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Mix: Austria, Burst, Lennon, touch Ad

T-Mobile will launch the iPhone in Austria in 2008, according to a statement made by Austrian T-Mobile Chief Robert Chvatal at the 2000th T-Mobile store opening (translated link). “We will be offering the iPhone next year,” Cheval said, according to reports. [via Mac Rumors]

Apple and have signed an agreement to end a patent infringement suit dating back to April 2006. As part of the agreement, Apple will make a one-time payment of $10 million in return for the right to use Burst’s intellectual property in its own technology and products, without further consideration, not including recent Burst patents related to DVR technology. Strangely, the announcement also clearly states that “Burst agreed not to sue Apple for any future infringement of the DVR patent and any patents that might issue from the pending DVR-related applications.”

A new “John Lennon Video Album” iTunes Digital Release card featuring 21 of the artist’s music videos will debut at Starbucks on Dec. 4 for $25. The card can be redeemed through the iTunes Store for a collection of music videos which includes “Imagine,” “Woman,” “Happy Xmas,” “(Just Like) Starting Over,” “Nobody Told Me,” “Mind Games,” two versions of “Working Class Hero” and others, many of which are available digitally for the first time.

The song “Music is my Hot Hot Sex” by Brazilian group Cansei de Ser Sexy (CSS), featured in the latest iPod touch commercial, is causing confusion online. According to a Boston Herald article, users are searching for the first lyric, “music is my boyfriend,” featured in the ad, which is leading to a boost in interest for Canadian indie band Hidden Cameras and solo artist Skye Sweetnam, both of which have released songs with “Music Is My Boyfriend” as the title.

UK iPhone owners report reception problems

A number of iPhone owners in the UK have posted reports of poor signal reception on the O2 network. A thread on Apple’s support forum on the topic is currently up to 130 replies, with users in various areas reporting problems. Apparently, placing the iPhone in its included Dock greatly improves reception, and the improvement occurs whether or not the Dock is connected to power. While some users have reported that their problems were fixed by performing a software restore, or by replacement units, there is currently no certain fix for the problem. [via InformationWeek]

Geneva Lab Model M iPod speaker system now available

Previously featured in The Free iPod Book 3.0, Geneva Lab’s Sound System Model M is now available. The Model M is a tabletop-sized system that features a 100 watt digital amplifier, sealed, wooden speaker chambers with ports for added bass, a Universal iPod Dock, a built-in slot-loading CD player with MP3 playback capabilities, and a FM radio with digital tuner. The Geneva Lab Sound System Model M comes in black, white, or red, and sells for $500.

Orbino debuts leather cases for iPod touch, nano 3G

Orbino has introduced its new Corsa case for the iPod touch, Sonata case for the iPod nano (with video), and an iPod classic-compatible update of its Cambio leather case. The Corsa is a hand-stitched leather case featuring a tailored design, a patented spring-loaded removable metal belt clip, a removable Durashield screen protector, and cut-out access to all ports and controls. The Orbino Corsa case for iPod touch is available now and sells for $99.

imageThe Sonata is a hand-stitched leather case featuring a leather lanyard with a palladium pendant, lacquered edging, and an open bottom that offers full access to the Dock Connector, headphone jack, and hold switch. The Orbino Sonata case for iPod nano is available now and sells for $69. Finally, the Cambio, previously released for the fifth-generation iPod, features a hand-stitched, tailored design, a removable metal belt clip, access to all ports and controls, a Durashield screen protector, and a metal Click Wheel frame. It is available now for both 80GB and 160GB models and sells for $99.

Apple’s Joswiak talks iPod, iPhone

In a recent interview with Fortune, Apple’s vice president of Hardware Product Marketing Greg Joswiak spoke about the current state of the iPod, how the marketing of the devce has changed over the years, the iPod touch and iPhone SDK, the potential for growth in some international markets, and more. Responding to a question on how to handle an open iPod and iPhone, Joswiak said, “One of the things Steve talked about in his open letter is something Nokia’s doing, which is requiring a digital signature. That way if there’s something wrong with an application, you have a way to track it back to where it came from. So one of the things we want to do, again, is create a development environment that is going to maintain the security and reliability of the iPhone yet at the same time offer developers some really cool things that we can do.”

Speaking about the changes in iPod marketing that have been made over the years, Joswiak said, “I think what has changed over time is certainly early on, people had to understand what an iPod was about. You had to understand the whole message of a thousand songs in your pocket. So some of the early advertisements had to set up some of that foundation. In a market like the U.S., where we have 77 percent market share, that’s really not required. People understand what the iPod is – it’s become a cultural phenomenon here. So we can change the way that it’s marketed.”

He continued, “But when we went into Europe a couple of years ago with advertisements, when France was in single-digit market share and Germany was in single-digit market share, we again had to establish the ‘thousand songs in your pocket.’ We ran advertisements that were more foundational than the silhouette ads that we’ve done. And we saw market share rise pretty significantly — again, our latest French and German market share is about 28 percent each. That’s a pretty significant rise over a two-year period.” Joswiak went on to say that he sees a “significant opportunity” in international markets where the iPod’s market share is below 30 percent, due to the lack of a major name-brand competitor.

