Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Wrist Sales: Apple‘s (AAPL) entry into the wearable computing market could be farther off than many expect, AppleInsider notes. According to CIMB Securities analyst Wang Wanli, the iPhone-maker won’t launch a smartwatch until the second half of next year. However, once the iWatch hits store shelves, Wangli expects it to be an immediate hit. He predicts shipments of 63.4 million units during the first year of its release. He anticipates a price of about $199 for the iWatch, putting it between the low-priced iPod Nano ($149) and a 16GB iPod Touch ($229). Wangli says that Apple has tapped Inventec, a Taiwan-based manufacturer to produce the lion’s share iWatch orders. Rumors have circulated for months that Apple is developing a smartwatch. The company as reportedly created a team of 100 designers and developers to work on the project. However, rivals including Microsoft (MSFT) and Google (GOOG) are said to be working on their own smartwatches. Samsung has already announced that it will unveil its own smartwatch — the Galaxy Gear — on September 4 in Berlin.
Sign of a Rebound?: Apple is planning to launch its first new store in Tokyo since 2005, Bloomberg notes. The new Apple Store will open in the Japanese capital’s trendy Omotesando retail district early next year. Apple’s interest in the Japanese market appears to be increasing as the country’s economy recovers. Recent rumors suggest that Japan’s largest wireless carrier NTT DoCoMo (DCM) is close to a deal to carry the iPhone after years of balking at Apple’s terms.
Oversight: At a hearing on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote said that her final injunction in Apple’s price-fixing case would be more lenient than the U.S. Department of Justice had requested, Reuters noted. Last month, Apple was found guilty of conspiring with five publishers to fix the prices for e-books sold through the iBookstore. The government has proposed a series of remedies, including an external monitor for Apple’s e-book sales, restrictions on its contracts with publishers and forcing the company to include links to other retailers in the iBookstore so customers can compare prices. Judge Cote indicated that any injunction she imposed will cover e-book sales only and not include other media sales made through iTunes. She also said that she would impose an injunction that would “rest as lightly as possible on how Apple runs its business,” but that an external monitor would be necessary due to Apple’s “blatant” antitrust violations. The judge noted that she would not issue an injunction until all parties involved in the suit had finalized their recommendations.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.