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Report: iPod, iPhone failures due to common part issues

Published today, a report by EETimes traces numerous iPod and iPhone hardware problems to a lack of “attention to the basics” of product design, including “component placement, sealing, USB protection and connector quality, along with batteries and LCDs.” The report spotlights the findings of Rapid Repair, a company specializing in media device repairs, as it has worked through problems with both iPod and iPhone models over the past five years. Amongst the highlights:

* The use of polymer batteries rather than lithium ion and lithium polymer batteries would lead to fewer leakages, while laminated glass is a superior option to both crackable glass and scratchable plastic for covering displays. Fifty percent of the failures Rapid Repair encounters are LCD- or battery-related, with after-market batteries causing more problems than the ones installed initially in the devices.

* Connectors, including headphone jacks and internal sockets for screens and other parts, fail or disconnect over time; internal disconnections can lead to expensive repairs just to reconnect cables. Apple’s contract manufacturers, including Foxconn, may be responsible for choosing the less impressive parts that cause problems.

* According to the company, “many USB power modules fail” in iPods, and units also stop working due to “poorly designed after-market car chargers, liquid intrusion, and hard-drive failures” caused by dropping.

The report recommends the use of superior connectors, recessed displays, and better protection for both the display and storage media, noting that hard drives will continue to remain viable for five years due to improvements in capacity and physical size.

Apple sends out invites for Sept. 9 special event

Apple has begun sending out notices to various members of the media inviting them to a special event on September 9, one week from today. The invitation, entitled “Let’s Rock,” looks like an iPod Now Playing screen, with the album art replaced by one of Apple’s common silhouette iPod dancers, and the track information replaced by the event details. The “Let’s Rock” event will be held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Performing Arts in San Francisco, and is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. iLounge will be on hand at the event to provide coverage.

Apple adds 60 days to MobileMe extension

Apple has sent out an email to MobileMe members announcing a 60-day extension to their subscriptions, which will be added to previously announced 30-day extensions. The email reads: “We have already made many improvements to MobileMe, but we still have many more to make. To recognize our users’ patience, we are giving every MobileMe subscriber as of today a free 60 day extension. This is in addition to the one month extension most subscribers have already received. We are working very hard to make MobileMe a great service we can all be proud of. We know that MobileMe’s launch has not been our finest hour, and we truly appreciate your patience as we turn this around.” The extension applies to all MobileMe subscribers whose account was active as of midnight Pacific Time, August 19.

Columnist: Apple’s silence on flaws is tarnishing image

Apple is widely known for its refusal to talk about future products, notes a recent Washington Post article, but its recent silence in the wake of widespread service problems with existing products such as MobileMe and iPhone may be hurting its relationship with its customers. Technology columnist Rob Pegoraro writes, “Poor communication can sink any gadget, but it’s worse on a Web service such as MobileMe. When these things malfunction, they often do so for reasons beyond our control or even comprehension…. So the companies running these services need to speak up, promptly and with sufficient detail to give users cause for optimism. ‘Trust me’ and ‘We’ll do better’ won’t do—not when users paying $99 a year can see the providers of competing, free services offering far more information to their users.” Pegoraro notes that while Apple’s secrecy on future products is a sound business strategy — one preferable to pre-announcing “vaporware” products that either arrive with significant delay or not at all — the company’s “don’t-look-behind-the-curtain tactics don’t work when customers just want to know that their purchase will work as advertised, or when would-be customers want reassurance that they’re not buying into a failed experiment.”

Works With iPhone doesn’t Work With iPhone 3G?

A recent statement from a third-party iPod and iPhone accessory manufacturer has raised questions regarding the scope and nature of Apple’s Works With iPhone certification, which was until now understood to guarantee that an accessory would be compatible with current and upcoming iPhone hardware. In a press release issued today, however, Altec Lansing announced that its T612 Digital Speaker System for iPhone and iPod has “passed ‘Works with iPhone’ iPhone 3G test requirements for use with Apple’s latest generation iPhone,” noting that the system received certification for the original iPhone in January 2008.

According to Apple, Works With iPhone certification is supposed to be issued only after special radio interference and electrical testing have been conducted by an independent lab, and the company requires developers to purchase and integrate a special Apple authentication chip into their devices. However, readers and iLounge editors have confirmed that the iPhone 3G triggers Apple’s “This accessory is not made to work with iPhone” nag screen when used with at least two previously WWi-certified products, a screen that should not appear when connecting to any WWi accessory. One of these products, the iHome iP99 Alarm Clock Radio, displays the nag screen but otherwise continues to operate as noted in our earlier review, the other, XtremeMac’s InCharge Auto, also displays the screen yet continues to charge the iPhone 3G. Additional WWi accessories we have tested from JBL, Altec Lansing, and Belkin continue to work as they did with the original iPhone.

