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Electronic Arts releases Reckless Racing

Electronic Arts has released Reckless Racing, its much-anticipated dirt-road racing game for iOS devices. In Reckless Racing players choose from five detailed tracks and a variety of vehicles and race against other vehicles driven by in-game characters or other players online in a no-rules race. Players can choose from a variety of driving controls as they progress through the races and move up through three difficulty levels. Three different game modes are available allowing players to race against other drivers or simply race to beat the clock and the game also includes integrated leaderboards and online multiplayer chat. Reckless Racing is available from the App Store in two separate versions: Reckless Racing ($3) for the iPhone and iPod touch and Reckless Racing HD ($5) for the iPad.

AT&T announces 5.2 million iPhone activations

AT&T released its third-quarter financial results today reporting that the company has activated 5.2 million iPhones—the most ever in a single quarter. The report goes on to note that this is 62 percent more than the previous quarterly record of 3.2 million which was set in the second quarter of 2010, and that 24 percent of those activations were for customers new to AT&T. This news follows Apple’s Q4 2010 results from earlier this week where the company reported sales of 14.1 million iPhones. It is worth noting however that AT&T’s activation numbers include both new device sales and reactivation of second-hand devices by new customers, and there is therefore no direct relationship between the number of iPhones sold by Apple and the number of devices activated by AT&T. [via Mac Rumors]

Apple releases FaceTime for Mac, 19 million mobile users

During its Back to the Mac special event today, Apple announced the release of FaceTime for the Mac. Currently in Beta, the new standalone application allows Mac users running OS X 10.6.4 or later to FaceTime video chat with iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch users. The software integrates with the Mac’s built-in Address Book, and automatically rotates the image on the Mac end when an iPhone or iPod touch user rotates their device on the other end of a call. Notably, the screen aspect ratios of the iPhone and iPod touch are different than those of some Macs, leading to black bars on certain Mac models when performing full screen FaceTime chats.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs said during the event that there are now over 19 million mobile FaceTime users, meaning that the company has sold at least 19 million iPhone 4 and iPod touch 4G units. In addition to the new software, Apple also announced downloads of over 7 billion apps from the App Store, before announcing a new App Store for Mac which the company plans to launch within 90 days. FaceTime for the Mac Beta is available now as a free download from Apple’s website.

RIM co-CEO Balsillie responds to Jobs’ comments

Following yesterday’s statements by Apple CEO Steve Jobs discussing BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, the fact that Apple’s 14.1 million iPhones sold in the September quarter beat RIM’s 12 million handsets sold during the August quarter, and the shortcomings of seven-inch tablets — including RIM’s upcoming BlackBerry Playbook — RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie has released a statement responding to Jobs, which is reprinted below.

“For those of us who live outside of Apple’s distortion field, we know that 7″ tablets will actually be a big portion of the market and we know that Adobe Flash support actually matters to customers who want a real web experience. We also know that while Apple’s attempt to control the ecosystem and maintain a closed platform may be good for Apple, developers want more options and customers want to fully access the overwhelming majority of web sites that use Flash. We think many customers are getting tired of being told what to think by Apple. And by the way, RIM has achieved record shipments for five consecutive quarters and recently shared guidance of 13.8 – 14.4 million BlackBerry smartphones for the current quarter. Apple’s preference to compare its September-ending quarter with RIM’s August-ending quarter doesn’t tell the whole story because it doesn’t take into account that industry demand in September is typically stronger than summer months, nor does it explain why Apple only shipped 8.4 million devices in its prior quarter and whether Apple’s Q4 results were padded by unfulfilled Q3 customer demand and channel orders. As usual, whether the subject is antennas, Flash or shipments, there is more to the story and sooner or later, even people inside the distortion field will begin to resent being told half a story.”

[via BGR]

Loopt adds Facebook Places integration

Loopt has released an update to its social location application adding integration with Facebook’s new Places feature. Loopt allows iPhone users in the U.S. to automatically update and share their location with friends, see alerts when friends are nearby and view photos and places that friends have recently visited. Version 3.2 adds support for Facebook Places allowing Loopt users to view both their Loopt and Facebook friends on a single integrated map and automatically check-in with Facebook Places when sharing Loopt updates to Facebook. In addition comments on Loopt updates for friends who are using both Loopt and Facebook Places will be simultaneously posted to both services. Any of the user’s Facebook friends who have used Facebook Places are now shown in the Loopt friends list and the user can pull up an integrated check-in history for both Loopt and Facebook Places to see where a friend has been. The latest update also provides the ability to customize the distance at which friend alerts are displayed from between one and ten miles of the user’s current location and delivers an upgraded and simplified registration system allowing users to join using either their e-mail address or phone number. Loopt is available from the U.S. App Store as a free download.

