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Apple tidbits: Black Friday, mobile gaming, and MobileMe

Apple may be planning aggressive Black Friday discounts amid economic storm clouds as it discusses mobile gaming and works on improvements to Mac OS X Leopard.

Deep one-day discounts on products such as the new MacBook could be coming this Black Friday. CNET

Here's a rundown of some of the Apple news making the rounds this Wednesday:

Apple may launch most aggressive Black Friday pricing yet--AppleInsider: On a day when the stock market tanked once again on news of shifting priorities in the government's bailout plan, coupled with pessimistic forecasts from huge retailers like Best Buy, this notion doesn't seem all that far-fetched. Last year, Apple offered $101 discounts on MacBooks and other discounts on iPods on Black Friday, and Ben Reitzes of UBS thinks similar discounts could be applied more broadly across Apple's product line on that particular day.

Apple's iPhone faces off with the game champs--The Wall Street Journal: Is the "funnest iPod ever" something that should have Nintendo and Sony worried? Steve Jobs certainly thinks so, pointing out in this story (paid registration required) that a quarter of all the applications downloaded from the App Store have been games. The iPhone and iPod Touch may not yet be the choice of serious portable gamers, but Sega shared an interesting tidbit on how it views the iPhone: the 500,000 copies of Super Monkey Ball sold through the App Store would be considered a hit if it had sold that many copies of a game for the Nintendo DS or Sony PSP.

Apple focusing on MobileMe improvements in latest 10.5.6 builds--MacRumors: Everyone's favorite whipping-boy in the Apple universe--MobileMe--has received a great deal of work in the next update for Mac OS X Leopard, according to MacRumors. The update will supposedly have improvements to how MobileMe syncs data between MacBooks and the online service, which lets you access contacts, calendars, and other data from any computer.

The genius behind Steve--Fortune: This actually came out earlier in the week, but Adam Lashinsky's profile of Apple COO Tim Cook is worth a read if you haven't checked it out already. There's not a lot of new ground broken--Cook is the obvious short-term solution if Steve Jobs had to step down as Apple's leader, since he's a clear No. 2 and has already run the company once before--but the insights into Cook's personality and working style make it worth your time if you were ever curious about Apple's second-in-command.