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Cydia App Store Launches on iPhone

Jay Freeman has just launched his new Cydia Store for the iPhone, effectively letting users buy jailbroken iPhone apps from the service. The Cydia Store is completely separate from the Apple App Store and requires a jailbroken iPhone. It is possible the service could spike in usage, even posing a marginal threat to the real app store assuming wide adoption and users can get some of the same cracked apps. Read the full story

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China Confirms Apple iPhone Launch Talks

appleAccording to a Reuters report, chairman of China Unicom Chang Xiaobing told Reuters the carrier is in current active talks with Apple to launch the iPhone in China. Apple could see strong sales given the number of mobile users in China, but others argue it might not be as successful because the Apple brand isn’t as strong in China, and there are already countless discounted knockoffs already available. The iPhone is also simply not as powerful in terms of features the Asian markets are already accustomed to. In addition, apparently, the Chinese government also wants some control over the App Store, a notion Apple strongly opposes. China Unicom is China’s largest telecom in terms of subscriptions with 416 million customers.

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Apple introduces new MacBooks, iMacs, Mac Mini, keyboards


Apple has just introduced upgrades to its MacBooks. The 15=inch MacBook Pro now includes a standard 2.66GHz processor, up from the previous 2.53GHz configuration. For an additional $300, you can upgrade the processor to a 2.93GHz chip. You can also add a 256GH SSD to the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBooks for an additional $900 or so. The lower end MacBook Pro 2.4GHz remains unchanged.

Apple has also upgraded its Mac Mini computers. Read the full story

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Apple Introduces File Sharing on MobileMe


Apple has just added the ability to share files on its MobileMe service. File sharing on MobileMe was initially promised by Apple in July 2008, and has now finally arrived. You simply log into your Me.com account, and then you can easily upload and share any file stored on iDisk. You can also set an expiration date for your files and protect select files with a password. You can check out the Apple video tutorial that shows you how easy it is to share your files via e-mail and so on.

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Apple Developing Standardized Batteries for Devices

appleAccording to a new US Patent filing (20090035609), Apple is applying for a universal battery format that could see batteries recharged from various devices. The idea is to let various devices with non-conventional batteries be recharged easily from a mainstream source. There would be a primary Apple hub type device to recharge multiple batteries, or you can easily recharge your devices from say your keyboard as you would your phone. The batteries would also perform like your cell phone battery with the ability of your computer or the Apple recharger hub to display the current charge and energy levels. There is no word on whether Apple will actually ever release a product, but hey, its always worth applying for a patent.

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Microsoft Zune Revenue Down, Pays New Tax Debt After IRS Audit

microsoftMicrosoft has just announced today the company will merge its Office Live and Windows Live products under one brand and product. Essentially, Office Live products are productivity extensions that include programs such as Office Live Workspace, Office Live Groove, and Office Live Small Business. Windows Live products are more geared towards consumers and include services such as Windows Live Messenger. The merged software packages will be available by the end of the year and should coincide with the release of Windows 7. Microsoft says the move comes to simplify the user experience.

In other news, Microsoft has just announced the closure of its ACES Studios division, which is the same team that develops one of Microsoft’s oldest offerings, Microsoft Flight Simulator X, which firstly debuted in 1982. Microsoft declined to provide details regarding the future of the product, but affirmed Microsoft is committed to the Flight Simulator franchise despite the closing of ACES Studios. The closure comes as a broader plan by Microsoft to cut costs, including the announced layoffs of up to 5,000 Microsoft employees.

In other news, Microsoft also reported revenue for its Zune portable media player is significantly down. Microsoft said Zune revenue was down $100 million (54% down) from Read the full story

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Apple Sells 4.3M iPhones in Q1 2009

Apple has just released new iPhone sales figures. The company sold 4.363 million iPhones in Q1 2009 (Oct-Dec 2008). the previous most recent quarter, Apple sold 6.9 million iPhones. The company sold 2.3 million iPhones in Q1 last year; clearly demand is up significantly for the 3G version. Apple also just posted record revenue of $10.17 billion. Apple also debunked iPhone Nano rumors.

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Microsoft to Launch MobileMe/App Store Competitors: SkyBox, SkyMarket

windows-mobile-7Microsoft has already confirmed it is developing SkyMarket, which is essentially a direct competitor to the Apple App Store, where people can purchase third party software for their Windows Mobile powered devices. Microsoft is also expected to launch its SkyBox service, which is essentially a direct competitor to Apple’s MobileMe. SkyBox will essentially sync and allow you to access your contacts, e-mail, calendar, SMS, pictures, and your files from a centralized system. Importantly, it is believed Microsoft will not limit SkyBox to only Windows Mobile device, instead allowing almost any newer handset to take advantage of the service, including Symbian and iPhone handsets, which would be a big competitive edge over Apple’s MobileMe. Microsoft is also expected to launch an enterprise version of SkyBox called SkyLine. It is unclear how the two will differentiate. Microsoft should launch these products in February at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. In related news, Blackberry maker, RIM, has just announced it is accepting submissions for its own Application Storefront for developers who want to sell their Blackberry made applications. Note: Windows Mobile 7 Pictured Above

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RBC Slashes Apple Stock Target to $70

appleVery simply, the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) today will downgrade the Apple stock price and slash its target of $125 per share down to $70. RBC is citing concerns of earning potential and uncertainty about the company’s leadership. I do believe Apple remains in a good long position as the company is set to unveil new and exciting products in 2009 such as a new Mac mini, new iMacs and possibly a new iPhone, all that will surely boost sales. There are also rumors of an upgrade to the highly successful iPhone 3G. It is hard to believe only months ago the Apple stock was trading at almost $200 per share.

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Apple Addresses Steve Job’s Health

Update:Apple CEO Steve Jobs responds directly in a letter on the Apple website.

There has been widespread speculation regarding the health of Apple CEO Steve Jobs as the company has abruptly announced the final MacWorld. A few days ago, gadget blog Gizmodo first speculated the reason for Jobs not to deliver his traditional keynote was because of serious health problems. The announcement made people sell shares, which drove the Apple stock price down. Media publications later called Gizmodo’s story washy at best and not credible. Apple has now announced that Steve Jobs has a “hormone imbalance”, but he will remain company CEO.

I really believe Gizmodo, and all other blogs for that matter, should scrutinize all sources before making bold claims which can be purposely done to mislead investors and the market hence profiting from market prices changes.

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