Monster Cable and Beats Electronics have filed a lawsuit against Fanny Wang Headphones, sister company to Hard Candy Cases and Gumdrop Cases, alleging that Fanny Wang’s recently debuted products infringe on a design patent and trade dress for the Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, and engage in unfair competition. The suit claims Fanny Wang’s headphones are deliberate “knock-offs” of the Monster/Beats Studio and Solo model headphones, and that the similarities between the companies’ respective products, packaging, and promotional materials are “likely to cause confusion” in the marketplace.
Despite striking similarities between the designs, as well as references made by Fanny Wang’s web site to Beats—including a claim that “the Fanny Wang headphones takes (sic) the trend started by ‘Beats by Dr Dre’ to the next level in terms of fashion, sound, and price”—Fanny Wang has called the suit “completely frivolous,” claiming that Monster and Beats Electronics are “using the legal system to put an incredible financial pressure” on the company. Monster and Beats are seeking an injunction against Fanny Wang marketing or selling their headphones, as well as monetary damages, including any profits made from selling the allegedly infringing headphones.
Westone has announced that it will be debuting its new Westone 4 earphones at CES 2011. The Westone 4 are in-ear earphones featuring a four driver balanced armature design with 3-way crossover, making them the first such universal fit earphones from a major manufacturer. Other features include EPIC (Earphone Precision Interconnect Cable) cabling that guards against microphonics and Westone’s True-Fit technology. Westone’s Westone 4 earphones will sell for $449 and are expected to ship early in Q1 2011.
Clamcase has announced that its Keyboard Case for iPad is now available for pre-order. Shown as a computer rendering shortly after the iPad’s introduction, the Clamcase is made from high grade PC-ABS plastic with a soft touch coating, and features a “chiclet” keyboard with 14 function keys, Bluetooth 2.0 connectivity, a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery good for 90 hours of interrupted use, a mini USB charging port with LED charging indicator, open access to all of the iPad’s ports and controls, 3M anti-scratch pads for safe transportation when the case is closed and for secure footing when the keyboard is folded back, allowing the case to act as a multi-angle stand. Clamcase’s Keyboard Case for the iPad is available for pre-order now and will ship in January 2011 for $120; an “online gift card” is also available for $99 that can be used immediately at the company’s online store. [via Engadget]
Chima Designs has introduced its new Crucial Case for the Apple iPad. Made from ballistic nylon, the Crucial Case features an adaptable folio-style design, with a detachable head rest mount for in-car use, a food tray mount for use on an airplane, an integrated, adjustable kickstand, a hand strap for secure handling, interior pockets for cords, headphones, and accessories, and a dual zipper system for port protection when not in use. Chima Designs’ Crucial Case for iPad is available now and sells for $60.
iSkin has rolled out its new Aura case for the Apple iPad. The Aura is a multi-functional folio-style case featuring a brushed metallic nylon exterior and microfiber inner lining, a textured, slim-fit inner iPad jacket with open access to all ports and controls, and buttons to release a fold-out stand for typing; the case can be folded out further for video viewing or passive surfing. The iSkin Aura folio case for iPad is available now in three colors and sells for $120.
Tunewear has debuted its new line of Tunefolio Urban cases for the Apple iPad. The Tunefolio Urban Wide is a nylon notebook-style case featuring an interior iPad holder with open access to all ports and controls, an elastic band to hold the case closed, Velcro on the interior for adjusting the viewing angle when folded to become a stand, an included shoulder strap for carrying, and an included screen protector and cleaning cloth. The Tunefolio Urban Tall offers all the features of the Wide but in a vertical design, a benefit to users who prefer the vertical orientation for reading books or typing documents using a Bluetooth keyboard; like the Wide version, it too comes with a detachable shoulder strap, screen protector, and cleaning cloth. Both of Tunewear’s new Tunefolio Urban cases for the iPad are available now in a variety of colors and sell for $60.
