Like sands trickling through the hourglass, so are the details of the iPhone 3G. With two weeks to go until the phone's initial launch, AppleInsider's sources say that iPhones will be relatively expensive in Europe. Apple is also reportedly pushing international carriers to offer flat-rate data plans instead of selling data access by the kilobit, so the plans will also be pricey. France Telecom's Orange announced the pricing and plans for the iPhone 3G's debut in France on July 17. As we've already told you, Telefonica has announced 300,000 preorders in Spain and the U.K., but an Apple memo claims that no preorders will happen at Apple Stores here in the States, no way no how (Apple can't wait to have another launch-day frenzy on its hands, we're sure). At least one O2 employee has been telling British customers that they'll be able to sign up for -- but not activate -- their iPhone 3G contract before the phone launches on July 11. Then they'd just have to come back on July 11 to buy the phone and activate the contract with a confirmation code. Of course, that O2 employee might be totally wrong, but we certainly hope this is true and that AT&T does something similar in the U.S. so the launch day lines keep moving. Finally, FBR Capital Markets analyst Craig Berger reports that Apple has boosted its iPhone 3G orders to more than 15 million by the end of 2008. Mac orders also up as much as 20 percent. That's a lot of freakin' iPhones. Curiously, the same report says that lower-priced iPod nanos will be coming our way soon as well.
A source for Gizmodo claims that it's "highly probably" that the iPhone 2.0 operating system Golden Master will be out this Friday. That's two weeks earlier than the iPhone 3G hits the streets and just in the nick of time for Apple to make good on its promise for a June iPhone update. "The iPhone 2.0 operating system Golden Master will follow the release of build 345, which has seen the activation of two code-signing and encryption features not previously available." Although this date is not officially confirmed, Gizmodo's source was confident enough to say that "this is the plan." The 'plan' just might help out the iPhone Dev Team which is working furiously on unlocking the final build before July 11.
The ever present specter of Flash on the iPhone has once again, reared its head. Adobe CEO, Shantanu Narayen, stated during Adobe's Q2 earnings call that the company has Flash running on the iPhone within emulation: "We have a version that’s working on the emulation. This is still on the computer and you know, we have to continue to move it from a test environment onto the device and continue to make it work. So we are pleased with the internal progress that we’ve made to date." If Apple allows Flash on the iPhone, this would introduce a feature many iPhone users have been clamoring for. Just don't hold your breath. Steve Jobs has been critical of Flash Mobile, suggesting that it isn't powerful enough for the iPhone. Hopefully, the two companies will iron out their differences and give customers the option to install Flash on their iPhones. Via Silicon Valley Insider
French language site, MacGeneration spoke with Yann Lafargue of TomTom about the their navigation software on the iPhone. The company does have its software running on an iPhone. Lafargue states that the discovery of a restrictive clause within the iPhone SDK agreement that restricts real-time route guidance isn't an obstacle, and is Apple's way of protecting itself. Still, TomTom is proceeding with caution with it's plans to bring its software to the App Store. "In general, Apple has so far worked with more Americans than Europeans, prompting a caution. There is a whole set of things to confirm before talking about marketing." Editor's note: Quote translated using Google Translate. Via iLounge
Analyst surveys developers post-keynote. Piper Jaffray analyst, Gene Musnter chatted with 20 Apple developers after Monday's keynote address. Gene learned that of the 20 developers he spoke to, 50% attended to develop exclusivley for the iPhone/iPod touch, 50% we're developing "Enterprise apps." While 70% had written applications for other mobile platforms. With regard to app pricing, 71% of the apps would be free, with the average paid app price to be $2.29. These numbers are nice, but can 20 developers out of 5,200 be any real indication of the developer community's plans for the iPhone/iPod touch? Via AppleInsider
TUAW, posted this screenshot from the Australian iPod touch page that shows the App Store launching June 27. That's a bit earlier then the "early July" official statement from Apple. We searched the site looking for this image and tried looking at cached versions of the site from yesterday with no luck. So either the image was only up for a few moments today and then quickly pulled and someone is now searching for a new job, or it's a mockup created by the TUAW tipster. We sent a query to TUAW about the image and will update when we find out who took the image in question. Regardless, if this is true, yippppeeee!
A BoingBoing reader noticed a bit of information within the iPhone SDK Agreement that may put the skids on TomTom's iPhone GPS software. "Applications may not be designed or marketed for real time route guidance; automatic or autonomous control of vehicles, aircraft, or other mechanical devices; dispatch or fleet management; or emergency or life-saving purposes." This means that either Apple is working on their own GPS navigation system, or they are working their best-buds, Google to enhance Google Maps on the iPhone. It also means no robot vehicles controlled via the iPhone. We all know what happens when robots get vehicles, and it isn't pretty. UPDATE: A Mac|Life commenter pointed us to an Engadget artcle where one of their commenters shared some interesting information, "Astute commenter Austin points out that these terms are copied almost word-for-word from the Google Maps API terms -- which means that TomTom and others are probably free to use their own maps to do real-time guidance." Where would the internet be without its many commenters?
Gizmodo talked to AT&T President of National Distribution, Glen Lurie about the iPhone 3G. What he told them might make you think twice about camping out to get an iPhone 3G on launch day. Gone are the days of at-home iPhone activation. Instead, all iPhones will be activated at the Apple or AT&T stores at time of purchase. Each activation will take approximately 10-12 minutes. In case you missed it, 10-12 minutes for each iPhone sold. So, instead of the quick, take your money, hand you an iPhone, you leave happy. You'll now have to wait for a sales associate to activate your iPhone while you stand there jonesing for 3G action. The new procedure has allegedly been put into place to curb the unlocking of iPhones. What the procedure may unlock is the patience of early adopters. Gizmodo also learned that the iPhone $20 unlimited data plan will be thing of the past. All iPhones will now require the standard $30 AT&T 3G unlimited data plan.
A multitude of downloadable programs will launch for iPhone and iPod Touch devices in early July, with Apple’s release of the App Store. Software developers will be able to directly reach customers on either of those devices, with programs less than 10MB even being available for download over-the-air through a mobile phone company. Software bigger than 10MB will be available through iTunes on a Mac or PC, or directly through a WiFi connection. Apple will handle the file hosting and transactions for developers, sharing 70 percent of the revenue with those designers. Software developers will chose the price for their programs, including being able to give applications away for free.