There have also been a number of products released with the Works With iPhone badge despite deviations from the radio or electrical standards originally understood to be required for certification. It remains unclear what, if any, changes Apple has made to the certification program for the iPhone 3G, or how many previously released WWi products may be incompatible with the iPhone 3G.

Notes from Apple’s Q3 2008 Conference Call

In its third-quarter 2008 Quarterly Results Conference Call, Apple Inc. executives CFO Peter Oppenheimer and COO Tim Cook made several comments concerning its music-related products, which accounted for 33% of the company’s total revenue growth in the third fiscal quarter. iPod sales grew 10 percent in the U.S. during the quarter, and 15 percent internationally. The iTunes Movie Rental service now offers over 2200 films — 450 in HD — and the App Store is up to 25 million downloads and 900 applications, with 20 percent free to download, and 90 percent priced at less than $10.

Both Cook and Oppenheimer repeatedly made reference to a future product transition, expected to take place in the September quarter, which will bring down the company’s average margin to 31.5 percent; the pair also said Apple would be “delivering state-of-the-art new products at prices our competitors can’t match.” It was not revealed whether the product transition in question will be iPod or Mac related. Speaking on iPhone production capability and recent sellouts, Cook said that the company was shipping units as fast as it can, adding that “[w]e are confident enough about the production ramp that we will be launching in about 20 additional countries on August 22,” bringing the total number of countries where the iPhone is available to over 40, a number which Apple has stated will grow to at least 70 by the end of the year.

Apple sells 11.01 million iPods during Q3

Reporting its third quarter financial results today, Apple said it sold 11.011 million iPods during the quarter — a 12 percent increase in units and seven percent revenue growth compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, it sold 717,000 iPhones in the quarter despite limited stock, compared to 270,000 in Q3 2007. The company posted revenue of $7.46 billion and net quarterly profit of $1.07 billion, or $1.19 per diluted share, compared with revenue of $5.41 billion and net quarterly profit of $818 million, or $.92 per diluted share in Q3 2007.

Sales of Other Music Related Products + Services were up 35% over last year’s quarter and down slightly from the second quarter of 2008, to $819 million total. That category includes iTunes Store sales, iPod services, and revenues from Apple and third-party iPod accessories. Following plans it outlined in its Q2 2008 Conference Call, Apple is deferring all iPhone revenue until after the launch date of iPhone Software 2.0, which was released after the quarter’s end.

“We’re proud to report the best June quarter for both revenue and earnings in Apple’s history,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We set a new record for Mac sales, we think we have a real winner with our new iPhone 3G, and we’re busy finishing several more wonderful new products to launch in the coming months.”

“We’re extremely pleased with the growth of our business and the generation of almost $5.4 billion in cash in the first three quarters of fiscal 2008,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “Looking ahead to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008, we expect revenue of about $7.8 billion and earnings per diluted share of about $1.00.”

Motorola sues current Apple exec over non-compete agreement

Motorola has filed suit against a former executive for allegedly violating a no-compete agreement and threatening to reveal its trade secrets by taking a job with Apple as vice president of global iPhone sales. According to the suit, Michael Fenger accepted “millions of dollars in cash, restricted stock units, and stock options” in exchange for agreeing not to join a competitor for two years following his departure from Motorola. The suit also states that Fenger hired away two high-level Motorola employees who have knowledge of the company’s trade secrets and customer relationships. Fenger, who oversaw mobile devices in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa for Motorola, joined Apple less than a month after leaving Motorola, said the lawsuit. Motorola is asking the court to stop Fenger from working for Apple for two years and to bar him from soliciting or hiring Motorola employees or disclosing Motorola’s confidential information, and is also demanding damages and repayment of stock options given to Fenger in exchange for the non-compete agreement.

Justice Department ends Apple options probe

The U.S. Department of Justice has ended its two-year criminal investigation into backdated stock options at Apple, and has decided not to bring charges against the company, or any current or former executives, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Lawyers representing two subjects of the investigation said they had been notified that the criminal inquiry is over. “We were always confident that after a full and fair review of the facts, there could be no other outcome,” said Cris Arguedas, a lawyer for Apple’s former general counsel, Nancy Heinen. Heinen is still involved in a civil case brought against her and former Apple CFO Fred Anderson by the Securities and Exchange Commission over stock options awarded to CEO Steve Jobs. Anderson settled his civil case last year, and paid about $3.5 million in fees without admitting to any wrongdoing.

