Get ready for the iPhone nano

 True or false, this year or next, whatever – the rumoured iPhone nano story just won’t go away, and now it looks like at least one third party developer’s working away at products custom-built for such a device.

The Daily Mail this week broke news that Apple plans to introduce a smaller, less well-featured iPhone nano, proposing this would appear in time for Christmas and would be made available to O2’s pay-as-you-go customers.

Naturally, a chorus of derision met this report, with Apple watchers rejecting the whole notion of such a plan – ‘why would Apple want to cannibalise iPhone 3G sales?’, they asked?

Perhaps because with a billion handset per year mobile industry, there’s space for many different configurations of device. Just how many different models of Nokia phone exist, for example?

Clearly, in order to fully penetrate the mobile phone market, Apple needs to rush to diversify its available products, before the iPod halo begins to fade, as that particular arm of its business operations begins to slow down.

Widely quoted as dismissing the iPhone nano claims, Lehman Brothers analyst Ben Reitzes explained that while he believes Apple is working on a lower-end iPhone form factor, he didn’t think it would arrive until Spring 2009. Well, what’s a few months delay? The results the same; Apple plans to diversify its range.

Does it really make sense for Apple to delay such diversification? There’s looming economic doom, a credit crunch, and a wave of competing products (many of which look a little like iPhones in a desperately dull repetition of imitation and flattery) all heading to ship at Christmas.

What’s the best way to bite competition? Undercut on price, innovate on features, surprise in execution (and plant a few rumours to keep competitors guessing.)

Latest evidence to emerge now claims accessory maker, Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO), has been working on a nano-styled iPhone dock since 2006…they even have a patent for it…

The iPhone nano is going to happen. The only questions are when it will appear, what it will offer, what shape it will be, and what it will be called. And in any case, we’re expecting at least one nano-natured MultiTouch device to appear pretty soon, the iPod nano touch (or touch mini, or whatever the product marketing teams decide to call it).

iPhone takes the cake

"At a recent party to celebrate developer Joe Hewitt’s latest release of the Facebook application for the iPhone, friends treated Hewitt to champagne and a cake decorated with, naturally, an iPhone running Facebook. Of course, moments later, pictures of said cake showed up in partygoers’ news feeds and were ‘automagically’ displayed on their iPhones. And you doubted the power of technology to change the world for the better…."

Thanks to Valleywag.

8 idiots bought the $1000 image

The LA Times blog is reporting that the infamous, limited edition "I am Rich" application was purchased by six Americans, one Frenchman and one German.  That’s right.  These guys gave the developer, Armin Heinrich, a total of $5,600 dollars and Apple $2,400 for what effectively is a 320×480 pixel Photoshopped picture of a jewel.

Is it Art?…

We could bring up the discussion of whether this is a study in exclusivity in the digital world and a harbinger of things to come…however, it is just too stupid to to put it through scrutiny.  It really is too bad that giving $1000 to the WWF or a charity doesn’t give people that same kind of buzz and recognition.

According to the LA Times:

 

Apple apparently had some problems with "I Am Rich". After initially approving it for distribution, the company has since removed it from the store. Heinrich, a German software developer, has yet to hear back from Apple concerning the removal. "I have no idea why they did it and am not aware of any violation of the rules to sell software on the App Store," Heinrich said in an e-mail with The Times today.

In the e-mail, Heinrich said there seemed to be a market for the program. "I am sure a lot more people would like to buy it — but currently can’t do so," Heinrich said. "The App is a work of Art and included a ‘secret mantra’ — that’s all."

 

Ugh..Any opinions on this out there?  Is this the begining of something bigger?  Does the fact that it is digital and a 100% exact replica can be made easily and copied millions of times for no cost mean it really isn’t that valuable?  Like music and video?

Orange boss – iPhone launch boosted UK mobile sales

O2 wasn’t the only company to benefit from the ‘unprecedented demand’ that met the release of the iPhone 3G – some competitors saw benefit too, as interest in mobile phones shot up.

Orange chief executive, Tom Alexander, described the weekend of the iPhone launch as "the best trading weekend of the year so far," thanks to the iPhone on O2.

