Here are your Apple news items and rumors for Thursday:
China Says iPhone Going 4G: Of the many rumors surrounding the technical specifications of the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5, support for 4G networks like those heavily promoted by Verizon (NYSE:VZ), AT&T (NYSE:T), and Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) is among the few that have been almost universally shot down. That said, there have been rumblings that China Mobile (NYSE:CHL) has been pushing Apple hard to introduce a 4G iPhone. A Thursday report in Bloomberg (via Apple Insider) said that China Mobile might be getting its wish sooner rather than later. Chairman Wang Jianzhou said his company received “a positive answer from Apple” regarding the co-development of a 4G phone using the same LTE standard as Verizon and AT&T.
Apple Second Only to Google in Brand Value: Google‘s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system controls a larger percentage of the world smartphone market, at least in terms of operating system, but that’s not the only category in which the company has stayed ahead of Apple. According to a new study from London-based reaseach firm Brand Finance (reprinted in a Thursday report at 9 to 5 Mac), Apple’s brand value grew 33% between 2010 and 2011, passing Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), IBM (NYSE:IBM), Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and General Electric (NYSE:GE) to take the No. 2 spot just behind Google. Different studies have made different findings, though. A BrandZ brand value study released in May and reported on by Forbes placed Apple in the No. 1 spot — well ahead of Google at No. 2.
Reading Rainbow Resurrected on iPad: Legions of Generation Y-ers and Millennials had much to celebrate on Wednesday when Levar Burton announced he would resurrect the television program Reading Rainbow via a new iPad app called RRKidz. The app will include access to 300 e-books as well as video and game content. Details on pricing weren’t released, but a report at TUAW confirmed that RRKidz will charge a monthly fee for these features. Whether app users will be able to fly higher than a butterfly in the sky by taking a look in a book remains to be seen.