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Apple posts new ‘What is iPad’ advertisement

Apple has posted its latest iPad television ad online. Beginning with the question “What is iPad?,” the 30-second spot goes on to call the device “thin” and “beautiful,” saying it “goes anywhere and lasts all day.” While showing the device’s automatic screen reorientation, the ad says “there’s no right way or wrong way,” before exclaiming that the iPad is “crazy powerful” and “magical.” The ad claims that “you already know how to use it,” describing it as “200,000 apps and counting,” “all the world’s websites in your hands,” “video,” “photos,” and “more books than you could read in a lifetime.” The claim that “it’s already a revolution, and it’s only just begun” closes the advertisement, which features a male narrator and “Gold Lion” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs in the background. As noted by Mac Rumors, the ad also pays homage to a prior Apple advertisement for the Newton PDA. The “What is iPad” ad is available for viewing now on Apple’s website.

3, Vodafone announce iPad data pricing in Italy

3 (Translated Link) and Vodafone have announced their data plans and pricing for the iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G in Italy. 3 customers will be able to purchase a micro SIM for €3, which will include 3GB of data good for 30 days at no extra charge; after the first 30 days, 3GB of data will run €5 monthly, with overages charges at the rate €2 per 100MB. Vodafone is offering a pair of plans, one offering 500MB of data per day for €2, and one offering “unlimited” access for €30 per month; it appears the latter plan will be capped at 500MB per day, with both plans falling back to 64kbps once the cap is reached. [via setteB.IT]

Optus reveals iPad data pricing for Australia

Optus has announced its iPad data plan pricing and details for the Australian market. For pre-paid users, Optus is offering a wide range of options, starting with a $30(AUS) SIM Starter Kit that includes 2GB of data, plus an extra 1GB of bonus data—included with every pre-paid plan—for a total of 3GB of data use over 30 days. After picking up the SIM pack, users can choose from plans that run for 15 days—one for $15(AUS) plan that includes 500MB of data or a $20(AUS) plan that includes 1GB of data—or plans that run for 30 days—including a $30(AUS) plan that offers 3GB of data, a $40(AUS) plan with 4GB of data, and a $50(AUS) plan with 5GB of data. 60 plans will also be offered, including 9GB of data for $70(AUS), 12GB of data for $100(AUS), or 14GB of data for $130(AUS); a lone 186 day plan, including 8GB of data for $80(AUS), rounds out the pre-paid options. Post-paid customers, who will be able to cancel anytime with no cancellation fee, can choose between monthly plans of 2GB of data for $20(AUS), 3GB for $30(AUS), or 8GB for $60(AUS). [Thanks, Albert | via IT Wire]

Apple sued by SoftView over Mobile Safari rendering

Washington-based company SoftView has filed a lawsuit against both Apple and AT&T claiming patent infringement. SoftView claims that the iPhone’s Mobile Safari browser infringes upon its patent for “Scalable Display of Internet Content on Mobile Devices,” for which it applied in 2005 and was granted in 2008. The patent’s abstract states, “Mobile devices enabled to support resolution-independent scalable display of Internet (Web) content to allow Web pages to be scaled (zoomed) and panned for better viewing on smaller screen sizes. The mobile devices employ software-based processing of original Web content, including HTML-based content, XML, cascade style sheets, etc. to generate scalable content. The scalable content and/or data derived therefrom are then employed to enable the Web content to be rapidly rendered, zoomed, and panned. Moreover, the rendered displays provide substantially the same or identical layout as the original Web page, enabling users to easily navigate to selected content and features on familiar Web pages.” SoftView is seeking an injunction against Apple as well as damages. [via The Loop]

HTC files patent complaint against Apple with ITC

HTC announced today that it has filed a formal complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), outlining five HTC patents it believes Apple infringes upon with its iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. “As the innovator of the original Windows Mobile PocketPC Phone Edition in 2002 and the first Android smartphone in 2008, HTC believes the industry should be driven by healthy competition and innovation that offer consumers the best, most accessible mobile experiences possible,” said Jason Mackenzie, vice president of North America, HTC Corporation. “We are taking this action against Apple to protect our intellectual property, our industry partners, and most importantly our customers that use HTC phones.” HTC is requesting that the ITC “halt the importation and sale of the iPhone, iPad and iPod in the United States.”

