Newly discovered court documents relating to a class-action lawsuit filed against Apple and AT&T in 2007 have confirmed that the two companies originally signed a five-year iPhone exclusivity deal. Engadget quotes a briefing filed by Apple, which reads, “[t]he duration of the exclusive Apple-[AT&T] agreement was not ‘secret’ either. The [plaintiff] quotes a May 21, 2007 USA Today article – published over a month before the iPhone’s release – stating, ‘AT&T has exclusive U.S. distribution rights for five years-an eternity in the go-go cellphone world.’ [T]here was widespread disclosure of [AT&T’s] five-year exclusivity and no suggestion by Apple or anyone else that iPhones would become unlocked after two years… Moreover, it is sheer speculation – and illogical – that failing to disclose the five-year exclusivity term would produce monopoly power….” It remains to be seen whether the five-year exclusivity deal is still in place, however, as it has been speculated that the terms of the two companies’ iPhone deal may have been part of the negotiations over iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G data plans.
Apple has updated its support document “iPad: Issues connecting to Wi-Fi networks,” adding to the page’s list of possible solutions. The document now mentions both trying to update router firmware and using WPA or WPA2 wireless security; strangely, it also suggests adjusting the screen brightness if its set at the lowest level. Other suggestions include renewing the IP address, and turning Wi-Fi off and then back on. Notably, the document now states that “Apple will also address remaining Wi-Fi connectivity issues with a future iPad software update,” although no timetable is given for the update’s release. [via Mac Rumors]
A number of international carriers have begun disclosing details of their data plans and pricing for the iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G. In Canada, Rogers Wireless will offer 250MB of data for CAD$15.00 per month or 5GB of data for CAD$35.00 per month, while Telstra in Australia is offering tiered monthly pricing of 1GB for A$20, 3GB for A$30, or 6GB for A$60. In the UK, O2 will offer 500MB for £2 per day, 1GB for £10 a month, and 3GB for £15 a month; all three plans will include unlimited Wi-Fi hotspot use. Rival carrier Vodafone will offer UK residents 1GB for £10 per month or 5GB for £25 per month.
In Spain, Orange will offer daily “unlimited” use for €3.50 or monthly “unlimited” use for €35; in each case, the download speed is reduced once a usage cap is reached (250MB for daily plans or 2GB for monthly plans). Vodafone in Spain is offering a similar deal, with an “Express” plan that has a high-speed download cap of 2GB and low speed downloads afterwards for €32 a month, and a “Basic” plan with a 250MB high-speed cap for €15 a month. In France, SFR is offering data with a 75MB cap for €6 per day or €9.90 for three days, a 150MB monthly plan for €14.90, and an “unlimited” plan starting at €29.90 for 1GB. In Switzerland, Swisscom is offering a 100MB daily plan for CHF 5, a 300MB monthly plan for CHF 19, and a 2GB monthly plan for CHF 39. In Germany, O2 is offering monthly data plans with a high-speed cap of 200MB for €10, 1GB for €15, and 5GB for €25, while Vodafone has similarly-capped plans available for €19.95 for 200MB and €29.95 for 3GB.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs has stated in a response to a customer inquiry that the iPad will gain printing capabilities in the future. When asked, “Why no printing on the iPad?,” Jobs issued a typically terse response, saying only “It will come.” While some apps offer the ability to print wirelessly to certain wireless-enabled printers, Apple has yet to provide OS-level printing support for any of its iPhone OS-based devices.
iPhone OS 4 will feature spellcheck and word replacement features, according to an AppleInsider report. Initially available solely on the iPad in its iPhone OS 3.2 software, the features will underline misspelled words with a dotted red line, and use the OS’ built-in cut/copy/paste interface to offer a “Replace” feature, with likely replacement words appearing once the replace option is chosen. Apple is expected to release iPhone OS 4 for the iPhone and iPod touch this summer.
A large number of iPads being sold on eBay are going to customers in foreign markets. The New York Times reports that 65 percent of iPads sold on the online auction service are being purchased by international users, with a large spike coming in mid-April when Apple announced the delay of its international iPad roll out. According to the report, users in the UAE paid on average $537 over the retail price for the iPad, more than anywhere else; 550 iPads have been sold to users in the UK, more than anywhere else, followed closely by Canada and Australia.
The iPad recently helped an Arkansas woman recover her stolen purse. Fox 16 reports that Jill Henley had her purse stolen with the iPad she received as a Mother’s Day gift inside, along with her credit cards, iPhone, iPod, and a Nintendo DS. Although the thief had wisely turned off Henley’s iPhone, he did not turn off the iPad, which reported its location to the authorities via MobileMe’s Find My iPad service, allowing police to track down and arrest the perpetrator.
