MediaFile

Apple iPhone launche$, everybody i$ happy!

During these economic and political hard times, it’s nice when people can get together to rejoice about something wonderful. You know: the good times.

Such was the case this morning at Apple stores around the nation, where still-employed Apple workers sold phones and stuff  (and clapped a lot), and eager shoppers bought the new iPhone 4 for $200, and signed up for — or renewed — contracts to pay AT&T $2,400 or more over 2 years.

Woo hoo!

Analyst sees T-Mobile USA as iPhone contender

Kaufman Bros analyst Shaw Wu threw his hat in the ring on Thursday with an answer to one of the mobile industry’s favorite questions of the season: Which US carrier will be next to get their hands on Apple’s popular iPhone?

According to Wu, the answer is likely  T-Mobile USA, a distant fourth in the cutthroat US mobile service market.
This would be a surprise, as most of the rumors have surrounded Verizon Wireless, a Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group Plc venture, because that company is the market leader and has made no secret of its desire to get the Apple phone on its shelves.

But Wu says T-Mobile USA may be the best candidate to get the phone first because it uses the same network technology as AT&T Inc, currently the exclusive US iPhone provider. While Verizon Wireless has more customers than T-Mobile USA, its network runs on a technology that Apple currently does not support. Interestingly enough, Wu said, the newest version of iPhone would also work on 2100 Mhz frequency of wireless spectrum, which T-Mobile USA uses.

Want an in with Kleiner? Send a drawing

For Matt Murphy, partner with influential Silicon Valley Venture fund Kleiner Perkins and point person on the firm’s iFund, old-school is still the way to go.

During an interview at the Reuters technology summit, the VC said picking the right startups to back was tough, given that he had received 8,000 business plans for iFund, which invests in iPhone and iPad applications.

The onslaught of business plans from app developers escalated to almost 500 per day when the fund expanded to $200 million in March.

Lost iPhone’s finder unmasked, lawyer in tow

blahThe world on Thursday finally — finally! — discovered the identity of the infamous bar patron who scooped up the lost Apple iPhone prototype from a Silicon Valley beer garden, thus setting off a chain of events that has taken us far afield from the technology world, into the murky waters of journalistic ethics and police raids.

Wired.com first identified the individual as Brian Hogan, a 21-year-old who lives in Redwood City, California. But it wasn’t long before an email from Mr. Hogan’s lawyer was shooting into the inboxes of journalists everywhere, defending him as “kind of young man that any parent would be proud to have as their son.”

“He regrets his mistake in not doing more to return the phone,” said the email from his lawyer, Jeffrey Bornstein.

Missing iPhone saga continues; police said to be involved

iphoneblahSure, it was one of the busiest weeks on the tech earnings calendar, but despite a crush of important indicators about the health of the industry, all anyone seems to care about was that famously wayward iPhone, which caused such a stir earlier in the week.

And just as it seemed the story was about to peter out, there was a report Friday that the police are now investigating the case.

If you’ve been living in a cave for the past week (ignoring David Letterman and publicity-seeking airlines) and missed all the hubbub, here’s the recap: young Apple engineer accidentally leaves a apparent prototype of fourth-generation iPhone in a Silicon Valley bar, where the device is recovered by an unknown individual, who turns around and sells it to gadget site Gizmodo for $5,000. Gizmodo promptly reveals to the world all the glories of the new iPhone, complete with pictures. Apple asks for, and gets, the device back.

Microsoft’s Kin tries to improve your social life (video)

kinMicrosoft officially entered the feature-phone wars on Monday, unveiling its new Kin device at a media event in San Francisco.

It’s tough to stand out in the exploding phone space these days; just keeping all the new gadgets straight takes some work. Device makers are increasingly targeting specific slices, such as gamers or video lovers.

Microsoft made it clear who its target demographic is. BlackBerry can have the middle-aged businessman and road warrior, and Apple’s iPhone can have the trendy folks who can’t do without their 175,000 apps.

Apple’s Jobs: “Butterflies” and more jabs at Google

jobs1The media and industry analysts gathered at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, on Thursday got a heavy dose of commentary from CEO Steve Jobs on a range of subjects, representing probably his biggest mouthful in a single setting since returning from medical leave last summer.

In a session that lasted more than 90-minutes, including Q&A with reporters, a clearly energized Jobs expounded on the iPhone’s new system software, his nerves ahead of the iPad launch, Apple’s new role as a peddler of mobile advertising, and of course Google, the company’s nemesis du jour.

Jobs announced Apple new iAd platform, which thrusts the company into a small but fast-growing market where Google also has designs.  But Jobs made clear that his company had no plans to become a “worldwide ad agency,” and he acknowledged that Apple was indeed pursuing AdMob when Google swooped in to buy the mobile ad firm:

IPad launch delay? Analyst says “bottleneck” impacting production

ipadMight Apple fans have to wait another full month to get his or her hands on the company’s latest and greatest device, the iPad? It’s possible, according to Canaccord Adams analyst Peter Misek.

He said the iPad launch, currently expected in late March, may be “somewhat limited” by an unspecified “manufacturing bottleneck” at the device’s manufacturer, Hon Hai Precision. That could make the launch a U.S.-only event and limit available units to 300,000 in March–which might even prompt Apple to delay the debut until April, Misek said.

That sort of delay would not augur well for the so-called “third category” device, where the strength of consumer demand is still uncertain.

Did Apple buy mapping company Placebase?

Although the company isn’t saying anything, it appears as if Apple has purchased a small Web mapping service called Placebase.

The loose ends were tied together Wednesday in a Computerworld blog post.  When asked to confirm whether it had indeed purchased the company, an Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.

Word of the buy cropped up briefly back in July but failed to attract much notice. But Computerworld noted that the LinkedIn pages for both the founder and the CTO of Placebase now show them as Apple employees.

from Breakingviews:

Put BlackBerry on hold – but not for long

Blackberry TourBlackBerry-maker Research In Motion is a victim of its own success. Having dominated the market for corporate e-mail devices for years, it is being forced to seek out growth in consumer markets, where, so far, it has had trouble differentiating its products.

Going mainstream has helped vastly expand its consumer base -- which now represents half of all BlackBerry subscribers. Fully 80 percent of its new subscribers now come from outside its traditional corporate base.

But that success is coming at a growing cost to the once lofty average selling price of its phones, the latest quarterly results show. Profits for its second fiscal quarter dipped 3.5 percent, amid weak subscriber growth. Product prices appear under pressure at both ends of its business, both among corporate users and with consumers.