We got an email this afternoon from Soonleader, a Chinese accessory maker that they’ve already started producing some cases for the next generation iPhone. You know, the one that hasn’t even been officially announced yet. In their note, they mention that they have taken a molding of the next generation iPhone. We can only assume that molding is from the one of many that have seemingly escaped the usual Apple tight security.
Here are a couple pictures of the new cases. They seem to have all of the ports in the right places for the pictures we’ve seen so far. Check the Soonleader site for more pictures.
While we already knowa lotabout the next iPhone. I’m pretty sure there are some things we do not know yet. Those things will likely be revealed next Monday at the WWDC Keynote. And immediately after I’m sure we will be deluged with case designs and accessories from other manufacturers.
After the media circus surrounding Gizmodo and its potentially lost/stolen iPhone 4G prototype last month, it seems there’s another iPhone 4G in the wild. Possibly not a prototype this time.
Mac Rumors has been provided with a link to a Vietnamese forum, Taoviet.vn, where more pictures of the new iPhone have been posted. According to a Mac Rumors’ source, the device was purchased in the USA along with an iPad. The device is shown from a number of new angles and a teardown of the product is also shown.
A video of the device has been posted to YouTube (see below).
Little new information has been provided by these pictures, however the iPhone’s casing shows that it’s a 16GB model, whereas Gizmodo’s featured XXXGB on the back.
The casing appears more polished on this version with no screws found near the dock connector, suggesting that this is a near finished product. However, in the photos and video, the phone appears to be running some kind of diagnostic firmware and doesn’t look like it responds to presses on the home button. In the teardown images, what looks like a processor with Apple branding can also bee seen.
This new information is set against the sad backdrop of yet another suicide at Hon Hai Group in China where Apple’s iPhones are manufactured. This is the sixth death at Hon Hai this year and follows Hon Hai’s suspension of a member of its security team after a worker killed himself when an iPhone prototype was lost.
After Jason Chen, Gizmodo’s editor, had his home raided by police and his computers and other items taken as part of an ongoing investigation, this Vietnamese poster is playing a risky game. It also brings into question whether or not the “found it in a bar” story from Gizmodo (and its mystery iPhone seller) is likely to hold up now that two iPhone 4G models have surfaced.
Either people are being extremely careless with these valuable prototypes and two have been “lost” by Apple employees in the US or a more serious crime has been committed. This might also explain the shock and awe of the raid on Jason Chen’s house should the police have reason to believe that the Gizmodo iPhone was part of a wider theft.
Either way, our advice to the Vietnamese man in the video above – don’t include your face in footage of you holding a potentially stolen product, it never ends well.
UPDATE:Pre-orders are now available for international iPad models and accessories via Apple’s online stores.
After a long wait, Apple has announced details of the launch and pricing for iPads outside of the US. On Friday, May 28, iPads will go on sale in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. Pre-orders will open on Monday, May 10.
Although the press release is ambiguous, it appears that both the Wi-Fi and 3G models will be available on this date and not staggered as with the US launch.
Only the UK prices have been unveiled so far and, as expected, they are not mere conversions of the US dollar price. Prices start at £429 (inc. VAT) for the 16GB Wi-Fi iPad, £499 for the 32GB model and £599 for the 64GB iPad. Wi-Fi and 3G iPads will be priced at £529, £599 and £699 respectively for the 16, 32 and 64GB models. Prices for iPad accessories are expected to be announced at launch. iPad accessories are also available for pre-order via Apple’s online stores.
At £429 for the cheapest iPad compared to $499 in the US, there is a significant markup for the European market which could have expected a price of around £338 for a straight USD to GBP conversion. Apple claims that the higher cost abroad is due to higher taxes and shipping costs with all UK prices including VAT.
Apple has also announced that it plans to sell the iPad in Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore in July with prices to follow.
The original international iPad launch was pushed back last month after Apple experienced a “surprisingly strong US demand” that saw the company sell over one million units in just 28 days. This lead many in the UK and other countries to purchase the device via eBay and other services providing a way to ship iPads from the US. While a dedicated iPad App Store doesn’t yet exist in the UK, a number of iPad apps are available if searched for.