Segway CTO to become VP of Product Design at Apple

According to a report on the SegwayChat forums, Doug Field, Segway’s Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Design and Engineering, is leaving the company to accept a position as Apple’s Vice President of Product Design. At Segway, Field and his team were wholly responsible for the development of the Segway Personal Transporter as well as all the research and development of future Segway products. Curiously, Apple CEO Steve Jobs was highly critical of the Segway’s early design, which was created largely by Field and his colleague Scott Waters. [via Engadget]

Apple patents outline further multi-touch research

A number of Apple patent applications focusing on multi-touch research have been recently published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Mac Rumors notes that a majority of the applications protect research done by Wayne Westerman, the former cofounder of Fingerworks. One of the applications, titled “Gesture Learning,” outlines methods to teach more advanced multi-finger gestures to users through the use of visible feedback and interactive games that help users learn the movements. Another application titled “Multi-event Input System” describes the use of both a finger and a second, non-capacitive surface, such as a fingernail or other tapping instrument, to control advanced operations such as text selection, copy/paste, and other secondary functionality. This system would rely on a next-generation touchscreen capable of sensing different types of input. Interestingly, several of the illustrations accompanying the second patent show an iPod classic-like scroll wheel-equipped device with a small antenna protruding out the top. As with all Apple patents, these filings do not necessarily represent any future product releases from Apple, but offer evidence of the company’s research in these areas.

Apple, Jobs, execs re-sued for fraud [updated]

Apple, Inc., CEO Steve Jobs, and a number of company executives have been re-accused of fraud in a new lawsuit filed in California last week. Along with former Apple CFO Fred Anderson, former General Counsel Nancy Heinen, and board members William V. Campbell, Millard S. Drexler, Arthur D. Levinson and Jerome P. York, Jobs and Apple are accused of knowingly defrauding shareholders with stock option backdating, a scandal which resulted in federal U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charges against Anderson and Heinen, but no prosecution of Jobs. The civil complaint claims all the named parties were aware of the illegal nature of the backdating, stating: “The defendants knew that options were not granted on the dates that were disclosed to shareholders and falsified the company’s records to create the appearance of illegality, and thus bear direct responsibility for their actions.” [via Macworld UK]

Updated: The new filing, by plaintiffs Martin Vogel and Kenneth Mahoney, is a re-initiation of a previous attempt at a class action lawsuit against Apple, Jobs, and the company’s executives and directors. Vogel’s prior suit, known as Vogel v. Jobs et al., was previously dismissed with prejudice, and awaiting the filing of an amended consolidated class action complaint.

Apple files fraud, trademark suit against iPod Mechanic

Apple has filed a lawsuit against Nicholas Woodhams of iPod Mechanic, claiming he misused Apple’s “iPod” trademark through the name of the business and its accompanying website. Apple claims Woodhams did not have permission to use the trademark and was asked to cease using it in his business’ name in 2006. Woodhams reportedly agreed to stop using the name, and reached an agreement with Apple that would see him drop the iPod Mechanic name by January of 2007, and then park the domain name by that March. Apple claims that neither of these conditions were met, however, the domain name now redirects to, although the iPod Mechanic name is still being used at the new domain.

In addition, the suit accuses Woodhams of knowingly defrauding Apple by convincing it to send him free components. According to the suit, Woodhams took advantage of Apple’s iPod shuffle Advance Replacement Program in 2007, by filling out an online form for customers that saw Apple ship him “replacement” iPod shuffle units, with a credit card kept on file in case the broken shuffle was never returned. Apple claims that Woodhams used a credit card he knew could be authorized for a potential charge, but would immediately decline any actual charges made by Apple should the broken shuffles fail to appear. Woodhams eventually sold the iPods at a heavy discount, according to the suit. The company claims Woodhams’ scheme cost them over $75,000. He is also accused of swapping out the back plates of out-of-warranty iPods for those of still-covered models in an effort to avoid paying repair and parts charges. As all three offenses are being viewed as deliberate, Apple is seeking triple damages in addition to forcing Woodhams to discontinue use of the iPod Mechanic name and website.

