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AT&T doc details iPhone launch

Two new leaked internal AT&T documents have revealed more details about the company’s plans leading up to the iPhone launch. The first document, entitled “Prepare Landlords for iPhone Launch,” discusses how store managers should approach landlords about launch details such as where customer lines should form and whether stanchions (queue dividers) should be used. The document also confirms reports that AT&T stores will close at 4:30 p.m. and reopen at 6:00 p.m. for the launch, and that most stores — except those in enclosed malls — will see their hours extended to at least 10:00 p.m. on June 29.

Verizon CEO: We will benefit from iPhone

Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg has stated that he doesn’t think the company needs to immediately respond to the iPhone. Speaking at the NXTcomm trade show in Chicago, Seidenberg said, “The way we come at this is to let the iPhone hit the market.” He continued, “I don’t think it changes the game plan for how we approach the market. But we need to see the impact. The burden is on (AT&T and Apple) to prove the market will change.” Seinberg also said that he thinks the iPhone may be able to spark new business across the industry. “The iPhone will add excitement and stimulation to the market,” he added. “If we have done our job, then we will be a beneficiary. I hope it does reasonably well.”

Apple adds iPhone sensor, dock, YouTube details to site

In a series of updates to the Apple.com website, Apple has added additional details about several iPhone features, including the device’s YouTube browser, sensors, and Dock. A QuickTour video clip of the YouTube browser shows a decidedly different interface on iPhone from the one released this morning for Apple TV, with the ability to bookmark and e-mail YouTube clips directly from the Now Playing screen. A full Bookmarks screen full of previously saved YouTube clips can be seen, and each video can be selected to view an expanded text description, related videos, and a simple “Share” button. Apple has also added a demonstration of the device’s Accelerometer sensor, which tracks the phone’s rotation from horizontal to vertical display modes, to a previous video of the device’s Proximity sensor, which turns the phone’s touch controls off when it approaches your face.

New shots of the iPhone Dock, previously announced in January, have also materialized in the iPhone Gallery, depicting the unusually shaped charging station’s side and 3/4 front profiles. Selected images from the new iPhone pages can be seen below.

AT&T stores to close at 4:30 ahead of iPhone launch

All company-owned AT&T stores will be closing at 4:30 p.m. June 29, to prepare for the iPhone launch. The stores will then re-open at 6:00 p.m. to begin selling the device, according to a Boy Genius Report article. The report claims that iPhone shipments are expected to arrive within the 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. timeframe that day, keeping unscrupulous employees from selling the device early. The store’s iPhone display is also expected to be setup during the hour and a half break. Finally, the report claims that most AT&T stores will then stay open late, possibly until 12:00 Midnight.

YouTube now on Apple TV, on iPhone at launch [updated]

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Apple has announced that the iPhone will include a built-in, Apple-designed YouTube application when it launches on June 29. The new iPhone application will wirelessly stream YouTube content over Wi-Fi or EDGE networks. In addition, the previously announced YouTube feature for Apple TV is now available as a free update using the unit’s built-in software update feature. YouTube members will be able to log-in to their accounts from Apple TV to view and save their favorite videos. “iPhone delivers the best YouTube mobile experience by far,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Now users can enjoy YouTube wherever they are-on their iPhone, on their Mac or on a widescreen TV in their living room with Apple TV.” Since the YouTube on Apple TV feature was announced, YouTube has been encoding videos in H.264 format. iPhone will be the first mobile device to use YouTube’s H.264-encoded videos — over 10,000 will be available on June 29. YouTube will continue adding more videos each week, until its entire catalog is avaiable in H.264, sometime this fall.

Update: Apple has added a YouTube demo to the iPhone’s “Internet in Your Pocket” QuickTour page.

WWDC notes provide iPhone Safari info

A page of notes from Apple’s Developing Web Sites for iPhone session from WWDC has provided more information (article has since been removed) into the exact capabilities of the handset’s build of the Safari web browser. The notes, published on the University of Washington Emerging Technology blog, confirm that the iPhone will not support Flash or Java at launch. In addition, the notes include lists of features and suggestions for iPhone web development, which we have summarized below.

The iPhone’s build of Safari supports the latest in web standards, including HTML 5. The maximum size of any web page is 10MB, Javascript is limited to 5 seconds of run time, and only eight documents can be loaded at any one time. QuickTime is used for audio and video. Pages do not need special coding to take advantage of iPhone features such as double tap to zoom in, pinching to zoom out, phone number linking, and Google Map linking. If encoding movies for the iPhone, Apple recommends H.264 baseline profile level 3.0, at a resolution of up to 640x480. iPhone media playback requires byte range support from the http server. Finally, links to movies on a web page will take users directly to video full screen playback. [via Mac Rumors]

iPhone Developers Camp coming July 6-8

The iPhone Developers Camp has been announced for the weekend of July 6-8. The non-commercial, all-volunteer event, which hopes to help attendees “develop web-based applications and optimize web sites for the iPhone,” will be held in the Bay Area in California, and will be free to attend. Although the Camp is not affiliated with Apple, the official site states that attendees will be able to create, optimize, and test web applications for the iPhone. A venue for the event has yet to be announced.