Should both Wi-Fi and 3G models go on sale at the same time in the UK and other countries it will be interesting to see the demand for each type device with as many as three networks providing data plans for the 3G model in the UK.
Since the iPad announcement a few weeks ago, a number of big giant questions marks have popped up about the device. There are so many fundemental things that just don’t seem to connect. So much that we don’t know.
Apple is, playing this as they do so well, the masterful marketing machine at Apple is running at full steam. Leaving out some of these details could lead up to a last minute One more thing… announcement by Apple, or could be a spin of the fact that Apple was left a little short on development of the next version of the OS for the device.
Either planned slow release of information or covering up for OS release delays, the result is whetting the appetite of the consumers and increasing the buzz and the demand for the device.
For as long as I can remember cell phones being around I can remember people questioning whether or not they’re safe. The argument has always seemed to center around cell phone radiation, and more recently bluetooth & Wifi waves. The bluetooth and Wifi scares have pretty much dissolved by being labeled as pure conspiracy theories, but the radiation concerns continue to surface every few months. With each study that comes out though it becomes more obvious that we just don’t know the long term risks of RF radiation exposure This article gives a little more insight into the potential jeopardy we’re in while at the same time the FDA is stating that “the available scientific evidence does not demonstrate any adverse health effects associated with the use of mobile phones.” With all of these mixed signals and unknown effects I wonder if the theoretical brain tumors and Alzheimer’s we could contract 20 years down the line is really the number one thing we should be worried about? Continue reading Radiation vs. Germs ~ Which Should Worry You More? »
A stylus? Psh, get rid of it. A physical keyboard? Nah, no need for that either. Tactile feedback is a thing of the past, all we need is a big glass touch screen…right? Well that’s what Apple would have you believe anyway, a theory that is further being cemented with their upcoming release of the iPad. On a basic level it seems to be very true, we’re able to text, surf the web, take photos, all without any physical buttons or keys. What about high level gaming though, is that a different story? If you’d asked me 3 years ago I would’ve said “there’s no way for it to be done. We’re humans, touch is one of our basic senses, we need it.” Over the past several months though with games like N.O.V.A and Need For Speed Shift, or even classic ports like Wolfenstein, I’ve become more of a believer in the future. Not everyone is so ready to give up on game controllers, one such company being iControlPad.
The iControlPad has been in beta testing and undergoing redesigns since last May but as of February 18th the company has stated mass production has begun. The iControlPad can already be used with classic game emulators and the company is seeding a SDK to anyone interested in supporting the device. Two models are to be made, one with a built-in battery pack, one without. Based on early videos and screen shots the controls appear to work flawlessly with no lag at all. Here’s the catch, and it’s a big one, the iControlPad only works on phones that are Jailbroken. I’m not sure exactly why that is since we know iPhone 3.0 does support accessory plugin’s but it’s very clear that it must be Jailbroken. There are a couple of hints on the site that indicate they may be working on standard OS supported version but there certainly aren’t any promises made. All hope is not lost though for those who wish to keep their iPhones pure and sacred, the Game Bone Pro is coming. Continue reading iControlPad Adds Joysticks to Your iPhone…If it’s Jailborken »
Wireless charging stations have been creating a lot of waves over the past few months and were certainly a big focus at CES, but will they ever really take off? Certainly the market is becoming pretty competitive; I can think of 3 companies selling them off the top of my head (Powermat, WildCharge, and CaseMate). While the concept is theoretically very useful and has a cool, futuristic feel to it, they’re all currently hindered by one major factor, they all require a special case. One of the major sell points for these platforms is the idea of reducing the cables needed to charge multiple devices, but is adding a special case any better? First off, each case is an added expense and more than likely all of the devices you own won’t have a case designed for them, i.e. iPod nano, digital camera, extra battery pack, etc. Instead one company, blueLounge, has taken a slightly more practical approach to the cable management situation.
