Rumors of a new low cost iPhone model have been gaining traction recently, and now a new report is adding even more fuel to that fire by claiming the cheap iPhone will sport a plastic body, much like the iPhone 3GS. This latest rumor has taken off despite Apple marketing VP Phil Schiller's assertion that the cheap smartphone will "never be the future of Apple."
Apple will launch an updated fifth-generation iPad and second-generation iPad mini this March, establishing a new six-month product cycle for the tablet line, according a report Friday from Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White. Apple's decision was based on a need to keep up with rapid changes in the tablet market.
Amazon may soon offer an "auto rip" service that will automatically add music from physical disc purchases to a user's Amazon Cloud Drive. The service will give users the advantages of iTunes Match plus the better quality and backup that a physical disc provides, and may put pressure on Apple to increase the value of content on its iTunes Store.
Following Tuesday's report of production issues that were causing delays for Apple's new iMac, new information late Wednesday suggests that the holdup is caused by screen lamination problems experienced by Apple supplier LG Display. Sources claim that the problems will be solved by February, enabling much higher yields that will ease supply constraints.
Rumors claim that Apple is preparing an entirely new "low-cost" iPhone for emerging markets like China, with supply chain sources claiming to have seen prototypes of the product. While Apple would love to ink a deal with China Mobile, the world's largest mobile carrier, it is not likely that the company would create entirely new hardware specifically for that market.
Apple is reportedly testing Touch On Display screens for a future generation of iPhone. A report out of China reported that Apple supplier Innolux has shipped samples of TOD displays to Apple for testing and possible certification.
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Our take on rumors like this is that there is almost certainly a kernel of truth involved. In this case, Innolux has undoubtedly sent samples of TOD displays to Apple. That doesn't necessarily mean, however, that Apple is specifically looking for a new display technology for iPhone.
Apple is apparently deep in negotiations to buy the online map service Waze. Sources say the Mac, iPhone and iPad maker is willing to pay upwards of US$500 million for the company, although Waze is said to be holding out for $750 million.
Apple's 2013 lineup of Macs may sport ultra-fast Wi-Fi thanks to the inclusion of 802.11ac support. Apple is reportedly in talks with Broadcom, one of the few 802.11ac chip makers, to bring support for the new standard, which offers maximum speeds of over a gigabit per second, to Macs this year.
Apple's iBookstore may soon be available in Japan. Apple is reportedly negotiating with several Japanese book publishers to bring its iOS-based eBook platform to The Land of the Rising Sun with some sources suggesting a deal could arrive in the next month or two.
Apple may soon begin sourcing A-Series mobile chips from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), according to reports early Wednesday. The deal, which will start with limited orders of the A6X chip found in the fourth-generation iPad, may be quickly expanded as Apple looks to sever its ties to its longtime manufacturing partner, Samsung.
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