Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Changes: This fall, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) plans major updates to its product service plans, AppleInsider notes. Under a “One Apple” brand policy, the company will begin repairing iPhones, iPads and iPods brought to Apple Stores or returned to the company by mail for service, instead of simply replacing the units with re-manufactured devices. Apple is upgrading device servicing capacity at Apple Stores to repair broken or malfunctioning screens, cameras and logic boards. The policy shift is forecast to save the company $1 billion annually. AppleCare will also be restructured with a new warranty coverage option linked to the consumer instead of specified devices. Under that policy, a consumer would be entitled to in-store training for all devices. AppleCare may also be eventually sold under a subscription model. Phone support for Apple products will be extended from the current 90 days without AppleCare to at least one year. The company will also expand its team of technical advisers and overhaul its online technical support efforts.
Approved: Early this week, Apple devices will receive clearance for use on communications networks operated by the U.S. Department of Defense, Bloomberg notes. The Defense Department cleared Samsung’s mobile devices — which run on Google‘s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android OS — for network use earlier this month. BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) devices have long had Pentagon clearance. The Commerce Department recently granted iOS 6 Federal Information Processing Standard certification for the transmission of secured data.
Gone: Facebook‘s (NASDAQ:FB) first foray into the smartphone market has fizzled, BGR notes. The HTC First phone, which is based around Facebook’s “Home” app, was introduced in April. Last week, AT&T (NYSE:T), the phone’s exclusive carrier, slashed it price from $99.99 to 99 cents, a sign that consumers were showing little interest in the device. Now, an unnamed source tells BGR that sales of the HTC First have been so poor that AT&T is dropping the phone altogether. The phone is likely to be discontinued as soon as HTC’s in-store promotion contract with AT&T ends.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.