Google’s Android operating system has overtaken Apple’s iPhone OS to become the number-two smartphone OS in the U.S. for the first quarter of 2010, according to the latest data from The NPD Group. Based on unit sales to consumers for the quarter, Android moved in to second place with 28 percent of the market, trailing only BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion’s 36 percent. iPhone OS came in third with 21 percent. Among carriers, AT&T held the lead in smartphone sales with 32 percent of the market, followed by Verizon Wireless with 30 percent, T-Mobile with 17 percent, and Sprint with 15 percent. “As in the past, carrier distribution and promotion have played a crucial role in determining smartphone market share,” said Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD. “In order to compete with the iPhone, Verizon Wireless has expanded its buy-one-get-one offer beyond RIM devices to now include all of their smartphones.”
Ivyskin has debuted its new Xylo-T4, Quattro-T5, and SmartCase protective accessories for the Apple iPad. Made from form-fitting polycarbonate, the Xylo-T4 offers a snap-together design, a Touch-Thru hard shield for the iPad’s screen, and full access to all ports and controls. It it priced at $40. The Quattro-T5 is based on the company’s Quattro T4 iPhone case, and features an integrated glass Touch-Thru screen protector, a hybrid design featuring polycarbonate, polysilicon, and enhanced TPE elements, a tactile home button cover, and slide-off access for Apple’s official iPad Dock. It sells for $70. Finally, the SmartCase with Click-Stand is based on the Quattro T5, but adds an integrated 3000mAh backup battery with integrated on/off switch and LED status indicators, a USB port for charging and syncing, a soft-touch surface, and an integrated ClickStand offering 12 different viewing angles. It is priced at $100; Ivyskin’s Xylo-T4, Quattro-T5, and SmartCase solutions for iPad are available for pre-order now and will ship in May, June, and July, respectively.
Apple’s retail store in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood is being accused of discrimination against Chinese customers resulting from an effort to reduce the number of iPads being purchased for export. Grace Meng, a representative of Queens in the New York State Assembly, has emailed Apple after receiving a number of complaints from customers claiming that Apple employees denied them iPads, demanded to see passports, or otherwise acted inappropriately. “One person was asked why they wanted one since their English was not so good,” Meng told the Daily News. “I want to get an explanation.” In one example, a Queens man was initially told that the store was out of iPads, and was only able to secure one after seeking out an Asian employee. The man claims he was later approached by a manager and asked if he was planning to resell the unit. “I’m just so upset,” the man said. “This is racial profiling.” It is unclear whether the incidents are a result of policy originating from Apple on the corporate level, or if employees have simply been told to be on guard for customers who may be purchasing iPad for resale and are being grossly overzealous in their attempts to do so.
Apple has lowered its pricing on its 16GB and 32GB iPad models in Germany following a number of complaints from customers. iPad pricing for the German market was announced on Friday, with prices running €15 higher across the board than in Italy and France, a difference that Apple CEO Steve Jobs said was due to a new copyright levy on computers in that country. “Blame your government,” Jobs reportedly said in an email response (Translated Link) to a concerned customer. “Germany just added a new copyright levy for computers.” Unfortunately, this was not the case on the 16GB and 32GB models; the levy in question only included computers with internal storage of 40GB or higher. Apple updated its German pricing for the iPad accordingly over the weekend, a fact which Jobs alluded to in a reported response to an inquiry over the price reduction. “We found out this weekend that iPad is not subject to a new German copyright tax that we previously thought it was subject to,” Jobs wrote in his response. As a result, the 16GB and 32GB iPad with Wi-Fi models are now priced at €499 and €599, respectively, in Germany, while 16GB and 32GB Wi-Fi + 3G models are priced at a €100 premium; pricing on 64GB models, which are subject to the levy, remained at €714 for Wi-Fi only models and €814 for Wi-Fi + 3G versions. [via Mac Rumors]
Apple has started accepting pre-orders for the iPad with Wi-Fi and the iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK for delivery on Friday, May 28. Among the Wi-Fi + 3G units, several countries’ pre-sales differ from one another, with Australia offer no pre-installed micro SIM card, several other countries offering options to ship the device with a chosen carrier’s SIM, and in Japan, Apple isn’t accepting pre-orders for the iPad Wi-Fi + 3G at all, instead choosing to sell the device through current iPhone carrier SoftBank. Pricing in Switzerland, which had yet to be announced, is now set at CHF 649 for 16GB, CHF 779 for 32GB, and CHF 899 for 64GB iPad with Wi-Fi models, while iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G models sell for a CHF 150 premium.
