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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Apple Rolls Out Pix, Movie Updates as well as Itunes DRM Free

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc, missing master pitchman Steve Jobs and facing subdued expectations during its final appearance at the Macworld trade show, rolled out upgrades to its home movie and photo software on Tuesday.

Apple shares rose about 2 percent, slightly ahead of the Nasdaq's 1.7 percent gain in midafternoon.

The iTunes music store will also be able to sell music over the air to its iPhone and will offer music without copyright protection, people familiar with Apple's plans said.

In years past, the company's Macworld product launches produced so much buzz they managed to overshadow events at the far larger Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The 2009 CES show kicks off this week.

Last month, the company said Jobs, its chief executive and salesman extraordinaire, would not deliver the Macworld address. That raised fresh concerns about the cancer survivor's health and signaled to many Apple-watchers that the company had no plans to launch a major product at Macworld.

But Jobs' announcement on Monday that a hormone imbalance -- not a recurrence of cancer -- is responsible for his noticeable weight loss, managed to allay some investor fears and prompt broker upgrades, though other questions about the company's future persist.

After this year's gathering, Apple is withdrawing from Macworld, an event owned by IDG World Expo that in years past had been populated by Apple faithful but will now continue on without the tech giant.

(Reporting by Gabriel Madway, editing by Matthew Lewis)