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Banc of America Securities today reiterated his "buy" rating on Apple and raised its target price from $85 to $97. NewRatings.com reports that the firm has raised FY05 sales estimate for iPod shuffle product has been raised from 4.4 million to 5 million units, confirming its optimism regarding Shuffle sales in the global market. "The demand for Apple Computer's Mac Mini continues to be robust and the sales estimate for the product has been raised from 305,000 to 900,000 units, the analyst says. The EPS estimates for FY05 and FY06 have been raised from $1.87 to $2.11 and from $2.16 to $2.50, respectively."
Topics on the MacNN forums today include: Speculation about the next generation of Power Mac G5s from Apple.... One member's review of their new PowerBook G4 1.67GHz.... Speculation regarding the next iBook revision.... Opinions on the Mac mini from owners of the new low-cost machine.... Comparing Dell's 24" display offering to Apple's 23" and 30" displays.
MacNN Reviews: We have published a review of Elektron for Mac OS X from Corriente Networks. It provides Radius/802.1X authentication services for wireless networks. Additionally, we have published a review of PodWave from Macally, a small AA-battery powered stereo speaker that plugs into the top of any iPod.
In brief: Digital media is hot, but RealNetworks apparently is not, at least in comparison with Apple, the Seattle Times says.... Dell is now shipping several models of its new digital music player, designed to compete with the iPod, including a 30GB model for $300.... "There is no doubt that USB 2 is the proper common interface of choice," Apple Vice President Greg Joswiak told CNET News.com, adding that Apple will continue to support FireWire as an option.... Fortune looks at the hip-e node a potential iMac competitor that is "underpowered and overpriced".... "iPod Nights" turn amateurs into digital DJs at D.C. Clubs, reports the Washington Post.
Apple expects a higher market share this year as a result of its entry into the local Philippines market with more affordable consumer products, reports Macworld UK. With the recent unveiling of its latest Flash-based iPod Shuffle portable music player and a slimmer Mac Mini computer, Apple has opened itself to the entry-level consumer market. “The Mac Mini opens up lower price points for people who would like to try the Mac platform, and that’s long been one of my chief complaints about Apple - the high price,” said International Data Corporation (IDC) analyst Roger Kay. According to Apple Philippines’ country manager Gerard Chua, the company’s regional office is optimistic that the Mac Mini and the iPod Shuffle will be received warmly by Filipino consumers.
Onkyo has developed a remote interactive (RI) dock that interfaces Apple’s iPod with Onkyo receivers and audio-video systems. The dock is scheduled for release mid 2005 in the U.S., Europe and Japan, with subsequent release in other regions where Onkyo products are available. The RI dock provides compatibility between specified iPod models and many of the Onkyo products produced over the past 10 years. "Users of both the iPod and Onkyo products will benefit from even greater flexibility with—and enjoyment of—digital media, as well as superior audio performance." Pricing and product specifics will be announced as the release date approaches.
Aspyr today announced that Doom 3, the hit game from id Software, has gone gold for Mac and is scheduled to begin shipping Monday, March 14. The game was developed for Macintosh by id Software and Aspyr Studios. "The ruins of an ancient Martian civilization have unlocked the secrets to teleportation and the Union Aerospace Corporation will stop at nothing to harness this world-altering technology. As part of a Marine detachment sent to protect the facility, your duty seemed simple enough – until the invasion." The game is rated "M" for "Mature" by the ESRB and is available for preorder for $50.
In brief: DVForge has reduced the price of the iFlex iSight holder ($13) by $7, the iBreeze acrylic Powerbook cooling stand ($25) by $5, and the following products by $10: the Mouse USB mouse ($30), the SIghtFlex iSight web cam stand ($20), the MicFlex USB microphone ($40), the GuitarPlug and MicPlug USB audio interfaces ($40), the JamPlug miniature guitar amplifier ($40).... An individual claiming to be a Mac Genius from one of Apple's retail stores has created an anonymous blog giving a satirical look at day to day activities at the store.... A Mac and auto enthusiast has successfully installed a Mac mini into his Lexus IS300.
The European Commission (EC) has confirmed it is looking into allegations that Apple's iTunes Music Store discriminates against U.K. consumers by charging them more to download the same song than it charges other European music buyers. In the UK, the iTunes Music Store charges customers 79p (€1.14) to download a single track. The same song costs €0.99 when it's downloaded from Apple's other European music shops. Apple's pricing policy was brought to the EC's attention in December 2004 by the UK's Office of Fair Trading (OFT), which was itself made aware of the situation by a consumer group. The issue the commission must examine is Apple's refusal to allow cross-border shopping, which could be in contravention of European Union laws. The EC last year called on Europe's music licensing agencies to develop a common framework and pricing structure.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.99 ( -0.02 )
Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko
Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded HermÃ©s face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL