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AT&T: No pre-sales for iPhone

According to a leaked AT&T internal document, there will be no pre-sales of the iPhone. The document, which is a “sales brief” intended to educate employees, lists current and launch plans for the device. The brief clearly states, “Sales for the iPhone will be on a first come, first served basis. No wait list of names will be taken and NO pre-selling is allowed.” The document also says that exact release dates should not be given to customers, and that the prices are to be given as $499 for the 4GB and $599 for the 8GB model, which may indicate that the iPhone will not be subsidized. [via Business 2.0]

Nokia CFO hopes iPhone expands high-end market

Nokia CFO Rick Simonson has expressed hopes that the iPhone could help expand the high-end mobile phone market, according to Reuters. “The consumer ... hasn’t had a lot of choice to go out and purchase these kind of higher-end, feature-rich multimedia devices. If that can help that market grow, I think that gives us an opportunity,” said Simonson at the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit. “It (the N95) is already out there, doing many of the things that people are talking about the iPhone doing. The iPhone is interesting. It’s very much a validation of what we’ve been doing, in terms of saying there is a multimedia device out there that people will pay for.”

Apple considering third-party iPhone apps

Despite initial reports that the iPhone would be a “closed” platform, Apple CEO Steve Jobs revealed that the company is still considering allowing third-party applications to run on the device. During Apple’s annual shareholders meeting yesterday, Jobs said that the company is “wrestling with” the issue, which comes as a surprise given comments made by the Apple chief earlier in the year. “You don’t want your phone to be an open platform,” Jobs said in an interview following the iPhone introduction in January. “You need it to work when you need it to work. Cingular doesn’t want to see their West Coast network go down because some application messed up.”

Motorola ‘ready’ for Apple’s iPhone

Motorola CEO Ed Zander says his company is ready to take on Apple’s iPhone. “How do you deal with that?” Zander was asked at the Software 2007 conference yesterday. “How do they deal with us?” he quipped. “I think it’s going to, in some cases, reinforce what we have been trying to do and are doing with the mobile Internet. Applications such as multimedia and video and photos and music are going to be done on these devices,” Zander said of the iPhone.

The Motorola chief said he is planning to introduce a high-end mobile phone next week in Europe that will compete with the iPhone. “This has unbelievable video capability. It’s a media monster,” he said. Motorola has seen recent financial problems following a dry spell of innovative devices. The company recently reported a first quarter net loss of $181 million, compared to a profit of $686 million in the year ago quarter.

Research In Motion unaffected by iPhone?

A report for TheStreet.com claims that BlackBerry maker Research In Motion could see few, if any, effects from the release of Apple’s iPhone. “RIM’s business could remain unaffected by the upcoming release of Apple’s iPhone, whose features are likely to appeal to a different audience from RIM’s, say analysts,” the report states. “Also, the iPhone’s multimedia features are likely to appeal more to consumers rather than to business users. And that could mean that companies such as Motorola and Nokia, which have a greater stake in the consumer market, will feel the effects more than RIM, whose customers are largely businesses.” RIM recently released the consumer-oriented BlackBerry Curve, which is expected to be sold at AT&T stores alongside the iPhone.

Survey: iPhone ‘set to rock the cell phone industry’

According to a survey taken by ChangeWave Alliance, Apple’s iPhone is primed to have an immense effect on the rest of the cell phone industry. “The findings of our latest ChangeWave cell phone survey invite extremes to describe the startling impact the Apple iPhone is having on the cellular industry. Nearly one-in-10 respondents (9%) say they are likely to buy the new iPhone once it becomes available in June,” writes Paul Carton of ChangeWave. “Thanks to our early adopters of the ChangeWave Alliance we are able to see with stark clarity how the Apple iPhone is set to rock the cell phone industry.” Tobin Smith, founder of ChangeWave Research and editor of ChangeWave Investing, added: “As more and more consumers switch to the iPhone, we are going to see a huge migration from cell phone manufacturers like Motorola to the hipper, cooler iPhone.” [via TUAW]

Internal AT&T email reveals iPhone launch window

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An internal email from AT&T to its employees has been leaked, revealing that company’s launch window for Apple’s iPhone is June 15 through July 15. While the email does not list a concrete launch date for the device, it does warn employees that vacation requests during the launch period will not be approved. “To ensure proper staffing during the product launch period, Sales personnel planning to take approved time off are encouraged to schedule their vacations before June 15 or after July 15 to participate in the iPhone launch.” In addition, the email revealed that the carrier considers the launch to be “the biggest selling period we have seen in a few years.”