Starbucks confirms CD cutbacks, iTunes partnership

Following a report claiming that Starbucks will cut back in-store CD sales and end sales of iTunes Gift Cards and other iTunes-based promotions, Starbucks has confirmed to iLounge that while CD floor space and selection will be reduced, its relationship with Apple will continue. Starbucks spokesman Doug Cavarocchi told iLounge, “By focusing our CD offerings to a hand-selected group of no more than four titles at a time we will be able to build on our trusted curatorial voice and tell a story with each title we recommend to our customers. To that end the CD floor fixture currently deployed in more than 6,500 Starbucks company operated locations in the U.S. and Canada will be removed in September, 2008, and our music CD selections will be concentrated to four positions at point of sale.” Cavarocchi also responded to concerns about the future of Apple-related products in Starbucks stores, saying, “Our partnership with Apple will proceed and we will continue to offer innovative products from iTunes in our Company-operated locations in the U.S.”

New Greenpeace report downgrades Apple

Greenpeace has released its latest Guide to Greener Electronics, which ranks the 18 top manufacturers of personal computers, mobile phones, TV’s and games consoles according to their policies on toxic chemicals and recycling. The report lists Apple in 11th position scoring 4.1 points out of ten, down from 6 points in the last guide. Greenpeace lauded the company for its “millions of iPods [that] now have bromine-free enclosures and printed circuit board laminates,” and its free recycling of iPods and mobile phones, but said it “scores poorly on most e-waste criteria,” and “does only slightly better on energy criteria.” It also praised the company’s iPod and iPhone power adapters, which not only exceed the Energy Star standard, but also already meet California’s stricter efficiency regulations that take effect on July 1. A more complete explanation of Apple’s results and Greenpeace’s methods can be found here (PDF link).

Apple, iPhone named in broad touch patent lawsuit

Apple has been added to a patent infringement lawsuit by Typhoon Touch Technologies, which claims that Apple’s iPhone violated two Typhoon touch-based computing patents. The patents, issued in 1995 and 1997, refer to any touchscreen device capable of collecting information, and are focused on in-field situations such as police stops. Despite this, AppleInsider reports, the patents are so broadly worded that nearly every company manufacturing a touch screen tablet computer or smartphone may have violated some parts of both patents, which are claimed exclusive to a company listed as Nova Mobility. While the complaint originally named only Dell, whose Latitude XT tablet PC was the primary catalyst for the lawsuit, other companies such as Fujitsu, HTC, Lenovo, LG, Nokia, Palm, Panasonic, Samsung, and Toshiba have been added in addition to Apple. Typhoon hopes to be awarded both financial damages and an injunction against the products involved, which would last until the companies agree to pay a “reasonable royalty” every three months.

Apple patent points to plastic touch screens

A newly-published Apple patent application outlines a new process for creating plastic-based touch screen panels that would provide benefits over existing plastic and glass touch screen panel technologies. Originally filed on June 13, 2007, the application for a “PET-based touch pad” describes a touchscreen comprised of two layers of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a plastic that could help the company make thinner and cheaper touch-sensitive displays than their existing glass and plastic counterparts.

Images filed with the application show the panel used in both an iPhone-like mobile telephone and an iPod classic-like digital media player, suggesting that Apple could add the panels to a more traditional iPod, as well as possible future iPhone and iPod touch models. As with all Apple patents, this filing does not necessarily represent any future product releases from Apple, but offers evidence of the company’s research in this area. [via Electronista]

PA Semi to build chips for iPhone, iPod

Speaking in an interview with the New York Times, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has revealed that PA Semi, a chipmaker recently purchased by Apple, will build chips for both the iPhone and iPod. “PA Semi is going to do system-on-chips for iPhones and iPods,” Jobs said. Apple confirmed an agreement to purchase the firm, known for its design of sophisticated, low-power chips, in April. At the time, Apple spokesperson Steve Dowling said, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not comment on our purposes and plans.”

Apple announces MobileMe, offers push email, contacts, calendars

Apple today announced MobileMe, a new internet service that delivers push email, contacts, and calendars to native applications on the iPhone and iPod touch, as well as Macs and PCs. The service, which replace’s Apple’s .Mac service, also provides desktop-like web applications including Mail, Contacts, and Calendar, as well as Gallery for viewing and sharing photos and iDisk for storing and exchanging documents online. MobileMe will be available on July 11, and includes 20GB of storage for $99 per year for individuals and $149 for a Family Pack, which includes one master account with 20GB of storage and four Family Member accounts with 5GB of storage each. A free, 60-day MobileMe trial will be offered as well, and current .Mac members will be automatically upgraded to MobileMe accounts.

