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Scosche ships flipSync cable for iPod, iPhone

Scosche has announced that it is now shipping its flipSync charge and sync cable for the iPod and iPhone. Recipient of an iLounge 2010 CES Best of Show Finalist award, the flipSync is a keychain USB charge and sync cable, sporting retractable 30-pin and USB connectors that snap into the main, car remote-sized body when not in use. Scosche’s flipSync charge and sync cable for the iPod and iPhone is available now and sells for $20.

iPad in short supply prior to international launch

Both models of the iPad remain sold out or in short supply across the U.S. heading into the device’s launch in nine countries next week. Citing a note from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, AppleInsider reports that out 50 Apple retail stores contacted, 74% were sold out of all models of iPad, with the iPad with Wi-Fi available at 24%, and no iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G units available at any of the stores. The report notes that the shortages have been ongoing since the iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G’s launch on April 30. In response, Apple retail stores have begun placing interested customers’ names on a waiting list, which then sees the store hold an iPad for up to 24 hours when their name comes up. According to the report, the wait for an iPad after being placed on one of these lists is typically 4-7 days, besting the 7-10 days quoted on Apple’s online store. Apple will launch the iPad in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK on Friday, May 28.

Designers pushed to abandon Flash due to iPhone, iPad

A number of designers are being asked by their clients to ensure that their websites are iPhone- and iPad-compatible, forcing them to abandon Flash for development use in those cases, according to the Wall Street Journal. “Since the iPad came out we’ve had a lot of clients say that they just don’t want Flash on their sites,” said Chantelle Simoes, vice president at CA-based Ninth Degree Inc., which has built websites for Sanyo and NASA. She added that should the trend continue, the 10-person firm will need to hire workers experienced in iPhone development. The report cites several other cases in which designers and companies have needed to look beyond Flash to reach iPhone and iPad users, including Sports Illustrated, which recently launched a new web app built on HTML5 technologies. “We’re going forward on more than one front,” said Terry McDonnell, editor of Sports Illustrated Group. “The last thing that we want to do is make some decision that we’re not sure about.” Cruise line company Carnival launched a new, Flash-free home page last year due to the iPhone, and is unlikely to continue using Adobe’s tech on other projects due to Apple’s stance. “The iPhone and iPad have made us take a look at alternatives” to publishing in Flash, said Jordan Corredera, director and general manager of Carnival’s online business.

Vaja reveals Leather Agenda for iPad

Vaja has revealed its new Leather Agenda case for the Apple iPad. Made from leather, this padded folio-style case opens horizontally, like a book, and features two integrated stands, one low-angle for typing, and one for video viewing. The case also offers open access to all ports and controls, and can also be personalized with text or a graphic of the customer’s choosing. Vaja’s Leather Agenda case for the iPad is available in a wide range of color combinations and sells for $200 and up.

Javoedge intros Poppy, Kyoto, Fiber sleeves for iPad

Javoedge has introduced its new Poppy, Kyoto, and Fiber Sleeve Cases for the Apple iPad. Differing only in choice of outer fabrics, all three styles offers a soft interior lining, padded construction with elastic on the sides, and a top flap with magnetic closure. The Poppy and Kyoto sleeves feature floral designs, while the Fiber sleeve sports a carbon fiber pattern print; all three styles are available now and sell for $36.

Survey: iPad demand stronger now than before launch

According to the results of the latest ChangeWave survey, consumer demand for the iPad has risen since the device’s launch. According to the company’s May survey of 3,174 consumers, 7% of respondents said they were very likely to buy the iPad, while another 13% said they were somewhat likely. These numbers compare favorably to February’s pre-launch survey, which found 4% of respondents very likely to purchase and 9% somewhat likely to buy an iPad. Among the 245 respondents who said they own an eBook reader, 16% said they owned an iPad, which was second only to the 62% who said they owned an Amazon Kindle. The survey also iPad owners more likely to read newspapers and magazines on the device than owners of competing eBook readers, with 50% saying they read newspapers and 38% who read magazines on their iPads, compared with just 14% and 11%, respectively, for owners of other eBook readers.

Among the 153 iPad owners surveyed, a vast majority said they were satisfied with the device. 74% said they were very satisfied, followed by another 17% who said they were somewhat satisfied. One percent each said they were either somewhat or very unsatisfied, while 8% said they didn’t know. When asked what they liked best about their iPads, 21% of owners said the quality and size of the screen, followed by 15% who cited ease of use, 12% who liked the overall size and weight the best, and 10% who most liked the device’s portability. When asked to name dislikes, the iPad’s lack of Flash was tops with 11% of responses, followed by 9% each citing Internet connectivity issues and the need to constantly wipe the screen. Finally, when asked to pick the five things they use the iPad for the most, 83% of respondents said surfing the Internet, followed by 71% who said checking their email, and 56% who said they used apps from the App Store.

