Apple Offers $30 iTunes Store Gift Certificates to Smooth Over iPhone 3G S Activation Delays

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Date: Monday, June 22nd, 2009, 09:10
Category: iPhone 3GS, News

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For iPhone 3G S customers experiencing delays activating their new units, Apple may be lending a hand.

According to CNET, Apple began notifying affected customers via e-mail on Sunday that they may experience additional delays for another two days due to “system issues” and “high activation volumes,” according to readers in various blogs who claim to have received the e-mail. The problems began immediately after the new iPhone’s launch Friday.

As a way of apology for the delays, the same e-mail said Apple plans to offer customers a US$30 credit iTunes Store credit for “the inconvenience this delay has caused.”

Here’s the entire text of the e-mail:

Dear Apple Customer,
Thank you for your recent Apple Store order. We appreciate your patience and apologize for the inconvenience caused by the delay in your iPhone activation.

We are still resolving the issue that was encountered while activating your iPhone with AT&T. Unfortunately, due to system issues and continued high activation volumes, this could take us up to an additional 48 hours to complete.

On Monday, you’ll receive an email from Apple with an iTunes Store credit in the amount of $30. We hope you will enjoy this gift and accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience this delay has caused.

Thank you for choosing Apple.

Sincerely,
Apple Online Store Team

Apple representatives have yet to comment on this.

Jobs Receives Liver Transplant, Expected to Return to Apple at End of June

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Date: Monday, June 22nd, 2009, 09:23
Category: News

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While it was never entirely clear what Apple co-founder Steve Jobs would do to recuperate between January and June, a Wall Street Journal article maintains that he’s had a liver transplant and that his return to work may be gradual at first.

Citing sources close to the story, the article state that Jobs had his transplant two months earlier through doctors in Tennessee. Although these are sometimes problematic, the company head is viewed as “recovering well” and on track to resume his usual post in the often-repeated late June timeframe.

Upon his return, Jobs isn’t expected to go full-out, as usual. Instead, his physicians have reportedly advised him to only work part-time for the first “month or two” until it’s certain he can handle a full slate.

As a consequence, Tim Cook, normally the chief operating officer and temporarily handling chief executive duties during Jobs’ absence, may now be more involved with Apple’s leadership than he has in the past. How much of this will vary from his current acting CEO role isn’t clear, but it’s hinted he may be placed on Apple’s board of directors sometime soon, giving him greater sway over the direction of the Mac maker.

The transplant, if true, could well create a much clearer picture of what triggered Jobs’ rapid weight loss in 2008 and his forced break in 2009. Washington University doctor William Hawkins believes that the pancreatic cancer that affected Jobs in 2004, once thought cured, metastasized again in his liver — the organ most likely to continue supporting that particular form of cancer. About three quarters of all those who recover from the initial pancreatic tumor get that cancer again.

Strangely enough, few opt for a liver transplant, as spare organs are rare and there’s no guarantee that replacing the cancerous organ will solve the problem. The odds are nonetheless good and again see three quarters of those who pick the transplant option surviving at least five years longer. Tennessee was likely chosen as the waiting list was shorter than in other states and feasible for a man with the income to travel wherever he could get the quickest treatment.

Not surprisingly, confirming any of these assertions proves difficult through Apple’s tendency towards secrecy, and especially that of Steve Jobs, who has long expressed frustration with journalists and investors intruding into what he sees as a private matter. None of the hospitals committed to regularly performing liver transplants say they have Jobs as a patient. When asked, Apple spokeswoman Katie Cotton would only echo the company’s official statement that Jobs “continues to look forward” to his end-of-June return.

Apple Revises iTunes Store Terms and Conditions

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Date: Thursday, June 18th, 2009, 18:20
Category: Legal, News

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If you’re fond of reading the small print, this is for you.

Per Macworld UK, Apple has updated the iTunes terms and conditions with the release of yesterday’s iPhone OS 3.0 Software Update.

The changes reflect the ability to download movies, TV shows, music videos, and audiobooks from the iTunes Store on your iPhone or iPod touch. Downloads over 10MB require a Wi-Fi connection and downloading a full-length film on your iPhone could prove problematic if Wi-Fi connection is lost as Apple notes:

“Interrupted Delivery to iPod or iPhone. If delivery of a Product you purchased or rented (as applicable) using Wi-Fi on an iPod or iPhone is interrupted, your transaction will be included in your download queue. You may resume the delivery to your Apple-authorized device by selecting “Check for Purchases” from the Store menu in the iTunes application on your computer, or the download section on your iPod touch or iPhone.”

Click here for the full terms and conditions, although it basically sets the new parameters for shopping for larger content on the go and the sticking points to this.

