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Briefly: iPod estimates top 10m, iBook payout, Korean iPhone talks

Apple is on target to crack the eight-digit mark on iPod sales before the new iPods have their full effect, according to a new report from PiperJaffray. Also, the Mac maker will be responsible for compensating Danes affected by dying iBook logicboards, and the first rumblings have emerged that negotiations for a Korean iPhone are underway.

Analyst: summer iPod shipments to surpass 10 million

While official figures will have to wait until Apple's quarterly report next month, an extrapolation of sales data for the first two months of the September quarter has reinforced early beliefs that Apple will have sold more than 10 million iPods over the period, said PiperJaffray senior analyst Gene Munster.

Approximately 10.2 million of the media players should sell given Apple's seasonal trends, he said. Furthermore, the tendency for sales tracking group NPD to underestimate the actual sales by about 13 percent in the last year suggests that its estimated 8.7 million iPods would be overly conservative.

Munster also updated his earlier projections to warn that while new iPods on September 5th had now been cautiously factored into the report, their presence in the channel was likely to boost sales significantly and could prove an upside to the final results.

Apple accepts fault for defective iBooks in Denmark

Apple has accepted a ruling from the Danish Consumer Complaints Board that it must refund customers in the region whose iBook G4 logicboards have failed from what appeared to be a consistent defect.

After an investigation that questioned both Danes and international customers, the Board discovered that a solder joint eventually wore loose after roughly one year, preventing the power button from making the link that would turn the system on. Some users had resorted to clamps and other makeshift solutions to restore contact.

In spite of agreeing to compensate Danish customers, Apple maintained that the system failures were not symptomatic of a repeatable flaw and took issue with the Board's refusal to reexamine the case. Board lawyer Frederik Navne Boesgaard was happy, however, to have reached a successful end to his organization's case.

"We in the Complaints Board are glad that Apple has accepted the decision, and we look forward to improved dialog [with the company]," he said. "It's in both the consumers' and Apple's interest."

KTF pushes for Korean iPhone deal

The ink has just dried on the signatures for European iPhone contracts, but talks are already underway to bring the Apple handset to South Korea, according to comments made by the head of one of Korea's main cellular service providers, KTF.

Company chief Cho Young-chu noted that his firm was eager to bring the iPhone to the country, but that Apple held most of the cards in the negotiations and would only launch the phone once it was satisfied with its success.

"The deal is up to the supplier, not us," Cho said. "Because the [South Korean] market is so small, they will not release it until they have confidence in its marketability here."

A deal would also depend on Apple producing a new version of the phone to support either CDMA networks or WCDMA. The latter is the same technology used for most 3G Internet access in Europe and with AT&T's own network in the US.

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs recently estimated that an acceptable 3G chipset for the iPhone was "hopefully" slated for late 2008.