TeliaSonera has announced that it will be launching the iPhone 3G in Latvia and Lithuania through its subsidiaries LMT and Omnitel on September 26. “This represents another strategic step for us in the development of the mobile broadband market and further strengthens our position in the Nordic and Baltic region,” said Kenneth Karlberg, president, Business Area Mobility Service, TeliaSonera. “Following the successful launch of iPhone 3G in the Nordic countries and in Estonia, we are happy to offer iPhone 3G to our customers in Latvia and Lithuania.” TeilaSonera currently offers the iPhone 3G in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway, and Sweden.
Continuing a battle over overly strict confidentiality provisions that started immediately after the release of the first iPhone OS applications, Apple attempted this week to silence developers whose applications were rejected, and consequently incurred the wrath of leading members of the iPhone development community. Almerica, the developer of the recently rejected Podcaster iPhone app, yesterday posted and later removed a blog entry entitled “Apple shuts down Podcaster, Again!” In the entry, Almerica said that Apple had removed its ability to distribute the application using Ad Hoc methods, its only option once Apple had rejected the app for distribution through the App Store. Later in the day, a report noted that Apple has added a non-disclosure statement to all App Store rejection letters, preventing developers from talking about their rejections, an apparent attempt to stop developers from generating post-rejection buzz that could lead to successful widespread Ad Hoc distribution.
Following these disclosures, other developers have angrily called out Apple for what they describe as increasingly contemptuous behavior. Brent Simmons, developer of the RSS reader NetNewsWire for Mac OS X and iPhone, wrote on his blog, “When I read that Apple’s solution to the problem of the negative press around apps being rejected from the App Store was to add an NDA warning, I thought it was satire. It couldn’t be true. But it appears to be true. If so, then someone is making a mistake. This behavior is definitely beneath the company that makes the software and hardware I adore and love developing for.”
Developer Wil Shipley, who writes the software for Delicious Monster, said on his blog, “I have to be clear: it simply will not stand for Apple to prevent applications on the iPhone from competing with Apple’s own applications. Besides chasing away all decent developers, besides hurting their customers by stifling competition and innovation, besides it simply being evil, it will, shortly, be illegal. This kind of behavior is illegal when you hit a certain point in market saturation for your product; Microsoft was slapped for it constantly in the late ‘80s. If the iPhone is the success Apple thinks it will be, they will find themselves the target of a huge class-action lawsuit.”
While it remains unclear as to whether the outcry from developers and users will have any effect on Apple, it’s obvious that developers are becoming increasingly wary of the company’s legal and business practices. Expect further updates as this story continues to develop.
Griffin Technology has released an updated version of its iTrip Auto FM Transmitter. The new iTrip Auto employs a one-cable design combining a FM transmitter and auto charger, featuring an in-line control box with a backlit LCD screen, SmartScan automatic FM frequency-finder button, four presets, and tuning buttons, and a charging stem with power switch and a three-color charging indicator. Griffin’s new iTrip Auto is available now and sells for $60. For more information on the new Griffin iTrip Auto, see our First Look article.
This week’s featured photo is from our iPhones Around the World gallery, and shows an iPhone 3G at the Octagon in Dunedin, New Zealand. 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!
Following the iPhone 3G’s discontinuation of the original iPhone’s iTunes-based service signup and activation, Apple has launched a new online tool that lets customers planning to purchase an iPhone 3G review their eligibility and pricing, select an AT&T rate plan, and inform their local Apple Store of when they would like to come in to purchase the device. As all of these steps were previously handled for iPhone 3G customers while in-store or through an in-line, on-site screening process, the tool is likely designed to help reduce the amount of time it takes customers to purchase and activate their phones. It will also likely help avoid confusion when/if there is an AT&T-related issue, giving the user a chance to sort whatever issues may arise with AT&T prior to coming in to the store.
The service appears to be available only for U.S.-based customers at this time.
