Apple briefs: Jobs' air travel, iPhone update, iTunes is No. 2February 27, 2008: 7:41 AM ET
The iPhone software developers kit (SDK) promised for February may not have materialized, but Feb. 26 turned out to be a busy day for Apple(AAPL) nonetheless. The big news was the refresh of the MacBook and MacBook Pro lines (see here), but there were these items as well:
Frequent flier:Morgan Stanley's Kathryn Huberty rooted through Apple's 2007 10K and discovered that the company reimbursed its peripatetic CEO $550,000 in airline expenses for the December quarter -- three times the average over the previous six quarters (see here). She cites these expenses -- presumably incurred on the Gulfstream jet the company gave Jobs in 2000 -- as a reason to buy the stock. A better reason would be if Jobs brought home signed iPhone deals with new carriers in Europe and Asia.
iPhone 1.1.4:The latest firmware update for the iPhone and iPod touch, released Tuesday afternoon, was a big one (162.1 megabytes) that except for unspecified bug fixes seems to have added zero functionality. The prevailing theory is that the update is setting the stage for the release of the SDK some time in the weeks ahead.
iTunes rising:The NPD Group reported Tuesday that iTunes has edged aside Best Buy (BBY) and Target(TGT) to become the No. 2 music retailer in the U.S., behind only Wal-Mart (see Apple's press release here). With 50 million customers and more than 4 billion songs sold so far, Apple will likely overtake Wal-Mart (WMT) before the end of the year, according to Russ Crupnick, NPD's president of music (see here).