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French law possible roadblock to iPhone release

A French law that would require the iPhone to be sold both with and without a contract may delay the launch of the device in the country, reports MarketWatch. According to the report, French daily Les Echos quotes a source from French Telecom’s Orange as stating, “The risk we’re evaluating this week is that Apple crosses France off”. The law requiring the sale of the iPhone without a contract could potentially undermine any revenue-sharing agreements between Apple and Orange; it has been speculated that Apple has revenue-sharing agreements in place with every iPhone carrier. A spokeswoman from Orange had previously confirmed that the company has signed an agreement with Apple to carry the iPhone in France.

PDO intros accessories for new iPod family

PDO has announced several new accessories for the iPod nano (with video), iPod classic, and iPod touch. The TopSkin for iPod nano (with video) is a silicone case that features a play-through design for Click Wheel access, as well as an open bottom for access to the headphone jack, hold switch, and Dock Connector. The sides of the case feature a “microtexture” pattern for extra grip, and the case includes a screen protector, leather wrist strap, and ratcheting belt clip. It sells for $15 and will be available in four colors. The TopSkin for iPod touch features a play-through design around the home and hold buttons, protective coverings for the Dock Connector and headphone jack, and includes a full-front screen protector, leather wrist strap, and ratcheting belt clip. It will be available in black, blue, pink, and white, and will sell for $20. The Flipp Premium Leather Case for iPod classic is a flip cover-style hard leather case that features a magnetic closure, an integrated screen protector, and a belt clip. It will also be available in four colors, and will sell for $30. Finally, Screen protectors for the iPod nano (with video), iPod classic, and iPod touch will be available, each sells for $9. All products are available now for pre-order and are expected to ship on or before the end of October.

Nike now accepting orders for Amp+ watch

Nike is now accepting orders for its Amp+ Sport Remote Control watch. The watch, which was previously announced by the company earlier this year, serves as both a standalone timepiece and as a remote for the Nike+iPod Sport Kit. It is made from polyurethane and stainless steel, and features an integrated LED display with the ability to display either time or iPod control status, and an iPod shuffle-styled control pad to let users change tracks, adjust volume, and play/pause songs on the iPod via the Sport Kit. The Amp+ also provides instant voice feedback of time, distance, calories and pace, and has a left-side button for easy motivational access to a “power song”. The Nike Amp+ Sport Control watch is available now and sells for $80. [Thanks, Matt]

Noreve rolls out Tradition leather case for iPod classic

Noreve has introduced its Tradition leather case for the iPod classic. Available for both the 80GB and 160GB models, the Tradition features a handcrafted leather outer, leather interior lining, a padded design, cut-outs for access to the Click Wheel, Dock Connector, hold switch, and headphone jack, a snap closure for the front flap, two card slots, and a removable metal belt clip. The Noreve Tradition leather case for iPod classic is available now in several different colors and sells for $40.

Mix: Nano economy, Unlocks, Verizon, Toys R Us

  • October 4, 2007

Commomwealth Bank of Australia has used the 4GB model of the third-generation iPod nano to compare global currencies and purchasing power in 55 countries, reports Reuters. The survey found that Brazilians pay the most ($369.61) for the device, while Hong Kong edged out the U.S. as the cheapest place ($148.12) to buy the player.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has issued a research note claiming that 10 percent of all iPhones sold in September were purchased specifically to be unlocked. Munster wrote, “In late September we spent 12 hours counting iPhone, iPod and Mac sales in Apple stores across the country. During our store checks we noticed many people buying iPhones in the maximum 5 per customer allotments, which we believe were being purchased to be unlocked and operated on carriers other than AT&T”.

Verizon Wireless this week rolled out three new cell phones for the holiday season, including the LG Voyager, a touch screen-equipped mobile meant to compete with the iPhone. In describing the device, Verizon Wireless Chief Marketing Officer Mike Lanman said, “We think it’ll be the best phone ... this year. It will kill the iPhone.”