Apple reveals iPhone battery testing details

Apple has added details of its iPhone battery testing to the handset’s technical specifications page. Talk Time testing was done connected to a 1900MHz network; both the Talk Time and Standby testing was done with the phone on default settings except that Call Forwarding was turned on, and the WiFi feature “Ask to Join Networks” was turned off. Internet over WiFi testing was “conducted using a closed network and dedicated web and mail server, simulating browsing to 20 popular URLs and checking mail once an hour. All settings were default except: Call Forwarding was turned on; the WiFi feature “Ask to Join Networks” and Auto-Brightness were turned off; WPA2 encryption was enabled.” Internet over EDGE testing used the same setup but utilized a 1900MHz network connection as opposed to a closed WPA2 WiFi network.

Video Playback testing was done by repeated playing of a 2 hour 23 minute film purchased from the iTunes Store (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is 2 hours, 23 minutes long, and has appeared before in Apple promotional material), while the Audio Playback testing playlist consisted of 358 unique tracks, all 128-Kbps AAC, some from iTunes and some ripped from CD using iTunes. During both the Video and Audio playback testing, all settings were default except Call Forwarding was turned on; the WiFi feature “Ask to Join Networks” and Auto-Brightness were turned off. All the tests were conducted between May and June 2007 using preproduction iPhones and software.

AT&T: 40 percent of iPhone inquirers not customers

Speaking at the NXTcomm communications conference in Chicago, new AT&T Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson said that around 40 percent of inquiries to the company about the iPhone have come from people that are not current AT&T wireless customers. The company revealed in March that they had received about 1 million requests for information on the iPhone, which launches at 6:00 p.m. local time, June 29.

Analyst: iPhone testers showing ‘concern’ over keyboard

American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu has released a new report covering several key issues surrounding the iPhone launch. First, Wu states that he is picking up on “some concern from beta testers and supply chain sources” regarding the device’s virtual keyboard. He notes that while the keyboard will likely require a learning curve, he is not overly concerned. He also mentions the lack of a removable battery, and suggests Apple move to a replaceable battery design. Regarding e-mail, he states that “sources indicate that iPhone works with corporate e-mail systems based on Microsoft Exchange, but will not be as robust as the push technology offered by Blackberry.” Finally, he claims that the iPhone’s high price is likely not an issue for early adopters, and has picked up on “lower cost iPhone prototypes for release at unspecified future dates,” therefore he does not believe high pricing will be a long-term issue.

Apple upgrades iPhone battery, adds anti-scratch glass

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Apple has announced that the iPhone will offer up to eight hours of talk time, six hours of internet use, seven hours of video playback, 24 hours of audio playback and 250 hours of standby time using its internal battery. These numbers represent a significant improvement over original estimates. Apple also announced that the entire top surface of the iPhone, including the 3.5-inch screen, has been upgraded from plastic to optical-quality glass for better scratch resistance and visual clarity.

“With 8 hours of talk time, and 24 hours of audio playback, iPhone’s battery life is longer than any other ‘Smartphone’ and even longer than most MP3 players,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We’ve also upgraded iPhone’s entire top surface from plastic to optical-quality glass for superior scratch resistance and clarity. There has never been a phone like iPhone, and we can’t wait to get this truly magical product into the hands of customers starting just 11 days from today.”

Nokia board member: Euro, Asian phones make iPhone ‘look pedestrian’

Speaking on the issue of sideloading, or the process of filling devices such as the iPhone using a computer instead of directly over the internet, Nokia board member Daniel Hesse claimed that the iPhone “will be big in the U.S., but not anywhere else.” “In Europe and Asia there are all those phenomenal phones out there that make the iPhone look pedestrian,” he continued. He did however support the iPhone’s use of sideloading, stating that it “will be absolutely crucial” for transferring multimedia files to mobile devices. “I think no matter how fast the wireless networks get here, the computer is always faster,” he stated. Hesse is also the CEO of Embarq, a company that provides local phone and broadband services in several markets, including Las Vegas and central Florida.

