iNEWS AT&T sells twice as many iPhone 3Gs as iPhones
AT&T has reported that in the first 12 days of its releasef, they sold tfwice as many iPhone 3Gs as the total number of 1st generation iPhones sold. They also stated that their expected Q3 earnings will be much stronger than their Q2 earnings with the 3G out, without giving any specific numbers. Analysts say that the new subsidized 3G will cut AT&T's earnings by 10 to 12 cents per share this year, and that profit on the 3G won't happen until 2010.
Early demand for 3G causes shortages
After a huge opening sales weekend for the iPhone 3G, a little more than a quarter of Apple stores nationwide reported having 3Gs available for sale a week after the July 11 launch. The shortage in supply may be partly due to early demand being more than expected, according to one industry analyst at Piper Jaffray & Co. The hardest-to-find model was the $299 black 16 GB, which was only available in about 10% of Apple stores. Supplies of the iPhone were also low in AT&T's 1,200 retail stores. Supply problems continued for a month after the July 11 launch. Meanwhile, bids for the iPhone 3G on eBay reached upwards of $1,000, with one winning bid reaching $2,325.
Unofficial iPhone sales flourish in Russia, China
Despite the fact that Apple has not officially released the iPhone or iPhone 3G in Russia and China, it is estimated that only the U.S. has more iPhone users than either country. Still, the iPhone enjoys an ultra-exclusive status in both countries. Around 400,000 iPhones are estimated to have been brought into Russia since the release of the first version of the device, while about twice as many are estimated to be in China. Buyers of the iPhone 3G paid up to $1,200 around the time of its launch, although the price is expected to come down to around $700 when the device is more widely available. Users of the iPhones in these countries must also pay a fee ($100 in Russia) to get their devices unlocked so that they can be used on local cellular networks Steve Jobs has said that Apple will likely sign contracts with Russian and Chinese cellular providers to sell the iPhone sometime this year.
iPod touch firmware 1.1.5 released
Apple released a free firmware update for iPod touch users who choose not to purchase the $9.95 iPhone 2.0 Software Update. The 1.1.5 update does not provide any new features but improves the stability and speed of the touch's existing programs.
EA to release new games, features for iPhone
Electronic Arts has announced that it will be releasing a number of new games and features through the iTunes store later this year. Along with the already released Tetris and Scrabble, EA will offer Spore Origins (an organism creation game), Monopoly, Tiger Woods ‘09, and Need for Speed. Additionally, updates will be offered for Tetris and Scrabble, including a Wi-Fi multiplayer feature and an accelerometer feature to shuffle letters in Scrabble.
Scrabble & Tetris were the first two iPhone games released by EA.
The Apple store is currently offering iPod touches that are refurbished and less expensive. The 8 GB model is $199, the 16 GB is $299, and the 32 GB is $429. The devices are also listed as having the current 2.0 software release. Go to store.apple.com, scroll to the very bottom of the page, and click on the "Learn more" link under "Refurbished iPod touch" on the left side of the screen.
Apple settles Canadian trademark lawsuit
Apple and Canadian telecom provider Comwave reached a settlement prior to the iPhone 3G launch regarding the use of the trademark "iPhone" in Canada. Apple now has the sole right to use the trademark in Canada, and Comwave will phase out its use of the trademark by November. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.
AT&T: free Wi-Fi access for iPhone users
AT&T has announced that their nationwide network of over 17,000 Wi-Fi hotspots in places like Starbucks and Barnes & Noble will be available for free to iPhone users. This comes after conflicting reports about the issue caused some confusion.
iPhone users report poor 3G reception
A large number of iPhone 3G users have reported that they have inconsistent and spotty reception of AT&T's 3G network in areas that are supposed to have full coverage. This comes while other types of phones reportedly get excellent coverage in the same areas. Reports of poor 3G reception have occurred worldwide in places like Manhattan, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Zurich. One of the iPhone 3G's features is the ability to automatically switch from 3G to 2G when 3G reception is poor. However, it's been discovered that the device will often continue to linger in 3G mode even with exceedingly low signal strength. Some users have found that resetting the iPhone and/or the network settings can help resolve reception issues.
Apple opens first store in China
Apple recently opened its first retail store in the capitol city of China. The new Beijing store includes many of the same products and features as those in the U.S., including a Genius Bar where employees provide technical support to customers for hardware and software. As of this printing, the iPhone was not yet available in the store because Apple has yet to sign a deal with a Chinese wireless carrier.
Apple to release iPhone in more than 70 countries
Apple initially released the iPhone 3G in 21 countries on July 11, and will offer it in 20 additional countries on August 22. In addition, Apple's Web site lists 50 countries where the iPhone is "Coming Soon." Apple has stated publicly that their goal is to release the iPhone in more than 70 countries and sell 10 million iPhones by the end of this year.
AT&T developing speech recognition software for iPhone
AT&T is working on new speech recognition technology for the iPhone that works over the Web. Called Speech Mashups, the Web service captures voice commands over a high speed connection, uses a remote server to interpret them, and then sends them back to the iPhone in a way it can understand. AT&T says that the service is already in use in other smartphones as well as IP-based TV boxes.
App Store reaches 25 million downloads
In its first 13 days after opening, Apple has reported that 25 million applications have been downloaded from its App Store. Ten million of these downloads were reported in the first three days, with the numbers slowing down to an average of 2.5 million downloads.