AT&T selling iPhones sans plan for $600-$700

Yes, you heard right!  Ma Bell is slanging iPhones without plan obligations in the US for $400 extra without a contract.  The unlocked devices will not allow users to switch SIMs however when they travel overseas which would negate most of the benefit of buying without a contract. 

As it stands, it is hard to see why someone would buy without a plan because you can opt out of your AT&T plan right after signing up for much less money.  This isn’t a prepaid contract either, AT&T is still working on that…

BTW, if you want to see how to get ready for AT&T 3G iPhone goodness check this video if you are a new customer and here if you already roll with AT&T.

The AP goes on to say:

 

Without a contract, users can cancel service without incurring an early termination fee. But both contract and contract-free phones will be "locked" to work only on AT&T’s network, and the monthly service plans available will be the same, said AT&T spokesman Michael Coe. The plans add a $30 monthly charge for data like e-mail and Web surfing on top of a calling plan.

As previously announced, the cheapest monthly calling plan for the iPhone will cost $70 per month, before taxes and fees that can add $10 per month. That plan includes 450 minutes of calls and unlimited e-mail and Web browsing.

AT&T is working on providing a prepaid plan, Coe said. A prepaid option was available to buyers of the first iPhone who failed a credit check.

 

iPhone with slide out keyboard on the way?

Yes! According to the sometimes accurate and always wittily sarcastic (in a British sort of way) Register.co.uk.  They go on to give all of the prerequisite "rampant speculation alerts" but say they have contacts inside mobile operators (ahem O2?  you are now on Jobso’s shitelist) who have seen the device. 

According to their source, the slide out keyboard isn’t perfect but it does work and there are prototypes aimed at the corporate market.  That would indicate that they will be available fairly soon.  El Reg says one year, but that seems kind of a long way off if the carriers are already messing with it.

(Yeah we know that isn’t an iPhone to the right but an iPhone with a slider would most likely look like this.)

 

Product (RED) plans music service to combat AIDS

Bono plans to launch an AIDS-fighting music subscription service under the Product (RED) imprint in the autumn.

The deal is – users pay $5 per month to receive three key digital items – music from a leading artist (U2, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Elton John, Emmylou Harris and Death Cab for Cutie have all signed-up to take part in this initiative), a track from an up and coming act and a surprise piece of content, which could be a song, video, short story or anything else. Subscribers will also receive detailed stories of (RED) cash being spent in Africa.

Don MacKinnon, President of (RED) Content explains: “The world’s best brands created (RED) products that have generated over $110 million. What we are doing now is applying the (RED) model to music. Every week you will receive great music from amazing artists and people living with AIDS in Africa will receive lifesaving antiretroviral medicine.” 

“Don MacKinnon just might be the penicillin the ailing music business needs. He is an innovator by nature and I have no doubt that some of the music software we are working on at (RED) will help change the way music is received, as well as changing the lives of Africans who will die without the AIDS drug that (RED) can help purchase,” said Bono.

More information.

EA games vet makes iPhone play away

 

Veteran Electronics Arts games developer Neil Young has begun a new venture – iPhone game development.

Young, who has work on The Lord of the Rings, Sims 2 and Majestic to his name, has launched his new firm, Ngcomo, which he says will develop games for the iPhone and mobile platforms.

"I’m leaving EA to found a new type of mobile games publisher that is specifically focused on games for the iPhone and beyond — that class of mobile phone, a more open mobile platform that has the type of capability you see in a device like the iPhone," he told Gamasutra.

He confessed to being drawn by the potential of the Apple mobile platforem, saying, "if it wasn’t for the advent of the iPhone and the advent of the App Store and the SDK, I would probably still be at Electronic Arts focusing on making Blueprint as successful as it could possibly be."

Young points out that the performance of the iPhone is pretty close to a PSP, but,  "unlike the PSP, it’s got a touchscreen, accelerometers, a camera, it’s location-aware, it’s got all of your media on it, it’s awake with you, it’s always on, and it’s always connected to the network." 

