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Valuable Freebies From Big Companies

Used predominantly as a marketing technique, free products and services come at a cost to the company offering them. Here are eight valuable freebies, what it costs companies to offer the deal and how much the customer actually receives in terms of value.

The Lowly iPod Keeps on Rolling for Apple

The iPod, first introduced in 2001, has been overshadowed in recent years by the iPad and iPhone. But it was the foundation of Apple's revived success and the cornerstone of CEO Steve Jobs's creative vision for the company.

Apple to Open First Chinese Retail Store on Saturday

Apple (AAPL) plans to open its first Chinese retail store in Shanghai on Saturday, CNN said. Customers are already queuing up to get into the store, which will have 80 Macs, 100 iPods and 60 iPhones to play with. There will also be a Genius Bar and the country%u2019s first Briefing Room for free business workshops.

Steve Jobs Looms Over the Sun Valley Confab

He's on the guest list, but Apple's CEO may not show at this year's Allen & Co. Sun Valley media mogul camp. But his impact will felt throughout it as the media execs confront a digital landscape on the brink of a mobile gold rush.

Apple Keeps Rising on Bad News: Investors Beware?

Apple is the current standard bearer for innovation, a cultural phenomenon and, now, the biggest tech company in terms of market value. But paradoxically, Apple seems to be succeeding even as it faces an unprecedented series of missteps, snafus, setbacks and just plain bad luck.

Apple to Sell Users' Location Data; 3 Million iPads Sold

Under Apple's newly updated privacy policy, the company will collect and use information about its customers' real-time geographic locations to provide stronger location-based services. Meanwhile, Apple announced it has sold 3 million iPads in the 80 days since the device was launched.

iPhone iOS 4 Release: Monday A.M., Pacific Time

The much-anticipated new operating system for Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch users is set for release at a time when Apple tech support is armed and ready. The aim is to avoid another fiasco like what happened with iPhone 4 pre-orders.

Is Apple Becoming the Next Microsoft?

The Federal Trade Commission may be investigating Apple for anticompetitive behavior called "tying" -- an illegal technique of using power in one market to gain a monopoly in another. And that's precisely the illegal strategy that got Microsoft in so much hot water in the 1990s.

Apple Earnings Leave Wall Street Gasping

Apple's cash machine absolutely crushed Wall Street earnings expectations, reporting red-hot sales across all of its major products for its fiscal 2010 second quarter. Revenues shot up 49% and profits by 90%. Oh yeah, its outlook exceeds expectations also.

Will the iPad Become the Next Prince in Apple's Kingdom?

Apple has nearly a 10-year history with its "i" dynasty but the iPad tablet may soon dethrone the reigning iPhone, analysts predict. The handset is facing growing competition while the new tablet may have its turn in the spotlight -- until Google comes up with its own tablet.

From iPod to iPad: The Apple iDynasty Timeline

Apple has built a dynasty around its portable devices, and it's one that has spanned nearly a decade so far. The dynasty began with the release of the iPod in 2001 and has continued through its various iPhone models to pave the way for the next heir apparent, the iPad, which will greet its subjects Saturday.

Sony's New Devices Take Aim at Apple

Remember when Sony was the king of the consumer electronics hill, and the Walkman was the iconic product? Well, the Japanese giant wants its crown back, and it's bringing the fight to Apple with new products intended to go head to head with the iPod, iPhone, iTunes and iPad.

Steve Jobs at 55: The Blind Spot in a Visionary's Legacy

As Apple CEO Steve Jobs turns 55 Wednesday, he's evidently thinking about his legacy. The notoriously secretive tech icon is now said to be cooperating on an authorized biography of his life, for the first time, with author and journalist Walter Isaacson. But gaining real entree into what makes Jobs tick could be a much harder feat.

Apple's $1 TV Show Plan

Apple could offer American TV shows for $1 per download, if it can cut a deal with the TV networks.

Why Apple's iPad Won't Rescue Big Publishing

There's plenty for the publishing industry to like about the iPad. It's the first Apple device with a dedicated e-bookstore, and titles seem priced from $7.99 to $14.99. But of the six big publishers, only five have signed up with Apple. The biggest, Random House, is still gun-shy.

Can Steve Jobs Save Old Media?

Steve Jobs plans to bring new hope to old media with his tablet device. The company is already a dominant force in digital music because of its iTunes business and is now in talks with major newspaper companies and textbook firms.