"People were excited by the product, came out to shop and found other great deals on the high street. Everyone has benefited from the iPhone."

 

It may be the chief exec is simply playing nice – recent weeks have seen a rumour and its subsequent retraction claim Apple plans to allow Orange to share the O2 limelight in offering the iPhone in the UK.

Denying this, O2 has simply pointed out that it has a multi-year exclusive deal for the device in the UK, the first year of which has not yet elapsed.

Orange does carry the iPhone in France, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland and other markets.


"Infinity Songs in Your Pocket"

 Apple Insider has dug up a patent from Apple that has tremendous potential. Essentially, it would allow a user to have unlimited space on their iPods by streaming media from their computers remotely. I see this as the future, but the future has to wait on one thing: fast internet. As I’m sure you know, America’s internet speeds are way behind that of other countries, and our standards are much lower as well. When we wake up (or everyone takes the lead of FIOS), I believe this has huge potential. Combine this home streaming with a remote sync, and you have a recipe for success. Long term, when internet speeds are unbelievably fast, I could envision an iPod with zero internal storage. This would cut prices greatly, and at the same time, only limit you by the amount of space on your computer.

This probably won’t be coming anytime soon, and even if it does, it won’t be very useful. For know, we can just hope for these.

Michael is a teen blogger for 9 to 5, and has his own blog, Mac Soda.

Huge 2.0 Bug

I have been having this huge problem, in which my phone will freeze on the Apple logo on a daily basis, rendering it useless. I have to restore and reinstall all my apps (6 pages), taking 4-7 hours away from my phone, since it lacks FireWire Support. I have not been able to figure out what would cause this: until now. I now know that it is caused when an application is installing, and the phone is restarted. Try it on your phone if you dare and have a few hours: install an app or an update, and then restart your phone. You’ll get the Apple screen of death, as I like to call it. Furthermore, apps are much more prone to restarting the phone when a different app is installing. It is a serious issue that can be fixed with a solution found in the App Store’s origin: Installer. When installing apps in Installer, you were not allowed to leave the application until everything was installed/updated. When I first realized that the App Store let you leave the app, I was thrilled. Little did I know, and apparently, little did Apple know as well. If the App Store simply wouldt let you leave the app until all updates were installed, apps wouldn’t crash because you wouldn’t be allowed to open them! This may cause you a loss of 2-10 minutes of your phone in the day, but its certainly better than 7 hours!

Hopefully they accept the feedback I submitted and fix this huge issue. It is necessary in my eyes until iPhone 4G has a better processor.

Here’s hoping for 2.1… 2.0.1 doesn’t cut it.

Michael is a teen blogger for 9 to 5 Mac, and has his own blog, Mac Soda

Expensive, useless, a jewel for iPhone

 Is this the most expensive iPhone application ever?

IAmRich is the latest from developer, Armin Heinrich. It costs almost $1,000 (£599.99), and does absolutely nothing at all.

As noted by Alley Insider, the application simply displays a red virtual gem on the screen of the iPhone. And the developer’s description is moderately amusing, too.

"The red icon on your iPhone or iPod touch always reminds you (and others when you show it to them) that you were rich enough to afford this," the app’s information page says in iTunes. "It’s a work of art with no hidden function at all."

The developer also offers Calc Pro – a more advanced calculator for the iPhone.

Erm, we’re puzzled what to think? Is this what to expect from the world’s most advanced ecosystem? What are your thoughts?

Apple iPod joins US Army

Apple’s iPod has been a successful translation tool for US soldiers deployed abroad, following a year’s testing among troops in the 10th Mountain Division.

VCommunicator Mobile is a translation engine that uses an iPod in order to offer soldiers a fast and accurate way to access an extensive library of phrases.

The software displays graphics, showing either the phrase in Arabic, or a video of a soldier making the appropriate hand gesture. There are collections of phrases for specific situations, like checkpoint, raid or patrol.

Over 700 soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan have been testing 260 iPods enabled with the technology for the last year, reports military magazine, Strategy World – and at a cost of $800,000 initial reports are positive. (Troops also get a solar recharger for the system if they’re based in remote areas, incidentally).