"So if you think about the types of games and entertainment experiences that you can build on a platform like that, it’s got to get pretty exciting pretty quickly."

"I think it’s incumbent upon anyone who wants to be a successful creator and publisher of games on the iPhone to ask yourself what kind of experiences you can build that take full advantage of what the device has to offer," Young explains.

Similar sounds too from Bioware, where CEO’s Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk told MTV Multiplayer: "We look at every platform that comes along. Obviously, something that’s as big a cultural and technical success as the iPhone is something you really got to take a close look at." 

 

 

 

10.5.4 Leopard update brings fixes, prepares for MobileMe

Apple today released Leopard update version 10.5.4.  Today’s update prepares the OS for the MobileMe Service .  It also fixes a number of bugs including:

General

  • Includes recent Apple security updates.

  • Resolves an issue with saving and reopening Adobe Creative Suite 3 ?les on a remote server.

  • Includes additional RAW image support for several cameras.

  • Addresses an issue that may result in a partially installed X11 application.

  • Improves L2TP VPN client reliability.

AirPort

  • Addresses AirPort reliability issues with 5GHz networks.

  • Addresses AirPort issues that may result in slower performance in Logic Studio or MainStage.

iCal

  • Improves overall iCal reliability for meeting requests, cancellation notices, delegation, and syncing with iPhone.

  • Resolves an issue that prevents deleting an iCal event without notifying the creator.

  • Addresses an issue in which events in all calendars affect availability.  A checkbox now enables information-only calendars to be transparent from free/busy lookups.

  • Resolves a UI issue preventing delegated calendars from showing up as a separate window.

  • Addresses an issue with copying and pasting attendees from one event to another.

  • Resolves an issue in which iCal may not delete events after a speci?ed time interval, even when set to do so in iCal preferences.

  • Addresses an issue in which To Dos cannot be marked private.

Safari

  • Addresses a potential performance issue when loading secure web pages.

  • Resolves issues that may be encountered when accessing secure web pages with client certificates that reside on a smart card.

Spaces and Exposé

  • Addresses an issue in which switching from a space with a Finder window keeps the Finder as the active application instead of the application residing in the destination space.

  • Fixes an issue in which dragging an application from the list of application assignments in Spaces System Preferences does not assign the application to the desired space.

  • Resolves an Exposé issue that may result in only a subset of windows being shown.

 

iCall – switch between VoIP and normal GSM calls on iPhone

 iCall is an intelligent iPhone application that lets users switch between VoIP and normal GSM calls anywhere in North America – effectively using the WiFi at Starbucks to make a call. We’re told this is an official Apple-approved application that’s expected to debut at the App Store soon. 

Features include:

  • Make and receive calls over WiFi
  • Transfer inbound calls from a regular cell call to WiFi instantly and seamlessly – save your expensive minutes
  • Access your same address book
  • Customize your voicemail options
 

 

iPhone turns one today

On this day, one year ago, Apple released arguably the most important product of the decade.  The iPhone has transformed the high end smartphone market and captured the imagination of Apple fans and technology nuts the world over.  With Apple set to release version 2.0 in two weeks in 22 markets (and 70 more to follow), the future is looking very bright for this device.

We remember getting our hands on it for the first time (after a sneak preview or 3) and thinking how this device was was something different that anything before it.  While every smartphone maker in the market is falling all over themselves trying to make their devices similar, few have come close.  There is only one.

Happy Birthday iPhone.

 

More from iPhone Canada…leaked Memo to Rogers employees?

An anonymous poster over at iPhone in Canada.ca posted what is supposed to be the employee Rogers iPhone 3G In-Store Activation Process and Store Setup Requirements for iPhone.  Have a look.  If it is a fake, someone has a lot o time on their hands.

 

***Rogers iPhone 3G In-Store Activation Process Explained***

iPhone In-Store Processes
· Absolute NO’s
o No Promotions/Contests
o No Countdowns
o No Posters out of the store
o No Flyers
o No Radio remotes
o No Mailers
o No Alteration of Store Hours
o No Swag
o No Tshirts with any reference to Apple or Iphone
o No advertising until 13 weeks post launch

· Action Items
1. Shipments for fixtures should start arriving in stores July 8th. Once fixtures are received in store, they can be put together, but Demo Unit cannot go onto fixture until July 11th.

