MediaFile

Did Cisco Flip too soon?

I’m in Silicon Valley this week meeting technology bankers and venture capitalists. Among the deal chatter, this is a question that came up more than once: Does Cisco feel a little silly for buying Flip camcorder maker Pure Digital, now that Apple has launched its popular iPod music players with built-in video?

The networking giant has long been trying to expand in the consumer gadgets market, and six months ago, it paid $590 million to acquire the San Francisco-based maker of pocket-sized digital camcorders. These sell for between $149.99 and $199.99.

Last week, Apple unveiled a new iPod Nano with built-in video. The 8GB version that can shoot up to two hours of video costs $149, and the next version costs $179.

Cisco’s plan was to use its operational scale and marketing to bring Flip to a much wider market. Given how much people like to post home-made videos on YouTube and other channels, it sounded like a smart idea.

But now Apple is giving Cisco a run for its money. Some people say the Flip shoots better video than the Nano, but generally speaking — which device would you rather choose, given that both are similarly priced? A hip little music player that also lets you shoot baby Morgan’s first steps (not to mention plays radio and has a pedometer), or a Cisco-owned digital video recorder?

Here comes Windows Unicorn

Thousands of Microsofties yucked it up at the expense of rival Apple at their annual get-together at Seattle’s Safeco field on Thursday.

Saturday Night Live star Seth Meyers set about the old foe, which had its own festival of self-congratulation yesterday.

“Who at Apple let an 8-year-old girl name their new operating system Snow Leopard?,” Meyers asked, according to one employee spreading the good word on Facebook. “What, was Unicorn taken? Was Pony not available?”

Apple cuts off Palm Pre sync (again)

It should probably come as no surprise, but Apple has again cut off iTunes syncing privileges for Palm’s Pre, the latest dig in their tit-for-tat over Palm’s smartphone. Apple’s newest version of iTunes, launched yesterday, disables the sync.

In July, Palm updated its webOS software to allow Pre users to sync the handset with iTunes, Apple’s ubiquitous media management software, where millions of people store their music and videos–after Apple had disabled such functionality in an earlier iTunes update.

At the time, Palm also complained to the USB Implementers Forum — which helps support and promote the USB interface –  about the sync cutoff.

from The Great Debate UK:

iPod Nano redesign challenges Flip

nano- Will Findlater is deputy editor of Stuff magazine. The opinions expressed are his own. -

Apple’s "It’s Only Rock and Roll" launch held a few surprises. Most were expecting major updates to the whole line of iPods, but it was only really the iPod Nano that got a thorough going-over.

Still amazingly slim, it now sports a tiny lens towards the bottom of its rear, allowing it to record video footage. This can then be synced to your computer and sent to YouTube with a single button click. Nifty, and bad news for the likes of Flip who make pocket video cameras for a living.

EA brings “Madden” to iPhone

Electronic Arts is launching its most venerable video game franchise, “Madden Football,” onto the hottest new gaming platform going, Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch.

The game, whose origins date back 20 years, has been a cash cow for EA over the years, and the company is now seeking to extend that popularity into the fast-growing smartphone market. EA showed a demo of the game at Apple’s media event on Wednesday.

“We’re really happy with the quality of the game, making it fun and easy to pick up and play and we think we’ve created the most authentic and realistic football experience in the market today,” said Adam Sussman, vice president of worldwide publishing for EA Mobile.

Graphic: A look at Apple’s historical stock gyrations

Apple’s stock has historically fluctuated widely in the days before and after three major annual events: the January Macworld showcase for fans, the mid-year Worldwide Developers’ Conference, and its September media/entertainment event.

Its share movements, however, have been relatively muted in the run-up to this year’s September extravaganza with many Apple-watchers initially expecting a no-show from CEO Steve Jobs, who had been out most of the year on medical leave for a liver transplant. Here’s a look at how Apple’s share price has fared in relation to major press events held by the company since 2007.

Key to events is below:

1 – January 9, 2007 (Macworld) – Announces (but does not launch) first iPhone

Apple’s Steve Jobs steals the show

New colors, video camera, price cuts. Whatever. The Apple show belonged to Steve Jobs.

So how did he look? Rail thin, as you can see from this picture (see below or click here for a bunch more shots of the 54-year old chief executive). That shouldn’t come as a surprise, given he’s recovering from a liver transplant.

Even looking frail, however, his presence pumped up the crowd. “Steve Jobs making an appearance was definitely a pleasant surprise,” said Shaw Wu, an analyst with Kaufman Brothers. Another analyst, Brian Marshall of Broadpoint AmTech added, “I was surprised to see Steve. It’s great to see that he’s doing well.”

from Photographers' Blog:

Live from the Apple media extravaganza

Reuters will have live updates and photos from Apple's live event at 1 pm ET on Wednesday.

Apple Inc's Phil Schiller, Senior Vice-President of worldwide marketing, speaks about the iPod touch's game playing capabilities.  REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

All photos by Robert Galbraith.

Beatlemania re-surfaces on eve of Apple event

Britain’s Sky News caused a bit of a stir on the blogosphere on Tuesday after it cited John Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, as saying the Beatles back catalog was finally going for sale on iTunes: seemingly confirming a longstanding rumor that had gained momentum ahead of a widely watched Sept 9 Apple music-entertainment event.

But the report by the 24-hour news service, spotted by 9to5Mac and TechCrunch, among others, was stricken off the Sky News Web site hours later and discredited by a numner of other media outlets including Cnet. In response to Reuters’ queries, EMI, which owns the master recordings, sent us this from Ernesto Schmitt, EMI’s global catalog president:

“Conversations between Apple and EMI are ongoing and we look forward to the day when we can make the music available digitally. But it’s not tomorrow,” Schmitt said in comments first made to the Financial Times. Apple declined to comment.

Beatles tie-in with Apple event? How about the Stones?

Apple confirmed what the technology world has been expecting for weeks: a September 9 media extravaganza. The company has been holding September events for years to refresh its iPod line and unveil new models ahead of the holiday season.

And while new iPods are also expected to be on tap this year, Apple threw in a little curveball to get the company’s fans and followers talking.

Sept. 9 is also the launch day for “The Beatles: Rock Band” video games, as well as the date that EMI will release the digitally remastered versions of their original song catalog. Given that supposed coincidence, some were speculating that a deal to finally bring the Beatles’ songs to iTunes was brewing. The Beatles may be the most famous rock band ever, but they have not yet made their songs available on Apple’s hugely popular online store.