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Communications

iPhone Faces Uncertain Market 869

48 hours have passed since Steve Jobs's MacWorld keynote and the reality distortion field is beginning to wear off. Lists of the drawbacks of the announced iPhone are sprouting all over the Net (and there is the occasional defense by true believers). Now narramissic writes, "The iPhone may be poised to take over the high-end cell phone market, but is it a market worth taking? Not if an InStat survey from July is any indication: Of 1,800 consumers surveyed, just 21 had spent more than $400 for a cell phone. Prices for the iPhone, admittedly more of a handheld computer than a cell phone, start at $499 for the 4G-byte version with a required two-year contract with Cingular. So, is Apple pricing it right? Analysts quoted in this article seem to think Apple's going to have a hard time getting the 1% of market share that Jobs called for."

AOL Music Now Relaunches Music Service 73

Planetrudy writes "Reuters reports that AOL has launched a new version of its Music Now subscription service. It's web-based, slick, performs well (fast page loads and downloads), and contains over 2.5M songs and 'thousands of videos.' This launch seems to be in line with AOL's 'tearing down the wall around the garden' strategy."

Repercussions of Reporting on Apple 'Sweatshops' 120

PRC Banker writes "Following the media attention over Apple using 'sweatshop' tactics to manufacture iPods, facts were disseminated making things seem not as bad as first reported. However, recent developments suggest that 'Apple Computer's iPod supplier FoxConn has decided to sue the media for mis-reporting on working conditions in their factories. Rather than sue the British tabloids, FoxConn sues a Shanghai newspaper. The reporter has a translated version of his personal experience and thoughts.' Powerful Chinese company threatens local media. Worrying indeed, especially given this company's track record. The president of Foxconn is the richest man in Taiwan, and the company has attempted to use coercion in the past."

DRM Reduces Battery Life 296

gr8_phk writes "An interesting article over at C|Net claims that playing DRMed music can reduce battery life up to 25 percent. Yet another reason to stick with plain old MP3 files." From the article: "Those who belong to subscription services such as Napster or Rhapsody have it worse. Music rented from these services arrive in the WMA DRM 10 format, and it takes extra processing power to ensure that the licenses making the tracks work are still valid and match up to the device itself. Heavy DRM not only slows down an MP3 player but also sucks the very life out of them."

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