2. Please ensure that the DP’s send their floor plans to their stores to ensure proper set-up of the fixtures when they arrive

3. Store Set-Up Phase 2 – Please ensure all your stores receive the attached set up document as soon as possible. They can download iTunes Client only from the link provided in the document. We need confirmation that this was downloaded by EOD Friday July 4th, 2008.

Key follow ups
1. MShop – (July 11 – 20 Mshop will be suspended for participating locations) more information to be discussed on Director’s call on Monday June 30th.

2. SMB On-sites – No Pre-advertising, no desk drops, no posters (You can show up on that day and sell the product) No pre-promotion

3. Training – ensure store reps have signed up. Sales process training will be included next week.

4. Fast-Track will be unavailable from Sunday June 29th at 12 PM until Tuesday July 1st at 8 PM

5. Product will be available shortly for ordering

Store Setup Requirements for iPhone

This document outlines the initial store setup requirements that you must fulfill in order to effectively sell the iPhone in store. To ensure customers can leave with a fully functional iPhone, it must be first be "unbricked". This process involves using the tether (a USB cable: see below) to connect/sync the iPhone to a unique ‘Activation Only’ version of iTunes via a computer. More information about the unbricking process will be provided in training (found on Fast Track and Sales Central) and you will be informed when the job aid is available.

Glossary:
Bricked: Default state of the iPhone, only emergency calls allowed.
Unbrick: Enabling the phone for services.
Tethering: Connecting an iPhone to a computer running iTunes.
Activation: Customer account setup and CTN provisioning which is completed in-store and is immediate. This is identical to today’s process for other wireless products.

Requirement 1) Download/Install ‘Store only version’ of iTunes

    * In order to unbrick the iPhone in store (which is a requirement of the iPhone Sales Process), you must have iTunes version 7.6.3b4. Installed on your computer. This version has a special ‘Activation Only Mode’ that must be enabled and used in store.
    * The iTunes version that is currently available on the Apple website is version 7.6.2. This version does NOT have the activation only mode and as such please action the following steps to complete the installation of version 7.6.3b4:

1) Download and install 7.6.3b4 from the following link. Do not attempt to use any other version of iTunes as V7.6.3b4 is a specific activation only module designed for in-store use.
https://attache.apple.com/AttacheWeb…QNmUHPjRZRI%3D
2) When you enter the link above you will be asked if you want to ‘open’ or ‘save’ the file. Select ‘Open’. The file is 102mb and may take 5 to 15 minutes to download, depending on your connection speed.
3) Once downloaded you will see a window containing two files. One file is for a Mac and the other is for Windows. Please double-click the Windows.exe file.
4) A small ‘warning’ window will pop-up that advises you to extract all files –Please do so.
5) An ‘Extraction Wizard’ will start. Click ‘Next’.
6) You will be asked where you want the files to be extracted to. The default location (a temporary file) is ok, so select ‘next’. You will then be advised that the extraction has finished. Click ‘Finish’.
7) A new window will appear with the extracted files in (both Mac and Windows). Double click on the Windows.exe file. You may be presented with a Windows security warning. If so, select ‘Run’ as the files are safe. There may be a delay before the next step starts.
8) Pop-up windows and instructions will guide you through the rest of the installation process. You must close MS Outlook (if it’s open) before completing the installation.
9) During the installation process you will be asked if you would like an iTunes shortcut on your desktop – Please do so.
10) You may be asked to restart your computer – Please do so if asked.
11) Once you have restarted you will see an iTunes shortcut on your desktop.
12) The download process is complete – you must now follow the following steps to complete the process.

    * You MUST now enable the ‘Activation only Module’ within iTunes.

