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Thursday, February 28, 2008, 01:00 pm PT (04:00 pm ET)

iPhone SDK rumors; Apple a Top 10 handset vendor; more...

While Apple appears to be ready to unleash its iPhone SDK to developers, the version that arrives next week may be far from final. Meanwhile, the company last quarter crept its way onto the list of the world's Top 10 handset vendors. And it appears as if the iTunes operator will fall short of meeting claims to have 1000 movies available for rent by month's end.

SDK still in beta?

It's possible that Apple will introduce a version of the iPhone software developers kit (SDK) next week which is far from complete, according to claims by SetteB.IT.

Citing their own sources, the overseas publication said it believes only a beta version of the SDK will be made available to prospective iPhone and iPod touch developers at March 6th iPhone software roadmap event in Cupertino.

A finalized version is reportedly targeted for a release during the second week of June, when Apple is expected to hold its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Apple a Top 10 handset vendor

Meanwhile, new data released by Market research firm Gartner on Wednesday list Apple amongst the world's Top 10 handset vendors for the first time, with less than one percent of the global market.

Blackberry maker Research in Motion also joined the elite ranks for the first time, while Motorola's fall from grace continued with its slice of the market sliding from 21.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2006 to 14.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Nokia continued to lead the field with a 37.8 percent of the market, up from 34.8 in the same period of 2006.

Overall, Gartner said that worldwide sales of mobile phones to end users surpassed 1.15 billion units in 2007, a 16 per cent increase from 2006 sales of 990.9 million.

iPhone satisfaction outshines Blackberry in enterprise

ChangeWave on Thursday said that while Apple still has a relatively small share of the corporate smartphone market (5 percent), the company’s iPhone continues to grab sky-high satisfaction ratings. Nearly three-in-five (59 percent) of Apple’s business customers say their company is Very Satisfied with the Apple iPhone.

RIM Blackberry ranked second with a Very Satisfied rating of 47 percent, though the survey notes this represents an unusually large 8 point decline from the previous measure.

Palm receives its lowest corporate satisfaction rating yet, according to the firm, with only 10 percent of corporate users saying their company is Very Satisfied with the Palm Treo.

Apple short of 1000 movie goal

One AppleInsider tipster notes that Apple has approximately 36 hours to add over 600 more iTunes movie rentals to its iTunes store before it falls short of chief executive Steve Jobs' claim to have 1000 flicks available by the end of the month.

As of Thursday morning, the iTunes store listed just over 350 movies available for rent.

Up to $600 in MacBook, MacBook Pro rebates

Finally, it should be noted that Apple authorized reseller Mac Mall on Wednesday incorrectly listed rebates on Apple's new line of Penryn-based MacBook Pros at $75. Mac Mall has since updated its website and is now offering $150 rebates on all three of the new models.

Similarly, the retailer continues to list $75-$100 rebates on the Penryn-based MacBook. And AppleInsider reader, Rob, notes that J & R Computer World is also having its own MacBook and MacBook Pro rebate extravaganza — only on previous generation models where its offering instant savings of between $100 and $600.