Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Tight: When Apple’s (AAPL) next-generation iPad Mini launches next month, consumers may have to scramble to find it, CNET notes. Reports over the past few months have suggested that Apple’s supply chain partners were having trouble producing enough Retina iPad Minis. The problems were sufficient that some rumors indicated that Apple would have to delay the tablet’s launch until next year. However, Apple said on Tuesday that the Retina iPad Mini would hit store shelves “later in November,” following the launch of the iPad Air, which becomes available on Nov. 1. Now industry research firm IHS iSuppli confirms that the inventory of available Retina iPad Minis is indeed “severely constrained.” The problem with the tablets appears to involve the super-high density 2048-by-1536 pixel 7.9-inch screens, whose pixel density is proving hard for manufacturers to produce in adequate volumes. The director of Tablet and Monitor Research at IHS iSuppli indicated that the firm doesn’t think Apple will “see meaningful volume” of the tablet until the first quarter of 2014. That could potentially dent sales of the much-anticipated tablet during the critical holiday shopping season. Apple also faced supply constraints with the iPhone 5s, which was introduced last month.
Savior?: Unidentified sources tell the UK’s Globe and Mail that former Apple CEO John Sculley is mulling a bid for fading handset maker BlackBerry (BBRY). Sculley refused to comment on the report, but noted that he was “a long time BlackBerry fan and user.” He also said, “I think there’s a lot of future value in Blackberry,” but noted that whoever ultimately purchased the company needed experience in the industry and a strategic plan. Sculley was recruited from PepsiCo (PEP) to become Apple’s CEO in 1983 by the company’s late co-founder Steve Jobs. However, Jobs and Sculley clashed over the company’s direction, leading to Jobs’ infamous ouster from the computer-maker in 1985. Sculley continued on as Apple’s CEO until 1993. Jobs ultimately returned to Apple in 1997. After posting poor sales for its new BlackBerry 10 phones, the Canadian company put itself up for sale in August.
Presents: Apple is working on a system that will allow iTunes users to give e-books as gifts, AppleInsider notes. Currently, iTunes permits users to give apps, songs and movies as gifts. The system does not allow e-books to be gifted through the iBookstore. Apple has applied for a patent that would change that. The technology described in the patent would allow users to highlight passages in an e-book, bringing up a menu that will permit them to give the e-book as a gift to another user. The technology would also let users to customize their gifts, including messages, bookmarks and highlighted passages. Apple has not yet concluded any deals with e-book publishers to allow e-book gifting by iTunes users.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.