Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Trials: Reports from Asian news sources indicate that Apple (AAPL) is moving toward the production of its widely-anticipated smart wristwatch, Macotakara notes. Taiwan’s Economic Times newspaper says that the company is testing 1.5-inch OLED displays. The super-thin OLED displays were manufactured by RITEK, which will also be the manufacturer of touch sensor equipment for the watch. Intel (INTC) is also reportedly developing technology for the iWatch. Apple had considered 1.8-inch displays, but determined that those were too large for comfort. Foxconn has reportedly received orders to produce 1,000 iWatches, most likely for further testing and evaluation. Rumors regarding the iWatch have been growing since last year. Most analysts expect the company to debut a smart wristwatch this year.
Ramping Up: Apple is preparing to start manufacturing trials for its next-generation standard-sized iPad, DigiTimes reports. The fifth-generation iPad will be 33% lighter than the current model and will feature GF2 touchscreen technology. In order to shave its weight and thickness, the new iPad will use only a single LED light bar to backlight the display. All previous Retina-resolution iPads have used two LED light bars. The displays for the new iPad will be made by Sharp, Samsung and LG Display (LPL). Full production of the new iPad is expected to begin in July. The new iPad is expected to take its design cues from the iPad Mini, including smaller bezels. It is thought that Apple will unveil the new iPad in late summer or early fall.
Skipping: The debut of Apple’s iRadio music service remains up in the air due to a fee dispute between Apple and Sony Music (SNE) due to features that give users control over what they are listening to, CNET notes. One point of contention between Apple and the world’s second-largest record label is song skipping. Apple is basing its service on Pandora (P), which permits users to listen to a track for a few seconds and then skip to another one if they wish. Apple and Sony are at odds over how much licensing fees Apple should pay Sony for tracks that get skipped. Apple has completed a deal with Universal Music and is nearing an agreement with Warner Music Group, leaving Sony the last big label not to reach a deal with the iPad-maker. Apple had hoped to debut the service this summer, possibly unveiling it at next month’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). However, trouble getting an agreement with all three major record labels could force the company to postpone the announcement until after the WWDC.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.