TechCrunch: Macrumors features two images of cases that are supposed to be designed for the upcoming iPod Touch and iPod Nano, and suggest that the next generation of said devices will indeed include a camera.
Putting a camera in the iPod touch, which uses the same operating system as the iPhone, is a logical next step for Apple. But the order size is supposedly so large that some people in Taiwan are speculating that Apple may be planning to put cameras in the lower end of the iPod line, too.
“Everything but the Shuffle may have a camera in it soon,” says our source.
We don’t have even close to enough information to speculate that the Nano and Classic iPods could be video-ready anytime soon. But I could easily see these lower end iPods include the camera just for taking pictures. Apple never turned video on in the iPhone 3G, but lots of people were using it via unlaunched apps from Qik, Ustream and others anyway. They could be planning the same thing for the Nano.
Electronista: Fans of the iPod Touch who felt left out due to last week’s launch of the iPhone 3G S, take heart: there’s a new device on the way. In the BlueTool initialization script in the iPhone 3.0 firmware there are mentions of a new iPod Touch called “iPod3,1.”
Given that the current generation is referred to as “iPod2,1″ it would seem to indicate that Apple has a new version in the works. It’s too soon to say what the new iPod Touch will look like or what its feature will be, but rumours point to a camera that takes video as being a likely addition. Other rumours indicate a larger screen, new wireless features, a digital compass, and GPS.
While fans would love to see more iPhone-like functionality in the new device, Apple has to make sure it doesn’t give too much away: make the iPod too much similar to the iPhone and it removes much of the reason to buy an iPhone. Apple’s last upgrade to the Touch line came last September, thus it would seem reasonable to assume that the next one would be this coming September. You can be sure more info will slowly come out in the months to come.
Guardian: Apple says it has sold a million of its new iPhone 3GS model (and we’ll come back to the “3GS” there in a moment) in the first three days since its worldwide launch on Friday.
The press release is also interesting for including a “quote” from Steve Jobs, who you might recall is the company’s chief executive, and who in an interesting development was said, by a mysteriously unsourced story in the Wall Street Journal, to have had a liver transplant earlier this year.
“Customers are voting and the iPhone is winning,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “With over 50,000 applications available from Apple’s revolutionary App Store, iPhone momentum is stronger than ever.”
Certainly no dispute about the momentum. Even the precipitious price for the new model doesn’t seem to be putting people off, despite this hefty recession. For those still stuck on the old iPhone 3G, or even the old old iPhone, there’s now a handy table to show you what things you can and can’t do on each phone.
Electronista: Dutch shares of native GPS device maker TomTom spiked on Friday morning after speculation rose that Apple is mulling getting a stake in the company.
Following Apple’s WWDC presentation Monday that saw TomTom introduce an iPhone GPS app and a matching car kit, some investors claim to have heard that TomTom being singled out and its tight integration of software with the iPhone are advance evidence of Apple wanting to invest a minority amount in the European firm.
The rumor is not universal, however, and some openly doubt the likelihood of such a deal. Apple has historically shied away from partial deals, making this unlikely, but does face competition in the GPS arena from cellphone designers that also have alliances with GPS firms.
Garmin and ASUS are working together on the nuvifone series of navigation handsets. Nokia, meanwhile, acquired NAVTEQ and is using the latter’s map data for its own navigation features.
Other companies have expressed interest in developing turn-by-turn iPhone GPS apps, particularly NAVIGON, but are often far smaller and less likely to have committed the resources to development in advance.
TomTom had said it was researching the possibility of a driving directions app for the iPhone as early as mid-2008 and so would have been the best-prepared for an eventual product. Apple hasn’t commented on the rumor.
Electronista: The iPhone 3G’s price drop to $99 (approx. €71) is a large enough move that it could overhaul the entire cellphone industry, according to research by Nielsen.
Analyst Roger Entner believes the cut “completely changes” the worth of every phone already on offer and won’t just hurt smartphones, where the comparisons are more evident, but any limited “feature” phone that nears the price point.
Any cellphone over $49 (€35) is “kneecapped” and will look like either it costs too much to make or that the carrier is asking too high a price, Entner says.
The researcher expects Apple’s simple change to force changes in pricing. To more closely equal the 8GB iPhone’s pricing, device makers are likely to further cut their profit margins; carriers could alternately bear some of the cost by more heavily subsidizing phones.
A chance exists that carriers may recoup the costs of this by increasing the monthly fees, though Entner warns that customers may balk at having to pay more each month. Reductions in monthly rates are deemed unlikely to help, however.
Even an AT&T move would likely be seen as “scorched earth” policy as it would encourage other carriers to cut prices and give customers little reason to switch networks but still hurt revenues. Critics already anticipate that the company most likely to be affected by the cut is Palm, whose Pre while well received costs roughly twice as much and so far claims a faster processor and multitasking as its main advantages.
Electronista: NAVIGON today signaled its intent to compete against TomTom’s iPhone app with software of its own.
