Target may become the next U.S. retailer to offer the iPhone in its stores, according to a new report. Citing people familiar with the matter, AppleInsider reports that Target, in partnership with Radio Shack, is currently adding mobile phone centers to roughly 850 of its 1,743 stores ahead of the holiday shopping rush. The report states that Radio Shack, which already offers the iPhone, will provide the tools to allow customers to activate their devices in-store; since it’s unknown when installation of the mobile phone centers will be completed, there is no rollout date for the iPhone in Target stores at this time.
Audiopress has released a new iPhone and iPod touch application designed to allow commuters and other users who are frequently on the go to access a range of spoken audio content from within a single application. The Audiopress application aggregates content such as podcasts, radio, and spoken AudioArticles from the Associated Press, and users can also create customized text-to-speech updates for local weather forecasts, personal stock reports, sports scores and traffic reports. The application allows users to create playlists to build their own custom audio news feeds by choosing the order in which they want to listen to different feeds and specifying timing parameters for when and how long they want to listen to each source. Audiopress will automatically update its library over-the-air with the newest content, skipping articles that have already been heard and prioritizing the latest episodes of each show. The application includes a catalog of popular podcasts as well as the ability to import other podcasts directly from iTunes and a radio catalog of hundreds of stations. AudioArticles news content is currently limited to the Associated Press although there are plans to add additional media partners in the future. Audiopress is available from the U.S. App Store as a free download.
Sam’s Club, the warehouse club owned and operated by Walmart, has announced plans to offer the iPhone and iPad in its membership warehouse stores. The Street reports that the announcement was made during Walmart’s annual meeting this morning; no timeframe was given for when the devices would hit store shelves. Additionally, the company said it was attempting to increase the quality in its consumer electronic categories, and that it will offer non-food in-store demos to help facilitate growth in other categories. The announcement comes at a time when a number of retailers, including Walmart, Target, and Best Buy, have been adding the iPad to their Apple device offerings ahead of the holiday season.
WaterField Designs has unveiled its latest case, the iPad Wallet. The iPad Wallet is designed to carry the iPad—encased or not—along with the Apple Wireless Keyboard and any charging accessories. It features soft, scratch-free pockets for the iPad and Keyboard, impact-resistant plastic inserts to separate the two devices, a stretchy outside back pocket, distressed leather trim, YKK self-locking zippers, and optional D-rings and a strap to convert the Wallet into a stand-alone bag. WaterField Designs’ iPad Wallet is available now and is expected to begin shipping October 31; pricing starts at $79.
Orange has announced plans to launch the iPhone 4 in Kenya. Capital Business reports that the handset will be available exclusively at Orange Customer Experience Centres and dealer outlets in both 16GB and 32GB variations, although no pricing or release date has yet been revealed. While announcing the launch, Mickael Ghossein, CEO of Telkom Kenya—the France Telecom-controlled entity that runs the Orange service—made a comment suggesting that the iPhone 4 would be available in both black and white, perhaps signaling the pending arrival of the long-awaited white model. “As you know, the iPhone is not designed to be just a phone. It comes with many entertainment and lifestyle features - with the capacity to store the music you like and movies that you can watch while travelling,” Ghossein said. “The customer will therefore select the iPhone 4 that suits them best based on these capabilities. In terms of colours, you have a choice between black and white, for you to choose the colour that represents your persona.”
NXP Software has released an update to CineXPlayer, an application for viewing Xvid movies on the iPad. CineXPlayer 1.4 adds support for SRT formatted soft subtitles with full international character support, allowing users to toggle subtitles on and off for their videos rather than having to encode them into the video. CineXPlayer also now allows users to open movies and SRT files from other applications such as Mail and Safari using the iOS “Open in” feature. Additional improvements in the new version include better compatibility for AVI files and Motion-JPEG support for AVIs imported from digital cameras. CineXPlayer 1.4 for the iPad is available from the App Store for $4. An iPhone version is also available separately for $2.
Apple is in talks with two Indian carriers to offer the upcoming CDMA variant of the iPhone in the country, according to a new report. Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is in negotiations with Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices, both of which operate networks based on CDMA technology. “Tata has been in talks with them [Apple] for four to five months now,” said one of the people familiar with the negotiations, noting that it is unclear when a launch might take place. The iPhone is currently available in India through the GSM carriers Bharti AirTel and Vodafone; while India currently has roughly 670 million wireless subscribers, only 20% or so use CDMA phones. A report from last week indicated that Apple was planning to start mass production of a CDMA-compliant iPhone, which is expected to launch in the U.S. on Verizon Wireless early next year.
