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Newsweek: Apple A “Game Changing” Business Despite Recession



Newsweek has its pom-poms out, leading a cheer for team U.S.A. This week’s cover story about how business is bouncing back for the “comeback country” cites Apple as a company whose innovation turned profits, despite the downturn, comparing the iTunes model to the efforts of Thomas Edison.

But more important is the rise of systems innovation, like Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse building electrical systems. “That leads to new models of infrastructure and new kinds of consumption.”
Apple launched the iTunes Music Store in April 2003 with a single product: songs selling for 99 cents. Seven years later, iTunes is a much larger business: hardware like the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad; audiobooks, movies, ringtones, apps, and e-books.

It’s a boon for retailers, movie studios, independent coders, analytics firms, and accessories makers—the market for cases, sleeves, and headphones for i-devices is north of $1.5 billion annually. In late March, the venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers doubled the size of its two-year-old iFund, which backs app makers, to $200 million.

Summing up the 2,561-word pep talk — where Google and Apple are hailed as the new iconic American brands, taking the place of Chevrolet and McDonald’s (you pick which is which), the journalists conclude:

“If the U.S. continues to adapt as it has, and if it produces a few more game changers like Google and Apple, there’s no reason that the expansion that started in July 2009, against all the odds and predictions, can’t last just as long.”

Via Barron’s

iVerse Comics Preview Shows iPad’s Depth, Features


If you’re wondering whether iPad is just going to be a big iPhone or iPod Touch, look no further than the preview released by iVerse Comics to see the depth and complexity of the iPad’s touchscreen features.

Comics and other traditionally text and image-based reading material have been somewhat less than satisfying to read on iPhones simply due to the size constraints of Apple’s smartphone display. With the impending release of the iPad’s significantly larger form factor all of that is about to change and it’s not too hard to predict the coming boom in digital book, magazine and yes, comic content optimized for the iPad.

“We’d all been waiting for Apple to announce the iPad, and once the specifics were finally known, our team began putting together our plans for the device the same day.” said iVerse Media founder and CEO Michael Murphey. Wanting to create a traditional comic book reading experience on the iPad, iVerse built “a completely new application from scratch, then [married] that to our existing app,” Murphey said. “The end result gives the user the best possible experience on whatever device they’re using.”

iVerse Comics features some of the biggest publishers in the comic book industry including Archie Comics, Ape Entertainment, Archaia, BOOM! Studios, IDW Publishing, titles from Image Comics creators, Marvel Comics, and many more.

Long time users of iVerse Comics will have the ability to download new, high resolution, iPad files of their previously in-app-purchased comics for no additional cost. iVerse Comics is available as a free download in the iTunes App Store now. The app includes 30 free comics with over 100 more available as in-app purchases.

Daily Deals: $1,199 MacBook Air, App Store Price Drops, $49 iPhone 3G



We start off with another deal on MacBook Air laptops from the Apple Store. These deals include a 1.8GHz MacBook Air for $1,199. Also on tap is a new round of App Store price drops, including Amateur Surgeon, for you, well, amateur surgeons out there. Finally, we wrap up the top trio with some refurbed iPhone 3Gs from AT&T, including an 8GB 3G for $49.

As always, for details on these deals and many more bargains, check out CoM’s “Daily Deals” page right after the jump.

iPod Co-Creator Exits Apple for Green Tech



After nine years, iPod co-creator Tony Fadell has opted to exit Apple to get a hand in “green” tech.

Fadell is credited with hatching the idea of a hard-drive-based digital music player in the 1990s.  He first took the concept to Real Networks, but left after just six weeks due to clashes with CEO Rob Glaser.

Fadell found fertile territory for the project at Apple, where he was the first member of its iPod hardware engineering team in 2001. Working with Jon Rubenstein, Michael Dhuey and Jonathan Ive in under a year, the iPod was born.  

Fadell was was promoted to vice president of iPod engineering in 2004, then named senior vice president of the iPod Division in April 2006.

His final exit isn’t that much of a surprise: Fadell stepped down from that position in 2008, staying on in an advisory role to Steve Jobs.

The forty-year-old Fadell kept mum about the motives behind his decision but told the New York Times that he was saying adios to Apple to advise companies and pursue private investments with a focus on green technology.

“My primary focus will be helping the environment by working with consumer green-tech companies,” he said. “I’m determined to tell my kids and grand kids amazing stories beyond my iPod and iPhone ones.”

