Monday, May 24, 2010

Morning Brief: AT&T ups termination fee; Apple prepares to ship international orders

They must know something you don't know.
AT&T must believe that they are about to lose their iPhone exclusivity because they have announced that they will be raising the early termination fee on smartphone users to $325.

The move is also a sign that AT&T wants to take advantage of customers who will soon want to upgrade their iPhones. Apple is set to unveil its newest generation of the iPhone at its developer conference in two weeks.

This is the week Apple launches the iPad in nine more countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the U.K. (guess they are out of luck in Liechtenstein).
In preparation, Apple has opened up its international iBookstore and iTunes app store for the iPad. Previously, a non-U.S. resident that may have purchased their iPad in the U.S. and then travelled home to their home country was prevented from accessing iPad apps via iTunes. As a result, news apps from countries other than the U.S. are beginning to appear such as the BFMTV app from France -- logo seen at right.

One app that submitted an update in time for the international roll-out was Zinio whose Zinio Magazine Newsstand & Reader is probably the most way iPad readers access magazines -- the alternative being individual apps. Their update initially appeared minor, just support for French, but a closer look reveals that users will now be able to delete titles completely, something impossible with earlier versions. This is probably not important online, but iPad users  have asked for the delete feature so they do not have to swipe through pages of icons to find their magazines (extra important when you are subscribing to a daily product like Sporting News Today. Another good update for the leading magazine newsstand app.