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Verizon iPhone didn't meet initial sales expectations?

BGR is reporting that, according to one of their Apple sources, the first week of sales for the new Verizon iPhone were purportedly smaller than Apple and Verizon expected. The figures were drawn from five Apple retails stores covering the first five days of availability, including two "very, very prominent" locations and show a dwindling margin between AT&T and Verizon sales after the first 48 hours of availability:

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Apple's new subscription service: the good, the bad, and the ugly

Apple, the most audaciously disruptive company in the history of technology, has once again raised the ire of old industry incumbents, the hopes of independent players, the fears of passions of developers and consumers, and the post counts of bloggers by announcing their new in-app subscription service for iPhone and iPad. And make no mistake, their press release yesterday was as strategic as any Open Letter ever penned and posted by Steve Jobs.

But is it a greedy money grab, a noble defense of consumer privacy, an arrogant power play, a savvy business move, or a bold if risky gamble by Apple to once again, for the umpteenth time, redefine how an industry works? All of the above?

Let's take a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of Apple's new App Store subscription service and the policies that surround it... after the break.

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Warner Bros. launches Dark Knight and Inception as apps

Warner Brothers today released two of their movies, Dark Knight and Inception, as applications in the App Store and is available in 35 different countries. The interesting thing to note is that 23 of those countries are unable to get these two movies through iTunes.

The apps are free and they come ready to go with a five minute preview of each film along with games, trivia, extras and other materials for users to enjoy. If you decide you want to watch the movie you have two options at that point. You can choose to stream the movie or download it to your device to watch at a later time. Dark Knight is currently available for $9.99 and Inception is available for $11.99. Thomas Gewecke, president of digital distribution made a short comment about their new "apps."

We think this is an innovative way to build a global footprint on devices that are optimized for video viewing.

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Jetstar Airlines to offer in-flight iPads for AU$10

Jetstar Airlines are going to offer passengers in-flight iPads for AU$10 per flight from April, pending licensing agreements with Apple. We reported that Jetstar Airlines had a successful trial period for a iPad based in-flight entertainment system, last summer with the intent to launch before Christmas, so it's safe to say things went well.

The iPads will come preloaded with movies, music, magazines, books, and apps, replacing the current in-flight entertainment systems. The launch will start on Jetstar A320 flights, but marketing manager David May says:

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More details on the new MobileMe -- becoming Ustream + Foursquare?!

Cult of Mac, who previously rumored a storage-free iPhone nano, is now offering some more potential details on that rumored MobileMe update, including functionality that would make it a mashup of Ustream and Foursquare. According to a "source who wishes to remain nameless":

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New and updated iPhone and iPad apps for Wednesday, February 16

Every day, TiPb gets flooded with announcements for new and updated iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad apps and games. So every day we pick just a few of the most interesting, the most notable, and simply the most awesome to share with you!

  • FX Photo Studio HD: Now updated to 3.0.0 with 41 new photo effects and much more! [$2.99 - iTunes link]

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Apple updates App Store developer guidelines, warns against "cheating the system"

Earlier today when Apple announced in-app subscriptions would be available to all they also updated the iOS App Store review guidelines reflecting the change. And it looks like Apple threw in a few additions, one which specifically warns against developers who "cheat the system".

If you attempt to cheat the system (for example, by trying to trick the review process, steal data from users, copy another developer's work, or manipulate the ratings) your apps will be removed from the store and you will be expelled from the developer program.

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PwnageTool 4.2 released, untethered, fixes iBooks

The Phone Dev Team's PwnageTool, which allows for the Jailbreak of iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and Apple TV, has been updated to version 4.2 and now is untethered and fixes issues with iBooks.

With [Chronic Dev Team's] permission, we’ve incorporated their 4.2.1 “feedface” untether into today’s PwnageTool 4.2. This means iPhone unlockers can safely restore to a custom 4.2.1 pre-jailbroken IPSW and retain their current baseband and unlock.

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Apple announces iPhone, iPad subscriptions for all

While The Daily was first it certainly won't be last, not with Apple announcing their new subscription service is now available to all publishers.

“Our philosophy is simple—when Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30 percent share; when the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100 percent and Apple earns nothing,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “All we require is that, if a publisher is making a subscription offer outside of the app, the same (or better) offer be made inside the app, so that customers can easily subscribe with one-click right in the app. We believe that this innovative subscription service will provide publishers with a brand new opportunity to expand digital access to their content onto the iPad, iPod touch and iPhone, delighting both new and existing subscribers.”

This obviously raises a lot of questions. Will Netflix have to -- and can they afford to -- give Apple 30% of the subscriber revenue? Sure existing subscribers are exempt but if someone downloaded the Netflix app, Apple no longer allows external linking to websites for subscriptions so would Netflix have to offer the same $8 streaming package in-app and split the revenue with Apple? Or is this service meant to be magazine/newspaper specific and not carry over to

Will Apple push this same philosophy to all in-app purchases? They might, given it sounds like that's what caused Sony -- and could cause everyone from Amazon to Hulu -- some consternation. In-app purchases will be lower friction (since outside linking is no longer allowed) for users and with Apple requiring the same or better offers in-app, high-volume goods like eBooks could see their entire profit margin get shifted to Apple. (i.e. Amazon makes 30% on eBooks, Apple wants 30% on in-app purchases. That's not tenable.)

Full press release with all the details after the break, and let us know what you think in comments!

[Apple PR]

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