In addition to announcing a new lineup of iMac, MacBook, and Mac mini computers today, Apple has quietly introduced the new Apple Remote ($19), a stylish new update to its prior white plastic version. Silver with a black set of buttons in a wheel-like shape, plus separate Menu and Play buttons, the new Apple Remote resembles a fifth-generation iPod nano minus the screen, and elongated for comfortable use in the hand. It interacts with Apple’s Universal Dock to control an iPod or iPhone’s playback on a television, as well as the Apple TV, and any Mac computer with an Infrared port. One other notable change is to the battery compartment, which has been moved to the rear of the Remote, with a twisting closure instead of the pop-out mechanism used in the older version. Apple’s online store currently shows the new Apple Remote as available within 2 to 4 weeks.
Extended Access, maker of the BudCase, has introduced the nanoPocket case for the fourth- and fifth-generation iPod nano. Made of lightweight neoprene, the nanoPocket features a vertical flap that closes over the front of the case, completely covering the nano’s screen, with a small hole in to allow for headphone port access when closed. Other features include an integrated carabiner clip and belt loop. The nanoPocket is available now in four colors and sells for $10.
Apple has set up a handful of new Twitter accounts to provide information on new iTunes releases. iTunesMusic will provide info on “new releases, pre-orders, iTunes LP, exclusive offers and more,” while iTunesPodcasts will highlight a “Podcast Episode of the Day, from iTunes Podcasting.” iTunesMovies currently offers only one tweet, suggesting users who saw Where the Wild Things Are over the weekend might be interested in seeing the first film written by co-writer Dave Eggers, suggesting the account will likely be used to highlight both new and catalog titles, and, finally, the currently empty iTunesTV will offer “Official TV updates from the U.S. iTunes Store on Twitter.” Apple previously launched a Facebook fan page for iTunes, featuring top charts, song showcases, special offers, and more. [via TUAW]
During a conference call with analysts following the release of its fourth quarter financial results, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer and COO Tim Cook made several statements regarding the company’s iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV businesses. In his opening statement, Oppenheimer said the company sold “almost” 10.2 million iPods, with 50% of iPod customers purchasing their first iPod, even in countries where the device enjoys a wide market share lead. iPod touch sales were up 100% year-over-year in the fourth quarter, he said, in part driven by the success of the App Store, which saw more than half a billion downloads in the September quarter alone. The iPod family continues to gain market share in nearly every region.
Regarding the iPhone, COO Tim Cook said the company was “very surprised” by the response to the iPhone 3GS. For much of the quarter, most countries were very low on 3GS with demand outstripping supply; the situation was remedied by the end of September in most regions. Cook added that the company expected a higher mix of iPhone 3G sales, and “quickly changed our orders and components etcetera that are different between the models. I think it shows there is an intense appetite for Apple’s latest technology and we were very pleased with the result.”
Cook also revealed that the iPhone will launch on China Unicom on October 30th, with 1000 points of sale, and service plans ranging from $18-$85/month, adding that Apple is “really excited to get started” in the market. Overall, the iPhone 3GS was available in 64 countries by the end of the quarter, and Apple plans to add several more over the next three months, including China, and hopefully Korea. When asked whether a move to multiple carriers in one country had an effect on the price Apple charges its carrier partners for each handset, Cook said, “Generally in markets where we’re already selling, I wouldn’t expect to see a wholesale price difference, however, the end-user price is really set by the carriers themselves, so you may see a street price difference.” The average selling price for the iPhone during the quarter was just over $600.
Regarding Apple’s enterprise efforts, and the popularity of the iPhone in the corporate environment, Cook said, “employee demand for iPhone in the corporate environment is very strong… iPhone is either being deployed or piloted in well over 50% of fortune 100, in europe - about 50% of the financial times 100. Another very key market for us is that over 350 higher ed institutions have approved iPhone for faculty staff and students.” Cook also said the company continues to be very happy with government sales.