Italian iPad unboxed early, photographed

The first European iPad has been unboxed, and Italian site iPadItalia has posted photos of the unit’s unboxing. As noted in the article (Translated Link), the packaging is largely identical to that seen in the U.S., apart from Italian language inserts and the power supply; the included USB to 30-pin cable was strangely missing from the shots. It is unclear from where the device was obtained, however, a commenter claimed that the site “can not disclose anything.” Apple will launch the iPad in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK on Friday, May 28.

Apple opens international iPad App Stores

Apple has started bringing its iPad-based App Store online in the nine countries in which the device will launch next week. iPad users in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK should now be able to access their local App Stores through their device by logging in with their home-country iTunes accounts. Notably, this early rollout has not yet extended to iTunes on the desktop, so only those who imported an iPad early will be able to visit the new stores. Engadget notes that the stores seem “a bit unstable” as things are being brought online; Apple will launch the iPad in all nine countries listed above on May 28.

iTunes accounts for over a quarter of U.S. music sales in 2009

Apple’s iTunes Store accounted for more than a quarter of all music sales in the U.S. during 2009, according to a Billboard report. The report states that iTunes grew its share of U.S. sales to 26.7%, up from 21.4% in 2008 and more than double the 12.7% share it held in 2007. Second-place Walmart, meanwhile, saw its share shrink to 12.5% in 2009 from 15% in the prior year, something the report attributes to the retail chain’s scaling back of floor space dedicated to CDs. Amazon also grew its share of U.S. sales, accounting for 1.7% in 2009 compared to 4.9% in 2008; however, its iTunes rival MP3 store accounted for only 1.3%, up from 0.8% in 2008. Overall, digital accounts in the top 20 overall accounted for a combined 35.5% of all sales, up from 31.6% in 2008. [via Fortune]

iTunes Store adds Rotten Tomatoes movie reviews

The iTunes Store has added a new section to its individual movie listings for movie reviews from the popular movie site Rotten Tomatoes. Appearing above the customer reviews, the section highlights top critics’ reviews, with the author, publication, review date, and a short excerpt displayed. It also features the site’s well-known Tomatometer rating for the movie, as well as the total number of reviews counted, the number of “fresh” and “rotten” reviews, and an average rating. Apple has mentioned Rotten Tomatoes several times in its Keynote presentations. [via TUAW]

BeejiveIM for iPad released

Beejive has released an iPad version of its BeejiveIM instant messaging application. A popular IM option for iPhone users, the iPad version includes all of the same features and a redesigned interface for the iPad. BeejiveIM is a multi-platform instant messaging client, supporting connections to AIM/MobileMe, MSN/Windows Live, Yahoo, Google Talk, Facebook, MySpae, ICQ and Jabber. The application provides offline messaging via Push Notifications, persistent conversations, support for direct file transfers, SMS support for AIM and Yahoo users, and emoticon support. The iPad version also fully supports both landscape and portrait orientation and use with external keyboards. BeeJiveIM for iPad is currently available from the App Store for $6 as a special introductory price.

Netflix for iPad update adds video-out support

Netflix has released a new update to its popular movie streaming application for the iPad. Netflix 1.0.2 now allows users to output their Netflix movies from the iPad to a TV or monitor via VGA, component or composite output cables. The Netflix app provides iPad users with access to instantly rent and watch TV shows and movies from Netflix, access existing rented content from their library and manage their Netflix Queue. The Netflix app is available from the U.S. App Store as a free download and requires a Netflix membership to use.

Apple reverses iPad cash policy following complaint

Apple has reversed its policy of not accepting cash for iPad purchases following a customer complaint that garnered regional attention. Diane Campbell, a disabled San Francisco-area woman, had saved up $600 to purchase an iPad only to be told at the company’s Palo Alto retail store that it was company policy to only accept credit/debit cards for iPad purchases. The policy was intended to help enforce Apple’s two-per-person iPad purchase policy.

Following her experience, Campbell took her story to ABC 7 in San Francisco, where it was picked up by a consumer advocate reporter. After the TV segment aired, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Retail Ron Johnson contacted the reporter to let him know that the company had “made a decision today to change” its purchase policy and will now accept cash for iPad purchases. Johnson said that cash purchasers would be required to register their iPad before they leave the store. As for Campbell, Johnson said, “We all would love people like Diane to get an iPad, so I called her up and she was very excited, and we’re actually on our way to deliver an iPad to her house”—for free. After a pair of Apple employees arrived at her home to present her with the iPad, Campbell said, “What I would like to say to Steve is thank you.”

