Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Done: Apple (AAPL) has reached a deal with Sony‘s (SNE) music label, clearing the way for the launch of iRadio at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) next week, AllThingsD notes. The iPad maker has been pushing to obtain licensing deals with the three largest record labels in order to launch the service at the WWDC. In recent weeks, Apple had secured agreements with Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group. Sony Music Entertainment had been the lone holdout. Negotiations dragged over demands for higher fees from the record labels, prompting rumors that iRadio’s debut might be delayed. While Apple will unveil the service at WWDC, it isn’t expected to launch until later this summer.
Priorities: While many observers have pointed to the huge pile of surplus cash — more than $120 billion — that Apple has amassed in recent years, the company is also spending a lot of money in other areas, USA TODAY notes. Over the past six years, the company has spent $21.1 billion to acquire manufacturing equipment, putting its capital expenditures nearly on par with chip-maker Intel (INTC). Capital expenditures totaled $8 billion last year and will hit $10 billion this year. Apple will spend $1 billion of that on retail stores. Some of the other $9 billion will go to acquire production equipment that will be deployed at its manufacturing partners’ factories to make Apple products. Apple needs to make the investments, an industry expert says, to ensure that its partners will have the capacity to produce the needed number of devices to satisfy consumer demand. Apple is also likely investing in server farms to provide software services to corporate customers.
Upgrade: Apple wants to nudge more iPhone users to switch from earlier models to its flagship iPhone 5, Bloomberg notes. With the anticipated debut of its next-generation iPhone 5S looming in September, the company is launching a program in June to persuade iPhone 4 and 4S owners to upgrade to the iPhone 5 by letting them exchange older phones for the newer model. Some carriers, including AT&T (T) and T-Mobile (TMUS) already have trade-in programs, which offer as much as $200 for a functioning iPhone 4 and 4S models. Historically, Apple hasn’t engaged the market for older iPhones. However, with sales growth slowing, the company has a motive to try and boost iPhone 5 adoption.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.