Language modules (which cost $2,000 each and take up 4GB of space) include Iraqi Arabic, Kurdish, Dari and Pushto. The army has been developing translation solutions such as this one since 2001, but all the others have required a laptop of a PDA. 

The first year’s testing has ascertained that soldiers quickly acquire a vocabulary of phrases, and reports in the field saw local residents react with interest to this use of an iPod – they had iPods themselves.

The success of the trial means soldiers from the US 1st Cavary Division will be using the solution on their next deployment.

“It’s very useful in situations where you may have only one to two interpreters on the ground, and about 80 to 90 Soldiers on the ground, so you may not have enough interpreters to go around in a particular situation,” said Ernie Bright, one of the developers of the Vcommunicator, who gave the demonstration of the tool. “The real beauty of it is that the technology has been designed so that anyone who hasn’t had any training on it, can use it.”

At least in one sense this particular military implementation makes communication easier in a conflict zone.

iPhone for India, Czech Republic on August 22

Tim Cook mentioned in the last earings call that Apple would double its iPhone footprint to 40 countires on August 22.  India is the biggest in terms of population – though the 3G features won’t mean a great deal – there is no 3G on the populous sub-continent, such services aren’t expected to launch until next year.

The iPhone – which also goes on sale in the Czech Republic that day through O2 – will be available through Bharti Airtel in India. The company is already allowing customers to sign-up for information on the device.

“iPhone has been the iconic technology revelation of this year," said Sanjay Kapoor, president of Mobile Services at Bharti Airtel. “Airtel has been at the forefront of innovation and customer delight in the Indian telecom sector. Introducing iPhone 3G to India further underscores our commitment to enrich the communication experience of all Airtel users.”

 

Vodafone India is also preparing to launch the device, but has declined to say when, but likely in the same time-frame.

Introduction of the device in India is likely to propel Apple’s market share. Mobile telephony is highly advanced in India, which has a population of 1,147,995,898 (July 2008 estimate from CIA World Factbook), with 63 per cent of the population aged between 15-64-years and a GDP of $2.989 trillion.

Preparing for launch in the Czech Republic, O2 chairman Salvador Anglada, said: "As the only 3G network operator on the Czech market, and because O2 has the country’s most extensive wireless network for WiFi internet connectivity, we are giving our customers an exclusive opportunity to enjoy all the benefits that iPhone 3G offers.

And one more thing – the iPhone will also go on sale in Estonia on August 22.

 

3D Holographic Multi-Touch Displays… No, I'm Not Kidding.

Engadget reports on a company called Obscura Digital who demoed an amazing, multi-touch, holographic display, similar to the famous Minority Report interface. I think this technology is awesome, and can’t wait to see it appear in the new MacBooks and MacBook Pros, and iPhone 4G!

On second thought, maybe I should expect these in the MacBooks of 2020 and in iPhone 33G…

On third thought… who knows?

Michael is a teen blogger for 9 to 5, and has his own site, Mac Soda.

Biggest Ripoff App of the Week: LionClock Plus

Each week, fellow teen blogger Luther Cherry will be covering the best free iPhone apps of the App Store. I will be covering the apps I feel are a complete rip-off.

This week’s rip-off app is LionClock Plus. It has three functions: time how long you work, multiply it by your hourly rate, and allow payment through PayPal. Two of these functions, clock and calculator, come with the phone, and PayPal is a free application. I can do what this application can do for free. The suckers who buy this app are paying 80 dollars. That is the same as buying Super Monkey Ball, Crash Bandicott, Aqua Forest, Texas Hold’ Em, Trism, Scrabble, Band, Comic Touch, Picoli, and NetShare, with a few bucks to spare, making it one of the biggest ripoff apps on the App Store. Well, behind I am Rich.

Michael is a teen blogger for 9to5 Mac, and has his own blog, Mac Soda.

I Am Moronic

See Here. Some smart developer came up with the idea to create a pointless app worth 1,000 dollars and hope he gets a download. With the millions of iPhones available, I’m positive someone will be stupid enough to purchase it, giving the developer an easy 700 bucks. Well played Armin Heinrich. Well played.

Michael is a teen blogger on 9to5mac.com and has his own blog called Mac Soda.

Via Macrumors