Reporting its fourth-quarter financial results today, Apple said it sold 10.2 million iPods during the quarter—an eight percent decline from the year-ago quarter, and equal to Q3 2009. It also sold 7.4 million iPhones, a seven percent increase from the 6.89 million sold in the year-ago quarter and a 40% increase from the 5.2 million units it sold in Q3. The company posted revenue of $9.87 billion and net quarterly profit of $1.67 billion, or $1.82 per diluted share, compared with revenue of $7.9 billion and net quarterly profit of $1.14 billion, or $1.26 per diluted share in Q4 2008.
Sales of “Other Music Related Products + Services” were up 22% over the year-ago quarter and 6% from the third quarter of 2009, to $1.018 billion total. That category includes iTunes Store sales, iPod services, and revenues from Apple and third-party iPod accessories. Revenue from iPhone and Related Products & Services, which includes iPhone handset sales, carrier agreements, and Apple-branded and third-party iPhone accessories, was $2.3 billion, up 36% from Q3 2009 and 185% over the year-ago quarter.
“We are thrilled to have sold more Macs and iPhones than in any previous quarter,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We’ve got a very strong lineup for the holiday season and some really great new products in the pipeline for 2010.”
“We are delighted with our September quarter and fiscal 2009 results,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “For the full year, we grew revenue by 12 percent and net income by 18 percent in extraordinarily challenging times. Looking ahead to the first fiscal quarter of 2010, we expect revenue in the range of about $11.3 billion to $11.6 billion and we expect diluted earnings per share in the range of about $1.70 to $1.78.”
A newly published Apple patent suggests the company is developing a feature for its MobileMe subscription service that would sync playback state across devices. The feature would allow users to begin watching or listening to a file on one device, such as a computer, and then switch to a separate device, like an iPhone, with their current position within the media file synced automatically. Curiously, the patent covers both locally and remotely stored media, and mentions a system of automatic content retrieval based on anticipated future content access. As with all Apple patents, this filing does not necessarily represent any future product release from Apple, but offers evidence of the company’s research in this area. [via Engadget]
Apple will announce its fourth quarter financial results later today. As it has done in the past, the company also plans to conduct a conference call to discuss its fourth quarter results; the call will begin at 2:00 p.m. PST and will be available as an audio webcast.
Facebook’s official application for the iPhone and iPod touch will be gaining Push Notification support in an upcoming update. Joe Hewitt, lead developer of the app, has said on Twitter that a minor bug fix update, version 3.03, will be released soon, and that version 3.1—including Push support—will follow.
Mozilla, maker of the Firefox web browser, will soon be releasing an application for the iPhone and iPod touch. In an interview with Om Malik, Mozilla CEO John Lilly said the company will “release an app to the iPhone App Store in the next few weeks,” adding, “it’ll surprise people.” It is unclear exactly what the application might be, but Malik suggests that based on a later conversation with Lilly and Jay Sullivan, Mozilla’s vice president of mobile, the app may involve the company’s Weave technology, which allows users to sync browser preferences to the company’s servers.
Social mapping service Loopt has launched its new Loopt Mix app for the iPhone and iPod touch. At one time simple a feature within the company’s existing iPhone application, Loopt Mix has grown to include features such as the ability to browse profiles of nearby users and post multiple photos and status updates, real-time in-app chatting with Push Notification support, free messaging, and more. Loopt Mix is available now as a free download from the App Store.
Verizon has launched a new TV ad campaign and matching website for its upcoming “Droid” Android phone, directly attacking the iPhone using a list of features that are unavailable on Apple’s handset but which will be available on Verizon’s upcoming device. The ad uses an Apple-like presentation of text on a plain white background with upbeat music playing in the background, beginning each statement with “iDon’t.” Examples used in the commercial include “iDon’t have a real keyboard,” “iDon’t run simultaneous apps,” “iDon’t allow open development,” and “iDon’t have interchangeable batteries.” The commercial ends with the slogan “Droid Does,” and notably does not feature the Verizon logo. The commercial can be viewed in embedded form below.
