Native iPhone apps Monday; multi-carrier Singapore; iPod lead solid

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The first third-party native iPhone apps may be ready as soon as Apple makes its version 2.0 iPhone firmware available, according to a report. Also, a job posting hints that SingTel won't have an exclusive deal in Singapore, and Lehman Brothers notes that Apple continues to track above expectations for its iPod shipments despite a seemingly weak market.

iPhone 2.0, native apps to show at same time?

If a source at a firm developing iPhone software is correct, iPhone 2.0 users will have a very short wait before they can start downloading third-party native apps for the device, according to CNET.

The alleged insider at the programming house says the app will be ready as of Monday and the start to the Worldwide Developer Conference, alluding to a potential live launch of the Apple App Store necessary to download the code.

This source also appears to corroborate firmware leaks and other rumors that suggest the upcoming iPhone hardware will include GPS support for locating itself in real time.

At least one rumor has posited that Apple will announce immediate availability of a new iPhone for at least some regions next week, when Steve Jobs takes the stage for the WWDC keynote.

Job listing suggests multiple iPhone carriers in Singapore

SingTel's iPhone rights in Singapore won't be exclusive, an Apple job listing for a Lead Carrier Certification Engineer reveals.

The American company's posting asks for an engineer who would coordinate the approval of "Cellular Carriers" in the city-state.

Apple is known to alter its job requirements depending on whether or not it expects one or more carriers to offer the iPhone in a given region. The company's Australian job listings quickly proved accurate while also suggesting that Mexico would be confined to a single iPhone-ready carrier in the near future.

Lehman: iPod thrives in a down market

While the overall MP3 market is down, Apple's iPod sales continue to climb, according to a new investment note from Lehman Brothers.

Analyst Ben Reitzes notes that Apple's year-over-year retail sales for the last week were up a few percentage points while the rest of the market declined five percent, suggesting the company is extending its lead over rivals. The quarter as a whole has Apple up a few percentage points in line with the rest of the industry and tentatively puts Apple ahead of cautious estimates.

"We continue to believe this data is slightly more positive than expected for Apple and indicates to us that iPod sales remain relatively stable despite overall subdued consumer demand and risks to the economy," Reitzes says, noting that eight out of the ten top-selling MP3 players at Amazon were iPods as of Monday.

The expert adds that there are no immediate signs of a rundown in stocks of iPods at Best Buy, a location Lehman is testing as a gauge of iPod supply levels and thus any imminent signs of an upgrade to the media player line.

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