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Liv Games releases Legendary Wars

Liv Games has released Legendary Wars, a new hybrid fantasy game for the iPhone and iPod touch. A blend of traditional real-time strategy, RPG and castle defense play, Legendary Wars takes the player through five mystical and tumultuous zones of Lengendaria as they set out to unravel the secrets surrounding the mysterious Sunstones. The game provides a varied set of arcade mini-games, three unlockable game modes and an immersive storyline set in a vibrant, lighthearted fantasy world. An assortment of playable characters range from Elven Archers to Magical Unicorns and each unit has upgradable stats and unique combat abilities that players use against hordes or Netherworld creates and bosses to lead their army to victory. Players can choose from a variety of gameplay styles such as castle defense, castle siege, ambush and free build and must mine resources and recruit units to send into battle, direct units to perform special attack or defensive moves and collect gems in battle to fority defenses, improve resource production and upgrade units. Legendary Wars requires iOS 3.1.3 or later and is available from the App Store for $3.

AT&T to push Android once iPhone exclusive ends

Speaking on a conference call discussing the company’s fourth quarter financial results, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said the company will put its focus on Android now that it has lost iPhone exclusivity in the U.S., according to the Associated Press. “We’re going to be a heavy participant in the Android market this year, so you’re going to see a significant shift in [the] mix” of phones sold by AT&T, said Stephenson, adding that the company plans to “very aggressively” market its stable of Android phones. Interestingly, Verizon Wireless used as similar strategy against AT&T prior to its announcement that it will be carrying the iPhone, which it launches on February 10.

Movie Stiller provides iPhone video stablization

Creaceed has released a new app to assist users with reducing camera shake when shooting videos on the iPhone and iPod touch. Movie Stiller allows users to import videos of up to 10 minutes in length from the device’s photo library and apply stabilization to compensate for horizontal, vertical and rotational motions of the device during recording. Users can choose the stabilization strength and optionally upscale the video to remove borders. The resulting stabilized video can then be exported back to the device’s library. The application performs all video processing directly on the device itself so no Internet connection is required and supports the Retina Display on the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch. Movie Stiller is compatible with the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and fourth-generation iPod touch running iOS 4.2 or later and is available from the App Store for $3.

AT&T activates 4.1 million iPhones, 442,000 tablets in Q4

Reporting its fourth quarter financial results, AT&T has revealed that it activated 4.1 million iPhones during the quarter. Notably, this was AT&T’s final full quarter as exclusive wireless carrier for the iPhone in the United States; its 4.1 million iPhone activations helped it towards a record net gain of 2.8 million wireless subscribers. In addition, the company announced that added 442,000 iPad and Android-based tablets to its network, with more than 90 percent of those being booked to the prepaid category. Notably, the iPad 3G receives data service from AT&T on a prepaid basis, suggesting that a large number of the tablet additions were for iPad.

Verizon iPhone 4 pre-orders: February 3, 3 a.m. ET

Verizon has sent out information to its corporate customers with more specifics about its iPhone pre-orders and launch. According to an e-mail received by Mac Rumors, Verizon will begin accepting pre-orders from existing customers at 3:00 a.m. Eastern Time on February 3. The e-mail states that customers will need to have their My Verizon self-serve account set-up online prior to the opening of the pre-order window, as orders can only be placed through a My Verizon account. Existing customers will be able to order upgrades and new lines, although the e-mail also notes that the pre-sale inventory is limited, so customers who miss out will need to wait until the official launch on February 10. Finally, the report states that Verizon is allowing some existing AT&T customers to trade-in their iPhones for credit when buying a new Verizon iPhone 4, at a rate of $60 for a 16GB original iPhone, $105 for a 16GB iPhone 3G, $160 for a 32GB iPhone 3GS, $280 for a 16GB iPhone 4, and $360 for a 32GB iPhone 4. Verizon will be shipping its iPhones two-day FedEx, with next day air as an option.

AT&T letting longtime iPhone users return to unlimited plan?