Finally, in discussing how Apple plans for future models, Joswiak explained, “We try to understand as we develop our product road map, what’s going to be exciting in the future. And that’s one of the advantages we have over our competitors. Our competitors tend to put the cross hairs on where we are now, and by the time they come up with a product that tries to match where we are now, we’re beyond them. We’re one or two generations beyond, moving faster than they are.”

Black Friday iPod/iPhone Deals from 15 stores, including Apple

In keeping with the annual Black Friday shopping holiday in the United States, many merchants are offering one-day-only deals on iPods and accessories for iPods and iPhones. We’ve compiled this list of the most interesting advertised special prices offered by 15 major retailers, including attractively discounted iPods at the Apple Store (up to $31 off) and a wide variety of accessory deals from Apple and 14 other stores. The deal list can be found by clicking on the headline above or the Comments link below; feel free to post others in Comments.

‘08 Buyers’ Guide provides holiday shopping ideas

Much of the United States will take part in another holiday tradition tomorrow. Known as “Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving marks the official start of the holiday shopping season, and every year retailers do huge business, partly on the backs of heavily discounted items. If you’re wondering what to get the gadgeteers in your family, we suggest you take a look through our 2008 iPod + iPhone Buyers’ Guide. Filled with information on Apple’s line of music players, it also features comprehensive coverage of iPod accessories big and small, along with some insight into other products that we’ve looked at. So whether it’s a stocking stuffer for a friend at work, an iPod speaker system for someone at home, or anything in between, you can find ratings, reviews, and more inside the ‘08 Buyers’ Guide, “The Ultimate Black Friday Accessory Guide.”

Thanksgiving holiday, limited updates

As we are celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday with our families in the United States, iLounge will be on a limited publishing schedule today, November 22, 2007. Happy Thanksgiving to our U.S. readers; we have posted a brief note of gratitude on our Backstage editors’ blog for all iLounge readers, wherever you may be in the world.

Myvu announces partnership with Ultimate Ears

Myvu Corporation, makers of personal media viewers for the iPod and other potable media devices, has announced a new partnership with Ultimate Ears, which will see Ultimate Ears’ earphones incorporated across Myvu’s entire product line. “Audio quality is a major component of the entire myvu experience and a high quality earphone is critical,” said Kip Kokinakis, president and CEO of Myvu Corp. “By partnering with Ultimate Ears, we offer users the industry’s finest on-the-go viewing experience.” “We’re excited to join forces with Myvu and integrate our audio signature into its award-winning product line,” said Mindy Harvey, president and co- founder of Ultimate Ears. “Myvu has a fantastic new technology that deserves a sound quality to match its video. This unique combination will give myvu customers an unparalleled experience that encompasses comfort, quality and of course, entertainment.” It is unclear when Myvu products will begin shipping with the Ultimate Ears components, or whether previously and currently shipping models include the enhancements.

Mix: Mexico, Beatles, Proporta, Case-mate

Apple has officially opened its online store in Mexico. The new store offers the full line of new iPods (including the Product: RED iPod nano), along with other Apple and third-party products. [Thanks, Arturo]

Paul McCartney has said that he’s “pretty sure” the Beatles catalog will finally be available in digital in 2008. He also blamed the long-delayed release on contractual red-tape, as well as timing. “The whole thing is primed, ready to go—there’s just maybe one little sticking point left, and I think it’s being cleared up as we speak, so it shouldn’t be too long. It’s down to fine-tuning,” McCartney said.

Proporta is currently offering a 50% discount on all its first- and second-generation iPod nano gear, as well as its iPod FM Transmitter. For those with newer models, the company is also offering a 10% discount on iPod nano 3rd generation accessories — simply enter “FACETHEMUSIC” on the cart page to receive the discount.

Case-mate has announced that it will be offering a 25% discount on all items from Nov. 23 through Nov. 26. To receive the discount, enter the coupon code “Holiday25” during the checkout process.

Texterity provides digital magazines for iPhone, iPod touch

Texterity, a publisher of digital magazines, has announced Release 1.0 of its digital magazine interface for the iPhone and iPod touch, featuring easier access, improved performance, and the ability to view pages and visit links of advertisers. Additional new features include convenient access to all magazines with a single browser window, full compatibility with the latest Safari browser, and enhanced functionality including full search, linking to websites, table of contents, send to a friend, and an easy way to subscribe to the magazines viewed. “Mobile delivery is one more way we help publishers attract new subscribers and generate results for their advertisers. As a publishing partner, it’s important that we not only lead the charge but push the envelope,” says Cimarron Buser, VP Marketing. “In this new release, we’ve also taken advantage of the power of styling abilities in the Safari browser to enhance performance and make the reader’s experience consistent with the iPhone model.” Texterity currently has 52 digital publications available through the interface, which can be accessed by visiting from an iPhone or iPod touch.

