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Apple once again accepting iTunes Match beta signups

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Apple over the weekend reopened its iTunes Match beta to registered iOS developers. Mac Rumors reports that the company sent out emails to developers, letting them know that the beta has been expanded to additional developers in the U.S. The email also notes that iTunes 10.5 beta 8 is required to use the service. iTunes Match is an upcoming $25/year cloud-based service from Apple that matches the songs in users’ iTunes libraries with songs available on the iTunes Store, uploading songs that can’t be matched, and subsequently offering the users access to their entire libraries across all their computers and iOS devices anywhere they have an Internet connection. The iTunes Match beta was launched late last month, but was closed for new signups shortly afterwards.

Apple releases iTunes 10.5 beta 8 to developers

Apple has uncharacteristically released a small update to its beta version of iTunes 10.5 for registered iOS developers. According to release notes provided to iLounge by an anonymous source, the update focuses mainly on Apple’s iTunes Match service, which remains closed for new developer sign-ups. iTunes 10.5 beta 8, as well as iWork for iOS beta 3, are available for download now from the iOS Dev Center.

Apple removes shipping estimates from online store

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Apple this morning removed its shipping estimates for a wide range of products from its online store. Prior labels indicating shipment estimates of 24 hours or 1-3 days have been replaced with text simply indicating that a given product is “In Stock.” Notably, an estimate of 2-4 business days is still in place for the 12-Core model of Mac Pro, suggesting that Apple may still use its prior estimate system when the potential wait for an item surpasses three days. In addition, Apple also made changes to its iPad purchasing page, streamlining the process of selecting a specific model. [via AppleInsider]

Apple wins ruling against Samsung in Germany

Apple has won another court battle in its ongoing patent dispute with Samsung. Reuters reports that a German court has upheld an injunction barring Samsung from selling its Galaxy 10.1 tablets in Germany. In the ruling, Judge Johanna Brueckner-Hoffman said that the overall impression of the Tab 10.1 was too similar to the iPad, stating that it “is distinguished by its smooth, simple areas.” The decision limits retailers to sales of existing stock and or obtaining new supplies from Samsung’s parent company Samsung International. Samsung can object to the decision.

Apple kicks off internal charitable matching program

Apple has launched a new charitable matching program that will see the company match employees’ personal donations to eligible charities. In an email to employees reprinted by Mac Rumors, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the program, which will match employee donations to non-profit organizations dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000 per year. The program will initially be available only to full-time U.S. employees, with plans to expand it in the future. Cook’s email is reprinted in full below.

“Team:

I am very happy to announce that we are kicking off a matching gift program for charitable donations. We are all really inspired by the generosity of our co-workers who give back to the community and this program is going to help that individual giving go even farther.

Starting September 15, when you give money to a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, Apple will match your gift dollar-for-dollar, up to $10,000 annually. This program will be for full-time employees in the US at first, and we’ll expand it to other parts of the world over time.

Thank you all for working so hard to make a difference, both here at Apple and in the lives of others. I am incredibly proud to be part of this team.

If you’d like more information on the program, you can get it on HRWeb, which can be easily accessed through AppleWeb.

Tim”

Apple seeks Samsung Galaxy ban in Japan

Apple has filed a lawsuit in Tokyo District Court seeking to ban sales of various Samsung Galaxy products in Japan. Citing sources close to the matter, Reuters reports that the suit specifically names the Galaxy S, Galaxy S II, and Galaxy Tab 7; no mention is made of the more recent Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Tab 7.7. According to the report, Samsung filed a suit against Apple in Japan in April, leading to an Apple countersuit on August 23. Apart from an order suspending sales of the devices, Apple is also seeking 100 million yen, or roughly $1.3 million, in damages, according to a Kyodo news agency report cited by Reuters.