“Think of MobileMe as ‘Exchange for the rest of us,’” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Now users who are not part of an enterprise that runs Exchange can get the same push email, push calendars and push contacts that the big guys get.”

Transcript of 2008 WWDC Keynote Address

Below is a complete transcript of Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ keynote address from the 2008 Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. Updates are presented in reverse chronological order.

11:50 AM: Seems like he’s wrapping up the event. Thank you, all done.






11:47 AM: Phone is $199 for 8GB $299 for 16GB. The 16GB one comes in white and black colors, the 8GB version only in black. July 11 release date. In 70 countries worldwide. Tony Fadell and Scott Forstall called out for their hard work, with their teams.



11:38 AM: Standby time is 300 hours. 2G talk time is 10H. 3G talk time is 5 hours versus 3-3.5 on competing products. Browsing - 5-6 hours of high-speed. Video 7 hours. Audio: 24 hours. Surprisingly similar to last version on those latter numbers, but with 3G speeds. GPS. Now added into iPhone 3G. Location data from cell towers, Wi-Fi, and GPS.



11:33 AM: Why do you want 3G? For browser and e-mail attachments. Showing how fast it loads National Geographic page. 21 seconds on 3G, 59 on EDGE. 2.8x faster. Next to wi-fi, 3G approaches Wi-Fi. Faster - 36% than Nokia N95 or Treo 750. For readers’ clarification the phone looks exactly like the glossy casing photos posted to iLounge a while back, and again today. The side profiling has the taper shown in our Backstage article.

11:32 AM: So, as we arrive at iPhone’s first birthday. Today iPhone 3G. It’s beautiful. Black back, silver side. glossy back. Full plastic back. Solid metal buttons. Same screen. Camera headphone jack is now flush - audience cheers. Dramatically improved audio.



11:31 AM: Next challenges: 3G networking. Enterprise support. Third party applications. More countries. They’re being used all over the world from stores in USA. More affordable. 56% say it’s too expensive.

11:29 AM: Jobs back on stage. “I think we finally got it right.” iPhone’s first year - June 29, 2007 was first birthday. Amazing intro. iPhone has had tremendous critical acclaim. Widely believed that this is the phone that has changed phones forever. Users love the iPhone, he notes. 90% customer satisfaction. 98% are browsing. 94% using email, 90% are using text messaging. 80% are using 10 or more features. You can’t even begin to figure out 10 or more features on a normal phone. Six million sold so far before running out weeks ago.

11:27 AM: 60-day free trial to be offered in early July along with new iPhone software. What about .Mac? This is a replacement for .Mac. .Mac users can continue to use services and get upgrades to this whenever they want.

11:25 AM: Demos of calendar synchronization etc. People cheering at seeing stuff getting synced from computer to iPhone. Also, you can travel around, take pictures, send to MobileMe, and pick an album to add photos to. Look back at your gallery on the computer and there it is. $99/year. 20GB of online storage.

11:22 AM: Push e-mails arrive on phone instantly. Standard iPhone stuff. You can create contacts on the iPhone, shoot them back over to the iPhone.

11:19 AM: Basically looks like a next-generation .Mac with drag and drop features that are more like Apple’s desktop applications. Wow, Phil has Daiwa Sushi on his contacts list. Wonder which location he’s referring to. Gallery provides iPhoto-style photo library skimming from events list, reorganization. Sharing galleries very easy. iDisk now has a complete online interface - share files by just right-clicking.

11:15 AM: Works with Mac Mail, iCal, Address Book. On the PC, works with Outlook. Also has an “incredible Web experience” using Ajax and web 2.0 to provide interfaces for this stuff. is the address. Rich e-mail application, photo, calendar, contacts/address book - it looks like a fusion of Apple’s current Mac apps with iPhone. Based upon .Mac services. You can also send photos directly to MobileMe from the iPhone. You can store your favorite documents and content in MobileMe and access it from anywhere.



11:13 AM: MobileMe. Phil Schiller will come up and discuss this.  (Actually mobileme) is the way it is written. Brand new service from Apple - Microsoft Exchange for the rest of us. Not all people have Exchange servers, so this lets you do push email, contacts, and calendars directly to devices. Everything is up to date no matter where you are. It’s stored “up in the cloud” of the Internet, so you can retrieve it from Mac, iPhone, or PC. E-mail is pushed automatically to all devices. Or address book contact changed in iPhone gets pushed back to the other devices. Meetings - same things. Everything is up to date. Works wirelessly over the air, with all iPhone apps.

