Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Jump: While Apple (AAPL) hasn’t released any launch-weekend sales numbers for its fifth-generation iPad, at least one wireless carrier is reporting strong consumer interest in the device, 9to5Mac notes. AT&T (T), the nation’s second largest carrier, says that over the first three days that the iPad Air was available to consumers, it activated 200% more units compared to last year’s iPad launch. Apple announced last October that it sold 3 million iPads during the first weekend after its fourth-generation iPad and new iPad Mini hit store shelves. Some analysts expect Apple to refrain from announcing new iPad sales until the Retina iPad Mini launches some time later this month. The new iPad Air was debuted at a special media even last month and officially launched on Nov. 1. The Retina iPad Mini was shown off at the same event, but a specific launch date hasn’t been announced yet. Supplies of the Retina iPad Mini are rumored to be extremely low due to production problems with the tablet’s high resolution screens.
Southwest: Apple is making good on its promise to return some manufacturing to the U.S., Bloomberg notes. The iPad-maker will open a new factory in Arizona to make components for its mobile devices. Apple did not say what the facility would produce, but it recently purchased machinery that makes sapphire components used in its mobile device home buttons and camera lenses. The new facility, located in Mesa, Az., is expected to employ 700 when it is finished. An additional 1,300 jobs will be created during its construction. Apple also announced that the new facility will “will run on 100 percent renewable energy from day one.”
Popular: Most iPad Air buyers are current iPad owners upgrading from earlier models, AppleInsider notes. Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Bryan White surveyed shoppers at New York City Apple Stores on Friday, the day the iPad Air went on sale. After speaking with 106 people who purchased the new tablet, White found that 73% were upgrading from older iPads. The remainder were first-time Apple tablet buyers. The white and silver iPad Air model was the overwhelming favorite among buyers, chosen by 64% of those surveyed. 60% purchased models with 16GB storage capacity.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.