Fifty Cent’s Baby Mama Will Get Rich or Die Tryin’The battle between 50 Cent and Shaniqua Tompkins rages on, Columbia bulldozes most of the Upper West Side, more big changes at the Murdoch-owned ‘Wall Street Journal,’ and other epic battles, in our daily roundup of news from the law, real-estate, media, and finance sectors.
Problems for Apple? Ha!
Oh, no, the Sun told us yesterday, the iPhone is a disaster, and Apple is in trouble! But then the company released third-quarter earnings, and, well: Oh, yes, the Journal tells us today, Apple’s earnings are a massive 73 percent, and the iPhone had little to nothing to do with it! Um, huh? Well, while Apple has made the gizmo of the moment its face of the moment, the truth is that it continues to rack up incredible revenues on good old Macs ($2.3 billion in sales, up from last year’s $1.87 billion) and iPods ($1.57 billion). Even better, the phone, which is also an iPod, isn’t even eating into the iPod sales. (The new data also defangs AT&T’s report of 146,000 iPhone activations between June 29 and July 1: Apple says it’s sold 270,000 units over that period.) In short, while bloggers were griping about the fallibility of the Jesus Phone, Jobs sold ‘em two Powerbooks, four Shuffles, and a Nano. And the best fringe benefit of the iPhone hype? Nobody is noticing the total floperoo that is AppleTV.
Apple’s Old Standbys, iPods and Macs, Drive Profit [WSJ]
Earlier: Is the iPhone a Failure? Maybe!
in other news
Is the iPhone a Failure? Maybe!So is the iPhone a flop? Today’s New York Sun, among other papers, reports that, in the first 30 hours of the iPhone’s availability, a mere 146,000 were activated, according to AT&T, its exclusive service provider. Though 146,000 activations in 30 hours might strike any of us as a big number — that’s 80 each minute, after all — it pales in comparison to the 500,000 units analysts were estimating would sell in the first two days the thing was available. (Here’s an especially rah-rah CNN item from July 2, the three days after the iPhone went on sale, tossing out that half-million number.) Plus, it gets worse: A CIBC World Markets report out yesterday shows that demand has only cooled since that first, underwhelming burst. That news drove Apple stock down 6 percent yesterday, and AT&T took a hit as well. By this measure, the Sun says, the rollout has been a crushing failure.
Steve Jobs Has Nothing on ArmaniFASHION
• Over the iPhone? Get the Armani phone this October. [Fashionista]
• Need something to wear with that wrap dress? DVF is launching a shoe collection this fall. [British Vogue]
• Thom Browne has put together a 25-piece womenswear collection available this fall at Barneys, Bergdorf, Jeffrey, and Colette. [WWD]
A Royal PainPrince’s highly publicized performance at the Ross School in East Hampton didn’t exactly get the crowd going. And he wouldn’t attend the after-party until everyone else left. Padma Lakshmi has been spending a lot of time with billionaire Teddy Fortsmann. Hillary Clinton has a subscription to the Post but not the Daily News. Jon Lovitz put a beating on Andy Dick at an L.A. comedy club during an argument over murdered SNL star Phil Hartman. Paris Hilton drugged her newest boyfriend with pills. Naomi Campbell gets to throw a temper tantrum in a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial directed by Zach Braff. Some staffers don’t like the cubicles and the food-paying system in the new New York Times building.
McCarter on Pogue: He Went Out There a Tech Columnist…
Yesterday we happened across — okay, we were urged by our father to happen across — Times tech columnist David Pogue’s song-and-dance ode to the wonders of the iPhone, titled “iPhone: The Musical.” We argued it was more of a karaoke number, but they’re calling it a musical, and if it’s a musical, then it must be reviewed. Here’s New York’s theater critic, Jeremy McCarter, on the latest production to open on 43rd Street Eighth Avenue:
Tech journalism hasn’t heretofore struck me as a hotbed of lyrical craftsmanship, but after watching David Pogue’s mini-musical about the iPhone, I stand extremely corrected. The video is, as Daily Intel pointed out yesterday, hilarious. If you listen closely, it’s also pretty impressively put together. (And I’d listen now if I were you — spoilers abound below.)