Samsung pulls tablet from IFA after Apple injunction

Samsung has pulled its new Galaxy Tab 7.7 Android tablet, from a trade show after Apple won an injunction against the device. The New York Times reports that Apple won a second injunction prohibiting sales and marketing of the product in Germany on Friday, precipitating Samsung’s move to pull the tablet from the IFA electronics show in Berlin. “Samsung respects the court’s decision,” said James Chung, a Samsung spokesman, adding that the company believes the ruling “severely limits consumer choice in Germany.” Samsung and Apple are involved in ongoing legal disputes over the former’s Galaxy series of smartphones and tablets and the latter’s iPod, iPhone, and iPad devices.

Report: Police dispute second “lost iPhone” story (Updated)

San Francisco Police have no record of any investigation pertaining to the rumored lost iPhone, according to a new report by SF Weekly. Earlier this week, CNET claimed that an Apple employee had lost a new iPhone prototype in a San Francisco bar, and Apple had contacted police to launch an investigation—circumstances eerily similar to last year’s infamous loss of a prototype iPhone 4. Citing anonymous sources “familiar with the investigation,” CNET added that Apple and San Francisco police investigators had traced the prototype to a home in Bernal Heights, but that the resident had denied having any knowledge of the phone or the situation, and the iPhone itself was never recovered.

When SF Weekly’s Peter Jamison contacted the San Francisco Police Department to inquire on the case, however, SFPD spokesman Officer Albie Esparza indicated that there are no records of any such investigation, nor a visit by police officers to the address in Bernal Heights where the search for the iPhone allegedly took place. Esparza confirmed speaking to CNET reporter Declan McCullagh, but indicated that he had relayed all of this information to him “weeks ago” when he was first contacted by McCullagh regarding the story. Business Insider said that despite a lack of official confirmation, CNET “ran the story anyway.” Apple has not commented on the alleged phone loss. [via Business Insider]

Update: A follow-up from SF Weekly has reported that six people claiming to be police officers allegedly did visit the home of Sergio Calderón, the Bernal Heights man referred to in the earlier report. According to Calderón, one of the men left a phone number that was traced back to Anthony Colon, an Apple employee who formerly worked for the San Jose Police Department. It is as not yet known who the other individuals were, but SFPD Lt. Troy Dangerfield has reiterated that the police department has no knowledge or record of any of its members visiting the Calderón residence, and police are currently concerned that impersonators may have unlawfully searched the home.

Openwave, Wi-LAN file new patent lawsuits against Apple

Two new intellectual property lawsuits have been launched against Apple by two smaller companies alleging patent violations. Openwave has announced legal action against both Apple and Research in Motion alleging that the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad infringe upon five of the company’s patents related to offline e-mail applications, secure client-server communications, application updating, user experience and cloud computing. In addition to the patent claim, Openwave has also filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission requesting that the ITC bar the importation of the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod touch, iPad and iPad 2. Another claim has been launched by Wi-LAN against Apple, Alcatel-Lucent, HP, HTC, and others alleging infringement of two patents related to wireless technologies such as CDMA, HSPA, Wi-Fi and LTE.

Apple promotes Eddy Cue to SVP of Internet Software and Services

Apple has promoted its vice president of Internet services Eddy Cue to the position of Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services. According to his Apple Press bio, Cue will be reporting directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook, and his duties will include overseeing the iTunes Store, App Store, and iBookstore, as well as iAd and iCloud services. In an email to Apple employees announcing the move, Cook credited Cue with playing a major role in the launch of the Apple online store in 1998, the iTunes Music Store in 2003, and the App Store in 2008; the complete email is available at 9to5Mac.

Apple airs new iPad 2 ad ‘Learn’

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Apple has started to air its latest TV commercial for the iPad 2. Entitled “Learn,”  the 30-second advertisement is similar in tone to the company’s prior iPad 2 commercials, and features a voiceover by Peter Coyote which states, “Are you curious about new ideas? Do you want to learn a new language, or just a new word? Maybe you want to know more about anatomy, or astronomy. You could master something new, or uncover a hidden talent. There’s never been a better time to learn.” The new commercial is available for viewing on Apple’s website.

