Here are your daily Apple news items and rumors for Thursday:
You’re Next, Xoom: Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) doesn’t really need to help stomp out the iPad’s competition by suing other tablet makers. The iPad already is stomping out the competition all on its own. That isn’t stomping the company from savaging others, though. Patent lawsuits leveled against Samsung have already blocked the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet from releasing in Australia and most European countries. Now Apple is working its litigation magic against Motorola‘s (NYSE:MMI) harmless Xoom. According to a Thursday report at Tech Radar, Apple has filed a suit against Motorola in Germany claiming that the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android-powered Xoom is too similar in design to the iPad. However, Motorola spokesperson was quick to point out that it actually was the one to instigate this particular lawsuit slap fight, having filed an infringement suit against Apple in Germany in April. Investors might remember that Motorola sold between 25,000 and 125,000 Xooms since February, making it a success on par with New Coke.
iBookstore in Trouble: Speaking of lawsuits, Apple is getting sued by consumer rights group Hagens Berman. Unlike most suits against the house of Jobs, however, this one pertains to media pricing rather than technology patent infringement. The suit claims that Apple joined a cabal of book publishers — including News Corp.’s (NASDAQ:NWS) Harper Collins, Macmillan Publishers, CBS‘s (NYSE:CBS) Simon & Schuster, Pearson‘s (NYSE:PSO) Penguin Group and Hachette Book Group — in an effort to “increase prices for popular e-book titles to boost profits and force e-book rival Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) to abandon its pro-consumer discount pricing.” The lawsuit hopes to have the publishers and Apple give up profits earned by using the agency model that allows the publisher to set e-book prices rather than the retailer selling them. It also would block the iBookstore from continuing to use the agency sales model. Given how well the iBookstore has performed since opening in April 2010, Apple won’t have to surrender much in the way of profits.
Intel Wants In: Spurred on by the ever-rising sales of both the iPad and Apple’s slim MacBook Air laptops, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) is hoping to give the portable PC business the kick in the pants it needs to get competitive again. A report at The Wall Street Journal said that Intel has set aside $300 million to help fund its manufacturing partners’ efforts to develop “Ultrabooks” — portable PCs as compact and light as Apple’s MacBook Airs. The first Ultrabook PCs should ship by the end of 2011.