Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Surge: After allowing competitors to dominate the Indian smartphone market for years, Apple (AAPL) has made building sales in the country a major priority over the past year, the Times of India notes. The company has recently launched a series of discounts and trade-in promotions to boost sales. The effort is bearing fruit, with monthly iPhone sales jumping between 300% and 400% this year. A Credit Suisse (CS) analyst says that iPhone sales have soared from between 70,000 to 80,000 units a month in India last year to almost 400,000 a month this year. Apple does not break down iPhone sales by national market. The company has launched promotional efforts that allow users to make partial down-payments on iPhone4 and iPhone 4S models, paying off the balance over time. Smartphone rivals like Samsung have been forced to introduce similar discounts to counter rising iPhone sales in India.
Expanding: Apple is diversifying its supply chain, moving away from its long-time reliance on Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn to make almost all iPhones, the Wall Street Journal notes. The company has reportedly tapped Pegatron as the main producer of a low cost iPhone that most analysts expect to be unveiled later this year. The move comes after Foxconn encountered difficulties manufacturing last year’s iPhone 5. Those problems resulted in constrained supplies after the iPhone 5’s launch, denting sales. Apple is also rumored to have returned millions of iPhone 5’s to Foxconn due to poor quality and defects. Pegatron has been said to be wooing Apple with lower production costs. As Foxconn has grown in size, it has also become less compliant with Apple’s demands.
Rising Prices: Japanese consumers will have pay more for iPads and iPods, Reuters notes. Apple has raised the prices for some consumer electronics products in Japan. The move follows similar Japan price hikes by other international companies, including Miele, Volkswagen (VLKAY) and Tiffany & Co. (TIF). The price increases are seen as a sign of rising inflation in Japan, whose government is attempting to extricate the country from more than a decade of deflation. Since the policy’s implementation, the Japanese yen has declined by more than 20% against the U.S. dollar.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.