PropUp has introduced its new PropUp stand for the Apple iPad. Made from high-quality, open cell foam, the PropUp features a curved back to enable it to serve as a stand for the iPad, as well as slightly flexible corners that grip the iPad while also allowing for use with iPads in low-profile cases. The PropUp stand for iPad is available for pre-order at a price of $25 and will begin shipping in July.
Wal-Mart may begin offering the iPad in its stores before the end of the year, according to statements made by a company executive. “We anticipate being able to have the iPad later this year,” Gary Severson, senior vice president of entertainment for Wal-Mart’s U.S. stores, said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg. Severson declined to offer any timing or pricing details. His statement comes as the retailer plans a move to add more consumer electronics offerings—including Internet-connected TVs, Blu-ray players, mobile phones, and routers—to its stores in an effort to attract more tech-savvy customers. Apple has yet to announce any distribution expansion plans for the iPad past its own retail stores, some Best Buy stores, and select Apple Authorized Resellers and campus bookstores.
Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn recently needed to defend itself against allegations of employee mistreatment following a rash of employee suicides. The Daily News reports that a 24-year-old Foxconn worker named Chu recently threw herself from her rented apartment in Shenzhen, marking the eighth Foxconn employee suicide this year. “We regret to see the recurrence of such incidents,” Foxconn said in statement. According to the article, Foxconn employs roughly 300,000 workers at its Shenzhen complex, where a 24-year-old male worker leaped to his death less than two weeks ago. The company came under fire last year for its employee treatment following the suicide of 25-year-old Sun Danyong, who reportedly lost a prototype iPhone prior to his death. Foxconn is an Apple manufacturing partner on the iPhone, iPod, iPad, and Mac product lines.
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 (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 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]
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 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.”
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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 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.