New iPhone images surface, features added? [updated]

In an e-mail sent out today by AT&T to potential iPhone customers, additional images of the iPhone emerged, one of which subtly shows off two undemonstrated features in the device’s Google Maps application.

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Buttons labeled “Map,” “Satellite,” and “List” were demonstrated by Apple CEO Steve Jobs during Macworld Expo in January, showing a drawn map, satellite imagery, and a list of locations generated by a top-of-screen search, respectively. These buttons have also been featured in Apple.com’s demonstration of iPhone. By contrast, AT&T’s photo—based on a slide only briefly shown during the demonstration—shows a new icon to the left, which appears to be a set of two arrows. The other new icon appears to the right, and shows the front view of a car. Either of these buttons may be used for a “Traffic” feature or a “Directions” feature, both of which were listed on one of Apple’s slides during iPhone’s debut, but never demonstrated. Accessed through maps.google.com, Traffic lets you monitor traffic conditions on highways in major U.S. cities, while directions provides to and from directions given two set locations.

Other than the replacement of Cingular’s logo with AT&T’s, the images are otherwise apparently unchanged in any significant way from those previously shown. [Note: This story was updated based on reader comments. Thanks!]

Survey tallies iPhone interest, finds only 6% to buy

According to a recent survey taken by Markitecture, 77% of the 1300 people that responded knew about the iPhone, although only 6% said they were likely to purchase the phone in the next year. Cost was cited as the top reason for not purchasing the device, with carrier issues and/or contracts coming in a close second. Other stats tallied by the survey showed that out of the 77% familiar with the iPhone, 41% had a good impression, while out of those very familiar with the product, an overwhelming 83% had either an excellent or very good impression.

Microsoft CEO: No chance iPhone will gain significant market share

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer continued his anti-Apple press campaign in a recent interview published by USA Today. Responding to a question about passionate Apple customers, Ballmer jokes about Windows/Mac market share numbers and goes on to say that there is “no chance” the iPhone will gain traction. Ballmer also said the game isn’t over when it comes to portable media players.

“There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance,” Ballmer said. “It’s a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I’d prefer to have our software in 60% or 70% or 80% of them, than I would to have 2% or 3%, which is what Apple might get.”

“In the case of music, Apple got out early,” Ballmer continued. “They were the first to really recognize that you couldn’t just think about the device and all the pieces separately. Bravo. Credit that to Steve (Jobs) and Apple. They did a nice job. But it’s not like we’re at the end of the line of innovation that’s going to come in the way people listen to music, watch videos, etc. I’ll bet our ads will be less edgy. But my 85-year-old uncle probably will never own an iPod, and I hope we’ll get him to own a Zune.”

Apple to add free iPhone, Apple TV features over time [updated]

During Apple’s second-quarter 2007 financial results conference call, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer disclosed that Apple has adopted a new accounting policy in order to provide ongoing software feature and application updates for both Apple TV and the iPhone.

“We believe the iPhone is a revolutionary device that is years ahead of the competition,” said Oppenheimer. “We plan to build on this incredible foundation by continuing to develop new software features as well as entirely new applications, and incorporate them into the iPhone. And since iPhone customers will likely be our best advocates for the product, we want to get them many of these new additional features and applications at no additional charge as they become available.” Consequently, the company will account for each iPhone’s revenue over a subscription-style 24-month period rather than all at the time of sale. A similar statement was made regarding future Apple TV features.

Updated: In response to an analyst’s inquiry as to why Apple TV would be placed on a subscription accounting model, given that no subscription is required for the device, Apple stated again that it was looking at a number of new features for Apple TV, but did not specify what they would be. The analyst questioned whether this was a prelude to a subscription package for Apple TV content, and was not directly answered.

AT&T to market iPhone to biz customers

AT&T plans to market the iPhone to business users in addition to consumers, according to an InfoWorld article. The publication reports: “Cingular, which acquired AT&T Wireless, recently decided that the iPhone will appeal to business users and the operator is now working hard to ensure that its back-end enterprise billing and support systems will accommodate the device when it ships, said a source familiar with the company’s plans, who spoke on condition of anonymity.”

Unsurprisingly, Microsoft has been on a FUD campaign since the iPhone’s introduction, saying the device will not work for business users. Chris Sorenson, Microsoft’s head of smartphone strategy for the Asia-Pacific region, recently said the iPhone will be irrelevant to those users because of its “closed” operating system and lack of Office support. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer also dismissed the iPhone. “It doesn’t appeal to business customers because it doesn’t have a keyboard which makes it not a very good email machine,” he said in January.

