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Remote Desktop 2 honored
Apple's Remote Desktop 2 was among the 12 products that were honored at the FOSE trade show in Washington, D.C. The FOSE trade show is a comprehensive technology event serving the government marketplace. "Judges from Government Computer News and Washington Technology scoured hundreds of products on the floor of the Washington Convention Center and representatives of the GCN Lab handed out the Best of FOSE awards." Remote Desktop offers a complete desktop management solution for Mac OS X, allowing administrators to distribute software, configure systems, offer real-time online help and create detailed hardware and software reports on clients. It is available in both 10-client ($300) and unlimited-client ($500) editions.
Sonance iPort division
Sonance today announced the formation of its new iPort Division. The company currently produces the high-fidelity in-wall iPort iPod interface for home entertainment systems. Sonance says the move will help it focuse on iPort as a distinct brand within the company and that it plans to capitalize on the "explosive growth and market dominance of the iPod music player." The division will have its own development, sales, and marketing team, and will be lead by company chairman and co-founder, Scott Struthers. The new division plans to introduce a full line of iPort branded product in the near future. "The tremendous response we?ve received since first showing the iPort last September has opened our eyes to a large market potential for architectural-grade iPod interfaces. iPort plans to expand its market penetration to areas such as computer integrators, commercial developers, the hospitality market, and others.
Media 100 supports Tiger
Media 100 today announced support for Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger", announcing compatibility for both Media 100 HD, its high-definition and standard-definition nonlinear editing solution, and Media 100 sw, the company's recently announced software-only application. Media 100 sw brings the Media 100 interface to producer/editors, home enthusiasts and students; it is being debuted via a free public beta program at NAB 2005 (booth SL343. Media 100 HD, currently at v10.1, is a powerful, 10-bit-uncompressed system for projects that use HD, SD, or need to mix different codecs in the same timeline in realtime. The company said that it will offer support for 'Tiger' and QuickTime 7 in its upcoming release scheduled shortly after 'Tiger' is officially released and the company will further optimize its products for Tiger over the upcoming months.
Apple Q2 results
Apple today held its second quarter earnings conference call for fiscal 2005. Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer reported a Q2 profit of $290 million, on revenues of $3.24 billion -- the highest March revenue and net income in Apple's history. Oppenheimer cited "strong sales" of both Macs and iPods, resulting in a 530 percent increase in net income year-over-year. Apple's Mac business generated 62 percent of revenues, with over one million Macs shipped. Oppenheimer said this was the highest number of Macs shipped for any quarter in four years. The number of Mac sold was up 43 percent from the year-ago quarter.
Apple is offering .Mac memberships for $70 from April 12, 2005, through May 23. With .Mac, users get software and services, including an ad-free email account, home page creation tools, backup software, and more. The service also offers expanded support of Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger," including data syncing between computers. The offer requires a mail-in rebate, which takes $30 off the retail price.
A look at Apple numbers
In its March quarter, Apple shipped more than 1 million Macs and more than 5 million iPods. Apple's iPod shipments surged dramatically by 558 percent from the year-ago quarter and sequentially from the December/holiday quarter by 16 percent. The expected post-holiday season drop was offset by the introduction of the lower-cost iPod shuffle, which also decreased iPod revenue sequentially by 16 percent. Apple reported both Mac unit and revenue increases from the year-ago quarter in Mac shipments in of its five operating segments, including the Americas (32% unit, 64% revenue), Europe (48% unit, 57% revenue), Japan (48% unit, 57% revenue), Retail (106% unit, 115% revenue), and Other Segments (29% unit, 70% revenue), which includes Asia Pacific and its FileMaker unit.
Apple posts profit
Apple today posted a net profit of $290 million, or $.34 per diluted share for its fiscal 2005 second quarter ending March 26, 2005--with increased revenue of $3.24 billion, which was up 70 percent from the year-ago quarter. The results compare to a net profit of $46 million, or $.06 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter and beat analysts' profit estimates by 10 cents per share and ahead of their projected $3.18 billion in revenue. Gross margins were 29.8 percent, up from 27.8 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 40 percent of the quarter's revenue. Apple said it shipped 1,070,000 Macs and 5,311,000 iPods during the quarter, representing a 43 percent increase in CPU units and a 558 percent increase in iPods over the year-ago quarter.
