Week in Review - 09/08/03-09/12/03

Apple News

Apple on Monday announced significant enhancements to its iMac line, including faster PowerPC G4 processors running up to 1.25 GHz, faster 333 MHz DDR memory, faster NVIDIA graphics and the move to the faster USB 2.0 standard. The new iMacs offer faster PowerPC G4 processors running at 1.0 GHz in the 15-inch model and 1.25 GHz in the 17-inch model. Both models include 256MB of faster DDR SDRAM running at 333 MHz and an 80GB Ultra ATA/100 hard disk drive. The 17-inch model also includes NVIDIA's GeForce FX 5200 Ultra graphics processor with 64MB of DDR video memory. In addition, the new iMacs offer two FireWire 400 and three high-speed USB 2.0 ports. The 15-inch flat panel iMac carries a suggested retail price of $1,299 and the 17-inch widescreen flat-panel iMac is priced at $1,799. Both are available immediately.

Apple also updated its iPod lineup with new 20GB and 40GB models. The two new models replace the 15GB and 30GB models previously available. The new 40GB iPod holds up to 10,000 CD-quality songs (playing each song back-to-back takes a month, notes Apple in the press release) in an enclosure that is lighter and thinner than two CDs. iPods are available in three models: a 10GB model for $299, the new 20GB model for $399, and the new 40GB model for $499. All are available immediately.

It was reported that Apple is being sued by Apple Corps., the parent company of The Beatles, over the iPod and the iTunes Music Store. According to Fox News, the breach of contract case was filed a short time ago in London's High Court of Justice, but was just served to Apple in California in the last couple of days. This is the third time Apple has been sued by the band. The Beatles filed suit against the company in 1981 over the use of its corporate name. The result of the suit was a huge cash settlement and a promise that Apple would stay out of the music industry. Years later, "when computers starting having music come through attachable speakers," The Beatles again sued*and won, this time*over breach of a trademark agreement since Apple had agreed to steer clear of the music business. It is estimated*that Apple has paid $50 million so far to the band.

On Friday, a representative for Apple Corps confirmed the lawsuit. CNET reported that Geoff Baker, spokesman for Apple Corps, said the suit was filed two months ago in London High Court. "Specifically, (the) complaint is made over the use by Apple Computer of the word 'Apple' and apple logos in conjunction with its new application for downloading pre-recorded music from the Internet (the iTunes Music Store," Baker said in a statement. Apple responded later in the day: "Over a decade ago, Apple signed an agreement with Apple Corps, a business controlled by the Beatles and their heirs, which specified the rights each company would have to use the 'Apple' trademark," Apple said in a statement. "Unfortunately, Apple and Apple Corps now have differing interpretations of this agreement and will need to ask a court to resolve this dispute."

Apple said that over ten million songs have been purchased and downloaded from the iTunes Music Store since its launch in April, averaging over 500,000 songs per week. The ten millionth song, "Complicated" by Avril Lavigne, was purchased and downloaded at 11:34 p.m. on September 3.

MacMinute was the first to report that Apple will be an exhibitor at this year's Government Video Technology Expo (GV Expo), which takes place December 3-4 at the Washington DC Convention Center. The event "provides hands on demonstrations of the latest professional video, audio and multimedia products and services available today." Also, running in conjunction with GV Expo 2003 is DigitalMediaDC, which will feature over 75 educational sessions on the latest post-production software including Avid, Final Cut Pro, After Effects, and Photoshop.