Flashlight+ adds Multi-Control, Dim+Lock features

More Blu Sky has released an update to its popular Flashlight+ LED flashlight application for the iPhone 4. Flashlight+ allows iPhone 4 users to use the built-in LED flash as a flashlight, strobe light or SOS beacon. Version 2.2 adds a new Multi-Control feature which provides the ability to send text and e-mail messages, select music playlists and update Facebook status directly from within the app. Since Apple does not permit applications to leave the LED light enabled when running in the background, the new Multi-Control feature takes advantage of iOS in-app integration and Facebook Connect to allow users to perform a few basic tasks without having to leave the Flashlight application. The new version also adds a new feature that allows users to dim and lock the iPhone screen within the app by double-tapping on it with two fingers while using the LED light. Flashlight+ requires an iPhone 4 and is available from the App Store for $1.

CDMA iPhone in field testing stage?

Apple is currently field testing what is believed to be a new CDMA-compatible iPhone model, according to a new report. Citing an unnamed Apple source, Boy Genius Report states that iPhone model 3,2 recently hit the “AP” testing stage, which is said to be the final stage before retail release, with final hardware and nearly final software. Oddly, however, the same source said the model also contains a SIM card slot. The report suggests that iPhone 3,2 could be a CDMA + GSM/HSPA device, allowing it to work on both Verizon, AT&T, and most other carriers worldwide, or that it could be a CDMA-capable iPhone that houses a SIM card for global roaming. Otherwise, it could simply be a slight redesign of the existing iPhone 4, although this is seen as the least likely option. In addition, the report states that the next-generation iPhone 5 is in the “EVT,” or engineering verification test, phase, which comes prior to the “DVT,” or device verification test, phase, the same phase of testing that last year’s leaked iPhone 4 prototype was undergoing when it was lost.

Notes from Apple’s Q4 2010 Conference Call

During Apple’s Third Quarter 2010 Financial Results Conference Call, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer, Apple COO Tim Cook, and, surprisingly, Apple CEO Steve Jobs made several noteworthy comments concerning the company’s digital media products, including the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. During his opening remarks, Oppenheimer noted that Apple passed 125 million iOS devices—including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch—last month, with over 200,000 registered iOS developers, 65,000 game and entertainment apps, and over 30,000 apps made specifically for iPad. Oppenheimer also noted that iAd launched in July, and that the company is very happy with its results so far.

In regards to the iPod, Oppenheimer said it remains the worldwide MP3 player leader with over 70% market share, and is gaining share in most of tracked countries, while iTunes revenue for the quarter was over $1 billion. Turning to the iPhone, he pointed out that Apple sold over 40 million iPhones in fiscal year 2010, and that the iPhone accounted for more than $8.82 billion in revenue in the fourth-quarter, with an Average Selling Price (ASP) of around $610. iPhone sales grew in Asia, Europe, and Japan during the quarter, with sales more than doubling year-over-year in Japan. He added that the percentage of Fortune 500 companies piloting or deploying the iPhone jumped from 60% to 80% following the launch of the iPhone 4, and said Apple believes it could have sold even more iPhones if it could have kept up with demand.

Apple Q4 2010: 14.1m iPhones, 9m iPods, 4.19m iPads sold

Reporting its fourth-quarter financial results today, Apple said it sold 14.1 million iPhones during the period, representing 91% growth from the year-ago quarter, and up from 8.4 million in the third-quarter. The company also sold 9.05 million iPods during the quarter, an 11% decline year-over-year, and also down slightly from the 9.41 million iPods sold during the third quarter. Apple also sold 4.19 million iPads during the quarter, up from 3.27 million units in the third quarter. The units sales of iPhones, iPods, and iPads bring the cumulative unit sales for the three device categories to 73.7 million, 278.5 million, and 7.46 million, respectively. Overall, the company posted revenue of $20.34 billion and net quarterly profit of $4.31 billion, or $4.64 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter, compared to revenue of $12.21 billion and net quarterly profit of $2.53 billion, or $2.77 per diluted share, in Q4 2009.