Yet another lawsuit has been filed against Apple and AT&T over the iPhone 3G, alleging “deceptive, improper or unlawful conduct in [Apple and AT&T’s] design, marketing, manufacturing, distribution, and sale” of the iPhone 3G. The Class Action complaint, filed in New York Eastern District Court by Jai Sen, cites numerous issues relating to Apple’s latest handset, including hairline cracks in the housing, 3G power demands and AT&T’s struggle to respond to the resulting demands on its infrastructure, and misleading advertising. This suit is at least the fourth such complaint filed against Apple and/or AT&T over problems with the iPhone 3G; the suit is seeking restitution, damages, and disclosures and/or disclaimers to be added to packaging and advertisements for the iPhone 3G.
iLounge is pleased to announce its iProvocateur and iPod As Art contests, which will be featured in our 2009 iPod + iPhone Buyers’ Guide when it is released on October 31. In our biggest photo contest ever, iProvocateur, we’re looking for photographs of the iPod or iPhone in a provocative setting. Entries may use a person, people, and/or eye-catching background in the image with the device, and the most stunning or otherwise visually interesting entry will win a grand prize of ten iPods — nine 8GB fourth-generation iPod nanos (one of each color) and a 16GB second-generation iPod touch. Second place will receive two 16GB second-generation iPod touches, with the third place entry receiving three 8GB fourth-generation iPod nanos.
In iPod As Art, our second contest, we’re providing entrants with a broad creative canvas: portray the iPod As Art. Entrants may draw, render, or photograph an image with the iPod as a iconic central element, photograph iPods together, or show how the iPod interacts with the worlds of design, art, or technology. The grand prize winner will receive a JVC 42” LCD HDTV with TeleDock iPod Docking Station, courtesy of JVC. Second place will win a 160GB Apple TV and a 32GB second-generation iPod touch, while third place will receive a 40GB Apple TV and an 8GB second-generation iPod touch, courtesy of iLounge. Both contests are open now and end on October 24, 2008 at 11:59PM Pacific Time, so get started on your entry, and good luck!
A number of iPhone users are experiencing problems with email fetching following the installation of iPhone Software 2.1. According to a lengthy thread on Apple’s discussion boards, some users find that Mail will only check their email manually, regardless of whether the account is set up to automatically receive mail via push or fetch, and regardless of whether they are using an original iPhone or iPhone 3G. At least one user in the thread claims to have received a phone call from a product specialist confirming that Apple is aware of the problem and is handling it as a “major” issue, although it remains unclear when affected users may expect a fix.
ZAGG has announced the launch of its invisibleShield clear protectors for the fourth-generation iPod nano and second-generation iPod touch. All invisibleShields are made from aviation-inspired, scratch-resistant clear urethane film, and carry a lifetime guarantee. For the iPod touch 2G, the invisibleShield will be available as a front/screen protector only for $15 or as a $25 full body coverage set, with both the front protector and a back shield, which is specially-cut to protect the device’s shiny, scratch-susceptible metal back and sides. Likewise, invisibleShield for iPod nano 4G will be available as a screen cover only for $12 or as a full body set for $25. Both are available now.
Apple has launched its new iPhone Developer University Program, a free program designed for higher education institutions wanting to introduce curriculum for developing iPhone OS applications. According to Apple’s website, the program will allow instructors and professors to create a development team of up to 200 students, and will provide a wealth of development resources, tools for testing and debugging, and the ability to share applications within a development team. In addition, institutions will have the ability to submit applications for distribution in the App Store. The program is currently available to accredited, higher education institutions in the U.S. It is unclear what adjustments or exceptions Apple may be planning to add to the iPhone developer Non-Disclosure Agreement, which currently forbids developers from discussing iPhone OS development.
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters has introduced its first cases for the fourth-generation iPod nano and second-generation iPod touch. Available for both the iPod nano 4G and iPod touch 2G, the Action Jacket is a neoprene case with belt clip that can be used alone or with an included armband. The padded neoprene case features a built-in clear screen protector that allows for use of the iPod while in the case, and the removable belt clip offers 360 degrees of rotation for the iPod touch or 180 degrees for the iPod nano. In addition, the armband is machine washable and can accommodate arms from 9 to 20 inches in diameter. It is available now for both the nano 4G and touch 2G, and sells for $30.
Also available for the iPod nano 4G and iPod touch 2G is the Jam Jacket with Earphone Management. Made from no-slip silicone, both models feature a raised texture for added grip, open access to ports and controls, and an integrated cable management system on the rear of the case. In addition, the Jam Jacket for iPod nano 4G features built-in Click Wheel protection, while the iPod touch 2G version includes a Surface Shield screen protector. Both cases will be available in October and will sell for $20. Finally, the HipCase for iPod nano 4G is a flip-style leather case featuring a clear play-through window for Click Wheel and screen protection, an integrated leather-covered belt clip, a soft fabric interior, and open access to all other ports and controls. It will also be available in October, and will sell for $30.
iPhone developer Angelo DiNardi has revealed that his iPhone application, MailWrangler, has been rejected by Apple due to duplicated functionality. In a message from Apple, the company said that MailWrangler, which uses the iPhone OS’ built-in WebKit view to allow users to check multiple Gmail accounts without having to sign in/out multiple times, “duplicates the functionality of the built-in iPhone application Mail without providing sufficient differentiation or added functionality, which will lead to user confusion.”