Jobs on Tiger
The release of Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" is "one of those rare occasions when a major software release is actually early," Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in an interview with BusinessWeek. Jobs says the 200 new features in Tiger make it well worth a $130 retail price. "It has turned out just wonderfully," says Jobs. "It's our biggest leap forward since the original Macintosh in 1984." Writer Peter Burrows says "Certainly, Tiger is proof that Apple isn't ignoring its traditional business. Many of its features are the kinds of behind-the-scenes capabilities that are unlikely to attract much attention but are nonetheless important." In the short term, Tiger may not provide a large boost to Apple, but "Tiger will give customers one more reason to buy a Mac, because it's so far ahead of Windows," Jobs boasts.
In brief: Apple's PowerBook G3 series was absent from its list of compatible systems for Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" (now the FireWire "Pismo" PowerBook is listed as "compatible").... French Mac site MacTouch has posted benchmarks comparing Mac OS X "Tiger" to version 10.3 "Panther".... Apple has published a guide for iPod owners switching from PC to Mac, detailing how to use an iPod to help with the transition.... Aspyr will be showcasing the upcoming The Sims 2 this Friday at 7:00 p.m. at the monthly Aspyr game night at Austin's Apple store.... The UMass Amherst MUG is holding its second annual Mac Expo in the Student Union Ballroom from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. today.
Popwire products at NAB
Popwire Technology today announced that it will release and showcase its new product upgrades for Mac OS X during NAB 2005. The upgrades include enhanced features as well as extended format support, including support for H.264 (AVC) video, 2-pass Flash video, Windows Media MBR, MXF, High Definition (HD) as well as full QuickTime integration. Compression Engine ($5000) is a high performance digital media coding solution for broadcasting companies, media houses, ISPs and mobile operators and designed to automate workflow for large amounts of content. Compression Master ($400), the desktop version, converts to and from all common formats such as MPEG-2, MPEG-4, QuickTime, 3GPP, Windows Media and Real Media. The new product upgrades, Compression Engine 2.1 and Compression Master 3.1, will be free upgrades for existing customers.
Apple Japan president Yoshiaki Sakito yesterday announced that Apple is set to launch an Internet music business in the country. In Japan, digital music services have been slow starting, hampered by rigid controls by record companies. Digital music players have recently become very popular, and iTunes in Japan will likely speed up growth of the digital music market, industry sources said. In the face of the rapid growth of the digital music market, however, Avex, a major CD production company, announced it will launch a digital music business, and other CD firms are leaning toward accepting such a move. Label Gate and Microsoft began small-scale digital music operations in Japan last year, but their offerings are not compatible with the iPod. Since April 2003, Apple has sold music through its iTunes Music Store in the United States and Europe for 99 cents, or about 107 yen, per song.
Comic Life 1.0
plasq has released Comic Life 1.0, an application that enables users to organize photos with captions, and even create "full-fledged comic books" and how-to guides. Features include powerful Page and Panel layouts, (including styles for a real comic-strip look), streamlined image selection, cropping and placement, authentic speech balloons (enhanced by a built-in professional quality comic lettering font), captions and special effects text. Comic Life can use pictures from an iPhoto library and users can export their creations to .Mac.
Red Giant at NAB
Red Giant Software announced three new products today, which will be previewed at the upcoming NAB convention. Knoll Light Factory 3.0 ($400) is the latest version of the After Effects plug-in for simulating reflections from a very bright light source as seen in a camera's lens. The new Knoll Light Factory rendering engine will use the GPU to increase the speed of rendering for HD projects while maintaining quality. Primatte Keyer 3.0 ($700) is a plug-in that lets users extract keys from any color background by simply sampling the background color and clicking. The new version addresses DV material and post key complications, such as uneven lighting. Key Correct Pro 1.0 ($400) is a new set of 17 plug-ins that lets users correct alpha channel, create smooth outlines, and color match any two layers.
Peachpit today announced the publication of Making a Movie in iMovie HD and iDVD 5: Visual QuickProject Guide by Jeff Carlson. The book features simple project-based instruction with large color screen shots. Each short lesson builds on the last as users learn how to shoot, edit, and produce their own movies and then distribute them on DVDs. Rather than exploring every option and feature, Peachpit says the author "demonstrates the quickest, easiest, smartest route to cinematic success." "Making a Movie in iMovie HD and iDVD 5" sells for $13.