Apple Opts for Slower SATA Spec for Hard Disk Drives in New 13″ MacBook Pro

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Date: Tuesday, June 16th, 2009, 08:12
Category: MacBook Pro, News

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In spite of Apple’s introduction of the 13″ unibody MacBook Pro notebook at WWDC last week, it may have opted for a slower standard. According to Engadget, the new MacBook Pro notebooks that ship with conventional hard disks may only have a 1.5GBps SATA enabled, while SSD configs are apparently getting the full 3.0GBps SATA II experience that used to be standard.
Albeit most people this won’t make too much difference since traditional hard drives can’t move data that fast, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re hoping to buy an hard drive unit and swap in a speedier SSD, since your max performance will be bottlenecked.

Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) to Retail for $29 Upgrade Price

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Date: Thursday, June 11th, 2009, 09:26
Category: News

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Recently, Apple announced a final ship date and upgrade price its upcoming Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) operating system. The new OS will hit this September as an upgrade for Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) users and be available for US$29.
According to The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Snow Leopard features include built-in Microsoft Exchange 2007 support along with a slicker install process, faster applications, and 64-bit versions of standard applications that boost overall performance. Apple brags that “[u]sers will notice a more responsive Finder; Mail that loads messages 85 percent faster and conducts searches up to 90 percent faster; Time Machine with up to 50 percent faster initial backup; a Dock with Expose integration; a 64-bit version of Safari 4 that boosts the performance of the Nitro JavaScript engine by up to 50 percent and is resistant to crashes caused by plug-ins.”
In addition to the US$29 single user upgrade, a family pack upgrade will cost US$49. Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) users will pay US$169 for a 10.6/iLife box set or US$229 for a family pack.
All users who purchased or will purchase a new qualifying Mac between June8th and December 26th will receive a free upgrade package and pay US$9.95 for shipping and handling. You must request your up-to-date upgrade within 90 days of your original purchase.
Snow Leopard requires a minimum of 1GB RAM and runs on Intel-based Macintoshes. Full system requirements are hosted at Apple’s tech specs page.

Apple Posts WWDC 2009 Keynote

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Date: Tuesday, June 9th, 2009, 10:48
Category: News

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If you wanted a gander at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote from yesterday, the company just placed a link here, complete with Phil Schiller, Scott Forstall and a bevy of iPhone developers.
Eight days until iPhone OS 3.0, definitely not a bad thing.

AT&T Cripples iPhone 3GS By Not Offering Features At Launch

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Date: Monday, June 8th, 2009, 21:09
Category: iPhone, News

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Today’s WWDC Keynote brought some surprises, and some disappointments. Perhaps the announcement generating the most vocal jeers was that AT&T would not be offering MMS and tethering services even though the iPhone’s 3.0 software was ready to support it.

The iPod Observer reported in a report that AT&T spokesperson, Mark Siegel, indicated that tethering would be coming to the iPhone, but that no timeframe was determined for its availability. Also reported was that MMS was unavailable because, “AT&T hasn’t decided yet how to handle MMS on the iPhone.”
These blatant omissions from AT&T coupled with other questions including AT&T allowing video streaming on other platforms besides the iPhone, brought to light by their insistence that SlingMedia cripple their iPhone app to only work over wifi, has many people scratching their heads and asking AT&T…WTF??!! Rumors of Apple striking a deal with Verizon has many iPhone owners already vocalizing their desire to hold off purchasing the new iPhone 3GS until they can also defect to another provider.

Is AT&T committing suicide with these moves, or is this how they give the finger to Apple for courting other vendors? Discuss it in the forums!

Apple Announces iPhone OS 3.0 Firmware, June 17th Ship Date

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Date: Monday, June 8th, 2009, 17:56
Category: iPhone, News