CableJive rolls out dockXtender for iPod, iPad, iPhone

CableJive has rolled out its new dockXtender cable for the iPod, iPad, and iPhone. The dockXtender is a 30-pin male to female extension cable that allows full use of a docking product by the attached iPod, iPad, or iPhone from up to six feet away. Features supported by the dockXtender include listening to audio, watching video, charging, syncing, remote control, and any other function supported by the connected docking device. With custom-molded connector housings, the dockXtender can be used with most cases, covers, and skins, and also offers a 2-tier shielding system that puts all audio and video signals inside their own separate shielding to avoid interference from other signals traveling through the wire. CableJive’s two-foot dockXtender cable is available now and sells for $26; the six-foot models will go on sale at the end of the month and will be priced at $32.

Official Twitter app goes live on App Store

Twitter has released the official Twitter client for the iPhone and iPod touch. Early last month Twitter announced that it had acquired the popular Tweetie app in order to develop it into an official Twitter client for the iPhone platform, with developer Lorne Brichter joining Twitter to continue developing the application under the official company banner. Twitter for the iPhone is essentially a direct update of Tweetie and retains most of the same interface design and functionality while adding a few new features to bring the user experience more in line with Twitter.com features. New features include a reorganized search that combines tweets and users, display of Top Tweets and Suggested users, the ability to sign up for Twitter from within the application and add additional accounts and more actions such as Retweet on the main actions bar. Twitter is available from the App Store for new users as a free download; existing Tweetie users will receive the new app as an update to Tweetie.  An iPad version is also under development.

LapWorks unveils Recliner stand for iPad

LapWorks has unveiled its new Recliner stand for the iPad and other e-reader devices. The Recliner features rubber cushioning at the bottom and top of the iPad area to prevent against scratches or dings, an adjustable rear support leg that allows for a variety of viewing angles, ABS plastic construction, and a silver and black color scheme. LapWorks’ Recliner stand for the iPad is available now and sells for $30.

iPod touch prototype with camera surfaces in Vietnam

Vietnamese website Tinhte, the same site that posted pictures of a second leaked fourth-generation iPhone prototype last week, has posted new photos and a video (Translated Link) of an apparent prototype iPod touch unit with a functioning rear-facing camera. Limited to running some type of diagnostic software, the prototype appears to have the exact same physical dimensions and design as the second- and third-generation iPod touch, and is labeled “DVT-1” on the rear where the capacity marking normally appears. Mac Rumors notes that the serial number indicates the unit was manufactured in June 2009 and the “N18” codename found on a sticker on the back of the device indicated that the unit is indeed a third-generation iPod touch prototype, and not representative of an upcoming revision to the product. A pair of similar iPod touch prototypes recently surfaced on eBay; those followed the original appearance of a similar, but unmarked, prototype in August of 2009.

Gartner: Apple world’s seventh-largest cell maker in Q1

According to the latest numbers released by research firm Gartner, Apple was the seventh-largest cell phone manufacturer in the world by units sold in Q1 2010. Apple held 2.7% share of the worldwide cell phone market in Q1, trailing market leader Nokia, Samsung, LG, BlackBerry-maker RIM, Sony Ericsson, and Motorola. In the worldwide smartphone market segment, Apple held down third place in Q1 based on unit sales by operating system, thanks to gains that gave it a 15.4% share of the market, trailing only Symbian, which lost share year-over-year but still finished with a market-leading 44.3% share, and RIM, which also lost market share year-over-year, finishing with 19.4% market share. These numbers are comparable to similar data released by research firm IDC earlier this month. Directly behind Apple was Android OS, which jumped from 1.6% of sales in Q1 2009 to 9.6% in Q1 2010, displacing Windows Mobile from the fourth spot in the process.

Apple releases iPhone OS 4 beta 4, adds U.S. tethering

Apple has released the fourth beta version of iPhone OS 4 for the iPhone and iPod touch, along with the accompanying SDK. As with prior beta releases, a main Xcode and SDK beta is available for download, as are pre-release builds of the iPhone OS 4 software for the iPhone 3G and 3GS, and the second- and third-generation iPod touch. Mac Rumors notes that the new beta version includes a new configuration page for Internet Tethering, and a special alert for AT&T customers telling them to call AT&T at 611 or visit AT&T’s website to enable tethering on their account, suggesting AT&T may be planning to offer the long-awaited feature with the arrival of iPhone OS 4. Both the new SDK and pre-release builds are available now for download by registered iPhone developers from the iPhone Dev Center.

Photo of the Week: iPhone 3GS in CA

This week’s featured photo is from our iPhones Around the World gallery, and shows an iPhone 3GS within the forest of the Sequoia National Park in California. 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!

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