11:12 AM: If you’re teaching a class on making apps, Ad Hoc distribution will let a professor register up to 100 iPhones, letting apps created by one person run on up to 100 iPhones. So these needn’t go through iTunes/App Stores either.

11:11 AM: Enterprises wanted another way to distribute apps. Today, Enterprises will be given a way to distribute apps - you can authorize iPhones within your own enterprise, and create apps that only runs on those phones. You can distribute via your own Intranet any way you want with any security you want. Sync will take place via iTunes. So no need to push all enterprise apps through iTunes Store. A new way to add apps: Ad Hoc.

11:10 AM: The App Store was going to be in 22 countries. Now it will be in 62 countries. Almost anywhere in the world where there is an iPhone, you can get apps. If app is 10MB or less, you can get via cellular or Wi-Fi or iTunes, if over 10MB, only via Wi-Fi or iTunes.

11:08 AM: Early July release for all iPhone owners. $9.95 for iPod touch. Intimately linked to this is the App Store. Users can wirelessly download apps, plus automatic updates. Devs set price, Apple takes 30%, no fees for hosting or credit cards. FairPlay DRM, and no charge for free apps.

11:04 AM: So now Steve Jobs is back. New Features are next. A few new ones in 2.0. First is Contact Search, so you can now search for a person’s name. Second is full iWork document support to let you view all the docs on iPhone. Completed support of MS Office documents - now PowerPoint on iPhone along with Word and Excel. Bulk delete and move of email messages too, as well as saving images directly to your library from email. Calculator improved to scientific mode. Parental Controls. Also language support for many around world, including Asian languages - two forms of entry for Japanese and Chinese as well with a drawing character feature. Sophisticated character rec. He knocks plastic keys for the keyboard.

11:02 AM: When user quits app, there will be a persistent IP connection right to the phone so that services can push 3 types of notifications - badges (how many messages), custom alert sounds, and custom textual alerts. You can provide buttons to reload the app on the text message. It scales to many third party services, but only uses one persistent connection - one to Apple. A unified push notif service for all developers, preserving battery life and performance, all works over the wi-fi and cellular networks. Available in September but devs will get it next month. End of SDK update.

11:00 AM: Clearly, an incredible SDK. There has been one feature request: developers of IM and eBay clients want notifications even when users aren’t currently running the app. Background processes are allowed on some platforms. Bad for a number of reasons - it drains battery life. Also hurts performance. Shows Samsung giving you a task manger for their apps. People laugh, as like a game it challenges the user to manage all of the memory. This is nuts, he says. Loud cheering. Far better solution: Push Notification Service for all developers.

10:57 AM: Digital Legends Entertainment. Based in Barcelona Spain, started only two weeks ago on a game. Xavier Carrillo Costa to discuss. The game looks and sounds like a medieval version of Ninja Gaiden for Xbox 360. Cinematic effects, full 3-D polygon art. Seems like a mix of Ninja Gaiden and Tomb Raider - Krull is the name? Ready by September of this year, he says.

10:55 AM: MimVista, another medical app. Mark Cain. Medical imaging. Interface is key to making it possible. Now you can look at animated radiological imaging data - slides of a fusion study showing photo data you can scroll through using finger sweeps, showing multiplanar reconstructions of the body, and also switch from various angles. You can zoom into the images and look at how parts of the body change in recorded realtime. You can also do measurements. MIP movie is a 3-D reconstruction for PET images, letting you change colors, contrast, etc. Will be at launch of App Store.



10:51 AM: Modality. Medical community - Forstall notes that 1/3 of Epocrates’ community plans to buy iPhone if any phone. Modality is about creating more physicians - S. Mark Williams to explain. Medical students typically use flash cards and atluses. They are going to use the Netter Collection’s gold standard anatomy photos to help people learn all the regions of the body. You can scan all of the parts of the body with map-style pins that note what you’re seeing. You can do quizzes based on the parts you see. People can learn on the go, instantly. A dozen apps within weeks of App Store launch, more by end of year.



10:48 AM: Official web site of Major League Baseball. Their app for iPhone - Jeremy Schoenherr to talk about it. At Bat has all today’s games, with details on who is currently on base, pitching, and what the line score is. You can’t find anywhere else: video. Realtime video highlights. Clips live during the game, not after it - via WiFi or EDGE. No price - in App Store at launch.

