Posts Tagged ‘iPhone’

Spotify hits the iPhone and Android app stores

The stars were already aligned: a preemptive PR strike, a premium business model, and regulators questioning anti-competitive practices with relation to the iPhone’s app store — making it less and less surprising that Apple should give Spotify the green light.

See also: How Spotify can beat Microsoft [music streaming]

As of today, the iPhone version of the music streaming service is available for download from Apple’s official App Store — UK, Sweden, Spain, France, Norway and Finland only (with the U.S. debut planned for sometime next year) — while a mobile client for the Google-led Android has also launched. The app is free for either platform but you’ll need to be a Spotify premium subscriber — £10 per month in the UK — to access the service.

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Spotify on iPhone approved by Apple

With Apple stuck between the FCC, Eurpean Union regulators and a hard place, I’m not that surprised to see the approval of music streaming service Spotify’s iPhone app. Apple today confirmed to paidContent that Spotify (currently Europe-only) has been given the green light and will be available in the App Store “very soon”.

While many had speculated that the app might be rejected by Cupertino on the grounds of ‘duplicating’ (read: competing with) the iPhone’s built in functionality — iTunes — I was confident that, especially in the current climate, Spotify would be approved.

I predict that Apple will in the end give Spotify the green light based on several factors. Avoiding monopoly accusations being one. Spotify’s pricing model being another (the iPhone app will only be available to premium subscribers so it’s far from a free-for-all). And then there’s Apple’s kludgy multitasking solution. The latter of which means that Spotify on iPhone will be unable to run in the background. Switch to a different app and the music stops.

One thing we don’t yet know, however, is if Apple has in anyway restricted any of the features of the Spotify iPhone app, in particular the ability to cache playlists for off-line playback. This feature alone means that Spotify competes more heavily with iTunes than other streaming music apps that already exist for the iPhone.

Overall though it looks like great news for Spotify and bodes well for the future of Rhapsody’s iPhone app, which is currently pending Apple’s approval.

Real's Rhapsody enters App Store submission hell, could bode well for Spotify?

Adopting a similar PR strategy to Spotify, U.S.-only music subscription service Rhapsody ($14.99-a-month) has published details of its iPhone app, mid submission process to Apple’s App Store. While submitting an app alone far from guarantees that it will ever see the light of day through Cupertino’s official channel, by showing off the app now, including a video demo (below), it does ensure that any dirty linen on Apple’s part is aired in public. It also helps to build consumer demand from existing Rhapsody subscribers who also own an iPhone in preparation for a backlash should the app be rejected.

And rejection is certainly a possibility.

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Palm Pre to launch on O2 in the UK, just don't mention the competition

It’s now official: The Palm Pre will launch exclusively on Telefonica-owned O2 here in the UK.


“In time for the holidays”, say Palm and O2, with no word yet on pricing. My guess is that we’re talking early October, enough time to ramp up for Christmas spending.

Either way, it’s a pretty long time to wait, especially since O2 will have been busy pimping its other flagship exclusive. Apple’s newly launched iPhone 3GS.

And then there’s the rest of the competition.

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After pressure from EU, Apple dumping iPhone's Universal Dock Connector? (microUSB)

ipod-dockWhen news first hit that three of the leading mobile phone industry organizations had agreed on micro-USB as a mobile phone charging standard, Apple was notably absent. The iPhone maker is particularly fond of its proprietary Universal Dock Connector, you know the one that enables all sorts of third-party after market device goodness and also generates the company a nice little revenue stream through its ‘Made for iPod’ program. Today, however, the European Union (EU), after applying pressure to the industry, announced that Apple had joined competitors, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, LG, Research in Motion, Samsung and others, in agreeing to switch to the micro-USB standard from next year.

(via Rueters)

Official: Palm Pre to go on sale June 6th, just two days before Apple's WWDC – $200 with 2 year contract

Palm Pre to go on sale June 6

Palm Pre to go on sale June 6

After weeks and weeks of speculation, the cat is finally — and I mean finally — out of the bag. The Palm Pre will go on sale in the US on June the 6th, with the Sprint exclusive, for now at least, costing $200 after a $100 mail in rebate with a 2 year contract. If you’re lucky enough to be based in the states, you’ll be able to purchase a Pre at Sprint stores, Best Buy, Radioshack, select Wal-Mart stores and through Sprint’s own website. That’s a pretty decent lineup of distributors and should give the device plenty of shopping mall exposure, presuming of course that Palm can meet the initial demand. And then there’s iPhone.

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Amazon to Apple: keep your hands off our iPhone Kindle eBook revenue

iPhone Kindle app

iPhone Kindle app

At first glance it seems innocuous enough: Amazon has launched a version of its Kindle eBook store optimized for the iPhone’s web browser to make it easier for users of Apple’s device to purchase new eBooks for the iPhone’s Kindle application. “The most common feedback we heard from customers was that they wanted a better experience for purchasing new Kindle books from their iPhones”, says Ian Freed, vice president of Amazon Kindle operations.

In the updated iPhone Kindle app, a “Get Books” button opens the phone’s Safari web browser and takes users straight to the new iPhone-friendly site. Any new purchases made then show up in and are downloadable from the iPhone Kindle app itself.

See also: What Kindle on iPhone says about Amazon’s eBook strategy

The result of which is that Amazon has made it relatively simple for users to purchase Kindle content in a way that replicates the iPhone’s upcoming ‘in-app purchases’ feature, all without giving Apple its 30% cut or, presumably, breaking any terms of service.

Apple bans iPhone apps related to BitTorrent


Drivetrain for iPhone

It’s not a fully fledged BitTorrent client, but Apple has rejected Drivetrain from the iPhone App Store nonetheless. The software, developed by Maza Digital, turns the iPhone/iPod touch into a remote control for the popular PC BitTorrent client Transmission (Mac and Windows). After a slightly longer review process than other iPhone apps, Apple turned down Drivetrain on the grounds that anything BitTorrent related “is often used for the purpose of infringing third party rights.” Of course, while the P2P protocol can be used for downloading pirated content, such as the latest DVD releases, it’s also a legitimate way for copyright holders to distribute large files, while sharing the bandwidth ‘costs’ with users.

In terms of functionality, Drivetrain enables the monitoring of BitTorrent downloads, including being able to pause, resume or cancel them altogether, as well as providing a web browser so that new torrents can be searched for and remotely downloaded. It’s the latter feature that probably set off the red light at the iTunes Store HQ.

(via iLounge)

Palm Pre aiming to be THE Facebook phone – social networking still mobile's killer app


(Credit: Jamie Gonzalez via twitpic)

I’ve written many times before that social networking, and Facebook in particular, is the killer application for mobile phones. It’s what’s driving take up of mobile data and the adoption of higher end so-called smartphones. The mobile networks have taken notice and jumped on the social networking bandwagon, heavily promoting access to Facebook as a key feature, and handset makers are doing the same.

RIM has been targeting consumers with an ad campaign that features the Blackberry’s Facebook application.

Ditto Apple with the iPhone.

And there’s INQ, a new entrant whose first device, the INQ1, has been dubbed ‘the Facebook phone‘ based on its deep integration with the social networking site.

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PR wars: Palm Pre could go on sale 24 hours before next gen iPhone unveiled

The latest rumored release date for Palm’s comeback device, the Palm Pre, is June 7th, one day before Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC). If true, this would be an audacious move from the handset maker, and one that, at first glance, carries a lot of risk. WWDC is thought to be the venue at which Apple will announce the next generation iPhone – and possibly a new category of mobile device – therefore completely overshadowing the Palm Pre’s one day old availability.

Or would it?

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