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iPad launches on Friday, July 23 in Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore

Apple has just announced that, come Friday, July 23, the next round of international iPad roll-outs will hit Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore.

Doesn't look like there'll be any pre-

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Is this how FaceTime will work on next gen iPod touch G4, iPad G2?

Boy Genius and 9to5Mac have been digging deep into how FaceTime might work on iOS devices that don't have phone numbers attached to them -- namely the next generation iPod touch G4 and iPad G2. Since iPhone 4 uses phone numbers as "accounts" to route FaceTime connections, the alternative for iPod touch and iPad seems to be Apple ID and the associated email address.

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Taiwan news animates Steve Jobs as Darth Vader - Monday video (NSFW-D)

Taiwan news decided to have a little -- fun? -- with Apple and iPhone 4 by casting Steve Jobs as Darth Vader, laughing as Foxconn workers jump off buildings, and light-sabering off the fingers of customers who complain about reception problems.

It's sensationalistic, callus about the suicides, and convenient they cast blame entirely on Apple for the problems of Taiwanese and Chinese owned businesses, and some might find the imagery disturbing so consider yourself warned before you hit the play button. But, hey, Star Wars.

[Thanks Michael for the tip and the subtitles!]

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Samsung responds to Apple over antennagate

And the quadfecta is now complete, with Samsung responding to Apple over the iPhone 4 press conference's demonstration of the death-grip causing signal loss on an Omnia II.

"The antenna is located at the bottom of the Omnia 2 phone, while iPhone's antenna is on the lower left side of the device. Our design keeps the distance between a hand and an antenna. We have fully conducted field tests before the rollout of smartphones. Reception problems have not happened so far, and there is no room for such problems to happen in the future"

Apple must be ecstatic. Any company that stayed quiet would have ridden out the story pretty much uninvolved. Any company -- now all of them -- that spoke up guaranteed their phones a bump in YouTube demos and/or free case requests.

And that "problems in the future" bit? Sigh. Early reports already indicate Samsung's new Galaxy S-class Captivate and Vibrant are having the same problem. Here's a sample from InformationWeek:

I have both a Samsung Vibrant and Captivate on hand for testing purposes. In both phones, the internal antenna is apparently located on the back of the phone, towards the very bottom edge. When gripped around the bottom of the phone (with either hand) the signal strength drops almost immediately. The Vibrant went from three bars to zero bars in about five seconds, and the Captivate went from four bars to zero bars in about six seconds. When I let go, the signal returns immediately.

Sure, death-grip isn't the same as iPhone 4's single-point touch, but in a media frenzy no phone is safe.

Video after the break.

Update: Samsung Galaxy S suffering from death-finger in second video after the break .

[Samsung Hub via Korea Herald via Gizmodo, InformationWeek]

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HTC responds to Apple over antennagate

HTC's Eric Lin has responded in statistical fashion to Apple's iPhone 4 press conference where Steve Jobs showed off a Droid Eris losing singnal when death-gripped:

"Approximately .016% of customers [have complained]. We have had very few complaints about signal or antenna problems on the Eris".

Which could also just mean there hasn't been the attention or scrutiny placed on signal strength attenuation in the past, and again it will be open season now with any number of YouTube videos popping up showing everything from the HTC Droid Eris to HTC Droid Incredible to HTC Nexus One succumbing to the death-grip, just like Apple demonstrated.

However, HTC does have the forethought to warn customers not to touch the spot over their antenna (see image, top).

[Pocket-Lint via Android Central, Daring Fireball, Engadget]

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Best of Smartphone Experts, 18 July 2010

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Michael Bay directs Transformers 3 with iPad 3G

Famous movie director Michael Bay is using his iPad at work. Specifically, Mr. Bay has been spotted with his iPad 3G in hand while directing Transformers 3. In the photo above, he's showing Patrick Dempsey how a scene is supposed to look.

We don't know about you, but we at TiPb love to see the different ways that people are using their iPads to improve their lives whether it be for work, home, school, or play.

[9to5Mac]

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The reason behind the white iPhone 4 delay: Apple's glass supplier

Many of us were disappointed when June 15th arrived and the white iPhone was not available for pre-order or reservation. The day before the launch of the iPhone 4, Apple provided a vague explanation claiming that the white iPhone 4 had "proven more challenging to manufacture than expected." It turns out that this manufacturing problem comes from Lens Technology, Apple's glass supplier.

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iPad live tonight! 6pm PT/9pm ET/2am BST

You know the drill. Come time, we'll be talking about everything iPad. We'd love to talk with you, so come by, chat, and share you views.

And yeah, it'll be hard not to discuss "antenna-gate". Does it apply to iPad 3G?

  • 6pm PT/9pm ET/2am BST

We'll take over the front page 15 minutes before the show -- chat with you soon!

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Updated: RIM responds to Apple over antennagate

Co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie have released an official response from RIM to Apple's iPhone 4 press conference yesterday and Steve Jobs' demonstration of a BlackBerry Bold 9700 suffering from similar signal-drop when death-gripped:

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