There are plenty of ways to spend your money on Black Friday, but some people are too lazy to be bothered with trekking out before sunrise and battling mobs of shoppers. Or maybe there are still a few people out there with some self respect. In either case, we have to cherish every opportunity to save some dough this Black Friday that doesn’t involve elbowing 60-year-old women in the jaw. While the words “Apple” and “sale” don’t align as often as most would like, the crew from Cupertino apparently decided to take advantage of the sale craze this year. A teaser is now up on Apple’s site inviting customers to visit the Apple Online Store this Friday for “dozens of great iPad, iPod, and Mac gifts.” We doubt Apple’s deals will be spectacular, but it will be nice to save a few bucks if you were already planning on ordering up some new Apple kit. It all goes down on Friday, November 26th, so get those credit cards ready. More →
Here’s a bit of good news: Hulu has just announced that its Hulu Plus premium subscription service will shed $2 from its monthly price tag. As the press release reads: “The monthly price for Hulu Plus moving forward is just $7.99. Any current subscribers who joined during our preview period will receive a credit for the difference from the $9.99 preview price. This credit will automatically be applied to their next billing cycle.”
But the juice doesn’t stop there. Hulu has also announced the following promotions:
• One free week trials for all new subscribers. In addition, current subscribers who joined during the preview period will receive a credit for one week of Hulu Plus toward their next month’s subscription.
• Two free weeks of Hulu Plus for both current subscribers and friends they invite through our referral program. Subscribers can learn more by clicking on the “Referrals” tab on their Hulu profile page.
• 11 weeks ($20 worth) of free Hulu Plus with the purchase of a Sony BRAVIA connected TV or Blu-ray player through January 31, 2011. (See sony.com/huluplus.)
• One free month of Hulu Plus with the purchase of a Roku device through December 15, 2010. (See roku.com/hulu.)
The release also notes that the service is launching on Roku today and will be coming to “Internet-connected Vizio, LG Electronics, and Panasonic Blu-ray players and HDTVs; TiVo Premiere DVRs; the Xbox 360; and Western Digital’s WD TV Live Hub Media Center and WD TV Live Plus Network Media Player,” in the coming months. Updates to the Hulu Plus iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Samsung, and PlayStation 3 players will be made available this week.
Anyone reconsidering Hulu Plus after the price drop? More →
Today, via a press release, Sprint officially announced its ZTE Peel iPod touch mobile-hotspot case. The iPod accessory, which will be available November 14th, will retail for $79.99 and will fit second and third generation iPod touch devices. Sprint will offer a $30, month-to-month hotspot plan for the Peel that will include a 1GB data allowance. The Wi-Fi case will support WEP 64-bit encryption, has a 3-hour run-time, and is comparable with Windows 7, Vista, and XP as well as Mac OS 10.5 and 10.6. The announcement mirrors information we broke about the Peel last week and on Monday. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
9to5Mac is reporting that Apple recently acquired a small Bluetooth headphone company based in San Francisco around two months ago. Their source has not disclosed a purchase price, and Wi-Gear as a company is no longer operational. Wi-Gear manufactured A2DP stereo headphones under the brand name iMuffs and even a Bluetooth adapter that enabled older iPod and iPhones to get in on the action. After some snooping, 9to5Mac found that the co-founder of Wi-Gear is now an iOS Bluetooth Engineer at Apple on LinkedIn, thus giving credibility to the story. It’s said that Apple plans to create and manufacture their own brand of Bluetooth headphones, though it isn’t clear whether this would be a replacement for the wired headset that comes with Apple’s music devices, or something like a stereo Bluetooth accessory. Maybe even a new Bluetooth headset to replace their less-than-stellar first go at it?
Apple has made changes to its internal screening process pertaining to iPod liquid damage, a source told BGR. Apple builds a series of Liquid Contact Indicators (LCI) into its iPod line of devices. When these LCIs come in contact with moisture, they become activated. In the event of a warranty claim or other repair, the LCIs indicate to Apple that the device in question may have been affected by a liquid. Employees of Apple Stores and AppleCare Repair Centers then have specific guidelines used in the event liquid damage is suspected. Previously, the presence of an activated LCI within the headphone jack was cause enough for employees to state that an iPod may have been damaged by water or another liquid. Now, employees must first inspect the iPod for other signs of liquid damage before reaching that conclusion. It is currently not known if the new policy applies to iPhone models as well.
Whether or not Apple has concerns internally regarding the reliability of its LCI devices is unclear at this time. Apple may have also discovered LCIs located within the headphone jack are overly sensitive and activate even when they come in contact with permissible amounts of moisture.