The iPod touch is expected to be one of the most popular toys this holiday season, according to toy retailer Toys R Us. The chain has released its list of the 20 toys that it predicts will become best sellers this year, and the iPod touch is expected to be the most popular, knocking the iPod nano from the top spot.

Speck debuts TechStyle leather case for iPod nano (with video)

Speck Products has announced that it is now shipping its TechStyle leather case for iPod nano (with video). The TechStyle features a black premium leather outer, a touch-thru Click Wheel protector, a sewn-in screen protector, a snap closure, and cutouts for the headphone jack, hold switch, and Dock Connector. The Speck TechStyle Classic leather case for iPod nano (with video) is available now and sells for $20.

Incipio’s pink cases support Susan G. Komen for the Cure

Incipio Technologies has announced that it is joining the Orange County, CA Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure to help fight breast cancer. During October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Incipio has pledged 33 percent of all sales of any pink-colored, Incipio-branded product to directly benefit the Komen Orange County Affiliate. Qualifying products include Incipio’s Pink Executive OVRMLD case for iPhone, Pink Silicrylic for iPhone, Pink Hipster for iPhone, Pink dermaSHOT for iPhone, iPod touch, iPod classic, and iPod nano, Pink Metal case for iPod classic and iPod nano, and more.

“The number of people that is affected by breast cancer in America is truly staggering,” stated Andy Fathollahi, President of Incipio. “Not only the women that are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, but the toll it takes on their loved ones as well. As a responsible member of the business community we want to do what we can to help everyone that is affected by this disease in making this corporate pledge today.”

Duracell unveils iPod-compatible Mobile Charger

Duracell has unveiled its Mobile Charger, a portable power hub for mobile charging of USB-enabled products, including iPods, cell phones, and many other small portable electronic devices. The Duracell Mobile Charger also enables users to charge AA and AAA rechargeable NiMH batteries by plugging the unit into a power outlet or car charger. The Mobile Charger can power devices attached to its built-in USB port by one of three methods: via pre-charged NiMH batteries, by plugging the charger into a wall outlet, or by plugging the charger into a car adapter. Rachel Calomeni, brand manager for Duracell, said, “Our innovative and easy-to-use Mobile Charger is the ultimate power pack, delivering extraordinary performance and giving users the flexibility to power devices anytime, anywhere.” The Duracell Mobile Charger includes Duracell Pre-Charged Rechargeable batteries and will be available this fall for $25.

Mix: Teeth, Intel, Teens, Zune

  • October 3, 2007

The Institute for the Advancement of Musical Science has introduced the Professor Bocelli Rock My Teeth system, a new iPod-compatible teeth whitening system that uses the energy from ordered sound to enhance traditional teeth whitening. The system, which claims to make your teeth six shades whiter in one week, sells for $50. [via Yahoo! Tech]

According to a DigiTimes report, Apple may be eyeing Intel’s new Moorestown mobile internet device platform processor for use in a future iPhone model. The iPhone currently uses an ARM processor; the Moorestown platform is expected to launch in 2009.

A group of teens interviewed by the Telegraph claimed Apple was the brand they most wanted, mentioning the company’s iPods, MacBooks and iPhones. One student said simply, “It’s all about the iPod right now.”

Along with the announcement of new Zune models, Microsoft has also revealed that it will offer more than a million DRM-free tracks on its Zune Marketplace. Further details, such as file formats and available labels, are not yet known.

iLounge and iSkin announce the iSkin Dream Giveaway

iLounge and iSkin are pleased to announce the iSkin Dream Giveaway. iLounge and iSkin have partnered to give away one of ten iSkin Dream iPhone accessory kits, which include an iSkin Cerulean TX+RX Bluetooth Transmitter + Receiver, the iSkin Cerulean F1 Stereo Bluetooth Headset, and one iSkin revo iPhone case. To enter, simply hit the button below and fill out and email the form provided. For official giveaway rules, visit the giveaway page.

