Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Economy: Faced with sliding sales of its desktop computer line, Apple (AAPL) is working on a lower-priced model that will debut in 2014, AppleInsider notes. The prediction comes from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Apple currently offers two iMac models: the 27-inch iMac, which starts at $1,799, and a 21-inch iMac, starting at $1,299. The company introduced slimmed down new models late last year, but manufacturing issues constrained supplies of the new machines during the critical holiday shopping season. Despite the new machines, Apple has seen falling sales for its desktop and laptop lines for several quarters, compared to the prior year. Analysts attribute part of that decline to cannibalization from rising iPad and iPad Mini sales. However, the high price of iMacs may also be playing a role in the decline. Kuo expects the cheaper iMac to boost Apple desktop shipments between 10% and 20% next year, compared to this year. A lower-priced iMac is also expected to help increase desktop sales outside of the U.S.
Mac-Related Hiring: Flextronics America is adding 1,700 new workers in order to produce a new computer at a Texas facility, the Austin American-Statesman notes. The company says the new employees will manufacture a “next generation desktop computer,” but did not identify the client behind the new machine. The announcement has prompted speculation that Flextronics will make Apple’s redesigned Mac Pro at the facility. Apple showed off its radically-redesigned high end desktop computer, reshaped as a black cylinder, at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Flextronics has invested heavily in its Austin, Texas, facility and the company has been cited as Apple’s supply chain partner for the Mac Pro in various media reports. Apple said earlier this year that it planned to bring some parts of its computer manufacturing back to the U.S. Apple employs 4,000 workers at its own facilities in Austin, which are slated to add 3,000 workers under a $300 million expansion over the coming decade.
Quick Spread: As of Monday, 71% of iOS device owners have installed iOS 7 on their machines, Fortune notes. That is just 27 days after Apple released the refreshed operating system, re-styled by Apple’s lead designer Jony Ive. The new OS has exceeded the installation rate of its predecessor, iOS 6, which took 30 days to reach 61% penetration among Apple device owners. It is estimated that there are as many as 350 million iOS devices currently in use. Apple said in late September that iOS 7 had been downloaded more than 200 million times. Fortune notes that, by contrast, Microsoft‘s (MSFT) Windows 7 OS remains at less than 50% adoption amongst owners of Windows machines four years after the software giant released it.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.