Unofficial iPhone New York ad appears

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An unofficial iPhone commercial based in New York City has debuted on the website iphonenewyorkcity.com. The spot, available in sixty and thirty second versions, shows people of varying ethnicities and dialects talking about iPhone features in their native tounges, with translation provided by subtitles. A casting call for the spot was posted on Craigslist back in April, and called for “people of diverse ethnic backgrounds discussing different functions and attributes of the unreleased phone in their native tongue while participating in everyday activities.” The ad, dubbed “iPhone New York,” was directed by Alec Sutherland and features the song “Young Folks” by Peter Bjorn and John.

iPhone pre-launch demand strong

A survey of 100 AT&T Wireless stores — 57 corporate owned, 43 franchisee owned — has shown strong pre-launch demand for the iPhone. The survey, conducted by The Channel Checkers, also showed that 37 percent of the stores reported “pre-order lists,” while 55 percent reported waiting lists. “We continue to believe that employees are creating pre-order and waiting lists to lock-in iPhone customers and as a result, to lock-in sales commissions for themselves,” claims the report. An earlier internal AT&T document stated there would be no pre-sales of the iPhone.

iPhone to launch 6:00 p.m., ‘local time’

The iPhone will launch June 29, at 6:00 p.m. local time, according to a Mac Rumors report. The report claims that a memo sent by AT&T has confirmed the rolling launch, stating, “The iPhone will go on sale on at AT&T retail stores June 29 at 6 p.m. local time in each market.” During his keynote address at WWDC, Apple CEO Steve Jobs mentioned that the phone would launch at 6:00 p.m., but did not give further clarification. If true, this means that customers in the Eastern Time Zone will be able to purchase the new handset a full three hours before their counterparts on the West Coast.

Supply expert on iPhone: ‘Undoubtedly there will be shortages’

Speaking about the iPhone and its supply chain challenges, Simon Croom, Ph.D., executive director of the Supply Chain Management Institute at the University of San Diego, has said to prepare for shortages. In an email to ZDNet.com writer Russell Shaw, Croom wrote, “Launching any product, especially one so hyped, means that the main task is ensuring sufficient supplies are available across the US market on launch. Undoubtedly there will be shortages, service issues and challenges for call centers set upto support users.” Croom continued, stating “Depending on reliability of the product, there may also be a rapid ramp up in returns and warranty claims. Using a global supply chain will likely cause more of a problem 4 – 8 weeks into the ‘first season’ of the launch.”

Apple, AT&T send out ‘Get Ready’ iPhone email

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Apple and AT&T have sent out a mass email with recommended preparation steps for the iPhone. The subject of the announcement reads “Get Ready. iPhone is coming June 29,” while the body lists suggestions for both PC and Mac users on how to get ready for the iPhone. These tips are broken down by sections, “Contacts,” “Calendar,” “Email,” “Photos,” “Music and Video,” and “iTunes Account.” Each section includes a brief description on how it works on the iPhone, and then an explanation of how customers can prepare. Of particular interest, the “iTunes Account” section reveals that an iTunes account will be required to set up the iPhone. Keep reading to see a summary of Apple’s suggestions.

Developer response to iPhone announcement mixed

Third-party developers are giving mixed responses to the announcement that while they are welcome to create Web 2.0 applications that run on the iPhone, they are currently blocked from creating widgets that run locally on the device. “We’re a little disappointed,” said Daniel Waylonis, a software engineer at Google. “It was not the announcement we were hoping for.” Although web-based applications have been heralded as the future of software, many developers at Apple’s WWDC conference were hoping for a true iPhone SDK. “Using Ajax for the iPhone is [bullcrap],” said French programmer Jacques Foucry. Web programmer Dominique Baillon, a colleague of Foucry, agreed. “I’m quite comfortable with web applications, but I need something that I can run locally (on the iPhone) and that will work when I’m not connected to the internet.”

Mossberg displays iPhone during speech

Walt Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal showed a group of college leaders his review iPhone unit during a speech at The Chronicle‘s Presidents Forum. “I don’t know whether I’ll give it a good review or not,” he said. “I can already see some things I don’t like about it. I see some other things that I do like a lot about it.” Mossberg told the audience that a crucial element would be the iPhone’s touch-screen keyboard, and whether it would prove an adequate replacement for physical keyboards found on traditional smartphones such as the Palm Treo and Blackberry. “They are claiming that through clever software they have figured out a way for this to be actually far more accurate and efficient than you think it will be, and I’m testing that proposition,” he explained. “And I can tell you that in the first hour it works a little better than I thought, but I’m still not sure it works as well as a regular keyboard — and the first hour is not a very fair test, so I’m going to keep going at it.”

“This is the next level or elevation of the cellphone,” he said of the iPhone. “Not because it’s better or necessarily better than your Blackberry … but this runs a real computer operating system.”

iPhone to use third-party Web 2.0 applications

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During his keynote address at WWDC, Apple CEO Steve Jobs revealed that the iPhone will support third-party applications based on Web 2.0 standards. Developers will be able to create apps which look and behave like built-in iPhone applications, and can seamlessly access the handset’s services, include making a phone call, email, and Google Maps. “Developers and users alike are going to be very surprised and pleased at how great these applications look and work on iPhone,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Our innovative approach, using Web 2.0-based standards, lets developers create amazing new applications while keeping the iPhone secure and reliable.” He also stated that the handset will go on sale at 6:00 p.m., June 29.

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