The Refresh ($89.95) charging station was designed to be a catch-all for personal mobile electronics. Constructed with both functionality and style in mind the Refresh comes in 3 different stylish colors (white, pink, and black) with a very modern feel. The rubberized lid prevents devices from sliding around and is large enough to accommodate 3 or more items depending on their size. Concealed below the lid are 6 built in connectors, 2 iPod/iPhone connectors, both a Mini & Micro USB cable, and 2 empty USB sockets to be used as needed. Additional connectors for specific devices can also be bought for $5.95 directly from their site. Each of the cables can reach up around the lower lip of the lid to start charging any of the up to 6 devices. The Refresh is a great addition to any home with numerous mobile devices and cables. Continue reading Wired vs. Wireless Charging »
Choosing a case is one of those important first steps that you take after buying an iPhone. It’s a decision that shouldn’t be taken too lightly or made too hastily. I’ve seen far too many anxious people run over to the case wall at the Apple Store, get drawn in by the bright colors and cool textures, find the perfect match, and returning it weeks later because they didn’t pay attention to the little things. What are those little things? Well, much like buying a vehicle to drive around small children, safety should be your first priority.
Hard vs. Soft Cases
Every great case debate begins with the topic of Hard vs. Soft and which one provides better protection? While there’s no simple answer and it really needs to be taken on a case by case (no pun intended) basis, some conclusions have been reached by the iPhone community. The whole argument behind using a rubber or silicon case for protection comes from the idea of lengthening the time of impact, similar to crumple zones on cars. This was once a valid point when iPod Classics (with mechanical hard drives) ruled the iPod world. Nowadays though the solid-state memory of the iPhone/iPod Touch makes them far more durable and only really susceptible to outer case or screen damage, leaving case debates to the topics of aesthetics, longevity, features, etc.
3D TV is being pushed from all angles and today Sony has pulled the cloth off of its first Blue-ray players officially being labeled as 3D capable. The BDP-S470 player is expected to have a firmware update by mid summer which will support 1080p playback and should be shipping “on or around March 18th” for only $200. iPhone users get an extra bonus as this player can be controlled by the new BD Remote App developed by SONORAN BLUE. The app sports both a simple or full remote view plus a soft keyboard and provides additional disc information. The S470 is just the first of many new devices said to support this remote option including the new BDV-E770W & E570 Home Theatre Systems.
No official word has come down from SONORAN yet but many fans are begging for them to build in PS3 support. If this was done, an iPhone user could pair up with a product like the L5 remote and have a true universal remote capable of competing with a Logitech Harmony.
Years ago with the introduction of the iPod Photo (the first color screen iPod) came a great idea, the ability to add photos directly onto an iPod while on the go. Since SD cards were so expensive for a very small amount of storage space this was huge break through for casual and professional photographers alike. Apple was the first to add support with it’s own SD Card Dock Connector followed by a few 3rd party makers. Slowly the need for the adapter died off as SD Cards became drastically cheaper. zoomMediaPlus has given the concept a rebirth with the release of it’s new product zoomIt for the iPhone/iPod Touch. Paired with it’s free app, also named zoomIt, the SD reader adds new features the vintage versions never could.
The zoomIt app, essentially a file manger, allows you to copy photos and other supported file types, music, movies, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF’s, etc., both to and from an SD card. Any of these can be viewed/listened to through the zoomIt app only photos have the ability to interface with another native app (the camera roll). zoomIt also includes built in support for sharing files via e-mail, Facebook and Flickr and the newest update has added the ability to read write protected SD cards. The reader will be shipping in April for $59.95 but pre-orders are being taken now with a $10 discount.
It’s worth noting though that Apple also announced a similar dock adapter which includes usb support for the iPad at only $30. Currently there’s no telling whether this will work on an iPhone or if the zoomIt will work on the iPad so it may be worth holding out until March when more details will surface before taking the $60 plunge.
