Apple supporting WDL initiative; Mac worldwide share; iPod suit

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Apple is amongst a handful of tech companies pitching their support to a multinational effort to create a free international digital world library. Meanwhile, Piper Jaffray weighs in with estimates on the Mac platform's worldwide market share growth. And Apple has been hit with another lawsuit — this time over iPod storage capacity.

Apple aiding World Digital Library effort

Reporters in Paris got a peek Wednesday at a prototype for the World Digital Library — an online initiative by the U.S. Library of Congress, the U.N. cultural body UNESCO and other international partner libraries, which has also garnered the support of tech heavyweights Apple, Intel, and Google.

"Listen to a former American slave tell his story. Turn the pages of a book about ancient treasures from Egypt," reads a description of the concept by the Associated Press. "Pore over old maps written in Latin."

Modeled after the Library of Congress' American Memory project, the international digital library will be free and multilingual, with contributions from around the world, including rare books, films, prints, sound recordings and musical scores.

Google has pitched $3 million into the initiative while Apple and Intel are also taking supportive roles. Representatives for Intel were on hand at UNESCO's Paris headquarters Wednesday to show how the prototype worked on its child-focused Classmate PC, and Apple employees brought along mobile devices for demonstrations.

"We have provided (the project with) expertise about how to digitize documents, how to do it for less money, how to handle and sort digital content and make it accessible," said Herve Marchet, Apple's director of education markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Aimed for a 2008 launch, the digital library's five other partner institutions are Egypt's Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the National Library of Egypt, the National Library of Brazil, the National Library of Russia and the Russian State Library.

Mac's worldwide market share estimates

With market research firms Gartner and IDC releasing somewhat uneven third-quarter U.S. market share estimates for Apple's Mac platform on Wednesday, investment bank Piper Jaffray has turn its attention towards quantifying the company's worldwide share gains.

Using IDC's preliminary release of worldwide PC unit sales in the September quarter — which did not list Apple because of its marginal share — analyst Gene Munster in a research note Thursday said he believes the Cupertino-based company's Mac platform achieved market share growth between 0.1 percent and 0.3 percent quarter-over-quarter.

"Specifically, IDC estimates that 66.85 million PCs were shipped worldwide in the September quarter. We believe Apple will report Mac unit sales of 2.1 million to 2.2 million for the September quarter," he explained. "At 2.1 million units, Mac market share would be 3.1 percent and at 2.2 million units Mac market share would be 3.3 percent."

Apple's Mac market share in the June quarter was 3.0 percent, up from 2.5 percent in the March quarter. IDC data for total worldwide PC shipments will be slightly revised within the next several weeks as final data is reported, but likely will not see a material enough change to alter September Mac market share percentages, the analyst added.

Apple sued over iPod storage capacity claims

Meanwhile, Montreal law student David Bitton is peeved at Apple for what he claims is misleading marketing. When he found that his new iPod nano came out-of-the-box with only 7.45 GB of available capacity rather than the 8 GB advertised, he sued.

According to the Montreal Gazette, the complaint filed Wednesday in Quebec Superior Court alleges that all Apple products have on average 7.5 percent less storage than advertised. So Bitton is asking for a full refund for himself and all iPod owners in Quebec.