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TIM, Vodafone outline pre-paid iPhone 3G cost

Both Telecom Italia Mobile and Vodafone have revealed their pricing on the iPhone 3G for pre-paid customers. The non-subsidized iPhone will be available through both carriers for 499 euro for the 8GB model (around $777) and 569 euro for the 16GB model (around $886). Unsubsidized pricing for the iPhone 3G remains uncertain in a number of regions, including the U.S., where certain AT&T customers may have to pay the higher price due to contract limitations. In addition, images that briefly appeared on TIM’s site indicate that plans will start at 30 euros per month, although no official announcement regarding service pricing has yet been made by either carrier.

Altec Lansing ships iM310 iPod speaker system

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Altec Lansing has quietly begun shipping its new inMotion iM310 portable sound system for iPod. Currently listed as “coming soon” on the company’s website, the iM310 features an integrated iPod dock, a compact, folding design, an auxiliary input jack, and the ability to run off AC or battery power, with the latter offering 48 hours of continuous play from three AA batteries. As the most aggressively priced inMotion speaker yet released with an integrated iPod dock, the Altec Lansing inMotion iM310 is now available at select retailers and sells for $80.

Telstra to offer iPhone 3G in Australia?

Australian carrier Telstra is set to be announced as the country’s third iPhone 3G service provider, according to a new report. Citing people close to the company, Australian IT reports Telstra chief Sol Trujillo may make an announcement next week, and could launch the device as early as July 22. Sources also indicated that Telstra retail chief David Moffatt and a team of his senior executives were given a preview of the new flagship Apple retail store in Sydney last week. According to the report, previously announced carriers Optus and Vodafone have already seen heavy interest in the device. Vodafone’s pre-registration site has seen around 40,000 visitors a day since launching early last week, while Optus has been forced to stop accepting advance deposits on the phone, as demand is simply too high. “Due to an overwhelming response, we have removed the deposit-taking mechanism from [our] website,” said an Optus spokesperson. Telstra has yet to comment on the story.

iTunes hits five billion songs sold

Apple has announced that the iTunes Store has now sold over five billion songs. In addition, it revealed that the store is now renting and selling more than 50,000 movies every day, making iTunes the world’s most popular online movie store. According to Apple, the store now offers a catalog of over eight million songs, over 20,000 TV episodes and over 2,000 films including over 350 in HD.

Miniot announces iWood 3G for iPhone 3G

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Miniot has introduced its iWood 3G wooden case for the iPhone 3G. The iWood 3G is made from a single piece of selected wood, and covers the phone’s back and sides, leaving the front face open, and offering access to the phone’s camera and other ports and controls. Miniot is also offering a service which allows customers to have their own logo or message engraved on the back. iWood for iPhone will begin shipping by the end of July and sells for 75 Euros, or about $116.

Mix: Blog It, iPopmybaby, Music apps, ZAGG contest

  • June 18, 2008

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Six Apart has introduced its new Blog It for iPhone web-based blogging application. Blog It allows users to post blog entries or status updates directly from the iPhone to more than a dozen different online services, including Blogger, Facebook, FriendFeed, Jaiku, LiveJournal, Movable Type, Pownce, Tumblr, Twitter, TypePad Vox, WordPress.com, and WordPress.org. Users can login using an OpenID or Yahoo! account at blogit.typepad.com.

After more than three years of operation, iPod- and iPhone-themed gift retailer ipopmybaby is now for sale. Sale of the business will include a complete inventory of over 1000 units of first quality printed shirts, a customer list of over 6000 people, supplier contacts, existing retailer and wholesale distribution relationships, conveyed rights to custom designs and artwork, and more, as well as the domains ipodmybaby.com, ipopmybaby.com, iphonemybaby.com, and popmybaby.com. The business is currently being auctioned off on eBay; bidding starts at $19,000.

Electronic music site Beatportal has posted a roundup of native music applications currently in development for the iPhone and iPod touch. Featured in the roundup are MooCowMusic’s Band, which was spotlighted during Apple’s recent WWDC keynote address, IR-909, an iPhone drum machine inspired by the Roland TR-909, iPhone Synth, a TB-303-like synth-plus-sequencer, Pocket Guitar, drum machine app BeatPhone, MixMeister Scratch, a scratching tool, and MPC500, a beat application inspired by the Akai product of the same name.

