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Week in Review - 09/15/03-09/19/03

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Week in Review - 09/15/03-09/19/03
09/15/03-09/19/03 At Apple Expo in Paris on Tuesday, Apple introduced a new aluminum 15-inch PowerBook G4 in speeds of up to 1.25GHz with 512KB on-chip level 2 cache, ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 with 64MB DDR RAM, support for up to 2GB of DDR 333 MHz SDRAM and a 60 or 80GB Ultra ATA/100 hard drive. The new laptop also sports a backlit keyboard, AirPort Extreme, Bluetooth, FireWire 800, USB 2.0 and Gigabit Ethernet. The 1GHz 15-inch PowerBook with Combo drive is priced at $1,999, while the 1.25GHz model with SuperDrive will sell for $2,599. Apple also upgraded the 17-inch PowerBook to 1.33GHz and dropped the price to US$2,999. In addition, the 12-inch PowerBook, which is now priced at $1,599 and $1,799, received a speed boost to 1GHz and gained a Digital Video Interface (DVI) port for connection to any of Apple's flat panel displays. All of the PowerBooks come pre-installed with Mac OS X 10.2.7. The new 15- and 17-inch PowerBook G4 models are available immediately, and the 12-inch PowerBook is expected to be available later this month.

Apple also introduced the Apple Wireless Keyboard and Apple Wireless Mouse, new Bluetooth-based peripherals that "provide reliable performance at up to 30 feet and offer secure 128-bit, over-the-air encryption keeping sensitive information safe as it is being typed." The company says it is the first to deliver Adaptive Frequency Hopping (AFH) software which eliminates interference between Bluetooth devices and other wireless networks and devices, enabling the peripherals to perform reliably in home, office, school and lab settings where other wireless devices and networks may be in use. The mouse features one-button and is the same basic design as the current wired model. The Apple Wireless Keyboard and Mouse are expected to be available in two weeks for a suggested retail price of US$69 each. Both the keyboard and mouse require Mac OS X version 10.2.6 or later.

During his keynote at Apple Expo, Apple CEO Steve Jobs did not give a firm ship date for Mac OS X 10.3 Panther (announced in June), only reaffirming that it would ship before the end of the year. Jobs also reiterated that the Power Mac G5 would reach speeds of 3GHz before the end of next summer. In addition, he mentioned that 500,000 copies of iChat AV have been downloaded since the software debuted, and that Apple is gunning for 10 million daily Mac OS X users (currently 7 million).

Jobs also said that Apple's iTunes Music Store would not be launched in Europe this year. "We're clearly working on it (but) I think we'll do it next year," he told journalists at Apple Expo in Paris. Jobs also reiterated that Apple would release iTunes for Microsoft's Windows operating system before the end of the year. "We're very much on track to execute iTunes for Windows," he said.

In other Jobs news, Apple's chief moved up 44 places to be ranked 78th on the 21st annual Forbes 400 list, with his net worth climbing to $2.3 billion in 2003. The top three spots went to Microsoft's Bill Gates ($46 billion), investor Warren Buffett (36 billion), and Microsoft's Paul Allen ($22 billion). In addition, Jobs is one of America's best-dressed billionaires, according to fashion critic Joan Rivers, who, with the help of daughter Melissa, judged Forbes' annual best- and worst-dressed billionaires list

Apple said it will open a new retail store at the University Village Mall in Seattle, Washington on Friday, September 26 at 6:00 p.m. The new store is located near the University of Washington campus, at 2656 NE University Village Street. This will be the second Seattle-area Apple Store -- a Bellevue Square Mall location opened in May.

Apple announced that customers who purchase any new Mac together with Keynote, the company's presentation software, can save US$50 through an instant rebate at the time of purchase. This offer is available to customers worldwide starting today through December 27, 2003, although the closing date of the rebate may vary by country.
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