Kevin Rose has more iPhone "info"

Kevin Rose of Diggnation/ and Pownce fame is predicting that the iPhone is getting a front camera for video conferencing.  He also "predicts" that it will go 3G in the coming months – never mind that both Steve Jobs and AT&T’s CEO have also confirmed a 2008 3G iPhone.

Keep in mind, Kevin Rose is 0 fer in iPhone predictions, previously predicting:

  • January 2007 launch on "all" providers, both CDMA and GSM (June 29th launch)
  • Extremely small form factor (not that small)
  • Two battery design (with single charger) — one for playing music, the other for phone functions (not even close)
  • Flash memory: 4GB for $249, 8GB for $449 (nope)
  • "Slide-out keyboard" (wha?)
  • Possibly touchscreen (can’t always be wrong?)

Needless to say, we wouldn’t bet the farm on this…sorry.


Adobe clarifies Flash for iPhone claim

 Adobe has issued a statement to clarify claims the company is working to deliver Flash support for the iPhone.

Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen confirmed his company to be working to deliver Flash support on the iPhone during Adobe’s Q1 financial conference call last night. This afternoon (US time), Adobe issued a statement of clarification – and it appears Apple will have to become involved in order to bring Flash support to the device.

"However, to bring the full capabilities of Flash to the iPhone Web-browsing experience, we do need to work with Apple beyond and above what is available through the SDK and the current license around it," the company said. 

"We think Flash availability on the iPhone benefits Apple and Adobe’s millions of joint customers, so we want to work with Apple to bring these capabilities to the device." (As reported by Information Week).

Looks like the jury’s out on this one.

Adobe developing Flash for iPhone

Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen has confirmed his company is now working with Apple with a view to offering Flash support on the iPhone.

The move follows Apple’s release of the iPhone Software Development Kit (SDK). Narayen, who was speaking during the company’s conference call with Adobe investors last night, confirmed the company plans to create Flash player for the iPhone as an application which will be distributed through the App Store to iPhone users.

This indicates some change in the relationship between Apple and Adobe. Apple CEO Steve Jobs this months said the current iteration of Flash Player for mobile devices lacked the horsepower iPhone users need. He characterised the full Flash Player application as posing too high demands on the hardware, and described a “middle product,..that doesn’t yet exist.”

YouTube and the BBC are the only online video providers to format their videos especially for the iPhone.


8Gb iPhone for $249 – Price cuts, yada yada

Remember those iPod and iPhone price cuts we talked about last month?  We still think they are coming.  The latest sign?  Not this – well maybe.  But most obvious is AT&T’s huge price drop on refirbished 8Gb iPhones.  Usually, Apple offers refirbs for $50-$100 less than retail.  $150 seems way too much of a cut for us.  Also, hypothetically, if Apple did drop the retail prices by $100 next week or the week after – the $249 8Gb iPhone still seems like a good deal.  Right?

For $249, we are seriously thinking about getting a backup!

Unlimited iTunes subscription coming?

The Financial Times is reporting that Apple is in negotiations with the big record companies to offer an unlimited subscription model.   The deal would give customers access to the entire iTunes music Library in exchang efor a premium price put on Apple devices (iPod, iPhone, etc).

Nokia currently has this model and offers the music companies $80 per handset for the priveledge – to be split up based on the downloading habits of its users.  Apple, on the otherhand, is only offering $20/device.

According to FT:

One executive said the research had shown that consumers would pay a premium of up to $100 for unlimited access to music for the lifetime of the device, or a monthly fee of $7-$8 for a subscription model.

Apple, which is thought to make relatively little money from the iTunes store compared with its hardware sales, is also understood to be examining a subscription model.

Subscriptions would work only for its iPhone devices, where it has a monthly billing relationship with customers through the mobile phone operators offering the device, while the “comes with music” model would work with iPhones and with iPods.

The subscription models under discussion in the music industry include the provision for customers to keep up to 40 or 50 tracks a year, which they would retain even if they changed their device or their subscription lapses.
Other music groups are understood to be in talks with Nokia, which is keen to sign up as many of the major labels as possible before launching its first “comes with music” devices in the second half of this year.