ZAGG is holding a Digital Obsession Video Contest, and is offering a free invisibleSHIELD to the first 100 people to enter the contest. To enter, users should create a short video showing their love for their favorite digital device, upload it to a major video sharing service such as YouTube or Vimeo, and fill out a simple form on ZAGG’s website. The Grand Prize is an iPhone 3G with an invisibleSHIELD pre-installed. ZAGG’s Digital Obsession Video Contest runs through June 30.

iPod sales grow in May

  • June 18, 2008
  • iPod,

According to the latest data from market research firm NPD, iPod sales grew 11.6 percent year-over-year in May, following growth of 14.6 percent year-over-year in April. In a note, Lehman analyst Tim Luke pointed out that this was well ahead of the 2 percent decline the firm had been expecting, and said that average iPod pricing in the quarter was down 4 percent. “While not exactly strong, iPod demand seems to be holding up and benefiting from the lack of iPhone availability (lack of cannibalization near-term),” Luke said. “We expect iPod demand to weaken as iPhone demand picks up, but view the current trends as positive for AAPL’s fiscal 3Q08.”

Morgan Stanley: iPhone sales to double in 2009

Investment bank Morgan Stanley has raised its price target on Apple stock from $185 to $210, based on expectations of doubled iPhone sales in calendar year 2009. “We believe the market generally expects a doubling of iPhone units with the lower price point ($199) and we believe this is realistic, if not conservative,” the firm said in a note. It expects sales of 27 million iPhones in 2009, with an average revenue of $550 per unit. Finally, the bank said it believes that the mass market distribution and lower price of the iPhone 3G will drive revenue growth from software and services over time.

Photo of the Week: iPhone in Guam

This week’s featured photo is from our iPhones Around the World gallery, and shows an iPhone resting at Two Lovers Point in Tumon Bay, Guam. To share your photos and to be considered for our Photo of the Week, you simply need to submit your own photo to one of our galleries. So get out there, take some pictures with your iPod or iPhone, and maybe your submission will be our next Photo of the Week!

UK showing strong interest in iPhone 3G

O2, the iPhone’s exclusive carrier in the United Kingdom, has revealed that more than 130,000 potential customers have pre-registered their interest in the iPhone 3G since the product’s unveiling last week. Only 35,000 people pre-registered their interest in the previous iPhone between September 18 and November 9 of last year, suggesting that the inclusion of 3G cellular technology and a substantially lower price has helped spur interest in the new handset. Ronan Dunne, O2 UK chief executive, said the price of the original phone had been “an issue for some segments of the market,” while adding that iPhone customers were spending an average of 30% more a year on their mobile plans. [via AppleInsider]

Adobe: Flash Player running on iPhone Emulator

Speaking during its fiscal second quarter conference call, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen revealed that the company has a version of its Flash Player running inside the iPhone Emulator. In response to a question about possible Flash support on the iPhone 3G, Narayen said, “With respect to the iPhone, we are working on it. We have a version that’s working on the emulation. This is still on the computer and you know, we have to continue to move it from a test environment onto the device and continue to make it work. So we are pleased with the internal progress that we’ve made to date.” Following the release of the iPhone Software Development Kit, Adobe stated its intent to bring the Flash Player to the iPhone, noting that integrating the software with the Safari browser would require “work with Apple beyond and above what is available through the SDK and the current license around it.” [via Boing Boing Gadgets]

Australian carriers battle over iPhone 3G claims

Australian mobile operator Telstra has threatened legal action over rival Optus’s claims regarding iPhone functionality on its 3G network, citing alleged consumer confusion over 3G wireless spectrum distinctions. Telstra claims the iPhone 3G will be inoperable over Optus’ 900MHz 3G band, contrary to the company’s statement that customers will “enjoy 3G services as we expand our network to 96 per cent of the population by December 2008 and 98 per cent by December 2009.” In a letter to Optus, Telstra general counsel Jennifer Circhton said that the company will monitor Optus statements concerning the iPhone 3G and “will not hesitate” to take legal action if it feels Optus is misleading customers. “Telstra is concerned that Optus may represent to customers that they can enjoy a range of 3G features and services that will not be available if the 3G device is incompatible with Optus’ 3G 900MHz network,” Circhton said. “Telstra considers any such representation misleading or deceptive or likely in breach of section 52 of the Trade Practices Act.”