On Friday, we told you about a rumor we were hearing surrounding the release-date and pricing for Sprint’s ZTE Peel; the iPod touch case that provides 3G internet access. Today, we’ve got cold hard evidence to confirm our previous scoop. As you can see from the above screen shot, the ZTE Peel will indeed be hitting the Now Network on November 14th and will retail for $79.99. The plan that Sprint will provide Peel customers is a $29.99, month-to-month, offering that will include a 1GB data allowance; overages will be billed at $0.05 per megabyte. The Wi-Fi case will be able to provide internet access for up to two devices and supports second and third generation iPod touch devices. Although… we do have to wonder if Sprint/ZTE will delay the current Peel as it is not compatible with the fourth generation iPod touch; most notably, the camera is in a different location.
What do you think iPod touch owners, you like?
T-Mobile has cleared the air in response to reports Friday that questioned why the carrier might be stocking connector cables for use with Apple’s iPhone and iPod lines. T-Mobile, of course, does not currently sell any Apple products. A T-Mobile spokesperson confirmed to BGR that the cables will be sold in select T-Mobile locations, but said they are intended for subscribers using unlocked iPhone handsets and European T-Mobile customers roaming in the U.S.
Select T-Mobile stores will soon begin carrying iPod/iPhone charge and Sync cables to support customers who may be using an unlocked iPhone or are traveling from outside the United States and using an iPhone while roaming on our network. T-Mobile carries the iPhone in Europe, so many people traveling to the U.S. roam on our network with their iPhones. The iPod/iPhone cable also makes a great companion product for our line of MicroUSB charging solutions. The cable can be plugged into the USB port of the universal MicroUSB car, wall or two-in-one chargers to provide customers with a charging solution for their iPod when they are on the go.
Many had jumped to the conclusion that the iPhone might soon be offered by T-Mobile, but unfortunately that does not appear to be the case. Instead, the iPhone remains an AT&T exclusive… for now.
We’ve just heard from a Sprint source that the ZTE Peel — the iPod touch case designed to bring cellular data to your otherwise non-cellular device — will go on sale November 14th. We don’t have any details on how much the actual device will sell for, but we do know Sprint plans on charging $29.99 per month for 1GB of data usage with no contract.
Any T-Mobile fans out there looking for some fresh iPhone-rumor fodder? TMoNews is reporting that several T-Mobile retail locations are starting to receive T-Mobile branded Dock Connector cables; a 30-pin cord which is currently only used by Apple’s iPods, iPads, and iPhones.
T-Mobile has publicly stated that it would support unlocked iPhones on its network — this new cable could be a testament to that. However, if you’re one of those people who know all about the “Magic Bullet” theory, you might like to convince yourself that the cable is a clear indication that Magenta could begin offering the iPad or the iPhone in the not-so-distant future.
Anyone have any additional thoughts or conspiracy theories? We’ve reached out to T-Mobile for comment and will update this post with any additional information provided. More →
Apple’s internal policy on acceptable numbers of pixel anomalies was recently updated, a source told BGR. The policy is used as a guideline for Mac Geniuses addressing customer issues that involve Apple displays. It essentially allows them to quickly and easily determine whether or not to repair or replace products with display defects. Apple provides its employees with a table showing the acceptable number of pixel anomalies for each product range. For example, iPhones and iPods with just one pixel anomaly should be repaired or replaced. MacBook Air models, however, can have up to three light pixels, up to five dark pixels or up to seven combined anomalies before they should be repaired or replaced. The table also outlines the allowable numbers of pixel anomalies for Apple’s MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac and Cinema Display lines.
Of note, Apple’s policy allows Mac Geniuses to offer exchange services even if pixel anomalies are within acceptable ranges. If the customer receives a replacement product with even more anomalies, but it is still within the acceptable range, further exchanges are not permitted.
Apple has made changes to its policy regarding the transferability of AppleCare Protection Plans, a source told BGR. Starting immediately, an Apple customer will have the ability to transfer AppleCare Protection Plan coverage to a new device without having to cancel the current plan and purchase a new one. Though no formal announcement has been made to the public, Apple notified its employees of the new procedure on Monday. The policy change, which applies only to eligible purchases made within the 30-day period prior to a transfer request, simplifies the buying process for customers. AppleCare Protection Plans for the iPhone have been transferable since June of this year, and now the new policy will apply to all Apple products eligible to be covered by a protection plan.
Publication GigaOM is citing “multiple sources” in a report that claims Apple, Inc. is developing a video advertising system to be incorporated into iAds. The blog reports that the new video adverts would be both Quicktime and HTML compliant and could be targeted (through the use of location and anonymized user data). The speculated service is purportedly being designed for the AppleTV, iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. We’ve reached out to Apple for comment and will update the article accordingly if we hear back. More →
Analytics company iSuppli has completed their analysis of Apple’s sixth-generation iPod nano. The company concludes that the small, square, touch-screen media player costs the Cupertino company $45.10 to manufacture; $43.73 in materials and $1.37 in manufacturing costs. The most expensive components on the device are the 8GB of NAND Flash memory ($14.40), the display ($11.50), and the Samsung processor ($4.95). Apple sells 8GB model of the device for $149. Not a bad profit margin, eh? More →