Pricing for the iPad with Wi-Fi and iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G, as well as the associated data plans, have been announced for the Japanese market. iPad with Wi-Fi models sold by Apple in Japan are priced at ¥48,800 for 16GB, ¥58,800 for 32GB, and ¥68,800 for 64GB; SoftBank customers will instead have the choice of purchasing the device up front or paying a slightly more expensive two year installment plan. When paying up front on a prepaid plan, iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G models are priced at 16GB for ¥61,920, 32GB for ¥72,000, and 64GB for ¥81,840; when using the installment agreement, the total prices raise to ¥66,240, ¥76,320, and ¥86,160. If the customer chooses to sign a two-year contract for unlimited data, however, SoftBank is removing the interest from the installment agreement and offering a modest subsidy, bringing the prices down to ¥58,320 for 16GB, ¥67,920 for 32GB, and ¥77,280 for 64GB models. All iPads sold by SoftBank come with two years of free access to the company’s Wi-Fi hotspot service. Unlimited data service will cost iPad users ¥2,910 a month on contract, while prepaid customers can sign up for 1GB of data for ¥4,410. No announcement of iPad offerings has yet been made by rival carrier DoCoMo, which was rumored to also be offering service for the device. [via Mobile in Japan]
Update: Macworld UK claims Apple has confirmed that all iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G models sold in Japan are SIM-locked to SoftBank and will not be readily able to be used on DoCoMo.
Don’t forget to get your entry in for our Vaja $100 Gift Code Giveaway. In our Giveaway of the Month for May, iLounge and Vaja are giving away five $100 Gift Codes good towards purchases made at VajaCases.com. To enter, simply fill out and submit the form on the giveaway page—the giveaway will end on May 31, 2010 at 11:59PM Pacific Time. Good luck!
According to the latest data from research firm IDC, Apple was the world’s third largest smartphone manufacturer in the first quarter of 2010. Apple’s quarterly shipments more than doubled year-over-year in the period, from 3.8 million in Q1 2009 to 8.8 million in Q1 2010, an increase of 131% that far outpaced overall market growth of 56.7%. Apple’s record shipments were good for 16.1% of the worldwide market, up from 10.9% in the year ago quarter, but still behind leader Nokia’s 39.3% share and BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion, whose lead over Apple shrank significantly as it held a 19.4% share of the market. Apple was followed by HTC, with 4.8%, and Motorola with 4.2%.
“2010 looks to be another year of large-scale consumer adoption of converged mobile devices,” says Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC’s Mobile Devices Technology and Trends team. “Consumers will gravitate to smartphones not just because the devices themselves look ‘cool’ and ‘slick’, but because the overall experience aligns with their individual tastes and demands. Users are seeking – and finding – experiences that are intuitive, seamless, and fun.”
Orange has announced its data plan offerings for the iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G in the UK, France, and Switzerland (PDF Link). In the UK, users will be able to purchase data as they go at a rate of 5p per MB, daily at a rate of £2 for 200MB, weekly at a rate of £7.50 for 1GB, or choose from two monthly plans, both of which include unlimited browsing at Wi-Fi hotspots: £15 for 3GB/month or £25 for 10GB/month. In France, iPad users can choose between a €10 monthly plan offering 200MB of cellular data and unlimited Wi-Fi hotspot browsing, or a €39 monthly plan including 2GB of data and unlimited Wi-Fi. French customers who reach the data cap will be able to buy a 300 Mb recharge for €10, and current Orange France mobile customers will receive a 15% discount on their iPad data charges. In France, customers will also be able to order their iPad directly form the Orange store, with Apple handling delivery. In Switzerland, Orange will be charging 5 CHF per day for unlimited data use, with a charge of 10 CHF for the micro SIM card and the first three days of use free. Orange also plans to offer iPad service in Spain; pricing and plan details for Spain have yet to be announced.
Despite recent statements dismissing Apple’s impact on the company’s business, Nintendo is internally preparing to launch an assault on Apple as the latter’s iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad begin to eat away at Nintendo’s handheld gaming business. Citing sources close to Nintendo, the Times Online reports that Nintendo president recently told senior executives to treat Apple as the “enemy of the future,” after profits at the Kyoto-based company fell for the first time in six years. According to the report, sources describe a mood of concern at the company, with the hardware and software teams racing to restore the “surprise” the company considers a hallmark of its gaming experiences. The report does not describe what, exactly, Nintendo plans to do about Apple’s encroachment on its business, short of saying that it plans to “unleash the full force of its development and marketing artillery.” [via Mac Rumors]
The latest edition of iLounge Weekly, our weekly newsletter covering all things iLounge, is coming later today. iLounge Weekly is a summary of the week’s 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.
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.
Nokia has announced that it is suing Apple in Federal District Court in the Western District of Wisconsin, alleging that the iPhone and iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G infringe on five patents held by Nokia. MarketWatch reports that the patents relate to technologies for enhanced speech and data transmission, using location data in applications and innovations in antenna configurations that improve performance and save space. “Nokia has been the leading developer of many key technologies in mobile devices” said Paul Melin, General Manager, Patent Licensing at Nokia. “We have taken this step to protect the results of our pioneering development and to put an end to continued unlawful use of Nokia’s innovation.”