Dual Electronics has updated their site promising that the XGPS300 Navigation Cradle for the iPod Touch, originally expected in November ’09, will be shipping later this February. The cradle offers GPS support for all models of the iPod Touch and comes bundled with a Windshield Mount kit and the NavAtlas App all for the price of $179.99. While some critics have taken aim at the price point claiming it to be too steep for a consumer who might as well buy a dedicated standalone GPS unit, there are some features of this that might make the expense a little easier to swallow.
Adding significant value to the deal is the battery pack portion of the cradle which can be switched on and off as necessary. Whether it be to keep the GPS from draining all of the touch’s power or simply as a power boost to keep the it kicking, the XGPS300 is capable of doubling its battery life. Battery pack cases alone usually cost between $60-$100, not to mention that this also means you’re not tethered to your car. Unlike many other standalone GPS units, which get all of their power from the cigarette lighter, this one can be taken hiking, biking, swimming…well maybe not swimming, but you get the idea. Continue reading GPS for an iPod Touch, Coming in February »
Before the smoke has even cleared from the iPad announcement yesterday, some accessory makers are already showing off some new products to go with it. iLuv is amongst the first to unveil a new line of products, full of carrying cases, hard and soft, as well as a few types of screen protectors. Interestingly enough, iLuv has promised these items to be available in February, a bit premature since no one will be able to hold an iPad until March or April, but hey, better early to the game than (insert cliché here). Check out more of their products after the break. Continue reading iLuv Already Showing Off iPad Accessories »
iPad, a name formed from a hybrid between the iPod and a pad of paper, was revealed to the world at a two hour Apple event finishing less than an hour ago. The new touch screen computer is a kind of giant iPod running a custom version of iPhone OS, 3.2, the SDK for which is available now to ADC members.
Featuring a 9.7” multitouch display for use with all 10 fingers at once, the iPad looks very similar to an iPhone zoomed up to around 300% scale. The same home button adorns the right (or bottom) of the display depending on if you’re using it in horizontal or vertical orientation, and it’s about half an inch thick, dimensions achieved thanks to Apple’s new custom hardware architecture.
In addition to the usual Apple touch screen apps (Music, Photos, Maps, Calendars), all of which have been customized with fairly stunning interfaces in Apple’s reincarnation of the tablet, iWork has been ported to the touch screen ($10 per application – so $30 if you want to make presentations, write documents and edit spreadsheets on the go) complete with brand new interface designs to make the most of touch, and the huge QWERTY keyboard, which appears to be more suitable for using on the lap with two hands than with rhythmic thumb jabbing as we’ve seen from iPhone and similar devices.
Also featured is Apple’s attempt at an eBook reader, which I didn’t hold out too much hope for before launch. Once again Apple have produced a versatile user interface, using finger actions on screen to turn the page and an ‘App Store’ style book shop with best sellers priced at $14.99, and older novels as low as $4.99 in the industry standard ePub format, wrapped, presumably, in custom DRM.
Third party apps were also on display, with Apple setting a ‘two week’ challenge to a small subset of developers, who got to play with the iPad for two weeks prior to the event and create some prototype applications. EA demonstrated racing on the touch screen with Need for Speed, the New York Times showed a version of their paper with built in video clips and NBA showed a new version of their application with live, full screen match highlights – all fairly standard fare. Continue reading Underwhelmed by Apple’s Touch of Creativity »
TechCrunch recently put up an article that showed off some pictures of a “leaked” tablet from a designer named Dustin Curtis. Dustin timed his fakes pretty well, and will probably end up getting quite a few calls for work after this. These in my opinion (and many others) are possibly the best fakes to date. I would not be surprised if this is very close to the actual device itself. With the hype generators going strong leading up to tomorrow’s announcement I’m simply amazed at how much information, speculation and intrigue are being produced around a device that technically does not even exist yet.
Some of you may be asking though, why is there so much hype around this device? For me, my interest levels went through the roof after watching some videos of what the device could be capable of. I believe quite a few of the big industry players in film, games, books, and music have all got early access to the device to create remarkable interactive experiences. Some prototypes, and design concepts have been shown.