Ovum analyst Nathan Burley said that both Australian iPhone carriers, Vodafone and Optus, may face compatibility issues with the iPhone 3G. “Although Vodafone and Optus are expanding their 3G networks in the 900MHz frequency band, the iPhone 3G will not support these networks,” Burley said. “Coverage will be limited to existing 2100MHz 3G coverage - outside these areas GPRS data performance will leave users more than unsatisfied. The device does support Telstra’s Next G network but as yet, Telstra has not announced it will be offering the device.”

iPhone 3G poll ends with over 6000 responses, iPod touch poll begins

With over 6,000 responses, our most recent iLounge Poll—“Will you buy the iPhone 3G?”—has just ended. The results were surprisingly strong in favor of the “yes” vote, which was picked by over 64% of responding iLounge readers. Here’s how the numbers broke down:

Of the 64% of readers voting yes, roughly two thirds were people who did not currently own iPhones, while the remaining one third planned to upgrade from current iPhones to the new model. Of the 36% of readers voting no, a little under half were current iPhone owners, while a little over half did not currently own an iPhone.

Thank you for your votes! Our new poll, “What should Apple do with the iPod touch?” gives you a chance to vote for how Apple should improve the only touchscreen-based iPod model. What direction do you think Apple should take with a 2008 update? Vote now: the iLounge Poll is on the left-most column of the iLounge.com homepage.

Apple licenses Visual Voicemail patents, settles suit

Having been sued by Klausner Technology over patents on “visual voicemail” technology, Apple and AT&T have reached a settlement and agreed to license the patents. “The patent litigation with Apple has been settled. The patents have been licensed to Apple,” said Klausner Technology founder Judah Klausner. In December Klausner Technologies took Apple and AT&T to court over the iPhone’s Visual Voicemail feature, claiming patent infringement and seeking $360 million in damages and future royalties. Financial details of the licensing agreement and settlement between the companies were not disclosed.

Not all AT&T customers eligible for $199 iPhone 3G

After several conflicting reports, iLounge has confirmed with AT&T that the iPhone 3G will not be universally available to all customers at the previously announced $199/$299 price points. According to Mark Siegel, Executive Director of Media Relations with AT&T Mobility, only “[c]urrent iPhone customers, new customers, and current non-iPhone AT&T wireless customers who are upgrade eligible will get the iPhone 3G at the $199/$299 price points.” This description omits “upgrade ineligible” AT&T customers, a category that is explained on an AT&T upgrade eligibility requirements web page. In short, AT&T customers who have had their current phones and plans for at least two years, customers who have had a plan costing between $68.99 and $98.99 for at least 21 months, and customers who have had a plan costing over $99 for at least 12 months are all eligible; those who do not meet one of these standards are ineligible and will have to pay a higher price. Additionally, following speculative reports that it might be possible for some customers to activate their iPhone 3Gs at home using iTunes, Siegel reiterated that activations will “take place in the store.”

United launches in-flight iPod & iPhone connectivity

  • June 16, 2008
  • iPod,

United Airlines has announced the launch of iPod and iPhone connectivity for its in-flight entertainment system, becoming the first U.S. carrier to offer such features. United’s system, developed by Panasonic Avionics Corporation, allows users to attach an iPod or iPhone via a 30-pin connector and view content on a 15.4-inch personal monitor, while charging the device at the same time. The system will debut later today on United flight #936 from Washington, D.C. to Zurich, and will be added to United’s entire fleet of international, widebody aircraft over the next two years. Connectivity is offered in both first and business class areas.

“Our guests may now watch or listen to what they want, when they want with programming they choose,” says Graham Atkinson, United Airlines - executive vice president and Chief Customer Officer. “United will continue to provide services and technology that makes our customers’ travel experiences more relaxed and enjoyable.”

“The iPod and iPhone have become essential for millions of travelers around the world,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of iPod & iPhone Product Marketing. “We think United customers are going to love being able to listen or watch personal music and video content on their iPod or iPhone via the in-flight entertainment system, and we can’t wait for United to roll this out to their fleet.”

iPhone 3G to hit Russia later this year?