 

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Microsoft introduces new Zune lineup

Microsoft has unveiled its latest revisions to the Zune digital media player, including a revamped hard drive-based model as well as a new flash-based Zune, which will compete with the iPod nano. The new hard drive-based Zune will offer 80GB of storage, Wi-Fi wireless sync, and a 3.2-inch screen; it will sell for $250, matching the price of the 80GB iPod classic. The new flash-based Zune will be offered in 4GB and 8GB capacities, will feature a 1.8-inch screen, the same Wi-Fi functionality as the larger model, and will sell for $150 and $200 respectively, matching the price points of the 4GB and 8GB iPod nano (with video). The new players also sport touch-sensitive navigation via the new “Zune Pad”, a rounded rectangle-shaped control apparatus that takes the place of the original Zune’s round navigation pad. No battery life statistics have yet been disclosed by Microsoft. All three new Zune models are slated for a November release.

Apple, Nike named in suit over Nike+iPod Sport Kit

Leaper Footwear, owners of a 1998 patent covering “Performance measuring footwear”, has filed a lawsuit naming both Apple and Nike, claiming the companies’ Nike+iPod Sport Kit infringes on Leaper’s patent. In the complaint, Leaper claims that it contacted Nike in 2000, sending the footwear giant a copy of the patent and encouraging it to license and incorporate the technology into its running shoes; Nike reportedly responded by stating it had “no interest” in the technology. Leaper is seeking damages and a permanent injunction barring Apple and Nike from further infringement. Nike and Apple were previously named in a lawsuit filed by PhatRat Technology, also alleging patent infringement over the Nike+iPod Sport Kit.

New Comments Policy posted, helpful links added

To date, iLounge readers have posted over 1.2 million public messages on the main iLounge.com web site and in our Discussion Forums, the vast majority of them positive contributions from fantastic people around the globe. Last month, we announced that we were shifting certain posts from the main site into the Forums in order to cut down on astroturfing that was detracting from those otherwise great discussions. But we also wanted to make it easier for our readers—individuals and companies alike—to share worthwhile comments with other readers, our editors, and our business team, as appropriate.

Today, we have created a new Comments + Questions page on iLounge with easy links to key iLounge staff, and clear explanations of our public and private commenting policies. This page contains links so you can submit (1) news tips, (2) error reports, (3) public comments and iPod questions, (4) private comments, (5) editorial questions, and (6) business inquiries, and get them read more promptly; it also asks that tips, error reports, and editor- or ad-specific questions be submitted to the specific people who need to receive them. Heavy e-mail volumes preclude us from responding to all questions, but we do our best—these links will make things easier and better.

We have linked to the Comments + Questions Page, and many of those key areas, on all of the main site’s comments pages. By reader request, our product preview and review pages are also being updated to automatically direct new product-specific comments to specific iPod and accessory forums, rather than the temporary catchall page we were using before. Thanks for your continued support as we work to make iLounge an even better community for all of our readers!

Contexture Design offers reclaimed cassettes as nano cases

Contexture Design, makers of the “45” vinyl iPod cases, has announced 45 nano, a new line of cases for the first- and second- generation iPod nano made from reused audio cassette tapes. The cases’ backs feature a hollowed out area to fit first- and second-generation iPod nanos, shielded by a clear plastic window that includes openings for access to the iPod’s controls, headphone jack and Dock Connector. The front of each case has been retained, and looks like a “vintage” cassette. For added cushioning, the cassette-cases include foam padding and come enclosed in their original, clear plastic cases. “Reusing an old music medium to protect technology that surpassed it really resonates with us as music fans and sustainable designers,” says Trevor Coghill, Contexture Design co-founder. 45 nano cases are designed and constructed sustainably using reclaimed tapes and foam padding. Contexture Design 45 nano cases are available now and sell for $45.

DLO now shipping Action Jacket cases for new iPod lineup

Digital Lifestyle Outfitters has announced the immediate availability of its Action Jacket sport cases for the iPod classic, iPod touch, and iPod nano (with video). The DLO Action Jacket features cushioned neoprene construction, a rotating belt clip, an adjustable, removable Velcro armband, and Click Wheel access (on iPod classic and nano models) or play-through touch screen access for the iPod touch. “Whether you’re working out or just hanging out, DLO’s new Action Jackets let you take your iPod along for the ride,” said Andrew Green, DLO’s vice president of marketing. The DLO Action Jacket for iPod nano (with video), iPod classic, and iPod touch sell for $30 and are available now.