10:46 AM: Cow Music. This is an England-based insurance industry developer who created a different sort of app - it’s Mark Terry. He develops in his spare time. App is called Band, virtual instruments that let you create music on your iPhone from scratch. Two octave piano, with touch keys. Funky drummer is a touch-based drum set. Lets you make beats. The sound quality is surprisingly good - realistic. 12 bar blues simplifies blues guitar and other instruments, like a synthesizer. Finally - bass guitar for backing tracks called Bassist. You can record, overdub, mix together into a song. Band - no pricing announced, in a few weeks time.





10:42 AM: Pangea Software. Long time Mac game developer. Has ported two games - Brian Greenstone to show off the games. Both games have been improved. Enigmo is a physics based puzzle game to drop water into buckets. 15 levels. Entirely touch based with particle animations in the visuals. Better than the original. Cro-Mag Rally is a 3-D caveman racing game. Nine different tracks, 11 cars. iPhone is the steering wheel. The graphics are fine - not exactly 30 frames per second (maybe 15-20) but textures are interesting. Uses polygon art with sprites. $9.99 per game at launch of Store.

10:39 AM: Associated Press. 5,000 news organizations cooperate together. They provide news to over 1/2 of world pop every day. They are creating a native app from their prior web pp. Benjamin Mosse to speak. Will combine sources from thousands of news organizations. They’ve created a mobile news network, with information from locations you set, as well as from current location. There is now a way to display thumbnail style photos from gallery on the iPhone screen via the app, as wel as having access to videos and translucent overlays on top of photos. You can also send in reports from remote locations directly from your iPhone. MNN will be a free download from App Store.

10:36 AM: TypePad. A great mobile blogging application native for the iPhone. Michael Sippey of TypePad on stage. Photoblogging one of the most popular features. TypePad on iPhone is simplified to create post editor, photo taking, or adding a photo. It basically streamlines the e-mailing, camera use, and adding of photos from collection processes direct over to TypePad. You can now add multiple photos to an e-mail to send to TypePad - looks like this is a feature available to standard Mail too. Appears on your blog web site. App will be free at App Store launch.



10:33 AM: Loopt. Core location for social networking. Sam Altman from Loopt will show how you can connect with people on the go - show where people are, what they’re doing, and what’s available nearby. You can look at what people have entered in as their entries, click on photos they’ve taken, and use calling, text messaging, or pinging to contact them - you can also leave a comment. Loopt will be free at launch of App Store.

10:31 AM: eBay on stage, building native app - Ken Sun from eBay. Auctions on the iPhone - #1 mobile device being used on eBay. 5 weeks ago they started development. Now you can see whatever’s on the site - they are showing Wii Fit auctions. You can watch items, look for more details on a given item, and bid from the iPhone. It’s fully integrated with eBay’s servers. He looks at Wii Fit, a Canon camera lens, and now a $12.5m home. Photos are easy to see on the iPhone; free on iPhone when App Store launches.

10:30 AM: This game will be available at launch of App Store for $9.99.A slide was just shown accidentally with eBay.

10:27 AM: Developers. Sega is first. Sega blew us away with what they accomplished in 2 weeks with Super Monkey Ball - polish and readying for market is astounding. Ethan Einhorn on stage. Another Sega producer on stage to drive the phone. Other Ocean is named as the developer that made some stages - finished game has 110 stages. Also all four of the classic monkeys. This game, for those not familiar, is based on an old Nintendo GameCube title. 3-D graphics look good for the iPhone - the polygon counts aren’t high but they’re kept the frame right up very high and it looks smooth.

10:26 AM: This has been out for 3 months - thousands of developers are using it. They have been unbelievably positive. A quote from Disney praising the SDK: “a breath of fresh air.” InfoWorld: “I have coded with (other platforms), iPhone just blows them away.” Pogue at NYT praising as well, as a new platform.

10:23 AM: The app runs on the simulator. Now it is running on his iPhone. Demo done at 10:25.

10:21 AM: (Readers: Remember, this is a _developers conference_ and the audience here is largely developers, which should explain why the discussion here is so technical and slow.)

10:19 AM: NearbyFriends application is being coded. It will use Address Book APIs to access Contacts Database on the phone, as well as Core Location - a location-based service. This will show only contacts within 10 miles of current location. He drags code into the Interface Builder and is going to show how to build the interface.

