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OtterBox debuts Impact Series case for iPhone 4

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OtterBox has debuted its new Impact Series case for the iPhone 4. Made from black silicone, the Impact Series case for iPhone 4 features inner coring for added shock protection, push-through protection for the volume, power, and Home buttons, open access to all other ports, controls, and both cameras, and included self-adhering protective film. OtterBox’s Impact Series case for iPhone 4 is available now and sells for $20.

Latest iLounge Weekly newsletter coming later today

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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.

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Apple in talks over music subscription service?

Apple is in talks with the major record labels about launching a music subscription service, according to a new report. Citing anonymous sources, the New York Post reports that Eddy Cue, Apple’s Vice President of iTunes, was on the phone with music executives as recently as a few weeks ago, attempting to iron out a plan of acton for the partners. According to one Post source, Apple would use a tiered pricing structure for the service, with prices ranging from $10 to $15 depending on how much music would be included and how long customers would have access to the content. The report cites one music industry executive as saying that the labels are supportive of such a service and believe it could re-energize digital music sales. While a potential iTunes subscription service has been rumored for many years, the article notes that the impending U.S. launch of the ad-supported music streaming service Spotify on Windows Phone 7 devices has given the idea new life.

Vote now for iLounge’s 2010 iPad/iPhone/iPod Readers’ Choice awards!

In preparation for the November 1st release of iLounge’s 2011 iPad/iPhone/iPod Buyers’ Guide, we are opening voting today for our annual Readers’ Choice awards. In the short, four-question survey, you’ll have the opportunity to vote for Apple’s media product of the year, accessory developer of the year, iOS application developer of the year, and iOS game developer of the year. You can vote now using this link; voting will end at midnight Eastern Time on October 27. The survey takes less than a minute to complete, so cast your vote today!

Nike+ GPS adds Facebook cheering

Nike has released an update to Nike+ GPS adding social networking integration. In addition to allowing users to share their runs via Facebook and Twitter, the new version also introduces a new Cheer Me On feature that allows users to post on Facebook that they are going on a run and then receive mid-run encouragement in the form of notifications each time a friend comments on their status. Other new features allow users to view their best runs from within the app and push past their goals by playing one more PowerSong. Nike+ GPS is designed primarily for iPhone users but also supports the iPod touch without the mapping capabilities. Nike+ GPS requires iOS 4.0 or later and is available from the App Store for $2.

Some iPhone 4 cases leading to cracked rear panels?

Apple is facing another potential issue with the iPhone 4, according to a new report. Citing sources both inside and outside Apple, Ryan Block of GDGT reports that the company has found that certain iPhone 4 cases—specifically those that slide-on to the device—are prone to small particles getting stuck between the case and the rear glass panel of the iPhone 4. While the unexpected scratching that can occur due to such particles is not a new phenomenon, on the iPhone 4 these small scratches have the potential to develop into larger cracks or even full-on fractures in the glass rear surface of the phone. The report states that Apple has kept all slide-on iPhone 4 cases off its real-world and virtual store shelves as a precaution, and has created a new lab and testing program to investigate the issue further. The repercussions for companies that spent time and money developing slide-on cases for the device remain unclear, as Apple has yet to say when—or if—it will allow such accessories back into its stores. In the meantime, many such cases continue to be sold online and through other retailers.

CBS and Chillingo release Numb3rs for iPad and iPhone

CBS Mobile and Chillingo have released a new universal iOS game based on the Emmy-nominated television series Numb3rs. In Numb3rs The Game, fans take on the role of an FBI consultant tasked with bringing down a sinister criminal network in Los Angeles, working alongside popular Numb3rs characters such as Charlie and Don Eppes. Numb3rs is a logic action game where players must solve mathematical puzzles and equations and play various mini-game missions such as diffusing bombs and interrogating suspects. The game also provides multiple difficulty levels and integrates with Chillingo’s Crystal social gaming platform for posting scores to leaderboards and tracking achievements. Numb3rs The Game is a universal iPad/iPHone application and is available from the App Store for $1.

Ten One rolls out iPhone 4 Pogo Stylus

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Ten One Design has rolled out its new Pogo Stylus for iPhone 4. Similar to the company’s past styluses, the iPhone 4 model features an anodized aluminum case and advanced tip that is compatible with capacitive, multi-touch surfaces such as the iPhone 4’s screen; the new iPhone 4 version comes with a travel clip that secures the stylus when traveling, but also functions as a vertical or horizontal stand. Ten One Design’s iPhone 4 Pogo Stylus is available for pre-order now in four colors, ships with two travel clips—one to accomodate encased iPhone 4 units and other to hold case-free iPhone 4s—and is expected to ship by October 25 for $15.