AT&T is letting some longtime iPhone users sign back up for its $30 unlimited data plan after having switched to one of the newer tiered options, according to an Associated Press report. The report claims that AT&T has allowed iPhone subscribers who have had an unlimited data plan in the past—as in, prior to the company’s June 2010 switch to tiered data pricing—to switch back to the plan. It cites Jose Argumedo, of Brentwood, N.Y., as an example; Argumedo and a friend, who are both iPhone 4 users and who owned iPhones prior to the new handsets, were switched back to an unlimited plan after a call to AT&T customer service. AT&T did not confirm the option to return to an unlimited plan, according to the report; Verizon recently announced that it will offer early iPhone purchasers a $30/mo. unlimited data plan, although it did not provide specifics as to how long users will have to sign up.

China Mobile in talks with Apple over next-gen iPhone

China Mobile Chairman Wang Jianzhou has confirmed that his company remains in talks with Apple over an iPhone that will run on its home-grown TD-SCDMA network, according to Reuters. “We hope that when they develop the next-generation models, since Apple can create CDMA, they can also consider developing TD-SCDMA,” Jianzhou told reporters in Davos, Switzerland. “These two years we have been discussing the issue. Right now the situation is moving forward. Apple has made it clear they will support TD-LTE,” the next-generation wireless standard developed by China Mobile. The report notes that China Mobile is the world’s largest carrier, with 584 million subscribers as of December 2009, compared to China Unicom, the current exclusive provider of the iPhone in China, with 167.4 million.

Apple Store reveals Verizon iPhone plan pricing

Following last night’s design changes, Apple’s online store has posted full details of the plans and options available to Verizon iPhone customers. Mac Rumors reports that beyond the two-year contract, new individual customers will need to choose from voice packages that include a $39.99/mo. plan for 450 minutes, $59.99 for 900 minutes, or the Nationwide Unlimited plan for $69.99. Family SharePlans begin at $69.99 for 700 minutes, moving up to $89.99 for 1400 minutes, $99.99 for 2000 minutes, or $119.99 for unlimited. Data pricing is currently locked at $30/mo. for unlimited data, and as previously revealed, the Personal Hotspot feature will include an extra 2GB of data specifically for that feature for an extra $20 a month. Finally, users will be able to choose between 250 text messages for $5, 500 messages for $10, or unlimited texts for $20; family plan customers will have both the $5 and $10 options, as well as a 5000 messages for $20 option, or unlimited for $30.

Using the above figures, this means the minimum monthly cost for an individual iPhone user on Verizon will be $69.99 without text messaging or the Personal Hotspot feature, and $129.99 for a pair of iPhone users sharing a family plan, with the same limitations. Spread over two years, the total individual cost will be $1,879.75, including the cost of a 16GB iPhone 4 but not counting any additional taxes or fees, and assuming that the customer does not use text messaging or the Personal Hotspot feature. For a pair of iPhone users sharing a family plan, the total cost increases to $3,519.74 over two years, again including the cost of two 16GB handsets but not including the cost of any additional fees, taxes, or features.

Update: Apple appears to have removed the relevant pages from its website.

Update x2: As of February 2, Verizon has officially announced its plans, confirming the prior figures from Apple’s website.

Verizon: iPhone Personal Hotspot to run $20 monthly

Verizon has revealed that iPhone owners will need to pay an extra fee in order to use the Personal Sharing feature of their handsets. Speaking with Macworld, Brenda Raney, Verizon Wireless’s Executive Director of Corporate Communications, said the feature will cost users an extra $20 per month on top of required voice and data plans, the same cost that applies to current Verizon smartphone owners. Notably, the feature comes with its own 2GB monthly data pool with overages charged at $20/1GB, unlike AT&T’s $20 tethering charge, which uses the data customers have already paid for. Announced at the Verizon iPhone event earlier this month, the Personal Hotspot feature will allow iPhone users to share their 3G connections over Wi-Fi with up to five devices; Verizon Wireless will launch the iPhone 4 on February 10.