13) Create a shortcut on your desktop by right clicking on a blank space on your desktop and selecting ‘new’ and then ‘shortcut’.
14) A ‘Create a shortcut’ wizard window will appear. In the box within the window marked ‘Type the location of the item’, please type or copy and paste the following bolded text in this EXACT format.
15) Please ensure you use the whole of this text with all punctuation/grammar exactly as specified:
"C:\Program Files\iTunes\iTunes.exe" /StoreActivationMode 1

16) Click ‘Next’. You will be asked to enter a name for the shortcut. use:
iTunes Activation Module

17) Click ‘Finish’. You will now see a new iTunes shortcut on your desktop with this name.
18) This shortcut is the Activation Module and should be used to unbrick the iPhone. When you first start this version of iTunes there will be a terms and conditions agreement that you will need to "accept’ in order to proceed.

Note: Unbricking the iPhone should only be completed after activating the iPhone on Sales Central. Full instructions on how and when to activate and unbrick will be provided in a training job aid on fast track and sales central. You will be informed when this Job Aid is available.

Note: As of July 11 2008, an updated version of iTunes (7.7) will be publicly available from http://www.apple.ca. It will have the activation only mode built in (like 7.6.3b4) so you will not need to use unique Weblinks to download it. As it is a publicly available version of iTunes it still needs to be configured for store use. Therefore you MUST ‘enable’ version 7.7 in the same way as you did for version 7.6.3b4 that is detailed above.
1) To update your current version (7.6.3b4) to V7.7 to benefit from software updates; Open iTunes, select ‘help’ and ‘check for updates’ or go to http://www.apple.ca and download iTunes from the ‘downloads’ section. You do not have to uninstall previous versions first.
2) You MUST still enable the activation only mode, using the shortcut creation method above.

Requirement 2) Tethering the iPhone
Ÿ Every iPhone box contains its own tether (USB cables to connect the iPhone to the computer) which is required to complete the unbricking process and for customers to sync their iPhone’s at home.
Ÿ In order to speed up the in store process you will receive 2 tethers for your store as part of your Demo unit docking station shipment.
Ÿ Attach each tether via a USB port (ideally USB 2.0) to separate computers. There is no need to remove the tethers; they can remain connected at all times. If the tether is not long enough, you can extend it with a USB extension lead purchased from many electronics stores
Ÿ The iPhone will need to be connected at the other end of tether for unbrick

ing – only after the activation has been completed in SC (see training module on SC and Fast Track for details).

Requirement 3) Sales Central Training and IDs
Ÿ iPhone should only be activated via Sales Central and through the call centre in an emergency.
Ÿ An iPhone Sales Process job aid will be available on Fast Track and SC. It details all the related sales process discussed in this document and others, including Sales Central.
Ÿ Please ensure all store reps have their own unique and active Sales Central ID and have reviewed the job aid.
Ÿ The iPhone product will be made available through DOAT in due course (you will be advised when this happens) and no other special permissions are required in order to activate the iPhone.

Additional Information:

    * Product training is now available on Fast Track – Please sign up as soon as possible!
    * Mosaic Representatives will be visiting select stores in the lead-up to Launch
    * Launch day plans will soon be available. In the interim please do not modify your store opening hours, speculate on launch plans, contact the media or create any form of waitlists or advertising related to the iPhone.

 

Rogers: Dear Canada, take it or …take it

We know you hate your mobile provider.  No one really likes them.  But with the possible exception of Australia’s disdain for Telstra, we’ve never seen such universal hatred for a carrier as Canadians have for Rogers.  Unfortunately for you Canada, Rogers is the only carrier with EDGE/HSDPA network in your fair country, so until the EVDO/LTE version of the iPhone comes out, you are pretty much bank rolling the Toronto Blue Jays

The Plans they are offering….

Oh, in case you think the Canadians are cry babies, from the graphic below you can see that yes, they are getting screwed.

Oh, and go here (or here) to voice your opinion

FuckYouRogers.com

Lovely retro iPhone app

 Here’s a chance to get all retro and, like, modern – both at once – using Object Graph’s iPhone app iRetroPhone and, erm, your iPhone. You just need to dial the number, here’s the video, enjoy… (expect the app to be available on the App Store next month.