Griffin, Adidas team on miCoach Sport Armband for iPhone

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Griffin Technology and Adidas have teamed up to create the new miCoach Sport Armband for the iPhone. Made from ultra-lightweight nylon, the miCoach features a sweat-proof, touch-through screen cover, a low-profile pocket for keys, and a headphone port. While the companies claim the armband was “purpose-built” for use with adidas’ miCoach personal trainer app, it is obviously also useful for users of other athletic tracking and training applications. Griffin’s adidas miCoach Sport Armband for iPhone is available now and sells for $30; a universal version is also available for the same price.

Lightbulb Moments unveils iBottleopener for iPhone

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Lightbulb Moments has unveiled the iBottleopener for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. The iBottleopener is a two-piece plastic case featuring a slide-off bottom for docking access, a soft touch finish, open access to all ports, controls, and the camera, and a metal bottle opener on the rear. Lightbulb Moments’ iBottleopener for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS is available now and sells for $20; a version of the iBottleopener for the iPhone 4 is listed as coming soon, although no release or pricing information has yet been announced for the newer model.

Apple again offering iPhone 4 Bumpers online

Apple is once again offering its iPhone 4 Bumper cases via its online store. Unavailable online since the announcement of the company’s iPhone 4 Case Program, the cases had begun to reappear in the company’s retail stores as of October 1, the day after the Case Program ended. Apple’s U.S. online store now shows availability of all six Bumper colors, ready to ship within 24 hours at a price of $29; notably, this is the first time any of the Bumper colors save for black have been available since they were pulled from store shelves in July. [via Mac Rumors]

EA announces fall game lineup: SimCity, EA Sports and more

Electronic Arts has announced its fall 2010 lineup of iPhone, iPod touch and iPad games. Upcoming titles include SimCity Deluxe for the iPad and EA Sports FIFA 11, EA Sports NBA Elite 11, EA Sports MMA, Battlefield Bad Company 2, Heroes Lore and High Caliber Hunting for the iPhone and iPod touch.

SimCity Deluxe for iPad will bring the popular iPhone and iPod touch title to the iPad screen with higher-resolution HD graphics including textured terrain, a larger interactive display, controls optimized for the iPad screen and new game features such as simultaneous disaster strikes. SimCity Deluxe for iPad is scheduled for release in November.

Three new EA Sports titles have also been announced for the iPhone and iPod touch, all scheduled for release later this month. EA Sports FIFA 11 will deliver updated players, teams and stadiums to the 2010 edition, high-resolution Retina Display graphics and improved dual control options to provide advanced controls for experienced players and simplicity for casual players.

Verizon upgrading network ahead of iPhone launch?

In an update to yesterday’s story that said Apple will begin mass production of a CDMA-compliant iPhone by the end of the year, the Wall Street Journal reports that Verizon has been making preparations to launch the phone on its network. According to the updated article, Verizon Wireless has been meeting with Apple over the handset, and has been adding capacity and testing its networks in hopes of avoiding the sorts of coverage issues that plagued AT&T when the proliferation of iPhones overtaxed its network. The report goes on to note that in discussions with Apple over the original iPhone, Verizon declined to give up its ability to sell music and videos through its proprietary services; it does not clarify whether Verizon’s stance on these matters has changed. Finally, the report says that Apple originally considered making a dual-mode phone that would run on both GSM and CDMA networks, but ultimately decided to build a second iPhone that would work only with CDMA networks. Verizon is expected to launch the phone early next year, according to the report, ending AT&T’s exclusivity in the U.S.

Apple canceling iPhone 4 orders in Hong Kong

Apple has been canceling a number of iPhone 4 orders placed with the Apple Online Store in Hong Kong, according to MIC Gadget. While Apple’s cancelation emails state that the customer has exceeded the limit of units any single person is allowed to order, the report claims that some customers were not over the quantity limit, and that the cancelations did not appear to be related to stock shortages. Instead, MIC Gadget suggests that Apple is canceling the orders in the wake of last week’s incident in Beijing, where the company had to close one of its flagship stores due to a large group of scalpers attempting to purchase large quantities of iPhone 4 units to sell on the gray market, and is trying further to keep the phones out of the hands of scalpers. Interestingly, the report notes that the selling price of an iPhone 4 on the Hong Kong grey market has actually risen since news of the order cancellations broke, giving scalpers greater incentive to get their hands on iPhone 4 units.

Facebook app grabs iPhone contact info

Enabling the Contact Sync feature in the official Facebook iPhone and iPod touch application actually uploads all of a user’s contact info from the device to Facebook, a report in The Guardian reveals. Once the sync option is enabled, all of the contacts stored on the iPhone or iPod touch are uploaded to Facebook along with their names, e-mail address and phone numbers. This information is stored in the user’s Facebook Phonebook and linked to each contact’s Facebook account based on their matching e-mail addresses or phone numbers. Linked accounts are not limited to the user’s friends, however; non-friends are included and even users who have hidden their Facebook profiles from normal searches will appear linked in this view if they have listed a phone number or e-mail address on their profile. Contact information on non-Facebook users is also stored in the phonebook with the option to invite those friends to join Facebook.

