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Anti-DRM protest at Apple stores; Verizon on iPhone 3G's impact

Open-source campaigners are planning a flood campaign against Apple retail they believe will pressure the iPhone maker to open up its devices. Verizon, meanwhile, only believes the iPhone 3G has had slight impact on its sales, and Doom's creator wants to create an exclusive iPhone game.

DRM opponents hope to overwhelm Apple retail

In a symbolic gesture, the Free Software Foundation plans a new campaign, nicknamed the Apple Challenge, that it thinks will pressure Apple into opening its software code.

The organization is asking supporters to book a Genius Bar appointment at an Apple retail store on Friday or Saturday and ask the technicians questions about the company's broader corporate policy regarding iPhone 3G and its software under the belief that any copy-protected hardware or software is "defective."

Among the questions several few technicians would be likely to answer, including those asking why Apple doesn't allow iPhone developers to publish source code, why Apple continues to sell protected iTunes music, and why the company doesn't support open media formats like FLAC, Ogg Theora, and Ogg Vorbis.

The questionnaire goes so far as to suggest that closed-source software for GPS would allow Apple to track customers' locations without their knowledge.

Although Apple currently uses and promotes some open-source software through Mac OS X, the company has more often refrained from a similar policy with its portable devices. Chief executive Steve Jobs, however, has endorsed cross-platform formats but has only mentioned AAC and MP3, which still require licensing and are patented in a way that makes open-source modification impossible.

Verizon downplays iPhone 3G's effects

iPhone 3G's rollout has had just a "minimally short-term impact" on Verizon's sales, if the company's statements during its quarterly results call prove true.

Though it stops short of handing out any statistics, the cellular service provider alludes to the Apple phone making a small dent in Verizon sales in the days following its launch but that it was "disproportionately less" than the company's market share, which is smaller than that of exclusive iPhone provider AT&T.

The company also fires a direct jab at AT&T, noting that its wireless strategy doesn't depend on "any one device" and claims the iPhone actually spurred a rush of smartphone sales at Verizon.

id Software's Carmack eager to develop iPhone exclusive

John Carmack, the co-founder of game development house id Software, says his company is planning to develop an iPhone-exclusive title that would show off the abilities of the platform, Forbes says.

While it's too early to reveal details, the game would be based on an existing storyline from the company such as Doom, Quake, or Wolfenstein but would be a "graphical tour de force" that shows off the visual prowess of the iPhone and iPod touch's PowerVR hardware.

"The iPhone, as a device, is in the same generation power-wise as the PS2 or Xbox," Carmack says. "The graphics are a little lower but the RAM is a lot higher."

Apple's handhelds also have considerably more storage than the cellphones id Software has developed for so far, with many games coming in over 10MB while a typical mobile game is often 300KB.

At present, his only immediate lament is not having time to create a launch game. "I really regret not having something at launch," he says.