*Update Apple Stores are reported to be currently selling them for $69.95, no word yet on if a price fix is in the works or if this is an exclusive deal
Only 7 months after the original press release Belkin’s new TuneCast Auto Live iPhone FM transmitter, which was originally tagged as being the first iPhone 3.0 accessory, is finally shipping. Physically the transmitter doesn’t look any different then many of the other transmitters on the market currently. It charges through the car’s 12-volt lighter outlet and connects through the dock adapter with a control module in between. What makes this one special though is the app, ClearSacn Live, that goes along with it. Not only can users manually control all of the frequencies from the iPhone interface but the ClearScan function uses the iPhone’s GPS locater (apparently this only works with a 3GS) to automatically find the strongest frequency for the best audio quality. The transmitter is retailing for $79.99 and the app is now on the App Store for free.
As a rule, I try not to review iPhone cases, mainly because they are a dime a dozen and really all depend on your own personal taste. Every once in a while though I come across one that offers a little something extra, a flavor thats been missing, one thats just…special. Today that case is the OtterBox Defender. Unlike most other case makers out there OtterBox is known for designing with quality in mind opposed to flooding the market with cheap pieces of junk. The Defender series for the iPhone 3G/3GS is no different and built with one specific quality in mind, to protect.
In a very DEFCON like mentality, this class of cases come with three lines of defense.
1. A hard polycarbonate skeleton that fully encases the phone.
2. An airtight screen protector that protects all of the glass as well as the sensors on the front of the phone.
3. A soft but rugged silicone skin that surrounds the entire phone.
The hard skeleton shell which surrounds the phone contains three windows, two on the back one on the front. The two on the back are there to provide viewing accesses to the Apple logo and more importantly the camera. To date, this is the only case I’ve come across with a protective window for the camera itself. The window on the front is in fact the actual screen protector which is fully attached and sealed on the skeleton. The skeleton itself is designed to recess the screen by about a 1/4 inch, which is important to reduce the risk of cracking the screen if dropped on its face. The recessed screen and protector raise two of my only concerns with the case. The first being that the gap between your face and the screen makes it slightly uncomfortable to talk on, specifically in a noisy place that you need to press the phone harder to your ear in order to hear. The other being that screen protectors get scratched (that’s what they are supposed to do), but having one that is attached to my case means one of two things. Either I have to buy a screen protector for my screen protector, or I have to buy a new case every time the scratches get too bad. Not the end of the world but depending on how long it takes to get marred up it could quickly turn into an expensive proposition at $50 a case. Continue reading The Defender, a Case Built to Protect »
Endgadget is reporting that Apple will have a “Major” announcement ready for the public of their “New Creation” on January 27th at 10am. Now this has been known/speculated for a while, but this is the first time Apple has admitted that a “New Creation” will be unveiled at this event.
Make sure you find a good live blogging stream somewhere as this is going to be huge if the heavily rumored iSlate is what is going to be announced. If this changes things the way people are saying, I believe then we have just seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of what the app store is. That means a lot more work for us here at 148apps, as things could one day be 1.48million apps!
We’ll be following all the developments as it pertains to the app store, and how the device will use all the old games and apps. It’s not guaranteed that this new device will have backwards compatibility but I believe that it will, due to the crucial nature of that ability would be for launch. Imagine you opening your new device on day one, and having access to 100,000+ applications already tested and working for it.
So far my guesses are this:
1) Price point of $1000
2) Unexpected design
3) Two Models: 32gb 10″, 64gb 11″
4) Will run a modified version of iPhone OS4.
5) Typing will be on screen, and via foldout wireless bluetooth keyboard.
6) We’ll have to learn new gestures, and change the way we interact with touch screens.
I’ve personally never really believed it when someone would tell me that the iPhone’s camera isn’t bad for a phone. After all, I would take picture after picture and the majority would come out, usually with a string of words which I won’t repeat, blurry and unrecognizable. As I hustled around CES last week taking pictures and spilling coffee all over myself, it was actually Chris Hall who so graciously pointed out, in between laughs of course, that it was probably my pitifully shaky hands that was the problem and not the camera itself. As it turns out, he was right, for once, and for the past few days I’ve been using the Blur Tripod and have formed a new opinion regarding my camera phone.