Despite the current lack of a carrier agreement for Russia, The Moscow Times reports that comments made by Apple CEO Steve Jobs suggest that the iPhone 3G may still make its way to the country later this year. “We just didn’t have a chance to close [a deal] with Russia. And I think you’ll see [agreements] happen later this year,” Jobs said during an interview with CNBC last week. The report states that an estimated 300,000 first-generation iPhones are already in use in Russia. “About 20,000 iPhone handsets are brought into the country in suitcases every month,” Eldar Murtazin, editor of Moscow-based Mobile Research Group said. “The current model, which sells officially in six countries for a marked-up $399, currently sells for about $1,000 in Moscow.”

Russian carriers Mobile TeleSystems and MegaFon have confirmed that they held talks with Apple about the iPhone, but failed to reach an agreement. A separate report from Vedomosti suggested that the problem hinged on Apple’s insistance that the carriers buy the handsets wholesale, and that they pay Apple 10 percent on every iPhone sold, as well as 10 percent of the monthly revenue from iPhone subscribers. Yekaterina Osadchaya, spokeswoman for VimpelCom, the country’s second-largest operator, said that Apple’s new strategy of cheaper, subsidized phones and its abandonment of the revenue sharing business model would bring many Russian operators on board. “VimpelCom is looking at the possibility of holding talks with Apple about a distribution agreement for the iPhones,” Osadchaya said. “This is a very auspicious year for the handset in Russia because we are rolling out 3G technology in 20 cities this summer.”

Marware intros Sport Grip, Sportsuit for iPhone 3G

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Marware has introduced its Sport Grip and Sportsuit Convertible cases for the iPhone 3G. The Sport Grip is made from non-slip silicone, and offers direct access to the iPhone’s screen, ports, and controls. The Marware Sport Grip for iPhone 3G will also include clear protective film and a microfiber cleaning cloth, and is now available for pre-order in a variety of colors for $20. The Sportsuit Convertible is described by the company as a 3-in-1 case that can function as an armband, a clip-on case, or a protective sleeve. made from lightweight, stretchable neoprene, the case offers an integrated clear vinyl display protector, an adjustable, removable Velcro armband, a removable armband carrying pouch, a Multidapt low-profile belt clip, access to the phone’s various controls and ports, and includes clear protective film and a microfiber cleaning cloth. The Marware Sportsuit Convertible for iPhone 3G is now available for pre-order, and sells for $35. Both cases are expected to begin shipping soon.

O2, T-Mobile to offer £0-€1 iPhone 3G with contract

T-Mobile has announced that it will offer the iPhone 3G in Germany for as little as one euro with a qualifying monthly contract, following the lead of O2 in the United Kingdom, which announced that it will offer the phone for free in a similar subsidy promotion. Customers purchasing an 8GB iPhone 3G with a 69 euro, 24-month contract from T-Mobile will pay only 1 euro for the phone, with the 16GB model starting at 19.95 euros with an 89 euro monthly plan and going up to 249.95 euros with a minimal 29 euro per month contract. Similarly, O2 customers will receive the 8GB iPhone 3G for free with a £45 or £75 18-month agreement, or can choose to pay £99 with a £35 or £30 tariff. The 16GB model will be offered for free with a £75 monthly plan, for £59 with a £45 tariff, and will run £159 when purchased on a £30 or £35 plan.

iPhone developers, frustrated, still waiting on Apple

A large number of potential iPhone developers are still awaiting acceptance into Apple’s paid iPhone developer plan, according to new reports. Paul Kafasis of Rogue Amoeba writes that after three full months, the company’s application has still not been accepted, despite the fact that an individual employee was able to gain access to the program in under 24 hours after applying. Using numbers revealed during Apple’s keynote address earlier this week, TUAW noted that the paid iPhone developer program has an acceptance rate of just 16 percent, or 4,000 admitted out of 25,000 applications. Most frustrating, says Kafasis, is the lack of communication from Apple on the subject. He writes, “Confusing emails and a lack of useful correspondence have left us waiting to hear the status of our application for a full three months and counting. Will we eventually be accepted to the program, or will we ultimately be rejected, and barred from providing software for the platform at all? At the moment, we simply have no way of knowing.”

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