Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Downturn: First-quarter sales at Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) major manufacturing partner, Foxconn, dropped 19%, Reuters notes. Sales for the quarter were down both year-over-year and compared to last quarter. The drop was attributed to weaker-than-expected demand for the iPhone 5. KGI Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo noted that the numbers suggested a sharper dip in post-holiday iPhone 5 sales than previously anticipated. He also noted that the results showed that Foxconn had become too dependent on Apple for its revenue. The report stoked renewed speculation that Apple could fall short of its own guidance for earnings during its second fiscal quarter. The company reports quarterly earnings on April 23. Foxconn is also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry.
Facelift: Foster + Partners, the firm that designed Apple’s new headquarters building, has been chosen to lead a design update for its chain of Apple Stores, Marketing notes. Apple had previously used 8 Inc. to design the minimalist layouts of its popular stores. The company has trademarked its Apple Store designs, even as rival Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is said to be copying some design elements in its own chain of stores. Foster + Partners designed the company’s upcoming Cupertino, Calif., headquarters, which has been described as looking like a spaceship. The headquarters project was recently reported to be $2 billion over budget.
Crackdown: The recent removal of AppGratis from Apple’s App Store is just the first move in a plan to increase enforcement of App Store guidelines, AllThingsD notes. Apple booted the app-discovery app from its online store this week, just days after it approved the iPad version of the app. AppGratis’ developers say they are confused by the decision. Apple claims it removed the app for violating its rules regarding app promotion and push notifications. Sources told AllThingsD that Apple has come to believe that app-discovery apps flout its App Store restrictions and undermine the store’s integrity with consumers. Apple has often been accused of inconsistency in the way it enforces App Store rules.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.