DLO previews iPhone Jam Jacket

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Digital Lifestyle Outfitters, which will soon become a unit of Philips, has released photos of its first case for Apple’s iPhone. Like the new iPod Jam Jacket announced this week, the forthcoming iPhone Jam Jacket is a silicone case with a headphone management system that secures cables and earbuds to the back of the case. No other details were provided. “Along with the Jam Jacket, we’re working on several products for the iPhone which you can expect to see announced shortly,” a DLO representative said. View larger photos below. [via CrunchGear]

Microsoft: iPhone ‘not an option’ for business users

Chris Sorenson, Microsoft’s head of smart-phone strategy for the Asia-Pacific region, recently told press that the iPhone will be irrelevant to business users due to its “closed” operating system and lack of Office support. “It’s a great music phone, and I’m sure it will be fantastic and have an interesting user interface,” said Sorenson. “However, it’s a closed device that you cannot install applications on, and there’s no support for Office documents. If you’re an enterprise and want to roll out a line of business applications, it’s just not an option. Even using it as a heavy messaging device will be a challenge,” the executive added. These comments echo those made by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in January, when he stated “it doesn’t appeal to business customers because it doesn’t have a keyboard which makes it not a very good email machine.”

Study: iPhone buzz significant among Americans

Although Apple’s iPhone is months away, awareness of the device is high among U.S. consumers. According to a recent study conducted by Harris Interactive, 47% of respondents were aware of the iPhone and 17% expressed interest in purchasing it. Harris also broke down when consumers intended to buy the device. “Of those expressing interest to purchase, 9% say they would buy at product launch and another 8% would buy before their current wireless service contract expired,” the research firm said. “About 17% say they would wait for their current wireless contract to expire before purchasing and 25% would purchase it—when their existing wireless carrier offers the iPhone. Finally, a full 40% of buyers intend to wait for the price to come down.”

Sling CEO talks iPhone support

Following a panel discussion at NAB this week, Sling Media CEO Blake Krikorian said he has spoken with Apple about the possibility of streaming to the iPhone, claiming his company “would love to support” the device. “I think the question for them is going to be, how are they going to phase the (iPhone) out?” Krikorian said of Apple. “There’s been some talk about whether it’s going to be a closed device or…open, or whether they’ll phase it (out), so I think it’s going to be up to them to see when (streaming) might be available. But I cannot comment any more than that.” Last week Sling confirmed that it is working on making the SlingBox compatible with the Apple TV.

AT&T: iPhone on target for late June release

Apple’s iPhone is on schedule to be released at the end of June, an AT&T executive said yesterday. “Our expectations are good. Our testing has been good,” said AT&T Chief Operating Officer Randall Stephenson. “The iPhone is on target to launch in June.” Stephenson said he was not sure how many of the devices will be available at launch. “We’re sorting through that right now,” he said. “We got a million people waiting to buy it so we’re hoping we get a million.” Despite recent speculation that the iPhone would be delayed, Apple also said last week the iPhone had “already passed several of its required certification tests and is on schedule to ship in late June as planned.”

More iPhone cases found online

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A list of various iPhone cases has been spotted on the trade site Ali Baba, a site where merchants find manufacturers and vice-versa. The cases, not meant for direct sale to individuals, are available in silicone, leather, and even metal. As mentioned in our recent article “Consequences of iPhone’s early debut,” it is still unknown whether these cases were designed using real iPhone shells, or if these manufacturers are using rough mockups with the intention of finalizing the cases after iPhone’s launch. As of this writing, there are no known US distributors for the cases.

Cisco comments on iPhone ‘interoperability’

Following an agreement earlier this year to share the iPhone brand name, Apple and Cisco are currently exploring ways to make the iPhone work with Cisco’s business and consumer equipment. “We’re optimistic, but it’s still early,” Cisco Chief Development Officer Charlie Giancarlo said. Ways in which the two companies’ products can work together “are now being investigated by both technical teams.” Giancarlo said Cisco wants the iPhone to work with its corporate phone systems, allowing users to get the same services, such as instant messaging and teleconferencing, on their Cisco desk phones and iPhones. In a statement in February, Apple only said that the companies would “explore opportunities for interoperability.”

iPhone cases spotted at electronics fair

imageAlthough Apple’s iPhone isn’t scheduled for release until late June, Chinese accessory manufacturers have already been working on case prototypes, which were shown at the latest HK Electronics & Computer Fair in Hong Kong. Cases shown include what appears to be a hard plastic case, a silicone sleeve, and a leather case, all allowing access to the device’s touchscreen as well as side and home buttons. No release or pricing information for the cases has been released.

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