Apple's decision to credit early iPhone buyers $100 toward the purchase of other Apple products in an attempt to alleviate anger triggered by the massive 33-40 percent price drop enacted just 10 weeks after the device's introduction represents an about-face in the company's stance on such rebates. In fact, in 2003, Apple argued a Microsoft settlement that "fewer than 25 percent of customers redeem these types of vouchers." That criticism concerned Microsoft's $1.1 billion antitrust settlement, which consisted of vouchers worth up to $29. Wired reports "The vouchers, which are still being paid off, could be converted to cash upon proof of purchase of most any computer device or software from any company. Details about Apple's rebate are expected soon. Will Apple issue its own 'vouchers?'"
Apple may be planning on bringing on movie rentals very soon, according new information found by a user when trying to report a problem about iTunes. In a screenshot taken by David Watanabe, the iTunes feedback/refund reporting system has severals options to report issues related to Movie Rentals -- specifically if you did not receive the movie, accidental purchase, content quality, duplicate purchase, wrong version, bad metadata, and other options were provided in the refund request menu. "I was trying to report a problem via iTunes, and this pop-up for selecting a reason contains some interesting/revealing strings," Watanbe wrote. "Looks like 'RentalMovies' will be coming to the iTunes store." Several users confirmed the presence of the options on iTunes, but the system appears to be down as of Saturday afternoon (PST).
Apple on Friday quietly released iTunes 7.4.1, a minor update to the company's jukebox software that is only available via the Web (38MB). Although the company has not specifically described the changes, some report that after the update they were no longer able to use circulating custom ringtone workaround, which allowed users to make any AAC file into a ringtone. Discovered soon after the initial release of iTunes 7.4, users were able to simply rename any AAC track to .M4R and load it into iTunes (by double-clicking, for example): on the next iPhone sync, users will automatically be able to use the ringtones via the iTunes ringtone tab. iTunes 7.4.1 allows previously renamed tracks to exists, but does not allow newly renamed files to show up as ringtones. Update: Users report that they can simply follow the original method and under iTunes 4.1 simple add another step: change the file extension from m4r file back to m4a and the newly renamed file will appear in the iTunes 7.4.1 sync list automatically.
A series of lawyers are claiming that the introduction of Apple's new iPods on September 5th reinforce antitrust claims against the company, partially because the new devices, like their predecessors, cannot playback Microsoft's competing Windows Media Audio, or WMA, format. The suit alleges that Apple's devices are capable of playing these files, but disables them with "crippleware" in order to force iPod and nano owners to buy songs from iTunes. Wired reports that Apple could license the WMA format from Microsoft for less than 2 cents per iPod, lawyers say, "which would make iPods and iPhones, old and new, compatible with music purchased online from rivals like Wal-Mart, Napster, Best Buy, Yahoo and others."
Apple may launch its iPhone campaign in Europe with a 3G-capable iPhone with enhanced storage, according to what appears to be a leaked ad from T-Mobile Germany. The ad promises a version of the handset with support for 3G-level cellular Internet access using both the US-friendly HSDPA format and typically Europe-only UMTS, with theoretical download speeds reaching the format's full 3.6Mbps. It also suggests that the device will carry 16GB of memory, representing the first storage upgrade to the device since its launch in June. Visual Voicemail and the 2-megapixel camera would remain the same as for the US version.