A version of MobileNavigator will use iPhone OS 3.0′s support of turn-by-turn GPS to provide the same driving directions as many of its dedicated GPS units, including its Reality View, lane and speed assists, and its notification of road signs.
Owners can play music from their device’s existing library, plot routes based on contacts’ addresses and auto-resume navigation after taking a call. The mapping firm doesn’t say whether it will make an accessory to support MobileNavigator, as TomTom is for its own app, but does say it will have both free and paid versions.
The free Lite version doesn’t have active navigation and only lets users search the map as well as find points of interest; paying unlocks the full feature set. NAVIGON anticipates its software arriving in the App Store in June but won’t reveal the paid version’s price until it’s available.
BBC: There has been mixed reaction to Apple’s announcement of a speedier new iPhone and moves to cut the price of the year old 3G model in the US.
News of the updated iPhone 3GS handset was made at the company’s annual developers conference in San Francisco.
Apple said improvements in the iPhone 3GS made common tasks, such as launching applications, much faster.
But veteran tech journalist Steven Levy of Wired Magazine said: “It’s not a game changer.”
Rumours of an update to the iPhone have been circulating prior to the start of Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC). When it was finally unveiled more than an hour and a half into the keynote speech, few were surprised.
“We have been trained to think that when one more thing comes out it is going to rock our world and that didn’t happen,” said Mr Levy.
Ernest Doku of comparison site Omio was more effusive.
“Majorly cool has just become mass market,” he said “Essentially the 3GS is a refinement of the existing device so not all worlds will be rocked but as usual with Apple there are some big reasons to be excited.
“Features like data encryption, improved data speeds and increased battery life will attract users. With faster web browsing and the ability to record and upload video to YouTube, the 3GS will get more people using their mobiles to go online than ever before. “It’s the must have multi-media device,” said Mr Doku.
Reuters: Nokia on Monday began rolling out its much-anticipated online software and content store, Ovi Store, as it aims to follow the success of Apple’s App Store.Nokia said it had started moving Ovi Store to production servers, preparing for the global commercial launch, and the store was opened to users of a few of its phone models in Australia and Singapore on Monday.
Nokia has promised to open the store globally this week.
To cope with slowing phone demand Nokia is building a new business from mobile Internet services — like games or maps — but is scaling back separate investment plans due to the slowdown, and focusing on merging the delivery of services.
Nokia, which made its first ever quarterly pretax loss in January-March, is cutting annual costs at its key handset unit alone by more than 700 million euros ($979.7 million) to counter plunging demand.
The Apple App Store has proved extremely popular, with one billion applications downloaded in less than a year, and operators and technology firms including Vodafone Nokia, and Microsoft now want a piece of the pie.
NewLaunches: Looks like the camera fever has caught up with the iPods too! There is a rumor that Apple might be considering to put in cameras on their best selling portable media players.
The Apple iPods can do a lot of things and it would be cool to have a digital camera too where you can take pictures where you go. But personally, is a camera really needed in an iPod?
CNet: In the yet-to-be-released iTunes 8.2, Blu-ray gets a mention on the ‘About iTunes’ splash screen.
For those not well-versed in the world of Apple computers, Mac machines currently don’t support Blu-ray discs. Although you can install a third-party optical drive in the Mac Pro, you’ll still need to boot into Windows to read Blu-ray media. But, if iTunes is going to allow ripping from these discs, we might finally see Macs and MacBooks with fully integrated Blu-ray support and drives.
Back in October, Apple chief executive Steve Jobs famously called Blu-Ray and its licensing process “a bag of hurt”, implying that it was too expensive and too complicated for Apple to add Blu-ray drives to Macs. Jobs, however, is notorious for downplaying certain technologies right up until the day Apple includes them in a product, as was the case for years with video-playing iPods.
All this is just speculation for now. But, if there is going to be any announcement of Blu-ray support, it’ll probably be at Apple’s upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference, held in San Francisco from 8 to 12 June
Guardian: Apple continued to shirk off the recession by posting some of its best-ever results, despite the heavy toll that the financial crisis is taking across Silicon Valley.
Announcing its latest quarterly results today, the Californian technology giant posted profits of $1.21bn (£836m) – up 15% from the same time last year.
Although some analysts had been concerned that Apple’s focus on expensive products would struggle as consumer spending dropped, the company said its quarterly revenues increased to $8.16bn, compared to $7.51bn in the first three months of 2008.
“We are extremely pleased,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s chief financial offer. “These results exceeded our expectations. While the company’s Macintosh computer line saw a 3% decrease in sales, it sold more than 11 million iPods – with sales particularly strong in countries including the UK, France, Germany and Japan.
The real success story however was the iPhone, which sold more than 3.7m units worldwide – up 123% from the same time in 2008. Revenues from iPhone sales were valued at $2.2bn, while income from mobile phone networks and other associated services rose to $1.52bn. At the same time last year, the same was just $378m.