This week’s featured photo is from our iPods Around the World gallery, and shows a GPS-laden iPod touch at the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. 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!
Griffin Technology has rolled out its new line of fall accessories for the iPad. Griffin’s updated lineup includes the Standle, a hard-shell iPad case with a stand for landscape use that doubles as a handle, a large portrait stand that swings backward, allowing the iPad to be used with Apple’s iPad and Keyboard Docks without the need to remove the device from the case, and cut outs for open access to all ports and controls. It sells for $50. The AirStrap is a molded plastic case offering contoured surfaces for easy gripping and a wide neoprene strap on the rear for additional security when using the device with one hand; it also offers full access to all ports and controls and sells for $50.
The Cabinet Mount is a semi-permanent iPad mounting solution consisting of a swiveling, adjustable mount that attaches to the side or underside of any cabinet 14 inches or deeper, a custom-designed bracket that securely grips the iPad, and included installation hardware; it sells for $50, while the Elan Folio is a synthetic leather folio-style case featuring a front flap that doubles as a stand and open access to all ports and controls for $50. Finally, the WaveStand is a simple, device-agnostic tablet table stand featuring non-slip inner surfaces to securely hold the inserted device and an adjustable base that slides out for extra support when needed. It sells for $20; all of Griffin’s new accessories for iPad are available now.
Apple has released the third beta version of iOS 4.2 for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch to developers, along with its accompanying SDK and a new beta version of iTunes 10.1. It is currently unknown what changes and/or new features may be present in the updated software. Slated for a November release, iOS 4.2 will bring several new features to Apple’s mobile device OS, including AirPlay streaming, AirPrint wireless printing, and the ability to import .ics files directly into Calendar as new events, and will bring the iPad’s software feature set into parity with the iPhone and iPod touch. Apple’s iOS 4.2 beta 3 for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, iOS 4.2 beta 3 SDK, and iTunes 10.1 beta 2 are available now as free downloads for paid iOS developers from the iOS Dev Center.
Early voting in our 2010 Readers’ Choice Awards has been proceeding at a fast clip, with hundreds of votes already counted. Announced last week, the Readers’ Choice Awards let you pick the year’s best from four categories—Apple’s best new digital media product, iPad/iPhone/iPod Accessory Developer, iOS Application Developer, and iOS Game Developer. Currently leading the Application Developer of the Year category are Apple, which released iMovie, iBooks, and iPad-formatted versions of its iWork apps, and Netflix, with hundreds of votes for other developers as well. Belkin, Griffin, iHome, Logitech, and SwitchEasy are currently slugging it out in the Accessory Developer of the Year category, with EA, Gameloft, Namco, PopCap, and Rovio most heavily supported for Game Developer of the Year. There’s still time for you to cast your vote—voting ends at midnight Eastern Time on October 27—and all it takes is filling out a simple four-question survey, so cast your vote today!
Both O2 and Vodafone have announced plans to sell the iPhone 4 in Germany. The announcements signal the end of exclusivity for Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile unit, which has been the lone German iPhone carrier since its launch in the country in 2007. According to the Wall Street Journal, O2 and Vodafone will begin sales of the iPhone within the next two weeks, widening the retail-distribution base for the handset ahead of the holiday shopping season. Neither O2 nor Vodafone have yet provided details on their iPhone tariffs; however, T-Mobile said that it will soon terminate a rate plan designed for iPhone users, and will instead offer all smartphone users in Germany lower rates or more value for the money.
Mobile device part and repair service Zeetron has introduced its new iPhone 4 Color Swap service. Using “original” repair parts, the service has customers mail in their current black iPhone 4 units, which are received, processed, and shipped back the same day via FedEx overnight. The service replaces the front and back panels of the black iPhone 4 with white repair parts, which includes both the LCD and digitizer, as well as the Home button. Zeetron charges $199 for its mail-in iPhone 4 Color Swap service and also sells do-it-yourself kits for $188. Either option is likely to void any current Apple warranty; proceed with caution.
