iPhone 4S Finally Comes to China in January: Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) announced Wednesday morning that it will release its latest iPhone — the Siri voice command-enabled iPhone 4S — on Jan. 13. Though already available in Hong Kong, Chinese consumers and China Unicom (NYSE:CHU) shareholders alike have been anxiously awaiting word that the phone has passed China’s governmental regulatory processes. While not confirmed yet, it is rumored that the Chinese iPhone 4S will feature a version of Siri that recognizes Mandarin. China isn’t the only country getting the iPhone 4S in January. A collection of 21 nations will receive the phone as well, including the Cayman Islands, Niger, Mali and the Dominican Republic.
Apple Might Enter Textbook Industry: While the Tuesday rumor that Apple will be holding an event this month to discuss new improvements to its iBookstore came with the caveat that no major announcements would be forthcoming, Apple shareholders might want to pay attention all the same. A follow-up report at Mac Rumors suggests that one possible announcement will be the introduction of interactive school textbooks to the iBookstore. The report’s source claims that Apple filmed a number of promotional videos with executives in the textbook industry in December — just the sort of videos typically shown in Apple’s product or service announcements. Another report from Clayton Morris at Fox News said the event will focus on Apple’s education initiatives. Textbooks account for a significant percentage of overall sales revenue in the publishing industry and are one of the business’ fastest growing segments. College textbook sales grew 23% between 2008 and 2011, coming to $4.5 billion last year.
A Knight in Cupertino’s Court: Queen Elizabeth II rang in 2012 the way she always does: by honoring a plethora of figures in entertainment and business with dame and knighthood. While it’s certainly exciting for many people, it was a particularly pleasant surprise for Apple designer and new knight in her majesty’s service Jonathan Ive. Sir Jony Ive has been the design team lead at Apple since 1996 and was one of the principal minds behind the iPod, iPhone, iPad and the modern era of Mac computers. The late Steve Jobs described Ive as his “spiritual partner” in Walter Isaacson’s recently published biography of the former CEO.
As of this writing, Anthony John Agnello did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned stocks. Follow him on Twitter at @ajohnagnello and become a fan of InvestorPlace on Facebook. For more from the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.