Griffin Technology has introduced its new iTrip Universal FM transmitter and Window Mount for automobiles. The new iTrip Universal features an integrated 3.5mm input cable for compatibility with all iPods, iPhones, and iPads, as well as other portable devices, SmartSound audio enhancement, a built-in screen, two user-programmable presets, and is powered by two AAA batteries. It will sell for $25. The Window Mount is an window/dash mounting solution featuring a case-friendly bracket for holding an iPod, iPhone, or other portable device, a ball joint that allows for 360 degree rotation and swiveling, and two mounting options—a cling base for glass surfaces, or an adhesive mounting base for mounting on dashboards or consoles. The Window Mount will sell for $20; both accessories will be available in the first quarter of 2011.
Cool Invent has rolled out its new Dual iDocker stand for the iPad and iPhone. Made from aircraft-grade aluminum, the Dual iDocker features separate charging cradles for the iPad and iPhone, both of which are mounted on articulated dual ball joints to allow for independent adjustment of each device’s height, orientation, and angle. Other features include a large, stable base, slots for holding pencils, pens, business cards, and sticky notes, soft polyurethane foam cradle lining for protection against scratches, and twin USB cables for connection to a computer or dual-port charger. Cool Invent’s Dual iDocker for the iPad and iPhone is available now and sells for $130.
Apptwee has debuted its new Ri Universal Remote accessory for iOS devices. The Ri is a small white accessory that connects via the headphone port and features an IR blaster on the front. Working in conjunction with the company’s free Ri App for iOS, it allows users to control their home theater equipment and any other device that accepts IR-based remote control signals directly from their device. Apptwee’s Ri Universal Remote for iOS is available now for pre-order and sells for $20.
Fanny Wang Headphones, a new company founded by Hard Candy Cases CEO Tim Hickman, has announced its first offering, a pair of On Ear Headphones. Featuring a Beats by Dr. Dre-inspired design—the company claims the sound engineer behind the acoustics of Monster’s popular headphones also worked on Fanny Wang’s—the new headphones sport 40 mm titanium drivers, a “DuoJack” inline splitter for sharing music, a collapsible tri-fold design with a metal hinge, and a sound signature that is said to include a modest bass boost while remaining appropriate for various genres of music. In addition to the initial On Ear offerings, the company also plans to launch on-ear iPhone and over-ear noise-canceling models in Q1 2011. Fanny Wang’s new On Ear Headphones are available for pre-order now in red, black, or white, and will ship December 27 for $150.
iKit has rolled out its new AutoCon FM transmitter. Sporting a 3.5mm auxiliary input cable, the AutoCon offers compatibility with all iPods, iPhones, and the iPad, as well as other portable devices. It also features a touchscreen display, with rapid auto scan to quickly find open stations, play, pause, volume, and track skip controls, handsfree telephony functionality, and an included USB car charger. The iKit AutoCon FM transmitter is available now and sells for $45.
Stem Innovation has introduced its new TimeCommand audio alarm dock for the iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad. Stem Innovation is a new company focused on creating iOS accessory products, founded by former XtremeMac CEO Gary Bart. “Exciting opportunities now exist for forward-thinking manufacturers to deliver compelling solutions driven by mobile devices,” said Bart. “Stem’s mission is to enable users to connect their mobile products to their personal environment using the power of apps.”
The TimeCommand, its first iOS-focused product, is a circular alarm clock featuring a top-mounted dock, Stem:Sonic iQ digital signal processing for improved sound quality, a battery-backup to ensure alarm operation even when the power has failed, Nap/Snooze/Sleep controls, a unique curved LED display, a novel power supply that allows for the attachment and control of a bedside lamp, and compatibility with the company’s free Stem:Connect app. The app enables additional features such as dimming for incandescent bulbs, Wake-by-Light, which can automatically switch the lamp off when you go to sleep or on when an alarm sounds, a 10-band graphic equalizer, bass enhancer, and Internet radio playback. Stem Innovation’s TimeCommand audio alarm dock is available now from Apple retail stores and is priced at $100.
Shenzhen MacTop Electronics, a Chinese manufacturer, is now offering what it claims is a case for the second-generation iPad. Dubbed the “Crystal Case for iPad 2nd Generation,” the case appears to have different, slimmer contours than the first-generation model, with the speaker opening unusually large on the back, and a hole for a rear-facing camera in the upper left-hand corner, similar to its position on the iPhone and fourth-generation iPod touch. Apple has yet to announce or even acknowledge the existence of a second-generation iPad, although recent rumors have pegged the device’s release as coming within the next 100 days.
