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This week: Apple store, strategic moves

updated 09:00 am EST, Sat February 4, 2006

MacNN this week

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.

Intel Macs

Computerworld Monday posted a new first look at the MacBook Pro, offering an overview of the new features along with some real-world observations. The same day, Matthew Yi of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that the new Intel-based iMac proves to be faster than older versions, but has yet to show its full potential, and that the biggest drawback for owners of the new Intel Macs is the lack of compatible software. Answering concerns over Apple's switch to Intel-based processors, one analyst on Monday assured that Macs are still relatively safe from vulnerabilities.

Financial

Banc of America Securities on Monday lowered its price target on Apple from $85 to $82, but reinterated its 'neutral' rating on the stock. That same day, former Apple board member Edgar Woolard Jr. spoke about what he expects from Apple CEO Steve Jobs, contradicting some pessimistic views of Jobs' future on the board of Walt Disney in a Business Week interview. Monday afternoon, news broke that Eric Anderson of Apple was re-elected as board chairman of the 1394 (FireWire) Trade Association in 2006, ensuring Apple's involvement within the group for yet another year. Apple shares on Monday rose roughly 6.3 percent at some points after a UBS analyst said that the company may be releasing new iBook laptops in late winter. Tuesday, rumors circulated that Google was considering a major deal with, or possibly an outright takeover of Napster to help get its foot in the digital music door. TheStreet Thursday featured Apple in its second "360 Degrees" column, as selected by its readers. Friday, Apple took the lead in the Western European education market with 15.2 percent of the market share, according to reports.

Software

Apple on Wednesday posted DVD Studio Pro 4.0.3, an update to the professional toolset for producing DVDs. The company also began accepting crossgrade orders Wednesday, allowing users to get the latest versions of Final Cut Studio, Logic Pro, and Logic Express. Adobe that same day said it would not deliver native Intel versions of currently shipping professional products, and that customers would have to wait until future major releases--which could be more than one year away--for native Intel Mac support. Mozilla Thursday released Firefox 1.5.0.1, a stability and security update for the alternative Web browser featuring improved support for Mac OS X, International Domain Name support for Iceland (.is), fixes for several memory leaks, and several security enhancements.

Intel-compatible software



  • Maxon Monday announced the availability of a Universal binary version of CINEMA 4D, its 3D animation package.

  • Ergonis Software Tuesday released KeyCue 2.0 as a Universal Binary, allowing the shortcut productivity software to run natively on both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs.

  • Mark/Space Tuesday announced a Universal binary version of its Missing Sync for Palm OS, providing Mac users with a synchronization manager for Palm powered handhelds and smartphones.

  • Cepstral Tuesday released its Swift Text-To-Speech System 4.0, an update to the scalable, multilingual cross-platform voice rendering engine.

  • Tribeworks Tuesday announced that the next release of iShell--version 4.5--will run natively on Intel-based Macs.

  • Keyspan Wednesday posted software updates that add support for Intel-based Macs and for Apple's "Front Row" software.

  • e-frontier Thursday announced that it plans to offer a Universal Binary version of its Shade 8 software for Intel-based Macs.

  • Panic Thursday released Transmit 3.5, an update to its Mac OS X FTP, SFTP, and WebDAV file transfer client.

  • Vara Software began shipping Videocue and Videocue Pro 2.5 as Universal Binaries for Mac OS X Panther and Tiger.

  • Vara Software on Friday began shipping Wirecast 2.6 as a Universal Binary, its webcasting solution for Mac OS X Panther and Tiger.





by MacNN Staff

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