iPhone 3G: Detail by Detail

iphone 3gFor a short while the headline was all set to read “Software Stuns, Hardware Stunningly Absent” but Apple saved the biggest (and most expected) news for last.  After spending an hour talking about software and services, Steve Jobs reassured an anxious audience of Apple fans and press with exactly the news they were anticipating: the birth if the second iPhone, iPhone 3G.

The new iPhone will hit retailers July 11.  As widely expected, the phone was built to operate on faster third generation or 3G mobile networks (UMTS, HSDPA, GSM).  With this upgrade, the phone will be able to download data and Internet content at average rates of about three to five times faster than the first generation EDGE powered iPhone.   (And for those outside of a 3G area, the new phone is backwards compatible and will still support the intermediate speed EDGE service).

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iPhone Imminent? The Final Speculations

iphone-dice2.jpgThe countdown time is under 24 hours now, right in about 22 hours and a few minutes.  When the clock hits zero, or a few minutes after 10am PST Monday, Steve Jobs will take the stage at Apple’s World Wide Developers conference to issue his keynote.  By most estimates, somewhere in that opening speech, somewhere woven in amidst all the product hyperbole and “go-team” cheer leading, he’ll also introduce the second generation of the iPhone.  At least, that’s the expectation that’s been brewing for months.

With the deadline looming, this week, the iPhone 2.0  buzz, rumors and speculation reached crescendo.  3G, GPS, smaller, bigger, two models or just one.  Theories were everywhere.

Across the blogosphere and in the major press, outside of the echo-chambers repeating what’s already said,  many have searched for the unique scoop; the chance to reveal the iPhone features (or whatever product announcement is ultimately coming) just ahead of the official news.   Apple’s managed to keep things mostly under wraps.

The only thing that is virtually certain is tomorrow Apple will announce a new product.  Thursday and Friday that was confirmed by reports detailing unusual shipping patterns through Apple’s distribution partners.

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Musically Speaking: Guitar Hero Metallica, Radiohead to iTunes

metallica guitar hero editionUsually when a company makes a positive announcement about their product pipeline, it is with a glitzy PR campaign, or at the least, a press release.  Bucking tradition, Activision went the modest route this week and (intentionally or inadvertently) slipped news into an SEC filing.

According to the regulatory document, one of the next titles planned for their popular and lucrative Guitar Hero franchise will be built around heavy metal rockers, Metallica.

The Metallica Hero edition will be the 2nd installment built around the career and songbook of a single band.  Earlier this year the company revealed Guitar Hero: Aerosmith as the first version. That game is due in stores later this month.

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EA Confirms Buy of Social Network Rupture

rumors confirmedUpdate June 4: A month after the rumor surfaced (see the below article reprint), Electronic Arts has officially confirmed the purchase of Three SF, a.k.a. Rupture, the social network for video gamers founded by Napster creator, Shawn Fanning. Few details beyond confirmation have been provided. The unofficial word, as was the case a month ago when the story first broke, is that the deal was in the neighborhood of $30m. EA promises more detail in the future. The original Metue article from May when the sale was not yet confirmed is reprinted below.

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Fiduciary Fallout: Yahoos Board Challenged Over Merger Decisions

yahoo fightCorporate takeover battles are full of strategic shifts, risks and gambles. Poison Pills, Golden Parachutes, Offers and Counter Offers.  It’s a brinkmanship game.  Intrigue and misdirection are to be expected.  Given that, absent all the evidence, it can be difficult to judge the good from the bad when looking in as an outsider.  One thing that’s not hard to judge is the explicit opinion of expert consultants.  And when one calls your plans “nuts?” That’s not good, far from it.  Still that’s exactly the boiling cauldron of hot water Yahoo’s board of directors and CEO Jerry Yang have found themselves in this week.

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Dear Yahoo: Icahn’s Latest Letter (Reprint)

lettersEarlier today, in light of recent revelations about Yahoo’s handling of the Microsoft merger offer, investor Carl Icahn went public with his latest words discontent.  His letter, which was filed with the SEC as part of the public record, is reprinted below.

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Mapping the iPhone World: Apples Carrier Agreements Visually and By the Numbers

iphone dice[Update June 4: Japan was up for grabs and NTT DoComo was rumored to be front runner for local iPhone distribution there. In a surprise twist, Apple appears to have opted to give the lucrative contract to number three provider, Softbank. Softbank has just over 18.8m subscribers, equal to about 18.8 percent market share. They also have only about one third the subscriber base of NTT DoCoMo but they are growing more aggressively.]

The anticipated d-day (delivery day) for iPhone 2.0 is rapidly approaching.  With it, the buzz machines are in overdrive and speculation about features and functions is bordering on frenzy.  Some outlets are showing “leaked” pictures, others claiming the inside track on feature sets.  Amidst this circus, which seems to be running without need of further factual fuel, Apple has been steadily working a different agenda:  expanding their potential market through new global carrier partners.  The depth and scope of this new found reach, from India, to Scandinavia, to Hong Kong, by the numbers, and in graphics, is as impressive (if not more so) than the volume of hype.

iphone carrier world mapThis edition of Metue’s “By the Numbers” report takes a one stop look at the iPhone by carrier relationship.  Like the game of risk, this one is all about Apple’s sweeping tide across the map of the world.   

For the quick overview of this data, there is a visual map.  It shows existing market penetration and carrier partners.  (Clicking the link, or clicking the thumbnail image above, will feature the full size version.)  

For greater detail, tables presented below run through the data used for the map.  These include a chronological list of carrier partnerships announced along with the geography covered and total available subscribers per carrier. Click to Read More

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