Electronic Arts has released its Rock Band music game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Like the console version of the game, Rock Band for iPhone and iPod touch has players attempting to time up taps on a set of four virtual picks or drum pads to a cascade of corresponding notes that fall vertically down the screen, or sing along to notes that travel horizontally from right to left, depending on whether the player chooses guitar, bass, drums, or vocals. A four-player Bluetooth multiplayer mode lets players enjoy a “full band” experience; other features include three difficulty levels, twenty included tracks with more available from the in-app Music Store, a rewards and achievements system, Facebook integration, Push Notifications for game invites, and more. Rock Band is available now from the App Store and sells for $10.
The Sharper Image has begun shipping its new Rotating Speaker System Dock for the iPod and iPhone. The Rotating Speaker System features an integrated dock that can rotate from vertical to horizontal depending on the user’s preference, two 2.25-inch speakers with 3W of power each, top-mounted illuminated controls, an included cable for connecting the iPod shuffle or other audio sources, and the ability to charge the attached iPod or iPhone during playback. The Sharper Image Rotating Speaker System Dock is available now and sells for $100.
Don’t forget to get your entry in for our Sonix3 Earphone Giveaway. In our Giveaway of the Month for October, Lenntek and iLounge are giving away 10 Sonix3 Earphones to lucky readers. To enter, simply fill out and submit the form on the giveaway page—the giveaway will end on October 31, 2009 at 11:59PM Pacific Time. Good luck!
Incase has introduced its new Sports Armband Pro and Slim Sleeve for the fifth-generation iPod nano. The Sport Armband Pro is made of breathable, lightweight neoprene with reflective details, and features a removable Velcro tab for headphone management, an integrated clear cover for the nano’s face, and access to the nano’s headphone jack while in the case. The Sports Armband Pro is available now in black and sells for $30. The Slim Sleeve is a minimal, form-fitting case featuring a clear plastic shield for screen protection, and complete access to all ports, controls, and the camera. It is available in black or pink, and sells for $25.
iPodweek, iLounge’s weekly newsletter recapping the last seven days in news, articles, reviews, and more, will be sent out to our email subscribers later today. In addition to rounding up the week’s top stories, iPodweek also features giveaways and accessory discount offers from various companies. If you haven’t yet signed up to receive iPodweek, there’s still time to register and receive this week’s edition — just use the simple form below to submit your email address.
IMPORTANT: Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Earthlink and others, make sure we don’t end up in your spam box. Please accept emails from iLounge.com. Thank you.
Canon has released Canon Easy-PhotoPrint for iPhone, its first application for the iPhone and iPod touch. PhotoPrint allows users to print photos directly from their devices on a compatible Canon PIXMA printer over Wi-Fi. Features include a wide selection of paper sizes and types, the ability to print multiple photos at once, and up to 20 copies of each, the ability to print bordered or borderless prints, automatic printer finding, and the ability to access and take photos using the iPhone’s built-in camera from within the application. Canon’s Easy-PhotoPrint for iPhone is available now as a free download from the App Store.
GTA TeleGuam has announced that it has reached an agreement with Apple to begin selling the iPhone in Guam later this year. GTA, which will be the first carrier to offer the iPhone in the island territory, will offer both the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS; pricing and exact release information have yet to be revealed.
Apple has sent out an e-mail communication to its paid iPhone developers announcing the availability of In-App Purchases in free applications. Prior to this announcement, Apple has repeatedly stated a “free stays free” mantra for keeping In-App Purchasing out of free apps. The announcement reads, “In App Purchase is being rapidly adopted by developers in their paid apps. Now you can use In App Purchase in your free apps to sell content, subscriptions, and digital services.”
