Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Finally: The world’s largest mobile carrier is expected to begin offering Apple’s (AAPL) newest iPhones to its subscribers next month, according to the Wall Street Journal. China Mobile (CHL) will hold its 4G Global Partners Conference on Dec. 18, promoting its new LTE network. Most analysts see the announcement as heralding the much-anticipated arrival of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c on the carrier’s network. China Mobile has more than 700 million subscribers, but has not previously offered the iPhone. Prior versions of the iPhone were incompatible with China Mobile’s data network. Smaller Chinese wireless carriers China Unicom (CHU) and China Telecom (CHA) have offered the iPhone for some time, but adding China Mobile’s massive user base has been seen as critical for Apple, which is losing ground in the Chinese market. Both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c support China Mobile’s TD-LTE network and were cleared by China’s Telecom Equipment Certification Center back in September. Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly traveled to China over the summer to accelerate negotiations to bring the iPhone to China Mobile.
Larger: Another report that Apple will launch an iPhone with a larger screen next year has emerged from a Chinese technology blog, AppleInsider notes. The new report says that Apple is field-testing an iPhone prototype with a 4.9-inch screen. Most analyst predict that Apple will increase the screen size on its next iPhone in order to compete with larger screen smartphones from rivals like Samsung, which have introduced popular models with screens well above 5 inches in size. A number of recent reports have indicated that Apple is testing a variety of larger-sized iPhone prototypes. Earlier this year, Tim Cook said that Apple would introduce a larger iPhone if it could find a way to overcome the “tradeoffs” that come with a larger screen. That has lead some analysts to conclude that Apple will not launch an iPhone with a screen larger than 5 inches in order to preserve the ease of one-handed use.
Big Win: A federal jury has awarded Apple $290 million in damages against Samsung in a new trial over patent infringement, Bloomberg notes. Last year, a California jury found the South Korean electronics giant guilty of violating a number of Apple design and technology patents and ordered it to pay the iPhone-maker $1 billion in damages. A judge later cut that down to $600 million, but ordered a new trial to calculated additional damages. The new trial, which started last week, saw Apple request $380 million in additional compensation. The six-woman and two-man jury heard testimony from witnesses produced by both companies for about a week before reaching a decision on Thursday. Samsung had recommended that the jury award Apple just $52 million.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.