Apple is rolling out its iTunes Match service to several new countries today, including Austria, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Slovenia. A full report on the launches was first revealed by MacStories. Even though iTunes Match is now live in Italy and terms of service have been changed to include Match in other countries, Apple has yet to update its official iTunes Match availability document.
iTunes Match was first launched in the US in November 2011, followed by further rollouts in December and January. The service is now officially available in 37 countries around the globe including Australia, Brazil, the UK and others. Although Japan was rumored to be getting the service in February, Apple has yet to launch it there.
Apple has just announced that the 2012 Worldwide Developers Conference will kick off on June 11 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Tickets for the five-day conference can be purchased via Apple's website for $1599. Apple will publish all technical sessions on their Apple Developer website for developers who can't afford a ticket or are unable to attend the conference this year.
“We have a great WWDC planned this year and can’t wait to share the latest news about iOS and OS X Mountain Lion with developers,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The iOS platform has created an entirely new industry with fantastic opportunities for developers across the country and around the world.”
Developers are hoping that Apple will preview iOS 6 at the event.
The Etch a Sketch is making a big comeback... Not only did it see a boom in sales after the famous Mitt Romney aide gaffe, but it's now a stylish iPhone case. The iFoolish iPhone protector keeps your iPhone safe from scratches while allowing you to keep notes or doodle to pass the time.
The 3.7-inch retro red case comes equipped with a drawing pen and an Etch a Sketch-like "magic drawing board" for nostalgic adults, or youngsters who are lucky enough to own an iPhone. The iFoolish iPhone case weighs 70 g (2.4 oz) and requires no app, setup or battery power to use.
iOS fans watch out. Apple has just launched updates to their own mobile applications, iBooks and Cards. Although the iBooks update is relatively minor, version 2.1.1 will solve an annoying problem that some users have experienced. The main bug addressed by the update is an issue where iBooks prompts you to sign in with your Apple ID at unexpected times.
Fans of Cards will be happy to install version 1.1 which brings all kinds of new options. Not only are there now letterpress cards specifically designed for Mother's Day coming up on May 13, but Apple has added additional cards for birthdays and more. Other improvements include new Get Well card designs.
UPDATE: The U.S. has officially filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple as well as publishers Hachette SA, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster. - via Bloomberg
UPDATE 2: The Department of Justice has released a PDF of their complaint. It's a really interesting read!
The Department of Justice plans to launch an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and five major publishers for alleged price-fixing. In March the The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. Justice Department warned Apple and the publishers that it planned to sue them for raising the price of electronic books. The Justice Department believes that Apple violated federal antitrust laws by jointly raising the prices with the five publishers.
"The Justice Department is investigating alleged price-fixing by Apple and five major publishers: CBS Corp’s Simon & Schuster Inc, HarperCollins Publishers Inc, Lagardere SCA’s Hachette Book Group, Pearson and Macmillan, a unit of Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH. A lawsuit against Apple, one of the parties not in negotiations with the Justice Department for a potential settlement, could come as early as Wednesday but no final decision has been made, the people said."
Five new regional US carriers will join C Spire Wireless on April 20 and begin offering the iPhone to customers. The complete list includes nTelos in Virginia, Appalachian Wireless in Kentucky, Cellcom from Wisconsin, and two Alaskan carriers, GCI and Alaska Communications.
GCI is the only carrier with a GSM network, so they will be the only ones launching the iPhone 3GS alongside the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. iPhone fans looking for options besides wireless giants AT&T, Verizon and Sprint will find pricing will come in below the big players, too.
The idea that SIM cards could disappear is looking less likely, as smartphone manufacturers RIM, Nokia and Apple have submitted competing proposals for a next-generation subscriber identity module. The European Telecommunications Standards Institutes (ETSI) has scheduled a vote to decide between the competing designs.
Apple's proposed nano-SIM card is pictured above from The Verge, inside the outline of a standard SIM card. When it comes down to it, the Apple design is much like current micro-SIM cards, except with less plastic around the edges. In contrast, both competing designs from Nokia and RIM are redesigned more like an SD card.
More evidence of LTE connectivity on the next iPhone has surfaced in a document acquired by AppleInsider. Apple is reportedly reviewing parts that were submitted by suppliers, a key step in deciding which components will be used in the iPhone 5.
The information comes from a research note produced by investment firm Barclays. The firm contends that Apple is expected to include the Qualcomm MDM9615 LTE chip in the next generation iPhone, which supports 4G data connections and voice. In contrast, the LTE hardware found on the new iPad is the Qualcomm MDM9600, which only supports data connections.
Everyone is looking forward to the super quick LTE capable iPhone 5 this fall, right? Maybe everyone except for wireless carrier Sprint. Unfortunately, word on the street is that Sprint faces problems, including possible bankruptcy should Apple launch the next generation device with LTE.
Problems for Sprint are already likely given the fact that Apple has shipped the new iPad with LTE, in both Verizon and AT&T flavors. Notice the lack of a third-generation iPad for Sprint. The main problem here outside of spectrum issues remains that Sprint's LTE network is coming online this year, putting the carrier behind its major rivals by a year and a half.
Even disclaimers and beta software status hasn't prevented Siri from sparking a new lawsuit against Apple. iPhone 4S users including Frank Fazio, who is suing Apple in a California class action suit, have observed that Siri does not always work on their devices exactly how it works on television.
They claim that Apple is providing "false and misleading" advertising and that the iPhone 4S without Siri is simply a more expensive iPhone 4. Of course, this ignores the fact that the iPhone 4S has several hardware upgrades from its predecessor and Siri is just one feature of many available in Apple's mobile operating system iOS 5.