Synergy 1.8 ($5) is an update to the iTunes add-on that puts controls for the application in the menu bar. Synergy does not appear in the Dock. The new update delivers a number of bug fixes and updates in preparation for Mac OS X 10.4, displays composer in the Floater, and adds 12 free new button sets. [Download - 1.0MB]
A Better Finder Rename 6.9 ($20) is a contextual menu plugin that allows users to quickly rename multiple files. Version 6.9 now allows users to convert Mac files names to legal Windows NTFS file names. [Download - 2.6MB]
iKeeper 2.5.0 ($20) is a shareware tool that enables users to store product information (such as serial numbers and warranty information) for future reference. The new version features faster code execution, a new password protection option for Mac OS X users, command key shortcut for delete, new file routines, and more. [Download - 1.29MB]
SimpleHighlight 1.1 (free) is an update to the FileMaker Pro plug-in for highlighting text and rectangular areas with a user-defined color. This update brings support for transparency, source code for CodeWarrior, Visual Studio and XCode, and other minor improvements. [Download - 1.0MB<]
pagesender 3.4 ($30) is a fax utillity for Mac OS X that offers Address Book integration and PDF emailing. The new version adds fax pause and resuming, folder content printing, history sorting, more keyboard shortcuts, and bug fixes. [Download - 3.4MB]
Mac Users Gather in May
The second annual Regional Macintosh Gathering the for Southern California will take place in Los Angeles from May 14th to 15th, with special sessions taking place on the 13th. The event will feature top instructors and key figures from Mac companies, providing an "excellent learning and social event" for current and prospective Mac users. Vendors are expected to showcase cross-platform software for new Mac users working in a Windows environment. People new to the Mac or to OS X can spend two days learning the basics, while advanced users can fill their days with more technical topics. Design-oriented users also have plenty to choose from, according to organizers.
MacPractice today announced three healthcare practice management software applications designed especially for Mac OS X, including MacPractice MD for physicians, MacPractice DDS for dentists, and MacPractice DC for chiropractors. The software features integrated accounting, patient/insurance billing/tracking, patient follow-up (recalls for dentists), prescriptions, medical/dental imaging, and powerful to-do functions. "MacPractice MD, DDS, and DC feature many modern accounting features Macintosh doctors have been awaiting for years, such as line item accounting, the ability to group procedures by incident and to separate patient from insurance responsibility. These are only the first of many features and new innovations that MacPractice has in store for its users." All three applications are now shipping for Mac OS X.
iPod dominates in February
Apple's iPod continues to dominate the music player market, according to TheStreet. In February, Apple's iPod accounted for nearly 90 percent of hard-drve based players sold in the US retail market, according to NPD Group. The same research group also said that the company's flash-based offering, the iPod shuffle, dominated the market with 45 percent of all unit sales in February in the US retail market. "They had a strong February," says Stephen Baker, a hardware analyst with NPD Group. "I expect them to have a pretty strong March, too." The research firm has not yet released its March data. The report says that the "halo effect" will continue to drive Mac sales--especially with the release of the Mac mini and the release of Mac OS X Tiger yesterday: "Bumping up market share by just 1 percentage point or so could add billions to the company's revenue -- and likely millions to the bottom line."
AAPL earnings due today
Apple today will release its second fiscal quarter earnings after marketclose and will broadcast its quarterly conference call via QuickTime at 5 pm ET. "Analysts polled by Thomson First Call are expecting a profit of 24 cents a share on $3.18 billion in sales, ahead of Apple's own outlook, according to TheStreet.com: "in January, Apple predicted it would earn 20 cents a share in its just-completed quarter, on $2.9 billion in sales. Assuming the company hits even the lower target, it would mark a considerable improvement from the year-ago period, when Apple earned $46 million, or about 6 cents a share, on $1.9 billion in sales. Apple has yet to provide an outlook for the rest of its fiscal year, but the Street is expecting the company to keep on clicking. In the third quarter, analysts are predicting a profit of 24 cents a share on $3.21 billion in sales."
Tungsten E2 handheld
palmOne today announced the Tungsten E2 handheld, featuring a brighter color screen, flash memory, Bluetooth wireless technology and a more powerful battery. The Tungsten E2 handheld has a new, brighter 320x320 color display, 32MB of non-volatile flash memory (with 26MB actual storage capacity), built-in speaker or stereo headphones, DataViz's Documents To Go software for Word, Excel and PowerPoint compatibility, a 200MHz Intel XScale processor, and a built-in expansion card slot that accepts MMC, SD and SDIO formats. palmOne's Tungsten E2 handheld has an estimated street price of $250 and will be available on April 13. The company also reduced the price of the Zire 31 handheld by $20 to $130 (estimated street price).
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