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Monday, January 28, 2008, 08:00 am PT (11:00 am ET)

Briefly: 70K iPhones in Germany; HD DVD cuts; Office 2008 flaw

Germans have purchased only 70,000 iPhones since the handset went on sale in November. Meanwhile, HD DVD is said to be on its last leg, prompting Toshiba to slash the price of its HD DVD players across the board. And Microsoft is promising to fix a flaw discovered in its just-release Office 2008 suite for Mac.

T-Mobile iPhone sales

Deutsche Telekom, which umbrellas T-Mobile Germany, said on Saturday it has signed up 70,000 iPhone customers in the 11 weeks since November 9, 2007.

That means Germans are buying just over 900 of the touch-screen handsets each day, a rate considerably slower than that of French consumers, who according to France Telecom's latest numbers are purchasing the device at a rate of over 1,600 per day.

"The iPhone is by far the most sold multimedia device in T-Mobile's portfolio," the head of T-Mobile Germany, Philipp Humm, said.

Earlier this month, Apple said it had shipped over 4 million iPhones in total since the device launched in late June, though there has been some recent controversy over how many of the handsets remain idle in retail channels.

The demise of HD DVD

Price cuts by Toshiba on its HD DVD players in the U.S. earlier this month may prove to be "useless resistance" in the battle against the rival Blu-ray Disc optical disc format, according to Gartner.

The market research firm predicts Blu-ray Disc to win the battle against HD DVD by the end of the year.

Following a loss of support from Hollywood studio Warner Bros., Toshiba said it will cut the price of its HD-A3 player in half, to $149.99 from $299.99, while its higher end models, the HD-A30 and HD-A35 will sell for $199.99 and $299.99, respectively.

Online retailer Amazon.com is already reflecting the price cuts, and then some. It's listing the HD-A3 at $126, with the HD-A30 and HD-A35 priced at $153 and $239, respectively.

Office 2008 for Mac security flaw

Microsoft has acknowledged a security flaw in its recently released Office 2008 suite and has promised an update to fix the issue. The installer flaw, reported earlier this week, incorrectly grants ownership of the files to a particular local user as it installs them, allowing a second local user — without administrative access — to modify the Office 2008 install.

According to the company, the issue, however, does not expose the Office 2008 install to modifications by any networked user account or to any local account other than the second one created on your Mac. The Mac BU says that it is working on an update to Office 2008 that will automatically fix the file ownership (will be made available via Microsoft's AutoUpdate tool and via a web download), but offered a set of terminal commands users can run to repair the issue if the suite has already been installed.