Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Frenzy: A number of major high-technology companies are now developing smart watches, AppleInsider notes. For months, reports have swirled that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) was working on a flexible display wristwatch, with as many as 100 designers and engineers committed to the project. Earlier this month, a Samsung executive said that the South Korean electronics giant was pursuing a similar project. Now, reports say that Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and LG also have high-tech wristwatches under development. Google’s project is reportedly under the direction of its Android team and is consider more likely to succeed with consumers than its Google Glass effort. The watch being worked on by LG is reported to feature a touchscreen. Sources did not disclose what operating software would be used by the LG watch.
Cartographic Pickup: Apple has acquired mobile map app maker WiFiSlam, ZDNet notes. Sources say that Apple shelled out $20 million to acquire the start-up, which makes apps that leverage local WiFi signals to provide relatively precise location data. WiFiSlam has been working to include local navigation, social networking and retail data in its app. Apple’s new maps app debuted last year after the company ditched Google’s maps app iOS, but was heavily criticized for glitches and errors. The company has been quietly working to boost the app’s performance.
Another Slam: A second state-run media outlet in China has gone on the offensive against Apple, the Wall Street Journal notes. The People’s Daily, a newspaper run by the Chinese Communist Party, ran a front page article criticizing Apple for its response to a recent report by state-run China Central Television, which attacked its customer service in China. The TV report was followed by text messages on popular Chinese messaging sites from celebrities attacking the company. However, at least one of those messages errantly including posting instructions, leading many Chinese web users to conclude the messages had been staged. The People’s Daily called Apple’s response to the TV report “empty and self-praising.” The criticism of Apple is seen as another step by the Chinese government to move against foreign companies whose brands are popular among Chinese consumers.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.