Forget the partridge in a pear tree, your true love would apparently prefer an Apple iPod, judging from recent news coverage of the trendy gizmos. So, in the best tradition of...

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Forget the partridge in a pear tree, your true love would apparently prefer an Apple iPod, judging from recent news coverage of the trendy gizmos.

So, in the best tradition of sleepy December pack journalism, here’s our first annual All Apple Download column.

Price fixation

Much of the action last week was in Britain, where Steve Jobs and Co. were hammered for refusing to play along with the Band Aid famine relief charity.

Apple’s iTunes would not sell the song at the price requested by the charity, roughly $2.86. It insisted on selling the track at the standard $1.52 price, The Associated Press reported.

On Wednesday, Apple said it would sell the track at the lower price but donate the $1.34 difference to the charity. That teed off competitors who played by Band Aid’s rules. Napster told The AP it was “disappointed they’ve chosen to use the biggest charity event of the year to undercut every other music retailer in the U.K.”

Sour apples

Teen talk

A recent study found that 40 percent of those 15 to 19 years old are wireless subscribers.

Source: IDC

Further burnishing its reputation in the U.K., Apple is accusing a tech entrepreneur of cybersquatting because he owns the Web domain.

Apple demands that Benjamin Cohen give up the domain he registered and began using in November 2000, a month before Apple trademarked iTunes, tech publication The Register reported. Cohen’s CyberBritain business has received 30 to 40 letters from Apple lawyers, it reported.

Buy or sell?

Meanwhile, U.S. stock analysts were jousting over the future of the invigorated Cupertino, Calif., computer company.

Goldman Sachs’ David Bailey initiated coverage of Apple, predicting the stock will perform “in-line” with the market and estimated Apple PC sales will grow 10 percent this year.

Bailey praised Apple’s ability to make money off of innovations but suggested investors sit tight.

Simultaneously, Thomas Weisel Partners downgraded Apple from “outperform” to “peer perform.”

Investors started cashing in Apple stock Tuesday, with shares falling $2.89 to close at $62.89. By the end of the week, it had recovered, closing Friday at $65.15. The stock has nearly tripled during the year, reaching a high of $68.44 Nov. 29.


Apple stock could get a boost from IBM, if rumors floated by The Register are correct.

The tech pub speculated that IBM’s master plan is to sell its PC division (as it did last week to Lenovo, a Chinese PC maker), then start reselling Macintoshes to corporate customers.

Apple already uses IBM chips in its computers, and the partnership could be a way for the companies to thumb their nose at Microsoft, which famously outmaneuvered them on the PC front.

“Just think how many positives for IBM such a marriage would provide,” the matchmaker wrote. “IBM would give the same credibility to the Macintosh computer, and its Microsoft-beating operating systems as it provided for the PC in the first place, thereby opening the floodgates of corporate demand.”

Blame Leander

Perhaps all the Apple buzz is a guerrilla marketing campaign to sell “The Cult of Mac,” a coffee-table book released in November by Wired scribe Leander Kahney.

Publisher No Starch Press announced last week that the first print run of 10,000 copies was sold out and another 10,000 are being printed.

According to a No Starch news release, the book is “full of people doing innovative, bizarre and artistic things with their computers, such as one user who makes furniture out of cardboard Mac boxes and many who express their love with tattoos. … “

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