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Mac OS X dev reflects on Apple; $100K tablet bounty; App Store piracy

Former Apple executive Avie Tevanian discussed his former company as he joins a Palm investor, a Web site has offered up to $100,000 for information on Apple's rumored tablet, and iPhone App Store piracy has been estimated to cause $450 million in losses.

Former Apple exec Avie Tevanian on Apple

Avie Tevanian, in an interview with CNET, weighed in on Apple's history with the touch interface: "The whole touch interface is probably at its very early stages, which is interesting because I know when I was at Apple we were working on it many years ago, certainly before I had left. It's good to see it getting out there. Everybody is starting to use it, but my guess is there is still a lot more to be done there."

Tevanian added that along with Apple, he keeps a close eye on Google and Facebook. "Everybody else is at a level below," he said.

He said he is "thrilled" with Apple's success and mentioned that prototypes of many of Apple's new products existed in one form or another back during his time at the company.

"The products you see I saw early versions of them when I was there," he said. "It is great to see them turn out so well."

Elevation Partners, a private equity firm announced Tuesday that Tevanian had joined the company as managing director. Tevanian served as chief technology officer at Apple up until 2006, and was instrumental in the development of Mac OS X.

App Store piracy losses estimated at $450 million

In an analysis by 24/7 Wall St., it was determined that the App Store has lost nearly $450 million due to software piracy since the store opened in 2008. Although it is difficult to exactly measure rates of piracy, apps that "phone home" when run on a jailbroken phone can be used to provide a rough estimate. Using these figures it can be determined that piracy rates among apps can be as high as 90 percent.

The $450 million result was reached by a long series of estimates and assumptions. By taking into account the number of total app downloads (3 billion) and an estimate of the portion of these that are paid (17 percent or 510 million) along with an assumed piracy rate of 75 percent and an average paid application price of $3.00, the result is $4.59 billion potentially lost. Finally, the legitimate app purchase rate if the app could not be pirated was pegged at 10 percent, giving the final number of $459 million.

While these numbers are admittedly rough, the report surmises that Apple has largely ignored the piracy problem due to their focus on selling actual iPhone and iPod Touch units, much like the hands-off stance that that the company has taken with illegal music being loaded on iPods.

Site offers $100,000 Apple Tablet bounty

Today Valleywag announced a reward for information on Apple's much-rumored tablet device. Titled "Valleywag's Apple Tablet Scavenger Hunt," the blog is offering amounts of money that increase with the level of information provided:
    $10,000 for bona fide pictures
    $20,000 for video of one in action
    $50,000 for pictures or video of Steve Jobs holding one
    $100,000 to let them play with one for an hour

As of now, while details about the device seem to be popping up at an increasing rate, no one knows for sure how the device will work or how one would interact with it at this point, hence the hefty reward.

Last year, AppleInsider first reported that the device would be launched early in 2010. Currently, all signs now point to a debut at Apple's planned event on Jan. 27 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.