Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Later: Apple (AAPL) will launch its next-generation 9.7-inch iPad during the third quarter, DigiTimes notes. However, an upgraded iPad Mini, featuring a faster processor and a high-resolution Retina touchscreen won’t launch until much later. Volume reduction of the new iPad Mini has been pushed back from September to November. The delay is attributed to Apple’s desire to boost sales of the fifth-generation iPad. Since its launch last year, the iPad Mini has proven a hit with consumers, eating into sales of the larger iPad. Last year, Apple debuted both its fourth-generation iPad and iPad Mini simultaneously in October. Volume manufacturing of the fifth-generation iPad is expected to begin in July and August. The company expects to ship 5 million fifth-generation iPads during the quarter. The updated iPad will be between 25% and 30% lighter than its predecessor and feature thinner bezels to increase screen space.
Exchange: Part of Apple’s refresh of iOS could include the introduction of a built-in wireless file sharing system, 9to5Mac notes. The company is reportedly testing the integration of AirDrop’s WiFi file sharing tool into iOS 7. Apple has apparently considered adding AirDrop file sharing to previous versions of iOS only to back off prior to launch. Under the version currently being evaluated, AirDrop will let users share files between two iOS devices or between an iOS device and a Mac. iOS 7 will debut at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco next week.
Rising: There are more than 500 million registered users of Apple devices through iTunes and App Store accounts around the world today, CNET notes. But Morgan Stanley (MS) analyst Katy Hubert says that number could jump to more than 600 million users by the end of 2013. Her forecast is predicated on new customer snapping up 40% of Apple device sales. Hubert contends that Apple’s device ecosystem makes it easier for the company to retain customers and notes that it can readily leverage that customer base to launch new services, including a mobile payment system.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.