Around the Web – April 22

It’s all about financial chatter and multimedia on the Apple news front this morning, with more analysts offering positive targets on the company’s stock and the debut of ITV on the Mac. 

In other news, Apple ships the Aperture SDK and reveals many plug-ins to match; Apple further improves its Chinese retail presence; MacBook Pro software updates and news Apple plans an IM client for iPhone. Read on…

Financial Chatter

As my colleague Cleve Nettles reported this morning, Apple’s at number 103 in the Fortune 500 list for 2008. That incredibly significant inclusion surrounds the fact most Wall Street analysts now think Apple has a strong chance to succeed, with Mac sales climbing much faster than the industry average. Analysts at Leham Brothers, RBC Capital, Goldman Sachs and Caris & Co have all issued positive comment on the stock in advance of Apple’s Q2 financial results announcement tomorrow. Price targets are slowly climbing back toward Apple’s 52-week top end of $200 per share.

iTunes, ITV and the Mac

UK broadcaster ITV this morning took two steps toward the Apple ecosystem, making selected shows available for purchase and download through iTunes UK, and launching the beta Mac version of its online catch-up TV service using Microsoft’s Silverlight technology.

Aperture plugs-in

Apple this week released the software development kit for Aperture which enables third party developers to build plug-ins for the professional application, extending its functionality. In conjunction with the release, several developers have moved to immediately introduce plug-ins, including the Dfx Digital Filter Suite from the Tiffen Company and Power Stroke, Light!, and Ozone from Digital Film Tools. Plug-ins from several other developers are expected soon.

China calling

China’s going to be in the headlines all year with global media attention focusing on the world’s leading internet-connected nation; now Apple’s opened its first store-in-store with Best Buy in Shanghai while local reports confirm two own-brand Apple stores are set to open in Beijing.

Updated laptop updater

We think this is happening too much recently. Apple has moved fast to ship an updated version of the MacBook Pro firmware update it shipped earlier this month. MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.5.1 "fixes several issues to improve the stability of MacBook Pro computers," Apple explains. Links to the previous iteration of the software no longer work – and reports claimed the previous build caused blank displays.

IM for iPhone

As we all know, the problem with the iPhone SDK is it doesn’t allow developers to have their apps running as a background application, which will cause some headaches for those cooking up Instant Messaging (IM) applications. Last night it emerged Apple holds a patent for an IM client for the iPhone. End of story.


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