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AT&T said it would expand the number of stores carrying Apple's much anticipated iPhone sometime after the initial launch and that consumer device only will be sold at retail stores owned by Apple Inc. and AT&T as well as the online Apple Store. The iPhone goes on sale starting at 6 p.m. local time on June 29th; however, the AT&T spokesman Fletcher Cook told the Associated Press that the the limited availability will only be for the initial launch and that the company plans on selling the iPhone through AT&T's Web site and through its other channel outlets and partners. AT&T, which owns 1,800 retail stores, said that some of its other franchise outlets that carry the AT&T or Cingular name will also sell the iPhone sometime after the launch.
One New York City retailer is offering the iPhone for pre-order, a product page says. MobileCityOnline claims to be selling the 8GB version for $700 -- a $100 premium above the official $599 pricing. The 4GB version will carry a similar added cost, the store says. Unlike the recent Pure Mobile offering, however, the store so far declines to mention whether the device will be unlocked or how it will buy the phones, which are currently limited to official Apple and AT&T stores.
Nokia's luxury label Vertu has expanded its defining Signature line with a new, limited-run phone. The Colored Diamonds Edition includes two versions of the handset with rose gold for the bezel and keypad, but with diamonds and other precious gems in floral patterns around the edges. Where the relatively modest White Diamonds model includes 385 white diamonds and pink sapphires, the Colored Diamonds version is more elaborate still with 923 combined pink and white diamonds, sapphires, and rubies.
Apple's first Bluetooth headset has been approved just two weeks before its parent iPhone's launch, according to a new FCC filing made public today. The document confirms that the 2.4GHz device won't cause significant interference and can be legally sold in the country. No new information accompanies the text, though the device shown briefly at Macworld in January is known to have an extremely simplified, one-button control for accepting incoming calls.
MPIO today expanded the crowd of flash-based video players with a new version of its MG100. The new version offers 4GB of storage with the ability to play videos converted to the specialized MTV video format; although small at 0.36 inches thick, the device has enough battery life to play clips uninterrupted for 6 hours. Music lasts for a considerably longer 20 hours and supports the virtually standard MP3 and WMA formats, including protected WMA from Napster and similar shops. Line-in and voice recording, however, are mixed in for capturing directly from the radio or in a lecture. FM radio and photo viewing complete the feature set.
AT&T is considering skipping Intel's WiMAX technology altogether in favor of continuing with refinements to existing cellular mobile Internet, according to carrier VP Chris Hill. The executive says that his company can't see the "value proposition" behind WiMAX, as it delivers virtually the same speed as upcoming cellular technology dubbed Long Term Evolution (LTE), also known as Super 3G. WiMAX would more likely see its way into AT&T's network to support the network rather than become the network itself, Hill says.
AT&T hopes to make the launch of the iPhone a special event at its stores, according to a source in touch with the cell provider's plans. Similar to some of Apple's own launch events for Mac OS X in past years, AT&T will reportedly close all of the company-run stores at 4:30PM, giving staff the opportunity to prepare the store for the iPhone's launch at 6PM. All the stores in question would also stay open until 12AM to handle demand. The timing of the close is significant, according to the claims. Apple is said to be timing the phone shipments to arrive within the two hours preceding the launch to prevent uninformed or overly eager store employees from selling the iPhone in advance.
British demand for the iPhone is very high despite its limitations, new research published by M:Metrics shows. The company's study points to about 56 percent of the over 5,200 respondents being aware of the device; approximately 28 percent of those have "strong" interest in buying the handset as is, the analysts say. An extrapolation by the firm estimates that the figure would amount to almost 7 million of all cellphone users in the country, or almost 16 percent of the entire field.
