Here are your Apple rumors and news items for Tuesday:
Blasted: A Tuesday report at The Wall Street Journal said an explosion at a Foxconn manufacturing plant in Chengdu, China will lead to supply chain problems for many PC and technology companies, including Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). Research firm iSuppli says the shutdown will cause 500,000 iPads to not ship in the coming month. Though Apple and Foxconn have both declined to comment on whether or not the affected facility is responsible for iPad production, both the Chinese media and iSuppli cite sources that confirm the plant polishes completed iPad tablets. Foxconn has been criticized for unsafe work conditions before.
Half a Million: Apple has approved 500,000 apps for inclusion on the iPad and iPhone app store as of this week. Though Apple itself hasn’t commented on the milestone, app makers Chomp, Chilingo, and 148apps announced the number through an infographic breaking down different categories of what apps are in the store. Though Apple has approved more than 500,000 apps, only about 400,000 are currently available for purchase. Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android app store has 294,000 apps available for purchase. The best-selling app in Apple’s store is, unsurprisingly, Rovio’s Angry Birds video game.
New Windows: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer told a developer forum in Tokyo on Monday that his company will refresh the entire Windows product line in 2012. The new Windows 8 operating system will be used in new PCs and, more significantly, tablets built to use Microsoft’s familiar platform. Ballmer hinted that the new Windows may work in a similar manner to Google’s Android, making it scalable for use across multiple devices. Windows-based PC sales have declined in 2011 while sales of Apple’s Mac computers have increased by more than 27%.