Apple releases iOS 5 beta 7 to developers

Apple has seeded its seventh beta version of iOS 5 for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch to registered developers. Listed as build 9a5313e, the release is also available as an over-the-air update for devices running the prior beta, and is once again accompanied by matching beta versions of the iOS 5 SDK, iTunes 10.5, and Apple TV Software. iOS 5 beta 7 is now available to paid iOS developers from the iOS Dev Center.

Refurbished iPad 2 units now available from Apple

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Apple has started to offer a limited selection of refurbished iPad 2 units on its online store. Currently, the models offered include 32GB Wi-Fi + 3G models on AT&T and Verizon, 64GB Wi-Fi only models, and 64GB Wi-Fi + 3G models on both AT&T and Verizon. Each model is priced at $50 less than retail, making the prices for the three models mentioned above $679, $649, and $779, respectively. It is not clear how much stock Apple has, although it is likely that these more expensive models will be joined by more affordable 16GB and 32GB units in the coming weeks.

Apple created team in 2008 to tackle counterfeiting

Apple organized a team in 2008 to crack down on the spread of knockoff iPods and iPhones in China, according to a new report. Citing a September 2008 memo from the Beijing embassy that was published online by WikiLeaks, CNN reports that despite Apple’s move, progress has been slow, as gadget piracy isn’t a high priority for the Chinese government. The report states that members of Apple’s global security team were recruited from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer after it executed a series of crackdowns on counterfeit Viagra production in Asia, and that former Pfizer security chief—and former FBI agent—John Theriault leads the team. It goes on to say that China’s Guangdong province has become a hub for manufacturing and selling counterfeit Apple products, as Apple manufacturing parter Foxconn operates factories there. According to the report, the Chinese counterfeit ring is also responsible for supplying knockoff goods to India, where officials had discovered shipments that came from China through Hong Kong.

Apple launches iTunes Match beta for developers

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Apple has made a beta version of its new iTunes Match cloud music service available to developers. The service, announced in June, allows users to pay $25 a year for the ability to match songs on their personal library with songs in the iTunes Store library—and upload any songs that can’t be matched—for cloud access from any Mac or iOS device. The service limits the total number of songs at 25,000, and iTunes Store purchases do not count against that total. In the email announcing the beta release, Apple states that beta subscribers will receive an additional three months free with their paid 12 month subscription, and advises users to maintain a local backup of their iTunes library, as well as any music they upload to iCloud. “Apple will periodically reset your iCloud library during the beta and it is critical that you backup your music regularly,” the email states. “Some features and optimizations of iTunes Match will not be available during the beta.” In support of the service, Apple has released iTunes 10.5 beta 6.1, which is now available to registered developers from the iOS Dev Center.

Insanely Great Mac has posted a video walkthrough of the new service showing that it is capable of not only allowing for downloads to iOS devices—which is how the company’s current “iTunes in the Cloud” service works—but also streaming, integrating the customer’s iTunes Match library into the Music application, and letting the user choose between downloading or streaming each song. Apple is expected to officially launch iTunes Match later this fall. [via Mac Rumors]

Update: Apple has posted a notice on the iTunes Match signup page noting that “beta testing has begun with an initial set of developers. Over the next days, we will continue to expand our testing.”

Update x2: Apple has informed AllThingsD that the new iTunes Match service isn’t technically streaming songs, but is instead offering a simultaneous listen and download feature that, on the surface, appears quite similar to streaming.

Apple pulls 99-cent TV show rentals from iTunes

Apple has pulled, at least temporarily, all of its 99-cent TV show rentals from the iTunes Store. The option to rent individual TV episodes from participating networks has disappeared from both the second-generation Apple TV and the iTunes Store on the Mac and PC, and, as noted by AppleInsider, Apple has also removed a support document entitled “iTunes Store: How to rent TV shows” from the web, as well as all mention of 99-cent TV show rentals from the Apple TV product page. Apple earlier this month enabled streaming of previously-purchased TV shows directly from the Apple TV, paving the way for such a move; it is also possible that lack of network support for the rental initiative led to its demise.

