Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Hike: When Apple (AAPL) launches is next-generation flagship iPhone, buyers may have to dig deeper into their pockets to afford the handset, MarketWatch notes. Chris Caso, an analyst at Susquehanna Financial Group, says that Apple may increase the price of its iPhone with next year’s model. Normally, Apple keeps new iPhones priced similarly to previous models, while discounting older iPhones. However, Caso says the company is facing profit margin pressure on its high-end iPhones. The base model of this year’s flagship iPhone 5s was $199 — with a two year wireless contract. Apple is expected to introduce iPhones with larger screens next year. The increased costs of the new models may prompt Apple to increase prices in order to maintain its margins. A price increase of between $50 and $100 above current iPhone prices is possible, according to Caso. Recent rumors indicate that Apple has developed iPhone prototypes with 4.8-inch screens, which could debut in 2014.
Shortage: Wireless carriers have not yet received shipments of cellular-capable Retina iPad Minis, CNET reports. Backorders for 3G/4G versions of new tablet, which was quietly launched last week, are piling up at AT&T (T), T-Mobile (TMUS) and Verizon (VZ), forcing the carriers to push back expected shipping dates. Verizon had initially posted a Nov. 25 shipping date for the Retina iPad Mini, but that has now been delayed until Dec. 2. AT&T says Retina iPad Minis will ship in between 21 and 28 days, while T-Mobile is listing a six to eight week shipping window for the tablets. Apple Stores had limited stocks of cellular-capable Retina iPad Minis last week, but those inventories are mostly exhausted. By contrast, Wi-Fi only Retina iPad Minis are still available at some Apple Stores and ship in one to three days from Apple’s online store. Launch supplies of the tablet are said to be badly constrained due to manufacturing difficulties Apple’s supply chain partners encountered producing enough volumes of the pixel-packed displays.
Shift: Apple has apparently made a major change to the way it manages its supply chain, DigiTimes notes. The iPhone-maker has taken control of component procurement, a role formerly performed by its Taiwan-based manufacturing partners, who both purchased components and assembled products. Now, those partners will simply assemble Apple devices. Apple reportedly took the move after discovering that it could purchase components at lower prices on its own, increasing its profits. To compensate its partners for the change, Apple is allowing them to increase their fees to offset lost profits on component purchasing.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.