Here are your Apple news items and rumors for Tuesday:
Mac, Lion Bring Summer Bank: Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has reported two record-breaking quarters in a row, and according to a Tuesday report at All Things Digital, the company’s third quarter should be just as good. Leading the charge for Apple’s summer sales is the new MacBook Air laptop line and the company’s new Lion operating system, the first major upgrade to the OS X operating system that is only available as a digital download through the Mac App Store, as well as in new laptops and desktops. The NPD Group said July Mac sales in the U.S. were up 26% compared to the same month in 2010 — growth that’s six times greater than that of the rest of the PC market. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster thinks Apple’s Mac sales will taper off into the fourth quarter, but if rumors of an entirely new Mac product line turn out to be true, Apple’s PC business might continue to impress for some time yet.
Here Comes iPhone 4S: Speaking of sales successes for Apple, Reuters reported Tuesday that sources in Apple’s Asian supply chain claim to already be producing the long-rumored smaller, cheaper iPhone. The new phone will sport an 8GB flash drive — half the size of the flash drive in the cheapest current model of iPhone — which will help reduce the cost of the device. Samsung, the current supplier of flash drives used in the iPhone, declined comment. The goal of introducing a cheaper model of iPhone is to gain an even greater presence in emerging markets such as China, a country into which Apple already has made significant gains. Apple is expected to announce both this new iPhone 4S and a high-end iPhone 5 in September, with an October release to follow.
Flash-to-iPad Business Doing Swift Business: iSwifter is a cloud-based service that converts games and other media built using Adobe‘s (NASDAQ:ADBE) Flash format for use on Apple’s iPad. Apple is notorious for keeping its portable devices like the iPhone and iPad incompatible with Flash, requiring Flash-dependent services like Google‘s (NASDAQ:GOOG) YouTube to build proprietary applications for their devices. iSwifter works around Apple’s restrictions by streaming Flash games running on its servers to devoted apps running on the iPad. The business has been doing so well that it expects revenues for 2011 to total $10 million. If nothing else, iSwifter is a promising example for other cloud-service start-ups looking to target the iPad and iPhone.