Update: Following our initial report, a second case was spotted sporting the same camera hole and expanded speaker-area cutout as the first case; the text accompanying the second image suggests the cutout is for a new SD card slot. The unusual size and shape of the cutout would suggest either the placement of the SD card above the current speaker, realignment of the speaker closer to the new iPad’s back with the card slot in its former place, or potentially a new pop-out door akin to the ports on the first-generation MacBook Air. All three possibilities seem somewhat unlikely in light of recent Apple design decisions.
Update 2: We’ve added an article briefly discussing how a rear iPad camera could work relative to other iOS devices and tablet competitors.
Maclocks has unveiled its new iPad Lock and Security Case solution for the iPad. The solution consists of the Security Case, a clear, hard plastic cover offering open access to all ports and controls, an included screen protector, and a security slot on the side, and the iPad Lock, a strong steel cable with a Noble NG14 lockhead that allows users to secure the iPad to a table, bench, or other stationary object, removing the possibility of theft. Maclocks’ iPad Lock and Security Case for the iPad is available for pre-order now and sells for $65; the Security Case is also available by itself and sells for $40.
iOS 4.2 reduces the maximum power output of the iPad Camera Connection Kit’s USB adapter, essentially breaking compatibility with some cameras and other devices, according to a new report. 9 to 5 Mac claims that Apple has reduced the maximum amount of power that the iPad’s 30-pin connector can emit from 100mA to 20mA, leaving many non self-powered devices, including keyboards, microphones, flash drives, and some cameras unable to connect. According to the report, connecting such a device under iOS 4.2 results in an alert that says “The connected USB device requires too much power.” As noted in the report, it is unknown whether this is a bug or a deliberate change by Apple, nor whether it will be remedied in a future software update.
A Prudukt has introduced its new Kork case for the Apple iPad. Made from recycled and recyclable natural cork, the one-piece Kork offers a snap-on design, open access to all buttons and ports, an angled audio output vent and microphone wall for improved sound quality, a generously-sized 30-pin port cutout for large jacks, and an angled back for a more comfortable grip. A Produkt’s Kork case for the iPad is available now and sells for €50, or roughly $66. [Thanks, Michael]
Drive Industries has teamed with Speck Products on a new line of Hawaii-themed cases for the iPad, iPhone 4, and iPhone 3G/3GS. Based on Speck’s popular Fitted line, the cases feature fabric covered backsides in a wide variety of prints and patterns, hard plastic construction, and open access to all ports, controls, and cameras. Drive Industries’ new Hawaii-themed cases for the iPad, iPhone 4, and iPhone 3G/3GS are available now and sell for $44-$55.
H2O Audio has unveiled its new Flex waterproof, sweatproof headphones. The company claims that Flex is 100% waterproof down to three feet, and feature 9mm drivers, a two-tone design, and three different sizes of included earplugs. H2O Audio’s new Flex waterproof headphones are available now in four colors and sell for $30.
Griffin Technology has debuted its new LightBoard case for the Apple iPad. Designed for use by children, the LightBoard is shatter-resistant polycarbonate case with openings for the speakers and headphone jack, a built-in polycarbonate screen protector, and a clipboard frame for holding pieces of 8.5” x 11” paper on the screen. The case is designed to work with LightBoard Trace app, a free application that offers more than 35 different coloring activities and figures. Griffin’s LightBoard case for the Apple iPad includes a black washable felt-tip marker and is available now and sells for $40.
Griffin Technology, in collaboration with Col. Littleton, has announced its new Griffin + Col. Littleton collection of cases for the iPad and iPhone. The collection includes the No. 21 Portfolio for iPad, the horizontal No. 2 Clutch for iPad, the vertical No. 5 Pocket for iPad, the play-through No. 1 Docker for iPad, the saddle bag-inspired No. 36 Trekker for iPad, the No. 42 Courier Bag with space for both a laptop and an iPad, and the No. 50 Wallet for iPhone, a front pocket wallet with space for an iPhone. All of the new Griffin + Col. Littleton cases are handmade from dry-milled brown American steer hide, edge-stitched for extra reinforcement, and are available now at prices ranging from $80 to $703.