The message continues, “You can also simplify your development by creating a single version of your app that uses In App Purchase to unlock additional functionality, eliminating the need to create Lite versions of your app. Using In App Purchase in your app can also help combat some of the problems of software piracy by allowing you to verify In App Purchases.”
Layar has introduced its Layar Reality Browser for the iPhone 3GS. Using the iPhone 3GS’ data connection, camera, GPS, and compass in concert, Layar allows users to search for and view nearby businesses, places of interest, and other data sets by displaying them over top the live view from the iPhone’s camera. Users can filter by distance, and can also view all points on a single screen by using the map or list view. Layar Reality Browser is available now as a free download from the App Store.
Roundbox has released its new TV Guide Mobile application for the iPhone and iPod touch. The app offers local TV listings by zip code and cable provider, the ability to view air date, time, channel, and episode and cast details, the ability to add channels and shows as favorites, the ability to search for shows, actors and actresses, and episodes, and a news section with entertainment news, episode recaps and other content from TVGuide.com. TV Guide Mobile is also available as a free download from the App Store.
Monsoon Multimedia has debuted its HAVA Player application for the iPhone and iPod touch. HAVA Player works with the company’s line of video-streaming devices to allow users to watch and control their home TV or TiVo directly from their devices over Wi-Fi. Features include complete compatibility with most free and paid TV services, including DirecTV, Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner, Dish Network, and others, the ability to browse the service provider’s program guide, schedule or watch recordings form a DVR, an on-screen remote control, and more. Monsoon Multimedia’s HAVA Player is available now and sells for $10.
Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) has revealed that of the 350,000 average live streams it served for the first round of the 2009 MLB playoffs, roughly 10 percent were viewed on an iPhone or iPod touch. According to PaidContent, 314,000 streams were routed through MLB.com, with another 36,000 viewed on an iPhone or iPod touch via the MLB.com At Bat application. In addition, another 88,000 live audio-only streams were delivered via At Bat. MLBAM employee in part credited the introduction of live mobile streaming technology on the iPhone for increasing the group’s potential audience and for the “great fan response” it has received thus far.
Ecamm Network has released PhoneView 2.3, a Mac-only companion application for the iPhone and iPod touch. PhoneView gives iPhone and iPod touch users access to iTunes media, photos, notes, contacts, SMS messages, and call history data stored on their devices, and opens the devices for data storage and file transfer purposes. New in version 2.3 is the ability to display, playback, and export Visual Voicemail messages, automatic archiving of Voicemail messages, support for MMS, including photo and video message display and archiving, and more. PhoneView requires Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later and sells for $19.95; a free 7-day demo version is also available.
In response to a report that incorrectly quoted AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega as having promised tethering support for the iPhone by the end of this year, a company spokesperson has cast doubt onto the prospect of tethering in 2009. 9to5Mac, citing Cnet—the source of the disputed quote—wrote in a story that AT&T had promised tethering support by the end of 2009. It soon received an email from an AT&T spokesperson requesting a correction, and saying, “[j]ust reading again – where did anyone promise tethering by EOY? Where did you see that? We promised MMS by end of summer and ended up being a few days late for that.” As iLounge reported last week, an AT&T spokesperson recently told the Wall Street Journal that “additional fine tuning” to its networks would be required to ensure “the best possible customer experience” for iPhone tethering.
New data published by analytics firm Pinch Media suggests that as many as 1.5 million iPhones and iPod touches have used a pirated application. The company states that it has received data from approximately 4 million jailbroken devices, about 38% of which have used pirated applications—an estimate it claims is low, due to application pirates taking steps to avoid detection. The company also says 60% of paid apps have been pirated, with an average of 34% of installs representing cracked copies once an app has been pirated. Debunking the idea that those using pirated applications are simply taking a “try before you buy” stance, the report also reveals that the percentage of users who try “Lite” or free versions of applications that then purchase the full paid version is roughly 7.4%, while only 0.43% of those who try a pirated copy of an app go on to purchase a legitimate copy.