Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Acquisition: Sources tell VentureBeat that Apple (AAPL) is behind the mysterious shut down of TV and video app Match.tv back in May. At the time, Matcha.tv CEO Guy Piekarz indicated that the app was developing in a new direction. However, sources say that Apple purchased the app for between $1 million and $1.5 million. Final terms could have been significantly higher. Designed for iOS, Matcha.tv displayed comprehensive listings of cable TV programming, as well as the titles available for streaming on Netflix (NFLX), Hulu and Amazon (AMZN) Prime. The app allowed users to create a video queue and permitted social media sharing of recommendations. Apple declined to comment on the purchase. Matcha.tv was highly ranked in the App Store. In recent months, Apple has been widely rumored to be working on a new set-top box and has reportedly been in negotiation with pay-TV service providers to secure content deals. Matcha.tv’s technology would be a natural fit for a set-top box, or for the Apple-branded TV that some analysts have been predicting for more than a year.
Interest: Apple stock surged past $500 a share after billionaire investor Carl Icahn announced that he had taken “a large position” in the iPad-maker, Reuters noted. The activist investor said that he had a “nice conversation” with Apple CEO Tim Cook during which he urged Cook to increase the amount of shares the company plans to buyback. Icahn suggested that a bigger share repurchase coupled higher earnings could drive Apple’s share price back to about $700. Apple shares hit an all-time high just over $700 a share late last year, before losing more than 35% in the following eight months. Sources indicated that Icahn has amassed about $1 billion worth of Apple shares. Earlier this year, Apple announced that it would return $100 billion to investors through share buybacks and dividends, about twice the amount it had previously planned to give back. “Tim had a very positive conversation with Mr. Icahn today,” Apple said in a statement released on Tuesday.
Confusion: Consumers who purchase a whole season of a popular TV show through iTunes or Amazon’s Prime service don’t always get what they expected, Consumerist notes. Many popular cable shows like Breaking Bad or Battlestar Galactica feature “broken” seasons. That means that the network will produce two separate blocks of episodes that will be aired months apart. However, when users purchase seasons subscriptions to the shows on video streaming websites, they often only get access to the half of the season that has already been broadcast. The pass remains good for the rest of the season, but only when the network releases it. Some iTunes users have complained to Apple, asking for refunds for season subscriptions. Apple has declined to offer refunds, noting that the terms of season subscriptions, pricing and release dates are set by the networks. iTunes, Apple says, is just a store front and its “hands are tied” by the networks with respect to season subscriptions.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.