Update: According to a copy of HTC’s complaint to the ITC obtained by iLounge, the five patents cited by HTC “relate generally to hardware and software used to implement telephone directories within mobile telephone systems,” as well as “power management methods implemented in portable electronic devices.”

Hearing Components wins lawsuit against Shure

Following a multi-year dispute, Hearing Components has won a patent infringement lawsuit it filed against Shure. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has ruled in favor of Hearing Components, who claimed Shure was infringing on two of its patents relating to the use of foam tips in combination with earphones to provide sound isolation. Hearing Components filed the suit in May 2007, and won jury and bench trials in January 2009, which were subsequently appealed. “The products patented by Hearing Components were developed from years of research,” said Hearing Components President/CEO Bob Oliveira, Ph.D. “We take our intellectual property very seriously and are glad to have resolution of the use of foam tips on hearing devices.” According to the company, the ruling should result in an award of just under $5 million for the two counts of infringement.

Verizon and Google working together on tablet

Verizon Wireless is working with Google to develop a tablet computer that would compete directly with the iPad. The Wall Street Journal reports that the development was confirmed by Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam, who declined to discuss details on the timing or manufacturer of such a device. “What do we think the next big wave of opportunities are?” Mr. McAdam said in an interview. “We’re working on tablets together, for example. We’re looking at all the things Google has in its archives that we could put on a tablet to make it a great experience.” Google declined to comment on the WSJ article, apart from saying that anyone can use its mobile software to create phones and other devices.

Flight Control update adds gameplay enhancements

Firemint has released an update to its popular Flight Control game for the iPod and iPod touch. Flight Control 1.7 adds several new enhancements originally introduced in Flight Control HD for the iPad, including a windy airfield for additional challenges in landing planes, updated high quality graphics and added map detail, and a new “safe” fast forward option that slows the game down during collision warnings. The update also improves performance, offers better configuration of music and sound settings, and includes a longer version of the classic Flight Control theme song. Flight Control is available from the App Store for $1 and is a free update for existing users.

JBL On Time Micro now available

Previewed by the company in March, JBL has announced that its new On Time Micro alarm clock speaker system is now available. The On Time Micro features a centrally-located iPod and iPhone dock, an AM/FM RDS radio, seven independent alarms, a backlit LCD screen with automatic dimming, two Phoenix drivers with 6 watts of power each, an auxiliary input, and an included remote control. The JBL On Time Micro is available now in silver or black and sells for $249.

Mix: iPad pre-orders, China Mobile, iAngle, China Unicom

Although Apple only began accepting pre-orders for the iPad in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK on Monday for delivery on May 28, the company is now citing a delivery date of June 7 for new orders. Appleinsider reports that the later ship date is listed on new pre-orders in all nine countries, on both the iPad with Wi-Fi and the iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G, indicating that Apple has sold through its initial allotment of units set aside for online sales; the company is expected to have iPad units on hand for its international retail stores on launch day.

At the company’s recent annual shareholder meeting, China Mobile Chairman Wang Jianzhou said the company is interested in selling the iPad in China. Reuters reports that Jianzhou also said the company was in talks with Apple about developing a next-generation iPhone that runs on TD-SCDMA, the specialized mobile standard being used by China Mobile.

Versed General has introduced its new iAngle stand/earphone holder for the iPhone and iPod touch. Made from industrial rubber and available in black or white, the two-inch long, triangular iAngle features two sides, one with a compartment for the earphones themselves with side channels for wrapping the cord up, and one with a main slot for holding the iPhone or iPod touch at a reclined angle for video watching. The iAngle is available now and sells for $10.

China Unicom is raising subsidies on the the iPhone in China in an effort to boost sales, Reuters reports. “Some 3G monthly subscription rates that were going for 96 yuan we have cut to 66 yuan, and that should help grow our subscriber base,” Unicom president Lu Yimin said following the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting. He added that the increased subsidies have helped, with iPhone sales climbing after the price cut.

