Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Discount Copy: A rear camera allegedly from Apple‘s (AAPL) upcoming low-cost iPhone appears to be identical to the camera used in the iPhone 5, MacRumors notes. The part, obtained by a Chinese website, features the same 8-megapixel sensor and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. The camera suggests that the internal design of the cheaper iPhone — thought to be called either the iPhone Lite or iPhone 5C — will essentially copy that of the iPhone 5. Apple is expected to cut costs on the iPhone Lite by ditching the iPhone 5′s aluminum rear case in favor of a plastic back. Apple is widely expected to launch the cheaper iPhone sometime in September with an estimated off-contract price of between $450 and $550. Pegatron is reportedly manufacturing the cheaper iPhone. Recently a rumor circulated in Asia that Apple would cease production on the iPhone 5 once the iPhone Lite and the new flagship iPhone 5S launch. The iPhone 5S is rumored to feature a 12 megapixel camera.
Fallout: The U.S. Department of Justice and 33 state regulators have proposed new restrictions on Apple’s e-book business, Reuters notes. The proposal would terminate Apple’s existing contacts with five publishing companies that were accused along with the iPad-maker of conspiring to inflate the prices of e-books sold on the iBookstore. It would also prohibit Apple from entering into new agreements that could hamper competition in the e-book market. Last month, a federal court judge sided with the government, finding that Apple had improperly colluded with the publishers to fix e-book prices. All five publishers settled with the Department of Justice prior to the trial, leaving Apple to contest the charges on its own. Apple has denied any wrongdoing. Under the DOJ’s proposal, Apple would also have to offer links to rival e-book retailers like Amazon (AMZN) and Barnes & Noble (BKS) so that consumers can compare prices. Bill Baer, the head of the DOJ’s antitrust unit, said the proposed restrictions would ensure that “Apple’s illegal conduct will cease, and Apple and its senior executives will be prevented from conspiring to thwart competition.” Apple has said that it plans to appeal the verdict.
Back on Top: Apple is once again the most valuable company in the world, Forbes notes. The iPhone-maker’s market capitalization has surpassed that of oil giant Exxon Mobil (XOM). At its current share price, Apple is worth about $416 billion, compared to $406 billion for Exxon. Apple shares peaked at just over $700 last fall, but then fell more than 40%. In July, Apple shares climbed 14% after it announced better-than-expected third-quarter iPhone sales. Exxon shares, by contrast, were weighed down by falling oil prices and lackluster quarterly earnings. The two companies have traded the title of most valuable firm back and forth since 2011.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.