Following up on the story that Apple settled on wireless carrier China Unicom to distribute the iPhone in China last week, Apple is apparently still in talks with China Mobile to sort out a distribution deal with the company.
According to Macworld UK, the talks between Apple and China Mobile, the world’s biggest carrier by subscribers, have reached no conclusion yet, a China Mobile spokeswoman said Tuesday. An Apple spokeswoman confirmed the company’s three-year distribution deal with China Unicom is not exclusive, but did not say if the company is in talks with other potential partners.
China Unicom will offer the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS, with the first handsets going on sale in the fourth quarter. The company began its talks with Apple two years ago, but China Unicom, which operates a 3G network compatible with the iPhone, became seen as the favorite for an iPhone deal in recent months.
One snag in China Mobile’s talks with Apple was the carrier’s plan for its own mobile application store, which was seen as a potential competitor with the iPhone App Store. Another was China Mobile’s use of a mobile standard for its 3G network that was domestically developed and is not compatible with current iPhone models.
The app store and 3G standard snags could remain in any talks. The China Mobile download store went online last month and supports handsets including “Ophones,” or devices that run a China Mobile operating system but have a layout very similar to an iPhone.
Some details of the iPhone launch could still pose problems for China Unicom as well, including how and whether revenue from the App Store should be shared, one analyst said.
Wireless carrier China Unicom has announced that the company has signed a three year deal with Apple to launch the popular iPhone into the world’s largest mobile phone market. The phones are expected to go on sale in China later this year.
According to BBC News, China has more than 600 million mobile phone accounts and a deal to introduce the iPhone has been long-awaited. Apple said the two partners had agreed a “multi-year deal” and expected the launch to be in the fourth quarter of 2009, but gave no financial details.
“We believe China Unicom’s high-speed mobile broadband network, coupled with [the iPhone] will create new communication and different experiences for customers in China,” said Unicom chairman Chang Xiaobin.
Mark/Space on Tuesday announced the release of The Missing Sync for iPhone 2.0.1, the new version of its data synchronization utility for Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch handsets. The application allows users to synchronize data that the iPhone won’t ordinarily synchronize with the Mac, such as notes, documents, and tasks and archives text messages on the iPhone to the Mac as well as archives call histories, and features a “Migration Assistant” of its own that lets you transfer contacts and other data from another smartphone to the iPhone.
The new version, a 12 megabyte download (courtesy of MacUpdate), adds the ability to create ringtones for the iPhone by using a built-in ringtone editor. According to MacNN, users can simply select a song from the iTunes music library and place it in the editor before trimming and naming their customized ringtone, which is then automatically added to iTunes and ready for transferring onto the iPhone the next time a sync is initiated.
Missing Sync for iPhone 2.0.3 retails for US$39.95 and requires Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later and iPhone OS 2.1 or later to install and run.
On Wednesday, developer 3V released Locker, an iPhone application that allows users to send and receive encoded text messages (for example, “Want to meet me for lunch?” can become a seemingly random stream of text).
Once the message’s recipient receives the encoded message he can just paste it into LOCKER and decode the message.
Locker retails for $0.99 in the App Store and requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later to install and run.
According to the mighty MacFixIt, some users of Apple’s MobileMe syncing solution have reported difficulties uploading pictures from their iPhone or iPod touch to their MobileMe Gallery, an issue that appears to be related to usernames.
If you are experiencing issues when trying to publish a picture from your iPhone or iPod touch to your MobileMe Gallery, your problems could be caused by a bug in username recognition on your device.
Per the article, this Apple KB document outlines the issues, which can occur if your MobileMe username is mixed case (i.e., UserName, or USERname). When setting up MobileMe on your iPhone or iPod touch, simply enter your username as all lowercase letters.
You can check your username by navigating (on your iPhone or iPod touch) to:
Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > your MobileMe account > Account Info
If you have any uppercase letters, do the following:
1. Plug in your iPhone or iPod touch to your computer and sync.
2. Once synced, return to your Account Info on your iPhone/iPod touch.
3. Tap the “Delete Account” button and verify that you would like to delete it.
4. Choose to Add Account, and setup your MobileMe using all lowercase letters.
If you’ve seen this issue on your end or found any workarounds or fixes of your own, please let us know.
Following up on the iPhone OS 3.0 mail bug in which the act of deleting an e-mail within iPhone OS 3.0 isn’t enough to destroy its contents, Apple is reportedly aware of the flaw and could be working on a fix.
According to Gizmodo, a source close to the story has stated that the fix will likely come in iPhone OS 3.1 for the iPhone and iPod touch. The problem, occurs when a user attempts to delete an e-mail. Even after emptying the Mail application’s trash, the message, and all of its contents, are still accessible through the phone’s Spotlight search feature.
To test the flaw, delete a message within the iPhone’s Mail software. Remove it from the trash, and check your mail server to ensure it’s erased. Then, search for the subject line of the message in Spotlight, where, in many cases, the entire message can still be read.
“As far as I can tell, there is no way to completely delete emails from iPhone OS 3.0, which isn’t just strange, it’s a disastrous security flaw,” John Herrman writes for Gizmodo.
The site’s internal tipster doesn’t give any certainty, though, only saying Apple will “probably” include a fix in the upcoming iPhone OS update.
A significant security hole in iPhone OS 3.0 may have surfaced, as a recently published YouTube video demonstrates how the Spotlight search cache doesn’t sync message status with the mail client, so you can still pull up old messages with Spotlight if you know the subject line. According to Engadget, user Matt Janssen, who discovered the bug, says he’s been able to pull up emails three or four months old. Current rumors state that the bug is fixed in iPhone OS 3.1, but until then, here’s the video:
Albeit all signs are currently pointing towards China Unicom acting as the exclusive iPhone carrier in China before two long, Unicom’s upfront buy of five million iPhone units seems to be in question. According to Cellular News, China Unicom’s spokesman Yi Difei declared about the 5 million order rumors that they are “not true”.
However, the spokesman did say that “talks between us and Apple have been going on for some time”, albeit without reaching an agreement yet.
Tiffany Yang, an Apple spokeswoman in Beijing, also said that there are no clear details about iPhone’s official launch in China.
Current guesses point towards a launch in September, though final details have yet to surface for that country’s launch.
While it’s not the first turn-by-turn GPS application to offer driving instructions for Apple’s iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS handset, it’s from TomTom and there’s a brand name behind it. Per Engadget, after starting with New Zealand a few hours ago, the iTunes App Store is now populated with region specific TomTom apps for NZ (US$95), Australia (US$80), US and Canada (US$100), and Western Europe (US$140).
The TomTom application requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later to install and run.
If you’ve tried the application and have any feedback about it, let us know!
In spite of official denials to the widespread rumors, Canadian carrier Rogers Wireless appears to still feature a 8GB iPhone 3GS in its databases. According to Boy Genius Report, several leaks have hinted to a cheaper iPhone 3GS model which would allegedly replace the US$99 iPhone 3G once current stocks have been depleted.
A source claims, however, that at Rogers’ SalesCentral website, a listing titled “IPHN8BLKR 3GS GSM” persists. Several Rogers dealers have meanwhile suggested that the 8GB model has been regularly appearing, and disappearing, from databases during the past week. Earlier rumors have hinted that Rogers is already taking 8GB 3GS units into inventory.