Apple signs new iPhone parts supplier, updated

 Apple has signed-up United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC, NYSE) to create chips for the next-generation iPhone.

The move means the end to the sole supplier status enjoyed by former supplier of these particular components, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, according to local reports.

Siliconware Precision Industries Co. will provide packaging and testing of the UMC chips contracted for use in the iPhone, the report adds.

Later reports confirm the company has been asked to produce Infineon Technologies’ 3G baseband chip, which will be used in the new Apple iPhone that supports 3G. UMC stock currently stands at $3.39 on the New York Stock Exchange.



iPhone for India on Vodafone, September

 Apple will release the iPhone in India in September, local reports claim.

The company is partnering with Vodafone India for the launch, which is expected to take place in September. Initial reports claim the 8GB iPhone will be the first model to ship, with a higher-capacity version set to reach the sub-continent in mid-2009. And Vodafone may also pick up the deal as network partner for Australia.

“The carrier deal for India is being worked out with Vodafone,” an Apple source, told the Business Standard, adding: “Vodafone could also become the carrier for the Australian market once iPhone is launched there, though more than one carrier is likely for Australia.”

Vodafone officially denies any such deal, though company insiders have confirmed it, the report claims. Apple is engaged in a slow expansion into the country, with plans to open a second store in Bangalore and a third in Chennai this year. India is a critical market: the Indian mobile subscriber base is set to almost double to 500 million by 2010, the report explains.




O2 this afternoon confirmed its new discounted price tag on the 8GB model iPhone.

The news follows a similar price cut earlier this month by Apple’s Germany iPhone partner, T-Mobile.


As predicted by 9 to 5 Mac in February, when we reported plans to cut prices on the device "perhaps as late as mid-April". O2 has applied a £100 discount on the 8GB model of the iPhone.

In a press release the network announced the 8GB iPhone deal, which can now be purchased for just £169 until 1 June 2008. The offer is available from tomorrow on all O2 iPhone tariffs and will create "additional momentum for what has been O2’s fastest-selling device," the company said. The 16GB iPhone remains priced at £329.

"With the highest customer satisfaction of any device on O2 and unparalleled mobile Web access, the iPhone offers the best mobile experience in the market. Through introducing this special offer, O2 aims to expand the iPhone’s reach, bringing its benefits to an even greater number of customers," the company explained.

O2 also confirmed some interesting statistics regarding its iPhone customers, saying the device has been, "hugely successful in attracting new high value customers to O2 who are also more likely to recommend O2 to their friends and family. 60 per cent of iPhone customers are new to O2 while iPhone customers spend on average 30 per cent more than other Pay Monthly customers."

Signs that the 8GB model will eventually be made obsolete are clear in the small print to the deal, with O2 explaining: "The special offer is subject to stock availability."

The discount comes as reports suggest Apple is moving to introduce a new model of the device, introducing 3G support.

O2 improved its iPhone tariffs in February, increasing the text and minutes included in the £35 per month tariff in an attempt to boost sales of the device.


Nike + for iPod touch, iPhone

 Like thousands of developers worldwide, Nike is retooling its Nike + software for use with the iPhone and the iPod touch, embracing the wireless connectivity of both devices.

While Nike has recently extended its system with the introduction of the Nike + Sportsband, which doesn’t require an iPod, this doesn’t mean its relationship with Apple has changed.

The new iPhone/iPod touch solution will embrace these devices WiFi and (eventual) 3G support to allow users to update training logs "on the fly", meaning training data can be uploaded wirelessly.

The company is also developing a new version of its Nike + Coach software to support Apple’s devices. This software offers new running distances, which users can select in order to be given a training routine designed to help them achieve these distances.

Apple and Nike last month announced they are working with major gym equipment manufacturers including Life Fitness, Precor, Star Trac and Technogym to make their equipment Nike + iPod compatible. Participating gyms will include 24 Hour Fitness and Virgin Active Health Clubs.

In July 2007 Nike revealed that 22 million running miles had been logged on its Nike+ website at that point. Trevor Edwards, Nike’s vice president of global brand and category management, said: "Nike+ started as a simple idea and has quickly become the world’s largest networking place for runners."


Lederhosen grow the iPod habit

 Germany, home of the (2nd -ed) best beers, Jagermeister and fine sausages – and now also home to the world’s first iPod-integrating Lederhosen.

That’s right. The iPod ecosystem just grew that little bit larger with Lodenfrey’s introduction of leather Lederhosen integrating a secret iPod pocket and built-in controls for the music player, situated down the wearer’s left leg.

The new garment was introduced at IFA 2007, alongside a Bavarian hunting jacket that’s also equipped with iPod controls. 



