How important is the iPhone to Apple's business going forward? See the chart above, prepared by Fortune. Up from 5.7% in 2008 to 18.5% in 2009.
We're going to say "very" and "increasingly". Daring Fireball highlights how Apple goes about ensuring that "increasingly" part, riffing off The Loop's reminder of when Apple killed the iPod mini at the hight of its popularity and replaced it with the iPod nano:
TechCrunch has posted an interesting photo and write up of the Apple Tablet that never was -- the Pen Mac, unreleased in favor of the PDA-style Newton back in 1990.
The Pen Mac was a fully functional Mac computer (it even played the Mac startup chime) with a pen based touch screen. The screen itself was identical to the Mac Portable, but with the addition of pen touch. And of course the case was a lot smaller than the Mac Portable. The Pen Mac was supposedly not much more than one inch thick. Users could plug in a keyboard and mouse or easier input.
Looks like the rumors were true and Apple is finally set to replace the aging, WindowsCE + stylus based EasyPay point-of-sale devices used by the retail store staff with sexy new credit card reading, barcode scanning iPod touches. Apple will be using the same accessory access APIs supplied to developers in the iPhone 3.0 SDK.
The internets are a rocking with posts about the iPhone's App Store unofficially hitting 100,000 apps, but while we wait for official word from Steve Jobs, the blogsphere is also debating the important of the sheer quantity of those apps, and whether that's more important that quality.
In these tumultuous times you need some sort of protector; the kind that will prevent your iPhone from flying off the seat to who knows where. What kind of protector is here to save the day? The iGrip cigarette lighter mount of course! [$19.95 - TiPb store link]
UPDATE 3: As pointed out in the comments, there's no sign of ad support in Google Maps Navigation (at least not yet). It's just free as in free.
UPDATE 2: According to Gizmodo, Google:
implied they are working closely with Apple now on [Google Maps Navigation].
iPhone 2.2 saw Google Street View, could iPhone 3.2 see Google Maps Navigation? Let the drooling begin!
UPDATE 1: Replaced video with official version, moved TechCrunch preview below the fold. Enjoy both!
ORIGINAL: Just a few hours ago TiPb posted about the rumors surrounding a free (with ad support, of course) Google Navigation app, and now TechCrunch has the goods -- it's real, and it's (so far) exclusive to Android 2.0. And we quote:
Search in plain English. No need to know the address. You can type a business name (e.g. “starbucks”) or even a kind of a business (e.g. “thai restaurant”), just like you would on Google.
Search by voice. Speak your destination instead of typing (English only): “Navigate to the de Young Museum in San Francisco”.
Traffic view. An on-screen indicator glows green, yellow, or red based on the current traffic conditions along your route. A single touch on the indicator toggles a traffic view that shows the traffic ahead.
Search along route. Search for any kind of business along your route, or turn on popular layers such as gas stations, restaurants, or parking.
Satellite view. View your route overlaid on 3D satellite views with Google’s high-resolution aerial imagery.
Street View. Visualize turns overlaid on Google’s Street View imagery. Navigation automatically switches to Street View as you approach your destination.
Car dock mode. For certain devices, placing your phone in a car dock activates a special mode that makes it easy to use your device at arm’s length.
To quote our own editor-in-chief, it looks "bad@$$", and so far it also looks exclusive to the US, and to Android 2.0, at least for now. But come on Google, you want to give it to everyone outside the US too, right?
Google already provides the free Google Maps service, but could they be planning to step up to full on turn-by-turn navigation? Forbes thinks so:
Google, which generally gives its software away for free and recoups its investment through advertising, would likely sell ads within the navigation application rather than charge users, experts say. The ads could be particularly valuable because the program would know users' precise locations and destinations, allowing advertisers to pinpoint specific kinds of consumers. Google recently started running sponsored link ads in Apple's ( AAPL - news - people ) iPhone map application, which it helped build.