Incipio’s Tribal ECO iPhone Case Rocks On! [Review]



With its granite coloring and design, the Incipio Tribal Regrind ECO Case actually looks like a piece of carved stone.

This iPhone case is made out of 100% recycled silicone, and at least 20% of that is waste materials from other Incipio products. This makes The Tribal Regrind ECO Case one of the greenest molded cases ever.

Note: It’s Case Week on We’re checking out some of the latest and greatest iPhone cases on the market. Read all the case reviews here.

Apple Cube Store Architect “Computer Illiterate”


Bohlin outside the Cube. @Philadelphia Inquirer, Michael S. Wirtz

You don’t have to be computer savvy to understand the vision of Steve Jobs.

Architect Peter Bohlin who designed Apple’s epic glass cube for the Fifth Avenue store in New York is “a total computer illiterate” his partner Bernard Cywinski told the Philadelphia Inquirer. He still sketches on paper rather than by computer and prefers talking in person to text messages.

Yet Bohlin interpreted Jobs’ wish to create a kind of “clubhouse” for Apple fans so well that the Cube has become one of New York’s most-photographed landmarks.

Even though he’d never designed a retail space, Jobs chose Bohlin to design this Manhattan magnet for Apple lovers based on his work for the new Pixar headquarters and studios in Emeryville, California.

Jobs “didn’t care” about that handicap, said Karl Backus, the principal in BCJ’s San Francisco office who manages the firm’s Apple projects. That’s because Jobs thought of the stores not as retail spaces but as social spaces.

Daily Deals: $1,049 MacBook Pro 2.26GHz C2D, App Store Freebies, Assassin’s Creed II



We start the week with a deal on a MacBook Pro laptop. The MacBook Pro is powered by a 2.26GHz Core 2 Duo for $1,049. Also on tap is a new crop of freebies from the App Store, including “BlaBlaBla,” a sound-sensitive application for the iPhone or iPod touch. Lastly, there is a deal on Assassin’s Creed II for the iPhone or iPod touch.

As always, details on these deals or other bargains (such as the iPod starter kit from Belkin) are available on CoM’s “Daily Deals” page right after the jump.

The High-Octane TruePower iV Pro Backpack Battery Is Like Carrying Around A Gas Station In Your Pocket [Review]


iV pro cover 75

The iPhone 3GS is like a Formula One car: fast, sleek and a thrill to drive. And then, every hour or so, it has to hit the pits to refuel (only, unlike refueling an F1 car, it takes hours, not seconds). Now, imagine if every F1 car had button on the steering wheel that the driver could punch, and a fuel cell would drop from some kind of team drone-copter and refuel the car while it was rocketing around the track. Pretty cool, right? Well, that’s what using the TruePower iV Pro is like.

“Final Fantasy I & II” now available on the App Store



Every couple of years, Square-Enix dusts off the first couple of games of the Final Fantasy series, gives them a vigorous spit polish and then throws them on the gaming handheld du jour. So if you haven’t played Final Fantasy I or II on the original NES, PSP, PlayStation, GBA, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii, ad infinitim… good news! You can now pick up both Final Fantasy I and FInal Fantasy II are now available over on the App Store.

The original Final Fantasy game includes five bonus dungeons, as well as the Soul of Chaos and Labyrinth of Time extras added to some of the more recent ports of the game. As for Final Fantasy II, you also get five bonus dungeons, as well as the Soul of Rebirth and Arcane Labyrinth packs.

These classic RPGs will keep you busy for dozens of hours, so from that perspective, $9 is a steal… but I’ve never personally felt that the first couple of Final Fantasy games aged particularly well, and while the new sprite work is undeniably attractive, the gameplay and story in the games seem more like an archeological curiosity of modern gaming than anything I’d want to revisit. So I’ll hold on to my $18 for now… but wake me up when Square-Enix gets around to porting Final Fantasy VI to iPhone OS, would you?

Tim Cook Is Extremely Bullish On Apple’s Future Growth


Is Apple Chief Operating Officer Headed for HP CEO Chair?
Apple COO Tim Cook.

Apple’s COO Tim Cook was extremely bullish on Apple’s prospects in 2010, in spite of economic gloom and increased competition in phones and PCs.

Speaking to a handful of Wall Street analysts on a Goldman Sachs webcast, Cook predicted the iPad will be a hit and that the Mac will continue to grow, especially in enterprise. And thanks to the recession, Apple will open dozens of “jaw-dropping” new stores this year in prime locations.