3G iPhone in Australia – last week in June – carrier agnostic? is reporting some startling information on the iPhone in Australia.  Their Source?  Apple resellers who were apparantly told this ahead of schedule (perhaps slightly unlikely).  But anyway here’s their take:

  • Last week of June release
  • More than 1 carrier
  • No contract lock in
  • Current resellers will be able to sell iPhones

The June release isn’t a shocker.  However, they are saying that it will be sold like iPods – from resellers and at the new Apple Stores – with out carrier lock-in.  Since Telstra is the only carrier with EDGE, this either means that they don’t need to lock the iPhone in – because it will only run on Telstra – or that it will be of the 3G variety so it works on all of the networks. 

Was this what Tim Cook meant by saying "Apple isn’t married to the current carrier lock in model"?

MacTalk also expects the release to coincide with the opening of the Sydney and Melbourne Apple Stores. 

This adds to the information about a iPhone programmer job description from Telsta.

Infineon to make 3G iPhone chips, 3G code in iPhone 2 software

Another piece of the 3G iPhone puzzle most likely got revealed today as Zibri of ZiPhone fame found a little bit of code in the newest iPhone SDK.  The code in question references a "SGOLD3" Chipset.  The "old" iPhone uses "SGOLD2".   Other fun stuff in the SGOLD3 chip include SDCard access and support for 5 megapixel cameras.  The processor speed remains the same as its predecessor.

German Infineon would likely work with King of Prussia’s  InterDigital corporation (which has already stated that it licensed 3G software to Apple) on the baseband implementation.

Is the evidence conclusive?  Hardly.  However it could represent yet another piece of evidence that the 3G iPhone is, of course on its way…any…minute…now…

Zibri via Engadget

Bush describes his iPod experience

We don’t usually catch Fox News*…but they got a few extra "innings" with the US leader…and what do we learn? 

Prez Bush knowz iPods.  He says he has the Beatles on that iPod.  BTW, the Beatles aren’t available on iTunes or any other download service.

We forget.  Is it legal to rip CDs and put them on your iPod?

According to the RIAA, Bush is breaking the law:

The industry’s lawyer in the case, Ira Schwartz, argues in a brief filed earlier this month that the MP3 files Howell made on his computer from legally bought CDs are "unauthorized copies" of copyrighted recordings.

"I couldn’t believe it when I read that," says Ray Beckerman, a New York lawyer who represents six clients who have been sued by the RIAA. "The basic principle in the law is that you have to distribute actual physical copies to be guilty of violating copyright. But recently, the industry has been going around saying that even a personal copy on your computer is a violation."

RIAA’s hard-line position seems clear. Its Web site says: "If you make unauthorized copies of copyrighted music recordings, you’re stealing. You’re breaking the law and you could be held legally liable for thousands of dollars in damages."

They’re not kidding. In October, after a trial in Minnesota — the first time the industry has made its case before a federal jury — Jammie Thomas was ordered to pay $220,000 to the big record companies. That’s $9,250 for each of 24 songs she was accused of sharing online.

Whether customers may copy their CDs onto their computers — an act at the very heart of the digital revolution — has a murky legal foundation, the RIAA argues. The industry’s own Web site says that making a personal copy of a CD that you bought legitimately may not be a legal right, but it "won’t usually raise concerns," as long as you don’t give away the music or lend it to anyone.

Of course, that’s exactly what millions of people do every day. In a Los Angeles Times poll, 69 percent of teenagers surveyed said they thought it was legal to copy a CD they own and give it to a friend. The RIAA cites a study that found that more than half of current college students download music and movies illegally.

The Howell case was not the first time the industry has argued that making a personal copy from a legally purchased CD is illegal. At the Thomas trial in Minnesota, Sony BMG’s chief of litigation, Jennifer Pariser, testified that "when an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." Copying a song you bought is "a nice way of saying ‘steals just one copy,’ " she said.

But lawyers for consumers point to a series of court rulings over the last few decades that found no violation of copyright law in the use of VCRs and other devices to time-shift TV programs; that is, to make personal copies for the purpose of making portable a legally obtained recording.

Walt Mossberg loves AppleTV…and 3G iPhone in 2 months!

Walt Mossberg talks about how the US cable companies and DSL providers are screwing the US over with tricks and slow speeds….  (Yah, you know you can get 100Mb Fiber in France for €50/month?)

…AppleTV is nice but currently has limited appeal because of bandwidth….. 

Oh and a little bombshell….Says iPhone will be 3G in 60 days (at about 6:53 in)!  As someone who regularly gets to test Apple products way ahead of the public, he would know!  Update: He now says that is just n ducated guess.  Uh huh.

Go Walt!