The Finnish company first filed suit against Apple in October 2009, claiming that the iPhone infringes on several Nokia patents; Apple filed a countersuit claiming patent infringement in December. The lawsuits were followed by an ITC complaint from Nokia near the end of the year, alleging that Apple infringes on the Finnish company’s patents “in virtually all of its mobile phones, portable music players, and computers.”
The ITC launched an investigation into Nokia’s claims against Apple in late January; it announced a similar investigation into Apple’s claims against Nokia in February. In March, a federal judge in Delaware signed an order halting litigation between Nokia and Apple pending resolution of the companies’ respective claims with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC); it is unclear whether this prior order will have any bearing on this newest lawsuit.
Apple will be rolling out its iBooks app and iBookstore internationally alongside the iPad’s launch on Friday, May 28. Press releases from the UK, Australia, Canada, and Japan indicate that the iBooks app for iPad, including the iBookstore, will be available as a free download from the App Store on May 28; as with pricing, Apple has yet to update the press websites of many of the other countries slated to launch the iPad on that day. We will be updating this story with further details as they become available.
Update: Apple has confirmed that both Italy and Spain will also be getting iBooks and the iBookstore on May 28.
Update x2: France has also been confirmed to receive iBooks and the iBookstore on May 28.
Update x3 Germany is now confirmed for the May 28 iBooks launch as well.
Apple has revealed its pricing for the iPad in a number of the international countries in which the device will launch on May 28. In the UK, the iPad with Wi-Fi will sell for £429 (inc. VAT) for 16GB, £499 (inc. VAT) for 32GB, and £599 (inc. VAT) for 64GB, while Wi-Fi + 3G models will be priced at £529 (inc. VAT) for 16GB, £599 (inc. VAT) for 32GB and £699 (inc. VAT) for 64GB. In Australia, iPad with Wi-Fi pricing is set at AUS$629 inc GST for 16GB, AUS$759 inc GST for 32GB, and AUS$879 inc GST for 64GB, while Wi-Fi + 3G models will sell for AUS$799 inc GST for 16GB, AUS$928 inc GST for 32GB and AUS$1049 inc GST for 64GB. The company is continuing to update various other countries’ press websites with pricing; we will post details of other countries’ iPad pricing here as they become available.
Update: In Canada, the iPad with Wi-Fi will sell for $549 (CAN) for 16GB, $649 (CAN) for 32GB, $749 (CAN) for 64GB; Wi-Fi + 3G models will sell for $679 (CAN) for 16GB, $779 (CAN) for 32GB and $879 (CAN) for 64GB.
Update x2: Apple has announced its iPad pricing for Italy and Spain. In Italy, pricing will be set at €499 for 16GB, €599 for 32GB, and €699 for 64GB Wi-Fi models, with Wi-Fi + 3G models priced at a €100 premium. In Spain, the iPad will sell for €479 for 16GB, €579 for 32GB, and €679 for 64GB Wi-Fi models, and €579, €679, and €779 for the respective Wi-Fi + 3G models.
Update x3: Pricing for the iPad in France has been announced. The same as Italy, pricing in France will be set at €499 for 16GB, €599 for 32GB, and €699 for 64GB Wi-Fi models, with Wi-Fi + 3G models priced at a €100 premium.
Update x4: German iPad pricing has now been announced. The 16GB Wi-Fi model will sell for €514, the 32GB for €614, and the 64GB model for €714, with Wi-Fi + 3G models again running €100 more.
Apple’s 2010 Worldwide Developers Conference has sold out in only eight days, according to an update on the event’s dedicated website. Dates for the conference, to be held June 7-11 in its traditional venue of Moscone West in San Francisco, CA, were announced on April 28; John Gruber of Daring Fireball notes that last year’s event took a month to sell out, despite the fact that it included a number of Mac OS X and IT sessions that are not being offered at this year’s WWDC. In addition to providing developer sessions, Apple has for the past three years used the event’s keynote address as a venue for iPhone-related announcements, revealing the launch date for the original iPhone in 2007, introducing the iPhone 3G at the 2008 event, and unveiling the iPhone 3GS in 2009.
Apple has announced that the iPad will be available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK on Friday, May 28. Both iPad with Wi-Fi and iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G models will be available; online pre-orders will begin on Monday, May 10. The iPad was originally set to roll out internationally at the end of April, but “surprisingly strong US demand” forced Apple to push it back. In addition to the nine countries listed above, Apple also plans to release iPad in Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore in July. It will announce availability, local pricing and pre-order plans for these nine additional countries at a later date.