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Kootenai County homes sales decline

The number of homes sold in Kootenai County declined by 28 percent for the six-month period ending May 31, compared to the same period a year ago.

Homes sales fell by 33 percent in Post Falls; 32 percent in Hayden; and by 24 percent in the Coeur d’Alene-Dalton area, according to figures from the Coeur d’Alene Multiple Listing Service. The decline was less pronounced in the Rathdrum-Twin Lakes area, where the number of sales dropped by nearly 12 percent.

In total, 854 Kootenai County homes changed hands from December through May, compared with 1,190 for the same period last year.

The median sales price reflected the slower market, inching from $201,590 to $204,500 and forgoing the double-digit increases of the past several years. The median sales price is the midpoint – half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

Hayden had the highest median sales prices, at $230,000. In Post Falls, the median sales price was $199,000, and it was $195,000 in Coeur d’Alene-Dalton and Rathdrum-Twin Lakes.

SAN JOSE, Calif.

Apple says battery lasts longer on iPhone

Apple Inc. gave rival smart-phone makers another reason for heartburn Monday, claiming its upcoming iPhone will have a battery life that exceeds the company’s previous estimate and the battery life of competing phones.

With the iPhone launch still 11 days away, Apple said the hotly anticipated gadget will last for eight hours of talk time, six hours of Internet use or seven hours of video playback. When the company previewed the device in January, it said the rechargeable battery could last five hours for any one of those functions.

Competitors’ phones – such as Palm Inc.’s Treo and Research in Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry Curve – tout talk times of about four hours. Samsung Electronic Co. claims about 5.5 hours for the BlackJack.

The announcement lifted Apple shares, which have soared more than 40 percent over the past three months in anticipation of the iPhone, which combines the functions of a cell phone, iPod media player, digital organizer and wireless Web device.

After a day of heavy trading, Apple shares climbed 3.8 percent, or $4.59, to close at $125.09.

From staff and wire reports