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Briefly: iTunes phone, iPod at Wal-Mart, iCon


iTunes Phone Support in iSync

Several tipsters have recently pointed out that iSync 2.0, which ships as part of Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger," seems to bundle support for the upcoming iTunes phone that is under development by Motorola.

Specifically, tipsters have located a plug-in labeled "ApplePhoneconduit.syndevice" nestled within the new version. However, recent mumblings indicate that Apple may eventually opt for the iTunes phone to synchronize its contact and calendar data through iTunes.

Already sources have commented on a couple of new features expected in iTunes 4.8, one of which will let users synchronize their iPod contact and calendar information directly from the jukebox software and without the need for iSync.

Wal-Mart Begins HP iPod Pilot

Apple's latest iPod players have failed to show up at over 5000 Wal-Mart stores nation-wide, despite earlier plans by the retailer to begin selling iPod shuffle this spring.

It's believed that Apple's lack of flexibility with the iPod's Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) may have slowed or halted earlier plans.

Instead, Wal-Mart last week began a pilot program with Hewlett-Packard to test sales of the company's re-branded 20GB iPod. Select stores around the country were recently shipped between 2 and 5 of the players to test the waters, per say.

Wal-Mart plans to retail the 20GB for the 'Every Day Low Price' of $298.92 — a dollar and change below the model's MSRP.

Behind iCon, the latest Steve Jobs Biography

With all the hoopla surrounded Jeffrey Young's new biography of Steve Jobs, "iCon Steve Jobs : The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business," no one seems to have pointed out that Young's co-author on the book was also the ghostwriter for former Apple CEO Gil Amelio on his 1998 publication of "On the Firing Line: My 500 Days at Apple."

Beginning some time in 1984, William Simon, along with his wife Arynn, were afforded significant access to Apple's executive team. According to one source, Mr. Simon authored speeches while his wife served as an executive speech coach for several Apple clients.

Anyone who has read "On the Firing Line" will acknowledge there was quite a bit of contention between Jobs and Amelio in the late 90's, as Jobs returned to the company he co-founded and Amelio packed his bags.

Nevertheless, Jobs' overblown reaction to the new biography has done nothing but bolster sales and interest in the book. Wiley, the book's publisher, recently decided to double the book's initial press run of nearly 50,000 and to race it to stores by May 13, a few weeks ahead of its original publication date.

Meanwhile, the title, which reportedly touches on aspects of Jobs' private life, such as his divorce and battle with cancer, has already made it to the top of one of's "Top Seller" lists.