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Wednesday Apple Rumors: Sprint Gets an iPhone of Its Very Own

Also, McAfee deems Apple's iOS malware-free


Here are your Apple news items and rumors for Wednesday:

Sprinting Toward the iPhone 5: Contrary to what some investors might have read, Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) still is around. The telecom has shed more than 94% of its value over the past 12 years, and its current subscriber base is only be a fraction of Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T‘s (NYSE:T) combined footprint on the mobile industry, but it’s still out there trucking away, trading many millions of shares per day. A Wednesday report in The Wall Street Journal suggests Sprint is going to be a bit more competitive in the current smartphone landscape come October when the service starts supporting Apple’s new iPhone 5. Reinforcing rumors from earlier this month, the report said Sprint will join AT&T and Verizon in supporting the latest version of Apple’s smartphone, allegedly named the iPhone 5. Apple is expected to announce the new model — as well as a second, cheaper model called the iPhone 4S — at the end of September, with an early October release to follow. Sprint blamed its decline in subscribers during the second quarter of 2011 on “competitive headwinds” caused by its chief competitors sharing control of the iPhone market. That said, the iPhone 5 still might be coming too late to save the sinking company.

Android Virus Blues: Google‘s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android may power 52% of the smartphones sold in recent months, but the platform’s popularity is making it a target for less-than-reputable sorts. A new report from the Intel-owned (NASDAQ:INTC) McAfee computer security company detailing malware threats over the second quarter found the number of viruses and trojans targeting Android increased 76% over the second quarter of the year, with 44 known pieces of malicious code found. Apple’s iOS, the operating system powering the iPhone and iPad, remains malware-free. McAfee didn’t report an active virus that could attack a store-bought iPhone. The same could be said of Hewlett-Packard‘s (NYSE:HPQ) webOS, as well. At least that’s one piece of good news for HP’s mobile business!

Sunny iPad Forecast: The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a gaggle of new patents that have been granted to Apple according to a Tuesday report at Patently Apple (via TUAW). Among those published is a patent titled “Methods and apparatuses for operating devices with solar power.” Though not the first patent filed by Apple using photovoltaic technology, it is the first to describe a touchscreen that is itself a solar panel. An iPad or iPhone that charges in the sun? Yes, that would sell.

As of this writing, Anthony John Agnello did not own a position in any of the stocks named here. Follow him on Twitter at @ajohnagnello and become a fan of InvestorPlace on Facebook.

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