At $20/device, it doesn’t seem likely that the record companies will bite – but there might be a sweet spot – perhaps based on storage space that both parties can agree on.  Also, Apple could offer the deal as an "option" for some customers only.  Apple is thought to make little on the sales of iTunes music and Amazon, lately, is offering music from all four big lables in DRM-free format at a cheaper price than Apple – who offers DRM free music only from EMI

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Steve Jobs' sculpted form

Fortune magazine commissioned artist Karen Caldicott to create a Steve Jobs sculpture for the publication.

The creation features Jobs in tell-tale garb, replete with trimmed white beard, glasses, and (naturally) an iPod, though Apple’s CEO is seen here to be holding an older, second generation iPod nano.

The news first appeared on collaborative illustrators and artists weblog, Drawn!, which offers regular information and links submitted by its creative members.

More recenly, Caldicott created a sculpture of disgraced US politician, Eliot Spitzer.

It’s not known if Fortune presented the sculpture to Jobs in recognition of Apple becoming the most admired company in America.

Apple keeps promise, angers many

An outcry of criticism rocked Cupertino yesterday as optimistic iPhone application developers complained the company had done exactly what it said it would – rejecting thousands from its new iPhone Developer Program.

Reports claim thousands of developers both small and large have applied to join the scheme, but the vast majority have been rejected, generating this hail of criticism.

The reports ignore Apple’s earlier promise that it would accept only a limited number of developers for its iPhone Developer Program at this point.

"During the beta iPhone SDK program, a limited number of developers will be accepted into Apple’s new iPhone Developer Program and offered the ability to get code onto iPhones for testing," the company said in a March 6 press release.

Developers want to be able to test in-development software on an iPhone so they can be ready to ship these solutions when Apple opens the doors to third party applications in June.

Membership of the iPhone Developer Program costs from $99 per year and is required in order to test applications on an iPhone.

Despite the frustration, Apple’s rejection letter isn’t final. It reads: "The iPhone Developer Program is available to a limited number of developers and we plan to expand during the beta period. We will contact you again regarding your enrollment status at the appropriate time."

With in excess of 100,000 developers already downloading the iPhone SDK, Apple may be facing some technical hurdles as it tries to launch the scheme. While the effect of the delay may deter some from pouring huge resources into application building now, currently rejected developers may be invited to sign up in the months ahead, as Apple tweaks its scheme.

iPod as seen from space

OK, we know astronauts like to take their iPods with them – the European Space Agency even launched an iPod playlist competition last year – but this picture’s interesting in a different way.

You see, what we have here is a picture of an iPod on the flight deck of the Space Shuttle Endeavour as photographed by the crew on board the International Space Station. To the left of the picture you can clearly see that tell-tale white iPod sitting on the flight deck. It’s the first time an iPod’s been photographed inside one space vehicle by someone in another.

On a tenuously related note, check out the internet clamor greeting the sale of the most expensive iPod shuffle ever seen. Auctioned by Norwegian jeweller Thomas Heyerdahl in a charity auction (to raise cash for the Soil Association), the £20,000 music player and earplugs are made of 18-carat white and pink gold and encrusted with 430 diamonds.

War report: iPhone + iTunes v. Blackberry + Puretracks

Remember we pointed out RIM’s need to make moves to combat the threat of iPhone? Now the company has hitched up with Puretracks to offer a music service to Blackberry users. The new deal means the Blackberry now offers some of the entertainment-friendly features of the iPhone, but the move may be too little, too late.

Sure, a move to offer Puretracks support is nice, and yes, it does mean RIM is actively preparing its flood defenses to stem the imminent iPhone wave on its business in the enterprise market, but Puretracks lacks the hype, catalogue and accustomed user base of the Apple service. In essence this is just another move by the majors to reduce Apple’s grip on online music distribution. Ensuring healthy competition in the digital music market makes sense in some ways, but we all know the majors want to foster such competition solely in order that they can force higher prices on online music sales. That’s what all the major label disputes with Apple seem to come down to, at any rate.

Puretracks is partnered with all the major labels, but the Canadian-based service hasn’t announced track pricing yet, is available only in the US, and The music store will be available on the BlackBerry Pearl, the BlackBerry Curve and the 8800 series, which already have music players inside. The service launches on April 1 (no joke), hopes to reach other markets in future, and the partners hope in future to offer support for WiFi capable handsets. One thing is immediately clear. Apple has a fight on its hands as it tries to seize a chunk of the enterprise market with iPhone.