Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Hints: Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) primary iPhone manufacturing partner Foxconn has started recruiting new workers, the Wall Street Journal notes. The company had frozen new hiring after the holidays, suggesting to some that demand for the iPhone 5 was not as strong as anticipated. On Monday, Foxconn announced that since March it has hired 10,000 employees to man the assembly lines at one of its principal production facilities. While the company did not disclose the reasons for the hiring, an insider told the Journal that the new workers were added as the company begins ramping up production for Apple’s next-generation iPhone, which is expected to debut this summer. Apple is also reportedly working on a second, less expensive iPhone to target consumers in emerging markets.
Down Under: An Australian court has ordered Apple to finish building its store in Brisbane’s MacArthur Chambers, ifoAppleStore notes. Apple halted construction of new retail space inside the historic building for unknown reasons. A Queensland State Court has ruled that the company must fund additional renovations inside the building so that the owner can lease the space to other renters. The MacArthur Chambers building dates back to 1934. Recent efforts to renovate the structure have been complicated by the bankruptcy of the project’s contractor as well as Apple’s 2012 decision to cancel the retail outlet.
Gravedigger: Netbooks are one their way out and the iPad is to blame, the Mac Observer notes. According to a report from IHS iSupply 32.14 million netbooks were shipped in 2010. Last year, that fell to just 3.97 million units shipped. The downtrend is expected to continue unabated. Next year, IHS says just 264,000 netbooks will ship. In 2015, it anticipates that manufacturers will end netbook shipments altogether. The decline in netbooks shipments began shortly after Apple unveiled the iPad in 2010. Last year, Apple sold 66 million iPads. A number of similar tablets running Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system have also gained popularity.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.