Steve Jobs Resigns: The Apple Accessory Industry Reacts

This week’s resignation announcement from Apple CEO Steve Jobs came as a shock to many, despite his widely-publicized medical leave. While many people have registered their opinions on Jobs as a man and as a CEO, we decided to take a fresh approach and ask some prominent members of the iPod, iPhone, iPad, and Mac ecosystems what their feelings were about the end of the Jobs era.

“Steve Jobs is a pioneer whose unsurpassed vision has established Apple as a world-class company, and has truly impacted the way we experience the world we live in.  Due to his extraordinary success millions of jobs have been created, a true blessing for his legacy. The exceptional team that he has built will carry Apple’s success well into the future.” - Ezra S. Ashkenazi, President and CEO, iHome

“While Steve Jobs’ resignation announcement came as a surprise to the industry, we believe his decision was well calculated and in the best interest of the company and its shareholders. In his new position, I expect Steve to remain an integral and inspirational part of Apple and the products it creates. Steve Jobs over the years has redefined Apple and has set the company on a path that is poised for continued success and innovation. We wish Steve the best of health and look forward to many more years of his inspiration.” - Andrew Ackloo, President and CEO, iSkin

“Steve Jobs and Apple have done something that no company has ever been able to do; weave itself into the very fabric of society on a global scale. He has been an inspiration to me and my team. We look at Apple both as a standard in which to be measured from a business prospective as well as a cultural one.  Apple has raised the bar in business both in product innovation as well as social responsibility.  We at Incipio wish Mr. Jobs the best in his new role and welcome Mr.Cook into his new position as CEO. We are eager to continue our focus on Apple accessories.” - Andy Fathollahi, CEO of Incipio

“We are very pleased to hear that Steve Jobs will be continuing on as chairman of the Board and wish his successor the best at continuing to lead an incredible organization that has helped changed the way people live. We’re looking forward with excitement as Apple continues on their path of making technology so easy to use for everyone, the “one more thing” that Apple always has in store.  We look forward to a bright future of working with Apple and will never stop thinking of how we can elegantly make the experience of using one of their products even better.” - Nils Gustafsson and Erich Huang, Co-Founders, Just Mobile

“Steve Jobs’ resignation announcement affects me on several different levels. Personally, there is no person on the planet, other than friends and family, that has affected my life more than Steve Jobs. Professionally, Steve and Apple are not only the ‘target’ of Twelve South’s product efforts, they ‘inspired’ the creation of the company in the first place. Many people can say this, but without Steve Jobs, my life would be radically different than it is right now. For that, I will always be eternally grateful.” - Andrew Green, Founder, Twelve South

We’ll continue to add to this article as additional reactions come in.

Apple working on next-gen video delivery service

Apple is working on a new video delivery service, according to a new report. Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is working on new technology to deliver video to televisions, and has also been discussing whether to try to launch a subscription TV service. While it fails to offer any more specific information, the report as a whole takes a look at the broader challenge facing new Apple CEO Tim Cook as he tries to negotiate deals with new media partners in the video and publishing fields, an area where his predecessor Steve Jobs was highly proficient.

JailbreakMe founder to intern at Apple

Comex, founder of the browser-based jailbreak tool JailbreakMe and major figure in the jailbreak community, has announced that he will soon be starting an internship with Apple. “It’s been really, really fun, but it’s also been a while and I’ve been getting bored,” he wrote in a Twitter update. “So, the week after next I will be starting an internship with Apple.” It’s unclear what type of position the coder might hold with Apple, but given his background, it seems likely that his expertise may be used to discover and plug vulnerabilities in iOS and in mobile Safari in particular. [via 9to5Mac]

Steve Jobs biography to include resignation details

The upcoming biography of Steve Jobs entitled “Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson” will include details of Jobs’ resignation from Apple, according to a new report. Tracey Guest, a spokesperson for the book’s publisher Simon & Schuster, told PCMag that the book will include details of yesterday’s announcement from Jobs’ point of view. The book will be the first such biography to receive Jobs’ approval and cooperation, and author Issacson “speaks to Jobs regularly and is still working on the final chapter of the book,” according to Guest. “Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson” is scheduled for release on November 21.

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