“We are blown away to report over $20 billion in revenue and over $4 billion in after-tax earnings—both all-time records for Apple,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “iPhone sales of 14.1 million were up 91 percent year-over-year, handily beating the 12.1 million phones RIM sold in their most recent quarter. We still have a few surprises left for the remainder of this calendar year.”

“We’re thrilled with the performance and strength of our business, generating almost $5.7 billion in cash flow from operations during the quarter,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “Looking ahead to the first fiscal quarter of 2011, we expect revenue of about $23 billion and we expect diluted earnings per share of about $4.80.”

Gameloft releases Star Battalion

Gameloft has released Star Battalion, a new space combat simulation game for the iPhone and iPod touch. In Star Battalion, players take on the role of an ace star pilot leading a resistance movement against the evil Royalists who are spreading fear and terror across the galaxy. Players explore a vast universe undertaking a variety of missions ranging from combat to tactical scenarios and can choose from four different starships with different weapons and abilities designed for different missions and playing styles. Throughout the game players become immersed in a deep storyline with epic conflicts and unexpected twists as the plot unfolds and they fight to liberate the galaxy. iPhone 4 users can take advantage of Retina Display graphics and gyroscope support and the game also provides both online and local cooperative multiplayer support including Game Center integration for teaming up with other players online or comparing scores. Star Battalion is available from the App Store for $7.

TomTom adds Retina Display graphics, Navigate-to-Photo

TomTom has released an update to its GPS navigation application for the iPhone and iPod touch, adding iPhone 4 specific optimizations, updated maps and a new Navigate-to-Photo feature. TomTom 1.5 now provides high resolution graphics and sharper maps for the iPhone 4 Retina Display as well as performance improvements and more accurate positioning on the iPhone 4 even with limited GPS reception. The update also includes a new feature called Navigate-to-Photo allowing users to select a geo-tagged photo from their iOS photo library and automatically navigate to the location where the photo was taken. TomTom is available in a number of different versions by country, and not all versions have yet received the 1.5 update. TomTom U.S. and Canada sells for $60 and TomTom U.S.A. for $50. Both are free updates for users of the corresponding previous version.

White iPhone 4 delay due to mismatched Home buttons?

Apple’s lengthy delay in releasing the white version of the iPhone 4 may be due in part to a Home button manufacturing issue. Pocket-lint reports that while at a press event in New York City, they spotted a fellow using a white iPhone 4; when asked where he got it, the man said he had a friend that “fixed him up” with it. According to the unnamed man, the device hasn’t been released because Apple is having difficulty getting two of its Far East suppliers to match the white used in the Home button to match the white of the front face plate. As Apple is unhappy with it, it’s not happy selling it to the public, either, the report states. Apple originally planned to release the white iPhone 4 alongside its black counterpart in June, then pushed its release to late July before postponing it until later this year.

Infinite SMS returns to the App Store

Infinite Messaging has re-released its Infinite SMS application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Originally released two years ago as a solution for sending free SMS messages via Google Talk, Infinite SMS was removed from the App Store early last year after Google shut down the ability for third-party applications to send SMS messages. With Apple now allowing Google Voice applications on the App Store, Infinite SMS has been updated to allow users to send and receive free text messages using Google Voice instead. Infinite SMS is designed for the iPhone and iPod touch and is available from the U.S. App Store for an introductory price of $1. A free Google Voice account is required to use the app.

RedLaser adds QR code scanning

Occipital has released an update to its RedLaser barcode scanning application for the iPhone and fourth-generation iPod touch adding the ability to scan QR codes as well as several other improvements. RedLaser allows users to scan barcodes with their device’s built-in camera and perform searches via Google Product Search and other search engines. RedLaser 2.9 adds the ability to scan QR codes containing information such as URLs, contacts, calendar events and more and adds eBay and Half.com searches to provide additional results. The new version also adds high-resolution Retina Display support for the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch, improves scanning speed on the iPhone 4 and allows users to activate the iPhone 4 LED light during scanning. RedLaser requires an iPhone or fourth-generation iPod touch running iOS 4.0 or later and is available from the App Store as a free download.