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At the core of the iPhone is its firmware and after months of waiting, Apple senior vice president of iPhone software Scott Forstall user the Worldwide Developers Conference keynote to announce details of iPhone OS 3.0, which will be released on June 17, 2009.
Per the Apple Core, iPhone OS 3.0 will be a free release for all iPhone customers and support first all iPhone and iPod touch models, though iPod touch users will need to purchase the update for US$10.
Current iPhone software developers will be able to download the new release on Monday, as the software has gone “golden master” today.
Forstall then went on to mention the 100+ new features to be found in the iPhone OS 3.0 update, incuding Cut, Copy, and Paste as well as Landscape mode in all key applications, including Mail, Notes and Messages. Apple has also included Spotlight support across the entire device as well as ubiquitous searching.
Other new features include peer-to-peer Bluetooth-based multiplayer gaming, push notification and in-app store support.
Multimedia Messaging Support (MMS) has long since been demanded on the iPhone and, unfortunately, it appears that iPhone users in the United States will be waiting longer. Forstall noted that while iPhone OS 3.0 is capable of MMS, it requires carrier support to implement, which AT&T seems to be hesitant on.
Twenty-nine carriers in 76 countries will support MMS at the time of iPhone 3.0′s launch, according to Forstall. AT&T, Apple’s U.S. carrier partner, isn’t among them, at least not initially. AT&T will be ready to support MMS “later this summer,” according to Forstall. That news that elicited boos from the crowd.
Fortall then moved into tethering (the ability for a Mac or PC to share the iPhone’s Internet connection), another feature AT&T seems to have dropped the ball on. The upcoming iPhone OS 3.0 tethering feature will work over USB or Bluetooth, and works on Mac OS X and Windows.
“Find My Phone” is a new feature in iPhone 3.0 that helps you locate your iPhone if you’ve misplaced it wherein users can log in to MobileMe and it will show you where you left your phone. Users can also send a message to the phone, and will play an alert, even if you left the phone in silent mode. A remote wipe feature will also allow “Find My Phone” to erase all your data if your iPhone falls into the wrong hands.
The new iPhone OS supports HTTP-based streaming audio and video that will pick the right bit-rate depending on your phone’s data connection quality. Autofill has been added for the Mobile Safari software, to save you from having to fill out forms manually.
Another hotly-anticipated capability for the iPhone is turn-by-turn GPS-based directions. To that end, TomTom demonstrated an iPhone 3.0 application that delivers real TomTom navigation on the iPhone. The software also works with a cradle device that suction-cups to your vehicle’s window. The device is apparently more than just a holder and securely docks the iPhone, and can enhance the iPhone’s GPS capabilities, and give you hands-free calling capabilities, power and a loudspeaker. TomTom plans to release both this summer, with a range of maps.

Apple Announces iPhone 3G S, Unit to Be Available June 17th

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Date: Monday, June 8th, 2009, 16:09
Category: iPhone, News

During the Worldwide Developers Conference keynote address, Apple unveiled a new model of its iPhone handset, the iPhone 3G S.
“The ‘S’ stands for speed,” stated Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, during the keynote.
Per AppleInsider, the new handset retails for US$199 for the 16GB version and US$299 for a 32GB model. Apple is cutting the price on the current iPhone 3G handset to US$99 for the 8GB phone.
The iPhone 3G S to be available in the U.S. on June 19th and go on sale in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland on June 19th. Apple has stated that the handset will launch in six more countries, with more launches to come in July and August.


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Despite a similar external appearance to the iPhone 3G model, the iPhone 3G S offers a 3. megapixel camera that lets you control the focus either by tapping on the screen or using the autofocus feature. In addition, the iPhone’s new camera captures video in addition to still photos.
A new “tap to focus” feature allows users to select an object or area of interest and the camera automatically re-adjusts focus and exposure. You can record high-quality video clips and edit them right on your iPhone 3G S by simply trimming the start and stop points and send photos and video by email or MMS and post them to MobileMe or YouTube with just one tap.
The unit also includes a voice-control feature to allow users to speak commands for applications on the phone. Accessibility improvements include VoiceOver support for reading to users and the ability to zoom in on the phone’s display for larger icons.
The iPhone 3G S also includes hardware encryption while other features within the iPhone OS 3.0 firmware include a “Find Your iPhone” feature as well as a remote wipe tool wherein personal information and backups can be readily destroyed as needed.
Apple has also promised improved battery life with the iPhone 3G S, the new phone offering nine hours of Internet access on Wi-Fi, 10 hours of video, 30 hours of audio playback, 12 hours of 2G talk time, and five hours of 3G talk time.
The company also touted the environmental friendliness of its new handset, Apple noting that it reduced packaging for the phone by 23% as well as making the iPhone 3G S arsenic-free glass and a mercury-free LCD as well as free of brominated flame retardant (BFR) and PVC.
Other features announced during Monday’s keynote include a built-in digital compass, and support for the Nike+ fitness accessory.
The iPhone 3G S will ship with iPhone OS 3.0, which provides access to over 100 features such as such as Cut, Copy and Paste, MMS, Spotlight Search, landscape keyboard and more.

Report Cites Jobs as Ready to Return to Apple

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Date: Friday, June 5th, 2009, 09:27
Category: News

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Apple’s stock rose appreciably following news that company CEO Steve Jobs is on track to return to the company from his medical leave of absence as planned.
Per a Reuters article, sources have cited that Jobs will return by the end of the month, which would place his comeback ahead of Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco on Monday, an event at which Jobs unveiled Apple’s 3G iPhone a year ago but had not been expected to attend this time.
Jobs, 54, had said his medical leave would run until the end of June when he initially announced the move in January, setting the stage for a July return. Company representatives had said repeatedly he remained involved in strategic decisions and would return as scheduled.
Jobs was treated for a rare type of pancreatic cancer in 2004. He appeared gaunt at an Apple event last June and in January said he would take a leave of absence because his health problems were “more complex” than originally thought.
The Apple CEO’s recovery “is coming along,” the news wire reported.
The report also said two people who do business with Apple have been told by Apple managers that the company is trying to coordinate Jobs’ return with a product launch or public event.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.