Deutsche Bank: ‘no going back’ to RIM after iPhone trial

Deutsche Bank Equity Research’s Chris Whitmore has said that the company’s recent two-month iPhone pilot was an overwhelming success, according to Finextra. In a note to clients, Whitmore said that pilot involved using iPhones to access corporate email via a secure e-mail application made by Good Technology. Whitmore said using the iPhone “was a fantastic experience as it was easier/faster to access data (touch UI) than on the Blackberry. It was also great to only have to carry one device for personal and corporate email access.” He continued, “after testing corporate email on iPhone for the past few months, there is no going back. We expect a lot of users will feel the same way when iPhones are offered at their workplaces,” adding that he believes his own firm’s trials will “translate into large deployments.” [via 9 to 5 Mac]

Analysts claim near-field NFC transactions coming to iPhone, iPad

Apple plans to include near field communication (NFC) technology in its next versions of the iPhone and iPad in order to support a new mobile payment system, according to a new report. Citing Richard Crone, leader of financial industry adviser Crone Consulting, and Richard Doherty, director of consulting firm Envisioneering Group who claims to have spoken with Apple engineers working on the project, Bloomberg reports that Apple’s system may be able to tap into existing user information, such as credit card numbers, iTunes account balances, and bank data. “It would make a lot of sense for Apple to include NFC functionality in its products,” Crone said. According to Doherty, Apple could launch the mobile payment service as early as mid-2011, and has already created a prototype payment terminal that would allow small businesses to accept payment from NFC-enabled iPhones and iPads. He added that Apple is considering offering heavy subsidies on the terminal, or even giving it away, in order to encourage faster adoption. Apple hired Benjamin Vigier, a veteran of NFC development, as its new product manager for mobile commerce last August.

Report: White iPhone 4 fixed by new Japanese paint

A report from Macotakara suggests that a new Japanese-developed painting material is responsible for fixing the white model’s production woes. Citing an unnamed source, the report claims that the new material allows for the thickness of the painted layer to be specified prior to application, which apparently results in better yields and fewer defective products. A separate report from July 2010 indicated that Lens Technology, a small Chinese company responsible for transforming fine raw glass into the final iPhone glass panel, was the cause of the white iPhone’s delay. According to that report, the company couldn’t find the right combination of paint thickness and opacity to allow for attachment of the digitizer while keeping the panel the correct color of white, a claim which would appear to substantiate this new report. The white iPhone 4 has been spotted on the websites and in inventory systems of several iPhone 4 retailers and carriers, suggesting that Apple will be able to hit its previously-announced Spring 2011 timeframe for the launch of the device.

White iPhone 4 appears on Orange, Three UK sites

Following appearances in the inventory systems of Vodafone Germany and Best Buy, as well as popping up in AT&T’s Online Account Management System, the white version of the iPhone 4 has now appeared on the websites of Three and Orange in the UK. Notably, neither network is offering specifics on when the elusive model might be available; Three says simply that the “White iPhone 4 is currently unavailable for order online or in-store.” In Apple’s most recent delay notice, it said the handset would be available in “Spring 2011;” the listings found in Best Buy’s system suggested a release date of February 27. [via T3]

Verizon confirms $30 unlimited data plan for iPhone (Updated)

Speaking with the Wall Street Journal, Verizon COO Lowell McAdam has confirmed that the company will offer a $30 unlimited data plan for iPhone users. “I’m not going to shoot myself in the foot,” McAdam said, referring to the large number of AT&T iPhone users who were grandfathered in with unlimited data prior to AT&T’s move to a tiered data pricing scheme last year. The report also notes that anticipation of a Verizon iPhone launch appears to have held back sales during Verizon’s fourth quarter; while analysts were generally happy with the subscriber growth, McAdam wasn’t, saying, “It wasn’t what I hoped it would be.” Verizon Wireless will launch the iPhone 4 on February 10.

Update: McAdam has clarified that the iPhone unlimited data plan will be a temporary offer and said that Verizon will move to tiered data pricing for the iPhone in the “not too distant future.”

