Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Sooner: Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will launch its next-generation iPhone in July or August, AppleInsider notes. The current flagship model, the iPhone 5, was launched in September of last year. Jeffries analyst Peter Misek says that the company is currently testing two iPhone prototypes. One of those is likely the iPhone 5S. Apple will start early production of the new iPhone in March. Misek says that Apple will join trend toward larger screens, already evident in popular smartphones running Google‘s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system. Apple increased the screen size of the iPhone 5 to 4-inches, up from the 3.5-inch screens that had been standard since the first iPhone. For the next iPhone, Misek predicts a screen 4.8-inches wide. The second iPhone prototype currently in testing might be the lower-cost iPhone aimed at emerging markets that has been rumored for some months.
Transparency: A cheaper iPhone made for sale in developing countries will feature a clear plastic casing made in the U.S. by an unnamed American supplier, DigiTimes notes. That would replace the aluminum and glass casing found on the current iPhone 5. The phone’s internal circuits would be visible through the plastic, according to the report. While ditching the glass and aluminum case would cut production costs for the cheaper iPhone, the transparent casing seems out of character with Apple’s aesthetic choices, and would hamper its efforts to prevent light leakage from the phone. DigiTimes indicates that the cheaper iPhone would launch in the second half of this year.
Moving East: Reports from Asia indicate that Apple is planning to build a new research & development facility in Beijing, BrightWire notes. Last week, CEO Tim Cook met with Beijing’s acting mayor to discuss the project. Apple is also looking to build a new data center in China or possibly Mongolia. Additionally, Apple is considering transferring some of its App Store servers to China.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.