in other news
‘Times’ Techie Pogue Sings iPhone’s Praises
Our father is not typically on the cutting edge of technology, nor of technology coverage. So while we’re used to one-sentence e-mails like “Make sure you read Bruni” or “David Brooks lost whatever negligible credibility he had left today,” we were entirely surprised to open the in-box this afternoon and find, exuberantly capitalized, this message: “No further discussion: DAVID POGUE IS THE COOLEST PERSON IN AMERICA!!!” What was Pogue up to now, we wondered, and why was Dad so into it? Then we saw. Behold “iPhone: The Musical,” which is not so much a musical as a big-budget karaoke number. To Sinatra. It’s hilarious, and we’re jealous.
iPhone: The Musical [NYT]
So the iPhone went on sale Friday afternoon; America rejoiced, God smiled, and people who’d been waiting on line for three days could finally go take a shower. (We must say our favorite touch is the line of what seem to be Apple employees at left, applauding the dude for, you know, shopping.) Funny thing: After all the hysteria and lines and waiting and so forth, our friend walked into an AT&T store Saturday afternoon, bought an iPhone, and left in about a half-hour.
UPDATE: Aforementioned friend IMs: “Errata! I was in and out of Apple Store in 5 minutes.” Apparently reporting over drinks late on Saturday night doesn’t always yield complete accuracy. Who knew?
Earlier: Daily Intel’s we’re-giving-Steve-Jobs-exactly- what-he-wants iPhone coverage.
it happened this week
iPhone Is Here
This week’s issue of New York is a double issue, which means no issue next week, which means no “It Happened This Week” today. But that’s okay; we don’t need one. We all know what happened this week: The iPhone went on sale. iPhone! iPhone! iPhone iPhone iPhone. Remember how a few hours ago we told you there was virtually no line at several AT&T stores? Yeah, we just checked the one closest to the office — that’s at Madison and 46th — and, well, not so much anymore.
Countdown to iPhone: Reach Out and Touch an AT&T Store
Sure, people have been camped out for days in front of the Apple Stores. But they’ll be selling iPhones at AT&T stores, too, and — according to a spot check just performed by New York’s intrepid interns — Ma Bell is the place to be. At noon today there were 197 people on line in front of the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue and 59th Street; a dozen blocks south at the AT&T store at Fifth and 47th, eight people were waiting. After the jump, line lengths at six Manhattan iPhone locations, along with whatever other information we could glean.
So This Is Christmas
“X-Mas Came Early This Year” says the sign on the Christmas tree planted in front of the Soho Apple store. Being of the more Hanukkish persuasion, we’re not entirely up on every last Christmas tradition. But somehow we’ve always imagined snowy lawns, warm beds, and roaring fires — not steamy sidewalks, sleeping in chairs, and occasional pouring rain. Did we misunderstand something?
Earlier: Daily Intel’s we-realize-we’re-just-as-bad-as- they-are ongoing iPhone coverage.
Walking the iPhone Line
The iPhone! This afternoon! Yay. New York contributor Tim Murphy stopped by the Fifth Avenue Apple Store yesterday to check in with the crazies lined up on the sidewalk. What drives them to wait on line for this piece of technology? “It’s all about picking up girls, man,” one dude tells Tim. “You just pull that thing out, and that’s what it’s about.” Ain’t that always the way?
Street Level: iPhone Debut [NYM]
Countdown to iPhone: Someone Left the Line Out in the Rain
You know what’s tons of fun? Sleeping out for three days to get an overpriced cell phone! You know what’s even more fun? Sleeping out in the pouring rain for an overpriced cell phone!
Patrick and Ryan Brave the First Storm [Flickr via Gridskipper]
Earlier: Daily Intel’s team coverage of the iPhone.
in other news
Countdown to iPhone: Two Important Thumbs Mostly Up
Been feeling smug lately, looking down at your friends who’d drank the Apple Kool-Aid? Convinced yourself that the phone wasn’t going to be all that? That you’d wait for the second generation? (“First-generation Apple products always suck” may be the single sentence we’ve heard most in downtown bars these last few days.) Yeah, well, the reviews are out today, and it looks like the crazies were right.
