NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Forget the Verizon (VZ) - Get Report iPhone. Music makers dominated the talk at this week's Apple (AAPL) - Get Report event, where select members of the press were invited to San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts to live-blog new iPod, iTunes and AppleTV announcements.
was declined an invitation, but we were still able to log onto the webcast and report all the action.)
Apple's new, $50 2GB Shuffle is darling. The updated Nano, sans scroll-wheel and fixed with a clip and iPhone-like navigational icons, is about half the size and weight of its predecessor (see below). The touch-screen sells for $150 for 8GB and $180 for 16GB. Apple also introduced Ping, a music-focused
-like network that allows iTunes 10 users to follow artists, see what friends are listening to and make recommendations.
But the day's biggest news revolved around another try at
, of which previous versions have faced less-than-mediocre reception.
The new Apple TV box is one-fourth the size of the original and features built-in Wi-Fi and the ability to stream HD movie rentals ($5 a flick) and TV shows ($1) from a selection of Hollywood studios and TV networks. The box also allows users to stream content from
and one's own PC or Mac.
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Unfortunately, as highlighted by the drop in Apple's stock price the day of the event,
, due in part to studios' tepid embrace of Apple's model to use iTunes to charge users $1 for two-day rentals.
But Apple's got many other successes to help it sustain itself until AppleTV catches steam. There's the iPad, which sees analysts again upping estimates. Morgan Stanley said Friday that
production to 2 million a month. That's likely due to big demand, but Apple could also be bolstering its front in anticipation for the deluge of
Android-powered competitors, many which stand to make their debut this fall.
Apple's stock, up about 7% for the week, closed up $6.60 at $258.77 on Friday.
Japanese electronics giant
joined the growing list of tablet makers this week, unveiling its Folio 100 device at the IFA show in Berlin. Powered by Android version 2.2, the Folio 100 comes with a 10.1-inch screen and, unlike the iPad, offers
Flash Player 10.1. Toshiba's Folio will be available in Europe later this year, although there is no word yet on a U.S. launch.
At the same event,
took the wraps off its
, another Android 2.2 device fitted with a small, 7-inch screen. Initial reaction to the
has been positive, and the device is expected to increase the pressure on other tablet players such as
and maybe even Apple, although U.S. pricing and availability have not yet been announced.
HP, Dell and 3Par
finally reached a conclusion Thursday, when
HP's 3Par win is an expensive one. The tech giant will now pay $33 a share, or a total of $2.35 billion, for the utility storage specialist. Dell had originally bid $18 a share or $1.15 billion, prompting a rapidly-escalating bidding war. 3Par also announced that it had terminated an earlier merger agreement with Dell, paying the computer maker a $72 million termination fee.
, will now use 3Par to boost its Converged Infrastructure strategy, which aims to streamline data center server, storage and networking and provide cloud computing. In a statement, HP storage chief Dave Donatelli said that his company plans to invest in 3Par's technology.
HP shares closed up 66 cents on Friday to $40.34, Dell's went up 23 cents to $12.59 and 3Par's stock, which was largely flat for the week, closed up 0.03% to $32.89.
Intel, Infineon, and VMware
In other tech M&A,
, effectively gaining a ticket into the late innings of the 3G mobile game.
, which held its annual VMworld event in San Francisco this week, also opened its wallet,
Intel had an otherwise quiet week; its stock closed up a few cents to $18.43. VMware shares also went up $1.68 to $84.43.
Security software maker
hit the spotlight again this week,
around ArcSight, although CEO Tom Reilly refused to discuss the acquisition chatter during the company's first-quarter conference call.
In addition to ArcSight, there has also been speculation that storage company
and networking specialist
, particularly at a time of obvious tech sector consolidation.
ArcSight shares closed slightly down Friday 1.32% at $37.34.
--Written by James Rogers in New York.
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