Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Higher Resolution: With most analysts expecting Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) to debut its next generation iPhone over the summer, the rumor mill is percolating with reports about its features. According to MacRumors, a Vietnamese source says that the upcoming iPhone 5S will feature a new 12-megapixel camera from Wonderful Saigon Electrics. By contrast, the iPhone 5 has a camera with an 8-megapixel sensor. Apple is also expected to offer improvements to its image capture software to boost night-time and dark condition performance. Most analysts expect the iPhone 5S to be unveiled in June with a July launch. However, a recent report said that time frame could be delayed by production issues. Other analysts are expecting the inclusion of a fingerprint reader in the upcoming iPhone to enhance security and drive a mobile payments systems.
Consumer Wins: The global contest for market share between Apple and Samsung is generating serious savings for Indian consumers, the Wall Street Journal notes. Apple, which is attempting to build market share in India after years of remaining mostly outside that market, has unveiled a program allowing consumers to exchange old smartphones — even those not made by Apple — for a $128 cash discount on the price of an iPhone 4. In response, Samsung announced a 15% cash rebate on its Galaxy S3, Galaxy Grand and Galaxy Note 2 smartphones. In the last quarter of 2012, Samsung accounted for 40% of India’s smartphone market, compared to just 5% for Apple.
Estimate: If Apple does unveil a lower cost iPhone, the phone could grab an 11% market share in emerging countries inside of one year, AppleInsider notes. That projection comes from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, based on the idea of a $300 iPhone sold without a contract. Many analysts have noted Apple’s lack of products in the low-cost handset market, which effectively cedes that market to competitors. The company is widely reported to be working on a lower priced iPhone with a plastic casing, likely to debut later this year. Some analysts have questioned whether Apple could maintain its profit margins with a phone priced so low; but Munster says the company could maintain a 30% gross margin on a $300 iPhone. That would still be lower than the 55% margin it generates on current iPhones.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.