Fujitsu has just recently begun shipping the full range of its new LifeBooks based on Intel's recent Santa Rosa technology, both confirming prices and elaborating on full specs. The A6030 is now known to ship with 2GB of RAM and has options for a 2GHz Core 2 Duo, a brighter (450-nit versus 300) 1280x800 display, and installing a 1GB Turbo Memory cache to boost load times; it also includes a Fujitsu staple of a touchpad with handwriting recognition for a stylus. The base 1.8GHz version now ships for $1,299 and is supported by a 2GHz version at $1,449.
"Sideloading" rather "downloading" may be the key feature of newer smartphones, such as the iPhone. While much has been made of other iPhone features, Nokia's board member Daniel Hesse says that the iPhone's "sideloading" feature -- downloading music to computer and then syncing it to a smartphone -- may be one of the keys to its success. The much-anticipated consumer device is being criticized because users can't access the iTunes store "over-the-air" and download music directly to their phones, but Nokia's Hesse says that "over-the-air" downloads may not be as desirable to consumers. Hesse told The Browser that, for transferring music and multimedia files to mobile phones, "sideloading will be absolutely crucial and that "no matter how fast the wireless networks get here, the computer is always faster."
As part of its major phone introductions, Sony-Ericsson has also revealed a large suite of accessories all made for music listening. Topping the list, the MDS-65 is one of the company's few full-sized speaker docks and centers around a new type of dock connector that rotates, letting virtually any Walkman phone and several of the company's standard phones play music while they charge from either the stand's disposable batteries or a wall outlet when the speaker set is plugged in. It ships to several regions in summer with a price to be set later.
Bookeen's upcoming Cybook device should be flexible, according to sources familiar with its development. Although the eBook reader should support copy-protected formats like Mobipocket, additional support should come for more universal standards such as HTML, PDF, and RTF; it will also run the Open eBook format and even play MP3 files for some audiobooks or background music, the contacts say. The 6-inch e-ink screen should be useful for about 8000 pages on a single charge despite a reader only a third of an inch thick.
byd:design broke out from the pack on Friday through its LF4201DAB. The company hopes to offer features in its new 42-inch LCD TV that have been rare or even non-existent in other sets. The set matches the 1080p resolution of many sets but includes a total of four HDMI inputs. This is more than virtually any other TV set in the class and can be essential for some: those who use a PlayStation 3, an HD video recorder, and a media center PC would overburden just about any other set by themselves, the company says. The LF4201DAB also rolls out a new two-way HDTV tuner that includes a programming guide for over-the-air broadcasts and the ability to send data back during interactive shows.
Sony is all but certain to cut the PlayStation 3's price in the near future, the company's CEO Sir Howard Stringer has revealed in an interview published today. The executive observes that the main question at the current stage in the PS3's life is the extent of the price cut. The company is "trying to refine" the cut to achieve its maximum effect, he says. Although Stringer declined to provide a target range for the cuts, researchers expect that Sony may trim the price by as much as $100 before the holiday season, hoping to spur a fresh wave of sales. A combination of a cut and "break-out" games would revitalize the console, Stringer says.
NEC wrapped up its week today with the release of two new large-format LCDs designed as much for PC use as for TVs. The 40-inch LCD4020 and 46-inch LCD4620 each feature a new pixel technology that helps in their sometimes specialized roles. Called CV12, the technique uses chevron-shaped pixels instead of rectangles; the change not only doubles the contrast compared to other full-color large LCDs at 1,200:1 but reduces the off-angle color shifts that can be especially problematic at that size. Bezels are about five times thinner than for many equivalent displays and make them ideal for video walls or other multi-display setups, NEC says.
Garmin on Friday ramped up its nuvi line with the 200W mapping units. The two models set for launch, the 200W and 250W, each use the same high-sensitivity antenna that slims down their profile compared to other GPS receivers, but adds a 4.3-inch wide touchscreen that helps readability and control in the car. Each also includes six million points of interest and some of the unique software features from the navigation company, including a Garmin Lock that can use either a combination or driving to a safe location. The platform is also open and lets third-party companies add their own details to the map.
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