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Apple gets new EU extension; iPhone dock; 7.6 percent Mac share

Apple Inc. has received a second but only partial lifeline in its European iTunes antitrust affair. Meanwhile, Apple's addition of YouTube has slipped out a few other updates, and the Mac may be reaching its highest marketshare level in years.

Second extension granted in iTunes dust-up

The creator of iTunes will have at least one more extension of the deadline in the antitrust complaint that accuses Apple's iTunes Store and major music labels of locking customers into unfair music prices depending on their home country.

Universal Music is the source of the delay and has asked for a "short extension" to let it respond to its share of the complaints, according to a European Commission spokesman. The new deadline was not mentioned but will give Universal enough time to issue its own response to the allegations, which accuse the label of setting out music licensing terms that prevent fairer Europe-wide deals.

Two unnamed companies involved have already asked for an extension until June 29th, while the one remaining firm's response is still pending.

Whether or not Apple itself has asked for a delay is unknown, though the company earlier this month has already asked for its own extension that postponed its response until today.

iPhone site hints at Internet contact sync, dock, charts

In the process of updating its iPhone website to reflect new YouTube features, Apple on Wednesday also added passing references on its site to features mentioned only fleetingly in the past.

The iPhone maker's Phone category for the device currently touts that the cellphone syncs contacts from a "PC, Mac, or Internet service" —the latter of which has never been fully explained. A widely circulated official e-mail has mentioned Yahoo! Address Book, which may be the only candidate for the feature, but made no mention of general services.

A potentially significant addition may be the inclusion of an embedded bar chart graphic in an e-mail that appears to have been drawn from one of Apple's two iWork programs. Both programs can export projects as images, but there is no direct way to transfer files created from the Mac office suite to iPhoto or iTunes. The e-mail client for iPhone is so far only known to render standard image files.

Apple iPhone Dock

Apple's docking cradle for the iPhone has also reappeared more than five months after Apple CEO Steve Jobs' introductory keynote in mid-January, showing no visible changes to its design.

Apple at 7.6 percent home share?

The Mac may have achieved a breakthrough in US marketshare, according to a study conducted by USA Today.

The national newspaper claims that Apple's percentage of the American "home market" for May stood at 7.6 percent, well above its 5 percent for the first quarter of the year and more than double the 3.2 percent held by the Mac designer in May 2004.

Worldwide figures for Apple weren't collected by the publication, which used the statistic to reinforce the upward trend in Apple's fortunes leading up to the introduction of the iPhone.

Canada's iPhone placed on hold

Those that hoped the iPhone would appear North of the US shortly after its June 29th release date will be disappointed, Canadian cell provider Rogers Wireless has said at a recent conference.

As the only carrier that would be technically capable of hosting the cellphone on its networks, Rogers has confirmed that it is in talks with Apple to negotiate a deal but that very little progress has been made while the California electronics firm gears up for an introduction at home.

"The truth is we aren't very far with Apple," Rogers CFO Bill Linton says. "They're concentrating on this launch and the U.S., and when they decide to turn their mind to other markets, we'll be in line."

Apple has only confirmed that it would release the iPhone in Europe in the fourth calendar quarter of 2007, and in Asian countries by 2008.