T-Mobile Germany to offer unlocked iPhones for €999

In response to the court injunction obtained yesterday by Vodafone that prohibits T-Mobile from offering the iPhone as long as it is sold only in connection with a 24 month T-Mobile contract and/or is blocked in such a way that it can only be used in a T-Mobile network, T-Mobile has announced that it will offer an unlocked version of the phone in Germany, for the price of €999 (about $1478). It will also allow customers who purchased iPhones after Nov. 19 to unlock the device free of charge, although the company said that it will comply with the injunction until the situation has been clarified by a court — meaning that a removal of the injunction might lead to the end of unlocked iPhone sales as well.

Apple posts new iTunes commercial

Apple has posted its latest iPod + iTunes commercial. The new ad features Mary J. Blige performing the song “Work That” from her upcoming album Growing Pains. The ad follows the artistic style of previous iPod ads, featuring a slight silhouette effect in front of a brightly colored, shimmering background. The ad is available for viewing now on Apple’s iTunes page, under the “Featured on iTunes” heading.

Proporta announces new cases for iPod touch

Proporta has introduced three new cases for the iPod touch. The Alu-Leather Case for iPod touch features the Proporta Aluminum “Screen Saver” System which uses a sheet of rigid, lightweight aircraft grade aluminum to line the case, a secure magnetic clasp closure, and contrast overstitching. It sells for $46. The Silicone Case for iPod touch features a removable lanyard and a thin profile, and offers access all ports and controls. It sells for $20. Finally, the Classic case is made from a vegetarian-friendly leather alternative, and features a secure magnetic clasp closure, contrast overstitching, and cut-outs that allow access to ports and controls. It is priced at $25. In addition, Proporta will be introducing its Alu-Leather Sheepskin case for iPod touch and Alu-Leather Edge Case for iPod touch in the coming weeks. The Proporta Alu-Leather Case, Silicone Case, and Classic Case for iPod touch are available now.

iSkin rolls out iSkin for iPod touch

iSkin has introduced its new iSkin for iPod touch. The iSkin touch is made from high-grade silicone, and features smooth lines, textured surfaces, integrated port plugs that keep dust and dirt from entering its docking and earphone ports when not in use, included touch-friendly screen film, and a removable belt clip. The iSkin touch comes in a variety of two-tone designs, including NightHawk (espresso+black), Diablo (red+black), Oxygen (black+clear), Electra (black+blue) and Vanity (black+pink). The iSkin touch is available now for order at, and sells for $30.

‘Purple Violets’ premieres on iTunes

Purple Violets, a new contemporary comedy-drama written, directed, and produced by independent filmmaker Ed Burns, was released exclusively through iTunes this morning, becoming the first feature film to make its premiere through the service. The award-winning film stars Selma Blair, Debra Messing, Patrick Wilson, and Burns. “We’re thrilled Ed Burns chose to premiere ‘Purple Violets’ exclusively on the iTunes Store,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of iTunes. “Apple continually strives to provide the most innovative offerings to our customers and we look forward to more great independent film makers debuting their films via iTunes.” Purple Violets is available now from the iTunes Store and sells for $13.

H2O Audio intros iV6 waterproof case for iPod classic

H2O Audio has introduced its iV6 Waterproof Case for the iPod classic. The iV6 features the patented Commander Scroll Wheel that allows full function of the iPod Click Wheel up to 10 feet underwater or while wearing gloves, as well as the LatchTight locking system, a SealTight connector for waterproof headphones, and a clear view of the iPod’s screen while in the case. The H2O Audio iV6 Waterproof Case for iPod classic is available for pre-order now and sells for $100; the iV6 is expected to being shipping on November 26.

Vodafone wins court order to stop T-Mobile iPhone sales

The German unit of Vodafone has obtained a preliminary injunction against T-Mobile Germany prohibiting the carrier from selling iPhones that are locked to its network. The order was issued by a regional court in Hamburg, and its goal is to stop the sale of the iPhone if it is sold only in connection with a 24 month T-Mobile contract and/or is blocked in such a way that it can only be used in a T-Mobile network. A T-Mobile spokesperson has said the company plans to continue selling the device, stating that “The legal basis for the injunction is currently being examined.” The spokesman added that the company would decide on a reaction over the course of the day. In addition to the complaint from Vodafone, German telco operator Debitel also lodged a complaint over the T-Mobile iPhone deal. “It is not permissible to link the use of the iPhone exclusively to T-Mobile’s network,” a Debitel spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

HoMedics unveils iSoundSpa Fusion clock radio

HoMedics has introduced its new iSoundSpa Fusion clock radio. The Fusion features an integrated Universal iPod Dock, an AM/FM radio with digital tuning, five interchangeable faceplates to match the iPod or decor, six nature sounds, a large-digit LCD display, dual alarms, and a line-in jack for compatibility with iPod shuffle and other audio sources. The HoMedics iSoundSpa Fusion is available now and sells for $60.

CopyTrans 2.0 offers new interface, features

Wind Solutions has introduced its CopyTrans 2.0 iPod backup and recovery tool. The release, which the company describes as the “most important revamp” in the program’s three-year history, offers direct importing of iPod videos and podcasts into iTunes, a revamped interface, a simplified backup sequence, more flexible renaming options, and more. CopyTrans 2.0 is available now as a free demo for Windows 2000, XP, Server 2003 or Vista; the full version sells for $20.

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