10:18 AM: Xcode used to write code + debug. Interface Builder is to create interface + connect to code. iPhone simulator lets you debug and run apps on Mac. Last tool is Instruments, for measuring and optimizing app for best performance. Demo of the tools. He is going to concentrate on structuring a user interface in Interface Builder.

10:16 AM: The power of a laptop in the size of a smartphone, says one person. Video’s over - all this stuff built right in. Next up is the SDK with Scott Forstall. He’s on stage: we’re opening up the same native APIs and tools we use internally to build apps that ship as part of the iPhone. APIs and frameworks on iPhone share extensively with Mac OS X. Same OS X kernel is used between Mac and iPhone. (For what it’s worth, the image of the iPhone on screen right now looks identical to the current iPhone; they’ve given away nothing on the new model yet.) They’re repeating the same features that were mentioned at the SDK event in March.

10:12 AM: Testimonials about employees of the enterprises using the iPhone. This video isn’t going to be of much interest to consumers, basically just an educational video to help businesses learn what the iPhone can do from relaxed real people rather than a spec sheet.

10:11 AM: 35% of the Fortune 500 is now in the Beta program. Top five commercial banks, 5 securities firms, 6 of 7 top airlines, 8 of top 10 pharma, 8 of top 10 entertainment. Also higher education participation for major universities. Video of enterprise customers. Disney’s SVP is first. Then law firm Sonnenshein, then Genentech, then the guy from the army we saw outside.

10:10 AM: Enterprise, SDK, and new End User features. Enterprise: Microsoft Exchange has push email, push contacts, push calendars, auto discovery of your Exchange servers, global address lookup, and remote wipe. All built into iPhone 2.0. Cisco has built in secure VPN services, and other network security demanded by Enterprise - everything asked for has been built in.

10:09 AM: New software - iPhone 2.0 platform. Dev program started Mar 6, 95 days ago. 250,000 developers have downloaded the SDK. 25,000 applied to the paid developer program.  4,000 people admitted to the program.

10:08 AM: Three parts to Apple now - Mac, Music Businesses (iPod/iTunes), iPhone. This morning - talk about the iPhone. Scott Forstall SVP iPhone Software and Phil Schiller SVP Product Marketing to talk. After lunch, Bertrand Serlet SVP OS X Software for peek of next OSX - Snow Leopard.

10:07 AM: WWDC 2008 - record 5200 attendees. Wish we could have had more - sold out. We can’t find a bigger venue than this. 147 sessions - 85 on Mac, 62 iPhone. 1000 Apple engineers on site. Sessions on iFund and Intel on Friday morning.

10:06 AM: And so it begins. Steve takes the stage. Really glad to be here this morning.

10:03 AM: Despite Apple having billed this as a packed media event, there are plenty of empty chairs in the media section at the moment. From outside the hall, the crowd did not seem as heavy as it was at last Macworld Expo. The standard contingent of international media is here. They’re still playing classic rock - now Jerry Lee Lewis’ Great Balls of Fire.

10:01 AM: Here’s the announcement; turn off all cell phones, iPhones, paging devices, etc. There was a giggle in the crowd.

10:00 AM: The classic rock continues. Two iMacs are on stage - no announcement yet to have people sit down.

9:56AM: Unlike virtually every other Apple event we’ve attended, the music they’re playing before the event is classic rock. Roll Over Beethoven at the moment. Wonder if The Beatles are on tap?

9:52AM: AT&T’s network appears to be straining under the pressure of so many iPhone users on site here. This is the second time this has happened at an Apple event—will AT&T’s 3G network be able to better handle local data demand?

9:47AM: Media and VIPs are now sitting inside the convention hall. There weren’t many crazy sightings outside the hall, as there were with the introduction of the iPhone last year - Steve Jobs’ family was spotted walking into that event. Here, the biggest surprise was a member of the U.S. Army, dressed in fatigues and toting an iPhone - could Apple be planning to tout government-friendly iPhone apps today? You’ll find a photo in our Flickr photostream.

8:05AM: We’re in the door at the Moscone Center in San Francisco for Apple’s 2008 Worldwide Developers Conference. Developers began to line up hours ago for first-come, first-served seating to Steve Jobs’ keynote speech, which will begin at 10:00am. They were let in around 7:30, with media registration starting at a couple of minutes after 8:00. A massive crowd of developers filed into the convention center in a snaking line. TV crews from the United States and Japan were outside the hall, taping and sending live feeds from outside the center.

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