezGear, said, “Extra design time was put into this case to make sure it not only looks good, but meets the rigorous requirements of iPod owners.” The ezSkin MAX is available for both 80GB and 160GB iPod classic models, in black or white, and sells for $35.
Boynq has introduced its WakeUp iPod speaker and clock radio. The WakeUp features a unique design, with an integrated iPod Dock that serves as a holder for the remote control when not in use. Other features include three LCDs, 2x10W RMS power, two 3-inch speakers, analog amplification, FM radio with 9 station presets, an iPod alarm clock function, line-in, line-out, and a USB port for syncing and charging. In addition, Boynq is promising iPhone compatibility in models produced after January 1. The Boynq WakeUp iPod speaker and alarm clock is available now from Amazon for $130.