ITunes gives Apple a boost
Apple Computer Inc's iTunes music technology for downloading music has proven a hit with consumers, though the company must still focus on increasing sales of its computers, Barron's said, citing analysts. More than 2 million songs were downloaded in the first 16 days of iTunes, Barron's said, citing Apple, and the company may see as much as US$625 million in gross profits from the service. Apple's success may hinge on whether iTunes can help bring consumers back to the company's computers, Andy Neff, a Bear Stearns & Co analyst, told the weekly newspaper. Apple sold 715,000 computers in the first quarter, 12 percent less than last year, Barron's said. Cupertino, California-based Apple may consider shifting to Intel Corp micro-processors from Motorola's Power PC processors to offer cheaper, faster hardware, Neff told Barron's. The change may come later this year or early next year, Neff said.
Sanyo to cut LCD production
Sanyo Electric Co, a Japanese appliance maker, will cut LCD panel production capacity 60 percent by next spring, because of increasing competition and falling prices, the Tokyo Shimbun reported. Sanyo manu-factures the panels at a plant in Tottori Prefecture, southwest of Tokyo on the Japan Sea coast. The plant can produce 380,000 13.3-inch panels and 160,000 15-inch panels a month, the newspaper said. The company will replace the 13.3-inch LCD panel line with one for production of circuit boards for organic electro- luminescent display panels, the newspaper said, citing an unidentified company official. Sanyo Electric and Eastman Kodak Co were the first commercial suppliers of organic electro-luminescent color flat screens.
Dell keeps winning
Dell Computer Corp, the world's second-largest maker of personal computers, will take market share at the same ratethis year as last, President Kevin Rollins said on Channel Nine television in Sydney. Cost cuts and lower prices will help the company, Rollins said. Dell has been winning market share from rivals such as Hewlett-Packard Co and Gateway Inc. Dell claimed a 16.9 percent market share in the calendar first quarter, compared with Hewlett-Packard's 15.6 percent, according to Dataquest Inc. The company plans to cut costs by US$1.5 billion this year, after reducing costs by "a little over" US$1 billion in the past year, Rollins said.
Virgin auction canceled
A philosophy student took her virginity off the auction block after an anonymous benefactor lent her the tuition money she lacked. "Sandy," 21, told the W radio network by telephone that a sympathetic woman had lent her US$2,800. She expressed relief at with-drawing her virginity from the Internet auction she had announced last week. She said a week ago that bidding would open at US$1,000. However, she said, a woman had offered to lend her nearly three times that amount, without conditions. "She understood me more than others and decided to help me because she has a daughter like me," she said. The student turned down a potential buyer who had offered still more money. She insisted she was not a prostitute. Rather, giving up her virginity was the only way to defray her tuition, she said.