ColorWare is now offering custom coloring service for fourth-generation iPod touch units. Using ColorWare’s custom coloring service, customers can choose their own color for the back aluminum plate, Home button, and earbuds, with a variety of solid, metallic, and pearlescent colors available. In addition, customers can choose from glossy or soft touch finishes for the painted areas. Pricing starts at $160 for customers wanting to send in their own iPod touch unit, or $390 for those who would like to buy a new customized unit directly from the company. ColorWare’s custom coloring service for the fourth-generation iPod touch is available now.
At a ceremony last night, Apple was awarded five T3 Gadget Awards, the most of any company. The iPad received Innovation of the Year and Gadget of the Year awards, while the iPhone 4 was picked as Commuter Gadget of the Year, but lost Phone of the Year to HTC’s Desire. Apple also won computer and retailing awards in the ceremony, during which British actor and writer Stephen Fry produced a white iPhone 4 on stage, joking that it was the “only one in Europe.”
Yahoo has released a major update to its Yahoo Messenger IM application adding support for video and voice calls over the Yahoo instant messaging network. Users can now make live video calls from their iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4 with other Yahoo Messenger users on any compatible platform, including other smartphones and desktop computers. The update also adds the ability to place voice calls between Yahoo Messenger friends or to landline and mobile numbers using the Yahoo Voice Phone Out service. Other new features in version 2.0 include multitasking support on capable devices, instant notifications of new messages in the background and support for sending free SMS messages via the Yahoo Messenger network. Video calling and multitasking features require an iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4 running iOS 4.1 or later and a Wi-Fi connection is recommended; calls to landlines and mobile phones via Yahoo Voice Phone Out may incur additional charges. Yahoo Messenger 2.0 is available from the App Store as a free download.
Apple has received a trademark from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the phrase “There’s an app for that.” According to the filing, Apple first began using the phrase on January 26, 2009, likely in a television advertisement for the iPhone 3G. The trademark is filed in the category of Advertising, Business & Retail Services, Computer & Software Services & Scientific Services, and is described as “[r]etail store services featuring computer software provided via the Internet and other computer and electronic communication networks; retail store services featuring computer software for use on handheld mobile digital electronic devices and other consumer electronics.” Apple first filed for the trademark on December 4, 2009, or roughly a month after AT&T filed suit against Verizon over its “map for that” ads attacking both AT&T and the iPhone.
Following a lengthy report from the Wall Street Journal stating that Apple planned to start mass production of a CDMA-capable iPhone that would arrive on Verizon Wireless early next year, the New York Times has published an article claiming independent confirmation of the move. The report cites a single source who is said to be in direct contact with Apple, and who said that Apple is currently making a version of the iPhone 4 for Verizon. A separate report in the South China Morning Post, recounted by AppleInsider, has suggested that Apple would also offer the CDMA version of the iPhone on China Telecom some time in 2011, as the third-largest Chinese carrier uses the same 3G standard as Verizon Wireless.
In its continuing effort to expand iPad distribution ahead of the holiday shopping season, Apple has secured a place for the iPad on the shelves of select Walmart stores. Citing an internal Walmart email, Mac Rumors reports that through the end of October, Walmart will be rolling the iPad out to approximately 1,000 stores, with plans to expand iPad sales to another 800 locations in November. The email suggests that Walmart will offer all six models of the iPad, with initial inventory to be limited to five units for the store to which the email was sent. Not long after publishing the initial email screenshots, a photo showing an iPad for sale on the shelves of a Denver, Colorado Walmart was added to the report, indicating that the company’s roll out of the tablet has already begun. In recent weeks, Apple has increased the number of retail outlets carrying the tablet computer by expanding iPad sales to all U.S. Best Buy stores and by rolling the device out at Target stores.
Update: Walmart has confirmed that it will offer all six models of the iPad in hundreds of its stores beginning on Friday, Oct. 15, and will expand to 2,300 stores in November. In addition, Walmart.com will sell the iPad through its Site to Store service, which provides free shipping of online orders to a local Walmart store.
Don’t forget to get your entry in for our Sonos ZonePlayer S5 Giveaway. In our Giveaway of the Month for October, iLounge and Sonos are giving away two Sonos ZonePlayer S5 units paired with a Sonos ZoneBridge. To enter, simply fill out and submit the form on the giveaway page—the giveaway will end on October 31, 2010 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time. Good luck!