Priced at $14.95, the Blur Tripod is exactly what you think it is, a tripod for an iPhone. A mini tripod to be precise, which stands about 5.5 inches off the ground or up to 8 inches if you extend the legs all the way. The unit itself comes in two separate parts, the legs and the adapter mount. The legs are made of ultra light weight aluminum wich keeps them portable while still remaining fairly durable. The mount is a simple plastic clip which uses a standard 1/4″ 20 thread camera screw size which makes it usable on most any tripod on the market. An extremely nice feature of this tripod is it’s adjustably, it can truly be manipulated to be able to take photos from nearly any angle you would ever need, however it does become a little unstable when shifted too far to one side. A helpful tip I found though is that while unstable for taking photos shifting the mount all of the way to one side can help in another way by doubling as a steady hand grip for shooting video.
In a recent press statement (which I had trouble tracking down), Virgin announced that they will be offering the iPhone in the “coming months” to Canadians (all indications are that it will be in February 2010). Recently here in Canada (Ryan, the author, is from Canada – ed.) we saw the addition of two more iPhone carriers in Bell and Telus but both offered very little in terms of competitive plans against the previous carrier, Rogers. As a consumer I was really hoping this increased competition would see an improvement in the available plans, but it appears that they all have a pact to not even make an effort. All of them offer almost the exact same plans, rates, and contracts with extremely little variation.
In most countries iPhone purchasers have the ability to pick up the devices for $199 on 2 year contracts, but not here in Canada. All 3 carriers offer 3 year contracts only. It also rumoured that Virgin will be offering the same forced 3 year contracts on us consumers. Now, Virgin has been establishing itself as a budget carrier with free phones, cheap plans, and generally the place to go if you are a very light phone user. So how they come at the release of the iPhone on their network should be very interesting. I believe that they have a real chance to steal a significant market share if they offer up something unique and flexible with this famous device. I’d love to see Virgin take a risk in it’s pricing structure and allow a la cart pricing plans, pay as you go data, and 2 year contracts. I’d even be willing to fork over an extra $100 at purchase to get one less year on my contract.
With this addition, we are one of the leading countries in terms of carrier choice for the iPhone, but sadly still behind on pricing and contract options. If Virgin misses this opportunity to steal a decent size of the market, I’ll be sad, because I really want to get one, but no one has provided what I’m looking for.
Admittedly, this has nothing directly to do with iDevices, apps, or developers… but Apple just released a 27″ iMac that every warm blooded human should want in their house. “Oh, my desk isn’t big enough!” Ma’am, buy a new desk.
Just think about how many apps you could view in iTunes, or how easy it would be to use the SDK on such a ginormous screen! Look, I’m reaching for relevance here.
iPhone users and future iPhone users rejoiced earlier this week, as O2 announced it has finally (and officially) lost exclusivity of the Apple iPhone handset. In the next breath, Orange UK announced it would be bringing the handset to it’s product line, starting this fall. In fact, it reckons it will start selling the iPhone 3G in the UK and Ireland next month.
But just when you thought that two carriers wasn’t enough, and not one to miss an opportunity, Vodaphone UK have today also announced that they too have signed a deal with Apple to carry the handset:
From the press release:
Vodafone and Apple today confirmed that they have reached agreement to bring iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS to the UK and Ireland in early 2010.
Beginning today, Vodafone UK and Vodafone Ireland customers can register their interest in iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS at www.vodafone.co.uk/iphone and www.vodafone.ie/iphone respectively. Pricing, tariffs and availability information will be announced locally in the future.
So what does this mean for all of us loyal O2 customers? Well, not much really. It was a fun ride while it lasted, but I’m afraid to say you’re no longer “cool” by owning an iPhone. Just think, if Orange and Vodaphone do manage to get the actual handset price down, you could see everyone in your street with an iPhone by January 2010.
There’s no doubting this will be good for competition, but don’t get your hopes up too high. There’s still that little thing called price-fixing, and I think we’ll see Apple fix the pricing on these handsets. Period.