Apple awarded trio of multi-touch patents

Apple has been granted three noteworthy patents relating to the multi-touch technology found in the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. The first patent, entitled “Portable Electronic Device with Multi-Touch Input,” describes a method of input that includes “displaying an object on a display surface of a portable electronic device; detecting multi-touch input associated with the object; determining, based on the multi-touch input, an operation to be performed on the object; and performing the operation on the object,” and also mentions gesture recognition and Web page rendering in a multi-touch environment.

The second patent, “Ellipse fitting for multi-touch surfaces,” covers the tracking of multiple fingers and palm contacts as approach, touch and move across a proximity-sensing, multi-touch surface, and the integration of different types of manual input including typing, direct manipulation, and handwriting. The final patent, “Simultaneous Sensing Arrangement,” discusses multi-touch touch-sensor devices and the methods they use to detect and understand touch placement and movement. [via Patently Apple]

Target to sell iPhone in time for holidays?

Target may become the next U.S. retailer to offer the iPhone in its stores, according to a new report. Citing people familiar with the matter, AppleInsider reports that Target, in partnership with Radio Shack, is currently adding mobile phone centers to roughly 850 of its 1,743 stores ahead of the holiday shopping rush. The report states that Radio Shack, which already offers the iPhone, will provide the tools to allow customers to activate their devices in-store; since it’s unknown when installation of the mobile phone centers will be completed, there is no rollout date for the iPhone in Target stores at this time.

Audiopress delivers an integrated spoken audio digest

Audiopress has released a new iPhone and iPod touch application designed to allow commuters and other users who are frequently on the go to access a range of spoken audio content from within a single application. The Audiopress application aggregates content such as podcasts, radio, and spoken AudioArticles from the Associated Press, and users can also create customized text-to-speech updates for local weather forecasts, personal stock reports, sports scores and traffic reports. The application allows users to create playlists to build their own custom audio news feeds by choosing the order in which they want to listen to different feeds and specifying timing parameters for when and how long they want to listen to each source. Audiopress will automatically update its library over-the-air with the newest content, skipping articles that have already been heard and prioritizing the latest episodes of each show. The application includes a catalog of popular podcasts as well as the ability to import other podcasts directly from iTunes and a radio catalog of hundreds of stations. AudioArticles news content is currently limited to the Associated Press although there are plans to add additional media partners in the future. Audiopress is available from the U.S. App Store as a free download.

Sam’s Club to offer iPhone, iPad

Sam’s Club, the warehouse club owned and operated by Walmart, has announced plans to offer the iPhone and iPad in its membership warehouse stores. The Street reports that the announcement was made during Walmart’s annual meeting this morning; no timeframe was given for when the devices would hit store shelves. Additionally, the company said it was attempting to increase the quality in its consumer electronic categories, and that it will offer non-food in-store demos to help facilitate growth in other categories. The announcement comes at a time when a number of retailers, including Walmart, Target, and Best Buy, have been adding the iPad to their Apple device offerings ahead of the holiday season.

Orange to launch iPhone 4 in Kenya

Orange has announced plans to launch the iPhone 4 in Kenya. Capital Business reports that the handset will be available exclusively at Orange Customer Experience Centres and dealer outlets in both 16GB and 32GB variations, although no pricing or release date has yet been revealed. While announcing the launch, Mickael Ghossein, CEO of Telkom Kenya—the France Telecom-controlled entity that runs the Orange service—made a comment suggesting that the iPhone 4 would be available in both black and white, perhaps signaling the pending arrival of the long-awaited white model. “As you know, the iPhone is not designed to be just a phone. It comes with many entertainment and lifestyle features - with the capacity to store the music you like and movies that you can watch while travelling,” Ghossein said. “The customer will therefore select the iPhone 4 that suits them best based on these capabilities. In terms of colours, you have a choice between black and white, for you to choose the colour that represents your persona.”

Apple to bring CDMA iPhone to India?

Apple is in talks with two Indian carriers to offer the upcoming CDMA variant of the iPhone in the country, according to a new report. Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is in negotiations with Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices, both of which operate networks based on CDMA technology. “Tata has been in talks with them [Apple] for four to five months now,” said one of the people familiar with the negotiations, noting that it is unclear when a launch might take place. The iPhone is currently available in India through the GSM carriers Bharti AirTel and Vodafone; while India currently has roughly 670 million wireless subscribers, only 20% or so use CDMA phones. A report from last week indicated that Apple was planning to start mass production of a CDMA-compliant iPhone, which is expected to launch in the U.S. on Verizon Wireless early next year.

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