Analysts want iPhone feature, security updates separated

As we noted last week, included in Apple’s iPhone Software version 1.1.1 update were several security fixes for the phone’s Bluetooth, Mail, and Safari software. According to a Computerworld report, this drew the ire of security analysts, who believe that vendors should separate functionality and security updates, especially when the update may have unwanted consequences for some users. “With the iPhone update, Apple is now producing a fear of taking their patches,” said Andrew Storms, director of security operations at nCircle Network Security Inc. “If they release a functionality update and security fixes at the same time in the future, some users will think twice about applying it.” Garter Inc.‘s John Pescatore added, “There should definitely be a separation between security and functionality. Users shouldn’t be forced to accept new functionality to get security fixes.” Apple has traditionally offered a mix of standalone security updates and bundled security fixes for its Mac OS X operating system.

IME launches iPod docking system for autos

Integrated Mobile Electronics has announced that its IME Docking System is entering production and will be available in 6-8 weeks. The IME Docking System is a modular, integrated automotive docking system for the iPod, Zune, and SanDisk Sansa. The system uses a universal base that secures to the user’s center console, dash, or wherever they would like to have their player placed in the car. Interchangeable docks connect to the base to allow compatibility with the various players, while customized dock inserts provide exact fits for the different models of each player. The entire system connects, via auxiliary inputs or adapters, to the car’s factory or aftermarket head unit. A full list of compatible aftermarket stereos and factory units is expected soon. The IME Docking System is available for pre-order now and sells for $250, additional docks are $90. For a limited time, the company is offering a 15 percent discount on pre-orders, simply use the code IMEDOCK07 to see the discount.

Mix: Subaru, Nokia, iFlash, Harrington

  • October 1, 2007

Subaru has announced that select models of its 2008 Impreza will offer iPod integration as an accessory. The integration kit allows customers to control most iPod functions through the dashboard “head unit”, including playback control and text display of playlist, artist, album and song information.

Nokia has launched a new advertising campaign that features the slogans “Phones should be open to anything.” and “The best devices have no limits.”, both direct shots at Apple’s closed-system iPhone.

An industrious iPhone owner has made a “flash” for the iPhone from LEDs and a broken iPod car charger. The flash, while not synced with the iPhone’s camera application, does draw its power from the device’s Dock Connector. [via TUAW]

Jeweler John Harrington is offering a “Diamond Shuffle”, a second-generation iPod shuffle customized with Harrington’s “Renaissance” design and set with five diamonds. It sells for £300, or roughly $610.

nekFIT lets users wear iPod nano, shuffle around neck

nekFIT, Inc. has introduced the nekFIT, a new wearable case compatible with all models of iPod nano and iPod shuffle. The nekFIT is designed to hold the iPod on the back of the user’s neck, eliminating dangling wires and offering a larger range of movement compared to armband-style active iPod cases. Features include an integrated cord manager, large buttons for switching tracks, and compatibility with many silicone cases. “With more than 100 million iPods sold and upwards of 40 million used for various forms of exercise, the nekFIT gives consumers the freedom to play when working out or simply enjoying the great outdoors,” said Kurt Eldracher, inventor of the nekFIT and president of nekFIT, Inc. The nekFIT is available now and sells for $34.

iWrap debuts covers for new iPod family

iWrap has announced availability of its transparent protective covers for the iPod classic, iPod touch, and iPod nano (with video). Screen covers are available for the iPod nano (with video) and iPod touch, Full Body Wraps are available for all three models. The covers are applied directly to the iPod using a spray solution and squeegee card, both of which are provided with purchase. “These iPods are meant to be eye-catching. They have a simple, elegant design that deserves to be seen,” said Tim Chaves, President and CEO of iWrap. “iWrap allows that while protecting permanently from scratches.” iWrap Screen Covers sell for $10, while Full Body Wraps sell for $15.

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