New Steve Jobs email a treasure trove of information about Apple TV, Google ‘holy war,’ and behind-the-scenes strategy

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A new email from Steve Jobs that was published during today’s Samsung lawsuit (via The Verge) has revealed a lot about Apple’s plans for its products in 2011 and beyond. As we’ve previously noted, Jobs referred to 2011 as a year of “holy war” against Google, but this document goes above that and describes how exactly Apple planned to wage this war.

A few choice bits are below, followed by the complete email.

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Review: mik Sound Case cranks up the volume on your iPhone

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The mik Sound Case is a new type of phone case available for the iPhone 4/4S and iPhone 5/5s. It amplifies the phone’s speaker by an additional 15 to 20 decibels and improves the clarity and quality of the sound. By blocking the speaker, the case forces the sound to travel through a hollow space and out an opening on the back of the phone. Thankfully, the lightweight case doesn’t add any additional weight to the phone.

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FreedomPop expanding free wireless plan to all Sprint smartphones, iPhones included

FreedomPopFreedomPop, the wireless service provider offering free and cheap no-contract plans on Sprint’s network, today announced it’s now allowing customers to bring their old Sprint phones to activate on its $0/month wireless plans. We’ve confirmed with the company that will also soon include iPhones.

The company has been around since 2011 with various hotspot products and recently launched its first smartphone direct to customers alongside the world’s first completely free mobile service. A guaranteed 500 MBs of data, 500 text messages, and 200 anytime voice minutes for free each month would sound enticing to anyone, but previously customers would have to pay $99 for an almost two-year old HTC Evo Design to get it. Despite that, FreedomPop says it “immediately sold out” of stock when it launched last month.

That’s about to change today as FreedomPop will now let Sprint customers bring their own device to activate on its free and cheap plans. Although there is no mention of it in the carrier’s press release and some are reporting iPhones aren’t supported, we’ve confirmed FreedomPop will support the iPhone 4 and 4S as well as 20 other Sprint devices initially. Stephen Stokols, FreedomPop’s CEO, tells us it will be another few weeks before the iPhone is compatible, and eventually all Sprint smartphones will be supported. Around 600 devices, including iPhones, will be supported by the end of the month.  Read more

Why iPhone longevity means iOS carrier activation share doesn’t resemble sales

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There was a lot of confusion yesterday when Verizon’s results were discussed, with more than one commentator confusing activations and sales. For the record, what Verizon announced was that 51 percent of its activations were iPhone, not 51 percent of its phone sales.

If you doubt the importance of this distinction, I have one word for you: T-Mobile. As of 11th April, the carrier had two million iPhone activations. Its iPhone sales as of the same date? Zero: T-Mobile didn’t start selling iPhones until the following day.

The difference between the two numbers is particularly dramatic with high-end handsets like the iPhone …  Read more

Opinion: As Siri makes it out of beta, is it time to give it another chance?

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Poor old Siri doesn’t seem to get much love from many users. When I recently mentioned it as the reason I upgraded from the iPhone 4 to the 4S, quite a few disparaging comments were made about the service. Our finding this weekend that Apple now considers Siri good enough to lose the beta tag caused Gizmodo to wonder who actually uses it.

I thought its reclassification as a fully-fledged iOS feature would be a good time to persuade those who’ve abandoned the assistant to give Siri another chance …  Read more