The iWitness news roundup: Crime-fighting iPhone, citizen reporter app, Apple stock probe

In deference to the tradition of local TV newscasts, a crime report leads this edition of the iWitness roundup, but it’s a crime report with a happy ending … except for the perps. The unnamed victim in the case was strolling through Pittsburgh’s Shadyside neighborhood around 1 a.m. Saturday when two gentlemen approached and asked for his wallet, credit card PIN numbers and iPhone, emphasizing their request with what appeared to be a handgun. After handing over the goods and notifying authorities and his banks, the man turned to his computer and fired up the Find My iPhone GPS-location feature of Apple’s MobileMe service. Sure enough, there was his phone, faithfully tracking its abductors on a shopping trip at a North Versailles Wal-Mart, then a snack stop at Eat’n Park, and finally to a gas station, where police caught up and took three men into custody, along with the stolen items and a pellet gun. With luck, the iPhone will take down a few more bad guys before word of this defense measure spreads down to street-thug level.

Elsewhere in the wide world of Apple:

* Ever wished you could lead the glamorous and prestigious life of a reporter without the hassle of dealing with all those questions from editors and the copy desk? The hyperlocal Fwix news site network would love to have your contributions, and to make filing reports on the go even easier, it’s introducing an iPhone app this week. “We believe we are the real-time local newswire,” said Darian Shirazi, Fwix’s 22-year-old founder. While Twitter may be the current outlet of choice for sharing news in real time, Shirazi says Fwix’s software does a better job of filtering out noise and displaying relevant and credible reports.

* Financial columnist Dan Dorfman says he has copies of some internal SEC documents indicating the commission is making some initial inquiries in the brokerage community concerning the timing of certain trading in Apple stock here and abroad. The SEC is seeking the names of clients who traded in Apple stock during four specific time periods, and Dorfman’s sources say the inquiry is looking for signs of traders having early inside info on iPod sales figures and CEO Steve Jobs’ health status.

* Among the predictions in his latest note to investors, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says he expects Apple to make the iPhone available on U.S. carriers other than AT&T with the debut of a new model next summer. “For various reasons the company moved from an exclusive relationship with French wireless carrier Orange to a multi-carrier model,” Munster said. “In France, the company now enjoys dramatically higher market share (in the 40 percent range vs. about 15 percent in ROW) than in countries with exclusive carrier agreements (such as AT&T in the U.S. where the iPhone has market share in the mid-teens). We believe Apple is seeing the increased unit sell-through more than offset the slightly (~10 percent) deteriorated economics per unit involved in non-exclusive agreements.”


Share this Post

  • dermbuilder

    I have felt for a long time that the entire concept of an exclusive contract in ANY context should be forbidden right in the US constitution itself. I believe that exclusive contracts are NEVER a good thing! They always restrain trade and stifle competition. They usually harm small business and give overlarge businesses an unfair advantage.

  • This is so cool. Makes you want to believe that somehow technology can solve all the world’s woes???