AT&T has begun contacting iPhone 3G users subscribed to a non-iPhone data plan encouraging them to contact the carrier and switch over to the $30 a month iPhone 3G data plan. According to the report, AT&T has sent out emails stating, “Our service records indicate that you are using an iPhone 3G with a data plan designed for other devices. To avoid unexpected data overage charges and enable Visual Voicemail, please contact your telecom manager, or an AT&T representative at 1-800-331-0500.” It is unclear whether AT&T will employ more aggressive measures in the future to get customers to switch to the official data plan.
Speaking at the recent Goldman Sachs technology conference, AT&T chief technology officer John Donovan admitted the carrier had been unprepared for the success of the iPhone 3G in the U.S. Donovan said that demand for 3G services in some areas, including those around universities that bought iPhones and developed applications for students, exceeded expectations by such a degree that the company was forced to add capacity to keep up with demand.
iStyles has introduced its new Skins for the fourth-generation iPod nano. Skins feature high-resolution full-color designs printed on premium grade adhesive-backed cast vinyl with UV resistant inks and then covered with a clear protective layer for added durability. The Skins use a patented repositionable and removable adhesive backing, and include a dock connector cap with matching sticker. iStyles’ Skins for iPod nano 4G are available now and sell for $7 each.
Macally has introduced its new line of cases for the fourth-generation iPod nano and second-generation iPod touch. The Bella case for iPod nano 4G and iPod touch 2G combines a stitch-seamed leather front with a high-density soft rear panel and microsuede interior. The case offers open access to all ports and controls, and comes with a neck lanyard and a dark brushed metal carabiner; the iPod touch version also includes a screen protector. Both models sell for $20. Macally’s mSuit for iPod nano 4G and touch 2G is made from durable non-slip silicone, offers open access to all ports and controls, and includes a screen protector for either the nano or touch. Available in clear, black, or white, each sells for $20. Also available for the iPod nano 4G and iPod touch 2G is the Metro, a form-fitting case made of durable rubberized plastic and only 1mm thick. It features a ridged surface for added grip, includes a removable screen protector, and sells for $20.
Available for the fourth-generation iPod nano only, the IceSuit is a clear silicone case with white highlights, integrated cable management, and an included screen protector. It sells for $20. The Divo for iPod nano 4G is a dark brown leather case featuring orange highlights, a microsuede interior, and an included a belt clip and lanyard. It too sells for $20. The Mirage for nano 4G is a hard shell polycarbonate case featuring a mirrored front finish that is reflective when the device is turned off but clearly displays the screen when the device is turned on. It includes a belt clip and sells for $20. Exclusive to the second generation iPod touch is the mCase, a slip-on leather case featuring open access to all ports and controls, a soft inner lining, and an included screen protector for $20, the IceCase three-piece clear hard case that offers a removable bottom for easy docking, a flip-out stand for watching videos, and open access to all ports and controls for $20, and the MetroTCM, which combines a rubberized plastic body and durable silicone in a snap-on case featuring an integrated cable manager that doubles as a video stand, open access to all ports and controls, and an included screen protector for $20. All of Macally’s new cases for the second-generation iPod touch and fourth-generation iPod nano are available now.
Due to a defect identified in the “Ultracompact” USB Power Adapters included with all iPhone 3G units sold in the U.S., Japan, Canada, Mexico, and six Latin American countries, and sold separately in these and four others, Apple has launched an exchange program in which customers can return their adapters for a new, redesigned version. The program’s site states: “under certain conditions the new ultracompact Apple USB power adapter’s metal prongs can break off and remain in a power outlet, creating a risk of electric shock. We have received reports of detached blades involving a very small percentage of the adapters sold, but no injuries have been reported…. Users with ultracompact power adapters should immediately stop using them until they exchange them for a new, redesigned ultracompact adapter.” The page also states that if the user’s adapter has a single green dot near the prongs, they already have the redesigned adapter and will not need a replacement. According to the program page, replacement adapters will be available starting October 10, and the company will offer replacements via the web, or through its retail stores.
