News

Here come Apple's big bumper case refunds...

Looks like Apple has begun the process of refunding Apple Online Store bumper case orders. *MacRumors says:

Existing back-ordered bumper cases have also been processed for refund. We expect the process will continue over the next few days. Apple is also expected to provide a method for in-store purchasers to also receive a refund but has provided no details yet.

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AT&T activates 3.2 million iPhones in Q3

Hot on the heels of Apple's 8.4 million iPhones sold in Q3, AT&T announces a record-breaking 3.2 million of those were activated on their network. Their churn levels were lower than ever as well, 1.01 percent postpaid churn and 1.29 percent total churn, and the all-important ARPU (average monthly revenues per subscriber) up 3.4 percent.

On June 24, AT&T began offering iPhone 4, the most powerful iPhone yet. Preorder sales of iPhone 4 were 10 times higher than the first day of preordering for iPhone 3GS a year earlier. For the full second quarter, AT&T iPhone activations totaled 3.2 million, the most quarterly iPhone activations ever. Approximately 27 percent of those activations were for customers who were new to AT&T.

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Jeff Williams promoted to Senior Vice President of Operations to take charge of Apple product quality

AppleInsider is reporting that Jeff Williams, who's been at Apple for over a decade, has just been promoted to Senior Vice President of Operations and tasked with making sure Apple products meet "the highest quality standards".

It's hard not to imagine this as anything other than a response to "antennagate" and other iPhone 4 problems, though there's another theory afloat:

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iPhone is 3% of handset unit volume, 2x profit of RIM, Nokia, Sony combined. iPad next?

While iPhone accounts for only 3% of handset market share by unit volume, Finacial Times reveals some Goldman's numbers that show it's set to capture a stunning 2X the profit share of Nokia, RIM, and Sony -- combined.

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And cue the iPhone on T-Mobile US in Q3 rumors!

Cult of Mac is claiming an exclusive, highly placed source has told them iPhone 4 is coming to T-Mobile US as soon as Q3:

Talks between Apple and T-Mobile are at an advanced stage, our source says, and it’s 80 percent likely that the iPhone will be coming to T-Mobile in Q3.

The source works at T-Mobile but asked not to be quoted directly and to remain anonymous because they aren’t authorized to talk to the press.

T-Mobile is a GSM carrier, like AT&T, but they use a 3G band probably not even supported by iPhone 4's 5-band radio (though rumors suggest Apple might simply have chosen not to list it). If it's not supported, Apple will either have to add that band to future units, or produce a new model just for T-Mo.

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Skype updated to support iOS 4 background VoIP multitasking

Skype for iPhone has just hit version 2.1 and brings with it the ability to run iOS 4 background VoIP multitasking. Yes, you finally have the ability to leave Skype running and answer calls as an almost equal citizen to the built in, old-school Phone app.

Hurrah.

If you try it out, let us know how it works for you.

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AT&T outage in North Carolina, Georgia

AT&T appears to be down in North Carolina and maybe Georgia right now, but luckily TiPb readers still have land lines to light up our alert lines. We're not sure whether it's voice, data, or both as we're getting lots of different reports. If you're having a problem with your iPhone on AT&T, let us know where you are, what kind of service outages you're experiencing, and if you've heard anything from AT&T.

[Thanks Roger and everyone who sent this in!]

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Flipboard turns your social streams into an iPad magazine

Take all your social media streams like Facebook and Twitter, flow them into a daring, dynamic iPad magazine and you have Flipboard. Billed as "everything you care about in one place" it will no doubt delight those who live for what our friends and those we follow are recommending, and annoy those who think the social web is a noisy, confusing crap-shoot. (Those deliberately without a social graph, of course, need not apply).

For me the key will be wether it gets stuck on meme-heavy, oft-repeated (or re-tweeted) content or whether it helps me better discover those little gems discovered by my more adept friends.

But why am I still typing, there's an @lonelysandwhich video after the break!

[iTunes - Free]

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Apple adds Nokia N97 mini video to death-grip series

Apple has added the Nokia N97 mini to their (growing?) list of smartphones that suffer from the now-infamous "antennagate" death-grip. Here we see the N97 dropping from 7 to 3 bars.

Of course, iPhone 4 doesn't suffer from death-grip but death-touch, a single point of attenuation on the bottom left side. Apple made a trade-off for better overall reception and increased battery size at the expense of that single point of death-touch in low signal areas, but has since attempted to draw attention to the greater, industry-wide death-grip. (Though there's at least one video out, not from Apple, showing the new Samsung Galaxy S succumbing to a death-finger all its own.)

Meanwhile, David Chartier has started Don't Hold it Wrong, a log of similar videos as well as manuals where manufacturers point out attenuation areas on many different phones.

It's not surprising the whole "antennagate" hasn't faded away yet. It is a little surprising Apple's still adding to the attention. Video after the break.

Update: as commenters rightly point out, Apple didn't originally include Nokia on their antenna page but Nokia saw fit to make a statement about it, so now the collection has been rounded out.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

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MobileMe Calendar Beta upgrades being offered via iCal

I just launched iCal (by accident!) and was greeted with the dialog box above, asking if I'd like to upgrade to the new MobileMe Calendar beta. Um. Okay. I went through the upgrade, which launched Safari and had me log into my MobileMe account, only to get a server error and a request to try again. Second time was the charm, though, and all my events were updated and I now have the shiny new -- clearly iPad-inspired -- MobileMe Calendar Beta at my beck and call.

For the MobileMe Mail Beta, I requested an invitation and received an email confirmation, so this was different. Anyone else getting "invited" into the MobileMe calendar beta this way?

More screenshots after the break.

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