Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Reward: The App Store is poised to celebrate a major event and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is planning to mark the moment, PC Magazine notes. The App Store is expected to download its 50 billionth app some time in the coming week. Apple will give the purchaser of the lucky download a $10,000 gift card — good for App Store purchases, naturally. The App Store had passed 49.2 billion downloads by Friday morning. The store registers about 1,000 app downloads every 10 seconds. In addition to the user who downloads the 50 billionth app, the next 50 users to download an app will get $500 gift cards. Last year, the company presented a $10,000 iTunes gift card to Chunli Fu, a resident of eastern China, who downloaded the store’s 25 billionth app. The app store, launched in 2008, offers about 775,000 apps. App Store revenue hit $2.2 billion during the last quarter.
Added: U.S. Cellular (NYSE:USM) says it will start carrying Apple mobile devices later this year, MacRumors notes. The carrier did not announce a specific date for the launch of Apple devices on its network or which devices it would support. U.S. Cellular noted that 43% of its subscribers own smartphones. It sees “significant room for growth” in providing data services to smart devices. With just 5.7 million subscribers, U.S. cellular is one of the last nationwide carriers to offer the iPhone on its network TrackFone offers the iPhone as part of a deal with Walmart (NYSE:WMT).
Original Equipment: An Apple-1 computer made in 1976 will be auctioned later this month by German auction house Breker, CNET notes. The computer, which is still working, is expected to sell for as much as $392,000. It is one of only six Apple-1 computers known to still be in functional condition. Last December, an Apple-1 was sold for $640,000 at a Breker auction. The Apple-1 was hand-assembled by Steve Wozniak and sold for $666.66. Buyers in 1976 received only the computer board and had to add a monitor, keyboard, power supply and case on their own. Included in this auction is a letter from Steve Jobs to the computer’s original owner.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.