Second iPhone 4G prototype appears, A4 inside?

What appears to be a second fourth-generation iPhone prototype has been purchased and disassembled, with pictures posted online. Mac Rumors reports that the submission they received said the unit was purchased by a Vietnamese businessman along with an iPad; the photos were originally posted on a Vietnamese forum. The shots confirm that this particular unit is operational, and is running some sort of firmware diagnostics program. Notably, the unit has no screws on the bottom and is labeled on the back as a 16GB model; it appears otherwise identical to the unit acquired and photographed by Gizmodo last month. The teardown shots also show an Apple-branded processor inside, which Engadget, citing Chipworks, claims is an Apple A4 processor, similar if not identical to the one found in the iPad.

Pastebot update brings multiple device syncing

Tapbots has released an update to its Pastebot clipboard management app for the iPhone. Pastebot 1.2 adds support for synchronizing clipboard content with multiple iPhone OS devices from a single Mac desktop. Prior to this update, Pastebot could be installed on multiple devices, and a single instance of Pastebot could be associated with more than one Mac, however each Mac could only be linked to a single device. As of version 1.2, items copied to the Mac clipboard are automatically synced to all connected devices and clipboard items can also now be shared directly between devices running Pastebot on the same local network. The application icon has also been updated in version 1.2 due to trademark issues noted by the developer in a post on the company’s blog. Pastebot is available from the App Store for $3 and is a free update for existing users. The free Pastebot Sync application has also been updated to v1.2 and is required for syncing clipboard content with a Mac.

Photo of the Week: iPad in Monument Valley

This week’s featured photo is from our iPads Around the World gallery, and shows an iPad resting in the desert soil of Monument Valley in the southwestern U.S. 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 featuring your favorite iPod, iPad, or iPhone and maybe your submission will be our next Photo of the Week!

AT&T pushing up upgrade dates ahead of iPhone launch?

AT&T may be in the process of pushing up the upgrade eligibility dates of iPhone users ahead of this summer’s anticipated fourth-generation iPhone launch. MobileCrunch, citing a reader email and other unnamed sources, reports that several users who purchased an iPhone 3GS on launch day last year have had their eligibility dates pushed up to June 21 from November 21, suggesting that Apple plans to release its next iPhone on or before that date. Apple is widely expected to unveil the next-generation iPhone at its 2010 Worldwide Developers Conference on June 7.

Movistar announces data plans, pricing for iPad in Spain

Movistar in Spain has announced its data plan rates and pricing (Translated Link) for the iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G, along with a unique deal for iPhone customers. The carrier will be offering 30MB-at-a-time access for €3, as well as monthly plans of 200MB for €15, 1GB for €25, and 5GB for €39. Notably, current iPhone users on the €25 or €39 monthly plans may apply for a free microSIM card, which will enable them to share their data plan with the iPad; iPhone users currently on the €15 month plan may migrate to one of the higher plans to become eligible for the sharing option. [Thanks, Carlos]

BeyzaCases unveils Thinvelope sleeve for iPad

BeyzaCases has unveiled its new Thinvelope Sleeve for the Apple iPad. Made from soft canvas and leather, the Thinvelope sports an envelope-inspired, form-fitting padded design, with soft inner lining and a magnetic closure. Available in a variety of different color schemes, BeyzaCases’ Thinvelope Sleeve for the iPad is available now and sells for €130, or roughly $165.

L5 ships universal remote for iPhone, iPod touch

L5 Technology is now shipping its new L5 Remote for the iPhone and iPod touch. The L5 Remote is a dock-connecting universal remote control that works in conjunction with the company’s free L5 Remote app to allow users to control TVs, DVD players, DVRs, cable boxes, audio equipment, and other IR-based products. Via the application, users can set up their own custom remotes by dragging and dropping virtual buttons onto their custom remote screen, then assigning a unique signal to each button by aiming and pressing the corresponding button on their old remote. L5 Technology’s L5 Remote for the iPhone and iPod touch is available now and sells for $50.

Court docs confirm five-year AT&T iPhone exclusivity

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 updates iPad Wi-Fi support doc, hints at firmware update

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]

International iPad data plan pricing revealed

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.

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