Speaking at an AT&T event being held at CTIA, AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega hinted that the 3G iPhone would be released in the coming months, and also made comments regarding Verizon and Sprint’s iPhone competitors. When asked about plans to sell a 3G iPhone, de la Vega said, “You’re going to see our integrated devices be 3G in the not too distant future. I mean months.” De la Vega said of iPhone rivals from Samsung and LG, “You can look like an iPhone, but you’re probably not going to be like an iPhone.” He added, “There’s a lot of catching up to do.” AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has previously said a version of the iPhone that runs on faster 3G data networks would be released in 2008; more recently, reports indicated that Taiwan’s Hon Hai had been awarded an exclusive contract to build a “more advanced version” of the iPhone, which would likely be a 3G model.
Apple this evening released iTunes 7.6.2, the latest version of their digital media management application. According to Apple, the release simply includes “bug fixes to improve stability and performance.” iTunes 7.6.2 is available now through Apple’s Software Update application, or as a free download from apple.com/itunes. [via TUAW]
Despite any suggestion to the contrary, Nike’s official announcement today of the Nike+ Sportband—a new watch-like accessory that works without the iPod nano—does not represent a break between the shoe maker and Apple. Similar in appearance to the company’s earlier Amp bracelet for the iPod nano, Sportband allows runners to track distance, pace, time and calories burned when they run, and also allows their training data to be loaded onto a computer and uploaded to nikeplus.com, using a USB plug-in rather than an iPod as a data conduit. The similarities in functionality between the Nike + iPod Sport Kit and the Sportband have led some to suggest that there might be a rift between Apple and Nike, which Nike denied in a statement to iLounge today. “Absolutely not… we are simply expanding our Nike+ arena of products to allow those runners/walkers who do not want to use music to experience Nike+ and nikeplus.com,” answered Nike’s Kerry Sobol when asked if the release meant the end of Nike and Apple collaboration. “We are still very much working with Apple daily.”
Following our March report on 16GB iPhone shortages, new checks reveal that the supply shortage has spread to the 8GB model as well. Nine U.S.-based Apple retail locations contacted today by iLounge yielded only two locations with 8GB models in stock, seven locations that were completely sold out of iPhones, and not a single location with the 16GB model in stock. Previous reports from stores suggested that the shortage might last until May, and though the reasons for the shortage have remained unclear, there has been speculation that updated or refreshed iPhone models may be debuted soon. Informed sources have suggested to iLounge that the current iPhone models will be replaced with new ones in the near future rather than kept around.
Apple has announced that television programming from Germany’s top networks, including ProSieben, Sat.1, ZDF Enterprises, and Brainpool, and US broadcasters ABC Studios and MTV Networks is now available from the iTunes Store in Germany. Popular shows available for purchase include “Stromberg,” “Tramitz and Friends,” “Switch!,” “Shaolin Wuzang” and “Kaya Yanar-Made In Germany,” as well as US programs “Lost,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” and “South Park.” “iTunes is the world’s most popular online music and TV store with over four billion songs and 125 million TV episodes sold,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of iTunes. “We’re off to a great start with over 35 TV shows available on the iTunes Store in Germany.” TV shows are priced at €1.99 and €2.49 per episode.
Bluelounge, maker of the Cableyoyo cord management accessory, has introduced its new Sanctuary universal charging station. The Sanctuary features a universal charger hidden underneath its top tray, which offers 12 different charging connectors for various devices, including a 30-pin Dock Connector for charging iPods and iPhones. It also features a standard USB port, which can be used to connect a USB-to-Dock Connector cable for charging a second iPod or iPhone. The majority of the charging cables remain hidden beneath the top tray, reducing clutter. The Sanctuary is available now in black or white and sells for $130.
According to the latest ChangeWave survey, more than one-third (35%) of respondents planning on buying a smartphone in the next 90 days plan on purchasing an iPhone, a 12 percent jump from the previous survey. In addition, ten percent of respondents said the announcements made at Apple’s iPhone Software Roadmap event made them more likely to buy the device in the future. Smartphone market share numbers for the iPhone jumped, increasing three points to 9%, behind only Palm, which fell for the seventh straight survey to 16%, and RIM, which maintains a sizable lead with a 42% share of the market. Customer satisfaction numbers for the iPhone also remain high, with 79% of iPhone-toting respondents saying they are very satisfied with the device. The survey of nearly 3,600 consumers was conducted on March 17-24.
UK rock band Radiohead has launched a Make Your Own Remix initiative for its latest single, in cooperation with Apple’s iTunes and GarageBand. Fans can visit iTunes in a number of countries (full list here) to purchase the song “Nude” along with five different “stems” of the song, giving them access to the bass, voice, guitar, strings/fx and drum tracks from which they can create their own remixes. In addition, fans who purchase all five stems before April 8 will receive an access code to download a free GarageBand project file for use when remixing; however, users need not use GarageBand to create their remixes, as the stems sold on the iTunes Store are iTunes Plus tracks, and are compatible with a number of software programs. Users may then upload their remix to radioheadremix.com, where the public can listen to and vote for their favorite remix (voting ends May 1). For more information, visit radioheadremix.com. [via SetteB.it]
Griffin Technology has introduced the Wave, a new polycabonate case for the iPhone. The Wave utilizes a unique wave-shaped closure that provides greater interlocking surface area for a more secure seal. Other features include full access to all ports, buttons, and the iPhone’s display, and an included screen protector and cleaning cloth. “Wave is something truly new in case design,” said George Campbell, Industrial Design Director at Griffin Technology. “It gives customers what they expect in a case for iPhone; but we also found a new structural way to make the case more secure. This new functional design also looks very cool. It’s instantly recognizable as something unique and different.” The Griffin Wave for iPhone is available now in translucent red, pink, orange, green, blue, and black, and sells for $25. For more information on the Wave, see our First Look article.