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This week, a major Belgian music retailer announced a partnership with Apple's iTunes Music Store, and said it would offer its customers 20 free iTunes downloads to help introduce them to the service. The following day, iTunes was ranked the No. 1 music service in Germany by the Financial Times. Industry analysts said on Tuesday that Verizon Wireless' new V Cast Music Service--which leverages Microsoft technology--will present a challenge to iTunes. Wednesday, word spread that iTunes UK is now offering music from all of this year's Brit award nominees, with albums from each artist available for purchase at the store. News came Thursday that Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld will close New York Fashion Week on February 10th with his Fall/Winter '06 line, to be made available as a Podcast via the iTunes Music Store. That same day, a new service emerged allowing artists to publish their own tracks and albums on the iTMS, as well as RealNetworks' Rhapsody service without the need for record labels and without giving up their rights of ownership.
This week, Apple began offering a variety of PowerBook G4, iMac G5, and Power Mac G5 refurbs at lowered prices. The company on Tuesday also lowered prices on its larger 20-inch iMac G5 by $200, while leaving the price on its low-end 17-inch iMac G5 untouched. Thursday the tech giant began offering discounted models of its iBooks and iMac G5 alongside Amazon, including the refurbished 1.33GHz 12-inch iBook G4 for $800 from the Apple Store. Apple is set to open its newest retail store in the US this Saturday, and is reportedly planning new stores in Virginia and Connecticut. Thursday the company put out a call to professional photographers, seeking help with its RAW imaging program Aperture by requesting that professionals submit RAW image files for testing. Friday, Apple signed a deal for the entire 116,830-square-foot building at 10400-10450 Ridgeview Court in Cupertino and applied for a touch-screen gesture patent, extending a similar patent application filed in July of 2004.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.99 ( + 0.29 )
Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k