Just about 90 minutes before the WWDC 2011 keynote is to begin, a Walmart rep just dropped me an email letting me know that they've dropped the price of the iPhone 4 by $50. Starting today through June 30, you can grab an iPhone 4 for $147. This applies to both the AT&T and Verizon models, in both black and white. Of course, this pricing requires a two-year contract. Very interesting, as we aren't expecting any iPhone 5 hardware news this morning at WWDC--does Walmart know something we don't?
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Just in case you weren't sure how influential iCloud would be next week at WWDC 2011, here's a look at one of the banners that is going up at the Moscone Center. Yep, iCloud gets top billing, right next to Mac OS X Lion and iOS 5. Apple must see iCloud as a pretty big deal, and it already told us as much. Now, we wait.
I've long since stopped kvetching over the number of things Apple chief executive Steve Jobs can attach an "i" to and call his own. The maverick CEO's track record is just too darn good. Now that we know that Apple's iCloud is a real thing, there's no sense in wondering how Jobs can have the gall to rebrand cloud computing. I'd rather focus on what Apple will do with the cl...er... iCloud now that Apple has adopted it as its own.
Is Apple new to the cloud? If you accept that at the most fundamental level, cloud computing is simply a matter of thin clients (hardware or software) accessing Internet-based services and intelligence, then the answer is no. Consider Apple's reliance on streaming services for Apple TV's TV show and movie rentals, or the way genius playlists work.
iCloud, which Apple will officially unveil at next week's World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), will be more, and streaming content is only the beginning. Obviously, we expect some sort of cloud-based, access-anywhere music library. Apple may even cave and offer a subscription-based music service. These plans will only succeed if Apple has done what Google failed to do with Google Music Beta: convince the major labels to let consumers store and access purchased (and rented) music from central servers.
I think music labels fear this not only because they worry about losing further control of the digital bits that make up their vast song libraries, but because no one will ever buy more than one copy of a song again, and if they get subscription access, they're done buying music—period.
If you're an iPhone or iPod touch user who's been clamoring for the arrival of iWork on your device, you'll be happy to know that Apple has released updated to Pages, Keynote, and Numbers that not only function on the iPad, but also on Apple mobie devices:
“Now you can use Keynote, Pages and Numbers on iPhone and iPod touch to create amazing presentations, documents and spreadsheets right in the palm of your hand,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “The incredible Retina display, revolutionary Multi-Touch interface and our powerful software make it easy to create, edit, organize and share all of your documents from iPhone 4 or iPod touch.”
The apps are universal, so if you've already bought any (or all) of them for your iPad, there's no need to spend any more money. Just update the apps, and they'll install on your iPhone or iPod touch through iTunes, or you can download them directly from the App Store on those devices at no additional cost.
The most interesting thing about this? iWork for iPhone was supposed to be released at WWDC this coming Monday, but it got released early because Apple didn't have enough time in the keynote to cover it. That must mean something else just got a higher priority. We'll see on Monday!
This morning, Apple put out a press release letting the world know that they'll be showing off iOS 5, OS X Lion, and iCloud, their long-awaited cloud service/MobileMe revamp, next week at WWDC. Oddly enough, Apple only went as far as naming iCloud, and called it an "upcoming cloud services offering." Now, we aren't expecting them to go into full detail in a press release, but why even name it at all? We're guessing it's because Apple really wants to set the expectation that WWDC will be focusing on software, softening the blow that will inevitably come when the masses are complaining about the lack of an iPhone 5 hardware reveal. The press release lets us know Apple's WWDC intentions and plans, and sets the expectations accordingly.
WWDC kicks off in six days, and of course, we'll have details of all the announcements as they're made. By the way, the press release also confirms that the incomparable Steve Jobs will be taking the stage at WWDC.
The rumors continue to pile up that Apple won't release the iPhone 5 this summer as expected. The latest word reportedly comes from an AT&T rep, who confirmed to a customer that the next-generation iPhone won't make its debut in June or July.
According to MacRumors, Apple allegedly confirmed to AT&T that the phone is delayed, and that information was relayed to an AT&T customer.
"Apple has informed us that they do not plan to release the iPhone in the June to July timeframe, though there will be a newer version in the future," an AT&T rep allegedly said. "Unfortunately, we have not been given a release time for the new phone. We will release this information on our Web site when it is available to us."
Looks like Reuters is the latest to add to the tally of iPhone 5 rumors. Citing three anonymous sources "with direct knowledge of the company's supply chain," Reuters claims Apple's fifth-generation iPhone will have a faster processor, and begin shipping in September.
Reuters' report is the latest in a series of rumors about the release date of Apple's next iPhone. Most rumors about the fifth-generation iPhone have focused on when the official announcement and launch date will be, which may face delays caused by the Japanese crisis.
In case you haven't been paying close attention, here's every what various sources have reported about fifth-generation iPhone in the last few months:
Apple has inexplicably ended two long-offered rebates for MobileMe and iWorks, fueling speculation that it will launch revamped versions of both software suites any day now.
"The 'Buy a Mac and Save $30 on iWork' and 'Buy a Mac or iPad and Save $30 on MobileMe' promotions will both end on April 18, 2011. Resellers must remove any reference to these promotions by close of business on that date," Apple wrote in an alleged letter to resellers obtained by 9to5Mac.
You can still download a free 60-day trial of MobileMe or pay $99 for the annual subscription; iWork is free for 30 days and $79 to purchase thereafter.
Apple MobileMe remotely stores your files and photos, and pushes email and calendar updates to your iOS device or Mac desktop. It launched in 2000 and was last updated in 2008 during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), held every June.
In December 2010, an Apple fan emailed Steve Jobs to complain about MobileMe, and Jobs reportedly replied, "Yes, it will get a lot better in 2011."
Over the past couple of days, rumors have been spreading that Best Buy has been ordered by Apple to halt sales of the iPad 2. The story is that Apple got wind of the fact that Best Buy had been stockpiling iPad 2 units, and didn't like that. However, we've got a very reliable source who just hit us up to give us the real scoop, and it turns out that it's a bit more sinister than a plan to stockpile iPad 2 units for a big weekend event.
The iPhone 5 might not make its debut until October or later, according to a Monday report.
Citing a translated story on Macotakara.jp, AppleInsider said today that Apple has not yet ordered components for the next-generation iPhone. As a result, the iPhone 5 might be planned for Apple's 2012 fiscal year, which begins on September 25.
The Macotakara report predicted an iPhone 5 launch in the first half of fiscal 2012, but as AppleInsider notes, Apple probably won't miss the opportunity for holiday season sales, making an October or November launch most likely.
The iPhone 4 was released at last year's Worldwide Developer Conference in June, but this year, the focus will be on software, according to Apple.