Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Surprised: With Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) set to unveil quarterly results widely expected to disappoint Wall Street later today, one analyst says that company was caught “flat footed” by the rise of bigger-screen smartphones, Barron‘s notes. In an media appearance, Steve Milunovich, an analyst at UBS (NYSE:UBS), noted that Apple “got surprised” by consumer demand for smartphones with 5-inch screens and that it will take the company “a while” to respond. While Milunovich sees some positive trends in recent iPhone 5 sales data, he said that the “iPhone 5 is not a killer product.” He is looking for new technology – possibly a fingerprint reader – in the next iPhone to generate consumer interest. According to Milunovich, Apple stock will not see “any excitement” until new products begin to launch in the fall. He also expressed skepticism that a long-awaited operating system refresh – iOS 7 – will generate consumer interest in the company’s products. Milunovich maintains a “buy” rating on Apple shares with a $560 price target.
Relief: Apple has donated $8 million to aid victims of the recent earthquake in Sichuan, China, MacRumors notes. The quake, which measured between 6.6 and 7.0 on the Richter Scale, devastated the region around the city of Ya’an over the weekend. Hundreds of casualties have been reported. Apple has also posted a message of sympathy for the earthquake victims on its Chinese website. In recent months, Apple came under criticism from Chinese government officials for its customer care and warranty policies in China. Earlier this month, Tim Cook published an apology to Chinese consumers and said the company would adjust those policies in China.
Dismissed: A lawsuit against Apple filed by Google‘s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Motorola more than two years ago with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) is over, AppleInsider notes. The ITC has ruled that a Motorola patent for technology that allows a smartphone to ignore screen touches while the phone is in use is invalid. Apple had been found to have infringed the patent in an earlier ruling, but the patent’s invalidation renders that finding moot. Motorola can still appeal the latest decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.