ITC judge says Apple, RIM clear of Kodak patent

U.S. International Trade Commission Judge Paul Luckern said yesterday that Apple’s iPhone and RIM’s BlackBerry devices do not violate a Kodak patent covering a common image preview feature. BusinessWeek reports that while Luckern’s preliminary findings are a setback for Kodak, they are still subject to review by the six-member commission, which has the power to overturn the ruling and ultimately block imports of iPhone and BlackBerry devices that contain cameras. Kodak first sued Apple and RIM in January 2010, alongside filing the aforementioned ITC complaint, prompting Apple to launch a countersuit and ITC complaint of its own against Kodak, claiming patent infringement.

Google brings Cloud Print service to iOS devices

Google has announced that it has launched a beta version of its Google Cloud Print service for mobile documents and Gmail for mobile. The feature will allow users to print documents from Google Docs, or emails and attachments from Gmail, directly from their browser. The service will require users to connect their printers to Google Cloud Print—something which currently requires a Windows PC—and will be rolling out today and tomorrow for English speaking users in the US. According to Google, the new mobile Cloud Print feature will work on most phones that support HTML5, including devices running iOS 3.0 or later.

KT touts 2 million iPhones sold in South Korea

South Korean iPhone carrier KT has announced that it has sold more than two million of the devices since its November 2009 launch in the country. The Korea Times reports that two million iPhones were activated in South Korea as of January 20, and that 1.03 million were iPhone 4s, while 977,000 were iPhone 3GS units. According to the report, the iPhone 4 has proven to be nearly twice as popular as its predecessor, and KT claims it is now activating roughly 250,000 iPhone 4 units a month. “The achievement is the result of the combination of the iPhone’s outstanding product quality and KT’s networks, subscription plans and services,” said Pyo Hyun-myung, president of KT’s Mobile Business Group. Interestingly, KT says that most iPhone buyers in South Korea are men in their 20s or 30s, and that nearly 70 percent of its iPhone users live in Seoul or its surrounding metropolitan area.

White iPhone 4 listings appear at AT&T

Following appearances in the inventory systems of Vodafone Germany and Best Buy, a pair of listings for the white iPhone 4 have appeared in AT&T’s Online Account Management system. The listings, pointed to by Boy Genius Report, read as “iPhone 4 - 16GB White” and “iPhone 4 - 32GB White” and offer further evidence that the long-awaited variant may be close to launch. The prior listings in Best Buy’s inventory system listed a release date of February 27, however, it is unclear whether this will be the actual release date, as the 27th is a Sunday and Apple typically launches new products on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday in order to generate larger totals of launch weekend sales.

Apple airs new ‘two is better than one’ iPhone spot

Apple has aired its first commercial for the Verizon iPhone 4. Entitled “Two is better than one,” the thirty-second ad features two iPhones—one running on AT&T, one on Verizon—being used for similar tasks in front of a white background. At the end of the spot, the two phones are moved off to their respective sides, leaving the AT&T and Verizon logos behind them, followed by the text “Two is better than one,” and then Apple’s iPhone 4 logotype. As of this writing, Apple has yet to post the commercial to its TV Ad gallery, but the spot is available for viewing on YouTube and in embedded form below.

Verizon posts first iPhone 4 TV commercial

Verizon Wireless has posted to YouTube its first television commercial for the iPhone 4. The commercial, which is devoid of Apple products save for a brief glimpse of a Magic Mouse and Apple keyboard, shows a variety of clocks ticking, some with people watching them count down. As they slowly approach 12:00, a voiceover says, “To our millions of customers who never stopped believing this day would come, thank you.” The commercial ends with Apple’s logo and iPhone 4 type on a white background, followed by the Verizon logo, the “It Begins” slogan, the 2.10.11 launch date, and Verizon’s “Rule the Air” logo. Notably, the spot represents the first such iPhone commercial to air in the U.S. that was seemingly created by the phone’s carrier and not by Apple itself.

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