“But even in version 1.0, the iPhone is still the most sophisticated, outlook-changing piece of electronics to come along in years. It does so many things so well, and so pleasurably, that you tend to forgive its foibles. In other words, maybe all the iPhone hype isn’t hype at all. As the ball player Dizzy Dean once said, ‘It ain’t bragging if you done it.’” —David Pogue, New York Times
“Our verdict is that, despite some flaws and feature omissions, the iPhone is, on balance, a beautiful and breakthrough handheld computer. Its software, especially, sets a new bar for the smart-phone industry, and its clever finger-touch interface, which dispenses with a stylus and most buttons, works well, though it sometimes adds steps to common functions.” —Walt Mossberg and Katherine Boehret, The Wall Street Journal
And at 3 p.m. this afternoon — that’s 51 hours before the thing goes on sale — ten people were queued up in front of the Fifth Avenue Apple store. It’s 92 degrees out.
Earlier: Daily Intel’s coverage of the iPhone.
Related: Steve Jobs in a Box [NYM]
Countdown to iPhone: In Brooklyn, TooIn this week’s New York, Tom Samiljan listed five places in Manhattan to find a new iPhone — and analyzed your chances of actually being able to get one from each. But there are, after all, four other boroughs, and now the good people at mcbrooklyn offer up six spots in the Borough of Kings for you to buy a shiny new toy. Will they have more stock? Will they have shorter lines? Who knows. Good luck. (No, we have no joke or commentary here. An event this momentous deserves straight-ahead service, don’t you think?)
Where to Buy an iPhone in Brooklyn [mcbrooklyn]
Related: How to Buy an iPhone [NYM]
in other news
Countdown to iPhone: The Lines Begin
What hope does a covetous indie-film star have? The iPhone doesn’t go on sale till 6 p.m. Friday, but as Racked reports, queues at the midtown and Soho Apple stores started forming yesterday. Here, the first guy on line at each location. (We suspect this isn’t the first time the guy in midtown has slept out for days for something.) Good luck, kids.
iPhrenzy: The First People in Line [Racked]
Even Movie Stars Can’t Get iPhones
There was a screening and after-party for Ethan Hawke’s second directorial feature, The Hottest State, at the Tribeca Film Center last night, and the movie’s director and stars and friends — Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard, Sonia Braga, Catalina Sandino Moreno, and newcomer Mark Webber, around whom the movie revolves — were all there. It’s a romantic, slightly disturbing — and slightly familiar — look at obsessive love and elusive objects of desire. And so we asked Webber, who plays the slacker-actor who falls crazy-in-love with a sweet singer, if he has a current obsessive love. “iPhone is a problem,” he admitted, the comely lady at his side notwithstanding. “It’s an issue.”
Have We Found the First iPhone Problem?Coming to the end of our cell-phone contract a few weeks ago, we called AT&T Wireless to inquire about abandoning our current provider and maybe, just maybe, getting our mitts on an iPhone. Could she help us with that? She could. “I’ll add you to my waiting list and call you on June 29 to sign you up,” she told us. Sure, it cost way too much, and sure, all our friends were warning us against first-generation new Apple products. But we were curiously excited about having the actual Internet in our pockets — such fast NYTimes.com browsing in that commercial! — and we shoved our worries to the back of our minds. We were counting the days. Then, Monday, the AT&T saleswoman called. Preregistration? An early phone? Far from it. Now, it seems, the iPhone won’t be available for telephone sales from AT&T, the friendly saleswoman sadly told us. Due to a glitch, she said, the phones can only be activated at store locations. “Most brand-new phones are recalled,” she said. Oh. We called T-Mobile, renewed our contract, and upgraded to a Blackberry Pearl. In white. —Fiona Byrne
Related: Steve Jobs in a Box [NYM]