David Wiener Ventures has announced its new Art.Suono Wireless Music Transmission System and iPod dock. Made from machined aluminum with carbon fiber accents, the system uses a proprietary wireless transmission technology to transmit any audio source to any audio system, employing DWC-APHEX circuitry to improve the audio’s harmonics, clarity, bass frequency response, and depth. Other features include a built-in iPod dock with charging capability, an “Engine Start” button, a “Shift” input signal switch, a concealed input jack, and LED indicators. The Art.Suono will be available in October exclusively from David Wiener Collection authorized resellers, and will sell for $1,500.
NBC Universal has seen more than 1 million downloads of its programming from the iTunes Store since its return on September 9th, according to a new report. The Hollywood Reporter states that content from NBC now accounts for roughly 30% of the current top-selling episodes and season passes on the store, while noting that it reportedly accounted for 40% of iTunes’ video sales before its pullout. However, NBC has been offering free downloads of a number of its most popular shows through the Store, and each HD show actually initiates two downloads: one in HD format, one in SD.
Steve Demeter, developer of the impressive iPhone and iPod touch game Trism, has revealed at a conference that the game has generated $250,000 in income since its release on July 11th. MacRumors notes that given the game’s $5 price, Trism would have needed to average sales of 1200 copies a day, or over 71,000 total to reach the $250,000 mark. For more on Trism, check out our full review.
Apple has released iPhone Configuration Utility 1.0.1 for Mac OS X, the first update to its iPhone configuration management utility for enterprise users. The utility allows enterprise users to create configuration profiles which can then be used to setup multiple iPhones. Configuration profiles contain “device security policies, VPN configuration information, Wi-Fi settings, APN settings, Exchange account settings, mail settings, and certificates” that allow the devices to work with enterprise systems. iPhone Configuration Utility 1.0.1 for Mac OS X is available now as a free download from Apple’s website.
Sony has introduced four new speaker systems for the iPod and iPhone. The ICF-CD3iPSIL CD Clock Radio for iPod and iPhone features a slide-out dock, a vertical CD player with a large LCD on its cover, a digital AM/FM tuner with 30 presets, dual alarms with 2/5/7 day settings and the option of waking to the iPod or iPhone, CD, radio, or buzzer, an included remote control, and an auxiliary input jack for connecting other audio sources. It will be available later this month for $100. Sony’s ZS-S4iP CD Boombox for iPod and iPhone features a built-in dock that recesses into the unit, keeping the docked device secure during transport, Mega Bass sound technology, an alternate cover for the dock that allows the user to access the iPhone or iPod touch’s screen while docked, line-in and headphone jacks, an AM/FM tuner, an included wireless remote, and a small display directly above the dock. It will be available in black or white and will sell for $100 when it goes on sale in October.
The SRS-GU10IP Dock Speaker System for iPod and iPhone is a tabletop-style system featuring a built-in dock, 20W of total power, a piano black high-quality wooden cabinet for improved tonal quality, a Bass Boost function for enhanced bass response, and an included remote control. It will sell for $150. Finally, the XDR-S10HDiP HD Radio and Dock for iPod features a digital AM/FM/HD Radio tuner, iTunes Tagging support, iPhone compatibility, a backlit LCD display, a built-in dock, an auxiliary input jack, an alarm clock with option to wake to the radio, buzzer, or aux-input source, and an included remote control. It well sell for $180; both the SRS-GU10IP and XDR-S10HDiP are expected to be available later this month.
Marware has introduced its new Sports Grip Extreme case for the fourth-generation iPod nano. Made from high-grade antimicrobial silicone, the case features a dual color design on the back, with textured sides, open access to all ports and controls, and an included screen protector and cleaning cloth. Available for pre-order in black/red, white/gray and pink/white, the Sport Grip Extreme for iPod nano 4G sells for $20; a release date has yet to be announced.
The latest edition of iPodweek, our weekly newsletter covering all things iLounge, is coming later today. iPodweek is a weekly summary of the best news, reviews, and feature articles we’ve published, and it also features giveaways and iPod accessory discount offers from various companies. There’s still plenty of time to sign up and receive this week’s edition — just use the simple form below to submit your email address, if you haven’t done so already.
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Boomwave has introduced its new Funk series cases for the iPhone 3G. Available in “Muthaboard” or “Worldtribe” styles, each Funk case is made from high-grade silicone, and features open access to all ports and controls, a form-fitting design, and an included screen protector. The Muthaboard Funk cases are available in black, white, and army green and feature a circuit-style pattern placed around a cutout for the Apple logo on the rear, while the Worldtribe Funk cases feature a tribal pattern on the rear, and are available in black, turquoise, and midnight blue. All Boomwave Funk cases for the iPhone 3G are available now and sell for $20 each.