Apple’s new App Store Guidelines published early last month expressly prohibit applications from transmitting “data about a user without obtaining the user’s prior permission and providing the user with access to information about how and where the data will be used,” a restriction that could be read to apply here. Although the current version of the Facebook app does provide a warning when enabling the Contact Sync feature, this warning does not make it clear to the average user exactly how their contacts’ information will be used by Facebook beyond stating that the information will be “subject to Facebook’s Privacy Policy.” Further, other Facebook users who have privately listed their phone numbers or e-mail addresses may not be aware that this information may be used to locate their Facebook account, even when it is otherwise hidden from normal searches. iPhone users can opt-out of the Contact Sync feature by simply disabling contact sync in the Facebook app, then visiting their Facebook Phonebook page from a web browser and following the link on the right-hand side to remove mobile contacts from Facebook.

Mercedes-Benz expands iPad program, intros headrest mount

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Mercedes-Benz Financial has announced that the results of its limited iPad pilot program were so “overwhelmingly positive” that the company is expanding the program to all 355 dealerships in the U.S. During the pilot phase, select dealerships in the U.S. were letting potential customers fill out paperwork on the spot using iPads, instead of forcing them into a dealership office to complete the sale, with the hopes of preserving more sales lost at the last minute. “We were surprised,” Andreas Hinrichs, vice president of marketing for Mercedes-Benz Financial, said in an interview with Macworld. “The feedback was so positive we said, we need to push this out to all the dealers and take the financing process to a new level.” The company will also begin use of the 3G-enabled iPads in its leasing process, allowing customers returning vehicles to watch the post-lease inspection and sign the completed forms using their finger.

In addition, Mercedes is showing off a prototype iPad docking station at the Paris Motor Show. Similar to the one shown at the show by rival manufacturer BMW, the Mercedes mount sits horizontally behind the front seat headrest and allows back seat passengers full use of the iPad while it charges. No pricing or availability information has yet been announced.

Note2Self now free, adds iOS 4 support

WebIS has released a major update to its Note2Self audio recorder application for the iPhone and iPod touch, bringing iOS 4 background recording capabilities and several other new features. First released in the summer of 2008 shortly after the debut of the App Store, Note2Self was one of the first top-rated voice recording apps for the iPhone. The application was modestly updated after release, but was soon supplanted by Apple’s Voice Memos app, which offered background recording before third-party iPhone applications could multitask. With iOS 4, Note2Self 3.0 adds background recording on multitasking-capable devices as well as recording directly in AAC format on the iPhone 3GS and later models. The new version also sports an improved user interface, proximity sensor improvements related to the “bring to your ear” activation feature, the ability to specify a custom SMTP server for sending memos out via e-mail and several other improvements and fixes. Note2Self is now supported with Apple iAds and is available from the App Store as a free download.

WSJ: Verizon iPhone to go on sale early next year

Apple is planning to start mass production of a CDMA-compliant iPhone by the end of the year, according to a new report. Citing people briefed by Apple, the Wall Street Journal reports that the timing of the production ramp-up would allow Verizon Wireless to offer the phone in the first quarter of 2011. The new iPhone is said to be similar in design to the current iPhone 4, and will use a Qualcomm chip. The report goes on to state that Apple is also developing a new fifth-generation iPhone model that will feature a different form factor than the iPhone 4, although it is unknown how soon that version would be available to Verizon.

Motorola Mobility sues Apple for patent infringement

Motorola Mobility, a subsidiary of Motorola, Inc., has filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) alleging that the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and certain Mac computers infringe Motorola patents. The company has also filed patent infringement complaints against Apple in the Northern District of Illinois and the Southern District of Florida. According to Motorola’s announcement, the three complaints include 18 patents, which relate to “wireless communication technologies, such as WCDMA (3G), GPRS, 802.11 and antenna design, and key smartphone technologies including wireless email, proximity sensing, software application management, location-based services and multi-device synchronization.” Motorola Mobility has asked the ITC to start an investigation into Apple’s potential infringement and issue an Exclusion Order barring the importation, sales, marketing, advertising, and use of such products in the U.S.; in its court cases, it is seeking to force Apple to cease using its patented technology and provide compensation for any past infringement.

Survey: One third of teens to buy iPhone within 6 months

One out of every three U.S. teenagers plans to purchase an iPhone within the next six months, according to the results of the latest Piper Jaffray bi-annual teen survey. Fortune reports that 33% of teens said they planned to purchase an iPhone in the next sixth months, up from 22% the year before; however, the 14% who said they already own an iPhone is down from 15% in 2009. The iPod’s share of the teen MP3 market also dropped from 87% a year ago down to 78%, likely due to the rise in the use of smartphones as music players, while iTunes enjoys a 95% market share among teens who pay for music online. The survey was based on responses from 6,000 U.S. high school students.

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