Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
In Demand: It could be a very good holiday shopping season for Apple’s (AAPL) tablets, AppleInsider notes. A survey conducted in November by Changewave, a consumer trend research firm, found that 13% of consumers who responded said they planned to purchase a tablet during the holidays. Of those, 72% said they were looking to buy an iPad. Only 28% — less than a third — were interested in tablets from rival manufacturers. The iPad’s solid showing represents an increase of 17 points from a survey conducted by Changewave back in August. Since that survey Apple has launched the super-slim iPad Air and a Retina iPad Mini. Only 9% of consumers surveyed said they were interested in Samsung’s Galaxy tablets, while another 9% cited Google’s (GOOG) Nexus tablets, and 5% of consumers said they were looking at Amazon’s (AMZN) Kindle. All three manufacturers saw the percentage of consumers interested in their devices slip from the August survey. Only Microsoft (MSFT) saw an increase in consumer interest in its Surface tablets, with 8% of consumers signaling plans to buy one, up from 7% in August.
Denial: Apple says that medical reports suggest that the recent death of a worker at one of its Asian suppliers had nothing to do with working conditions, Reuters notes. Labor activists say that a 15-year-old boy working at one of Pegatron’s factories in China contracted a fatal case of pneumonia and died. The boy was using falsified documents that listed his age as 20. On Thursday, Apple said that it sent independent medical experts to the Pegatron factory. Those experts found nothing at the facility that could be linked to the death of the 15-year-old, or four other factory workers who reportedly died in recent months. Apple said it took the reports seriously and was working with Pegatron to ensure that its factories complied with Apple’s standards. Another Apple supplier, Foxconn, was harshly criticized by labor activists in the past, but has since enacted reforms.
Harbinger?: A delay in deliveries of Apple’s high-end desktop computers could be a signal of a silver shortage, Peter Krauth argues in Money Morning. Krauth notes out that Apple had to postpone deliveries of its redesigned 27-inch iMac back in January. Apple’s supply chain partners use an enormous amount of rare earth, precious and base metals when building its products. Krauth concedes that Apple did not say why the iMac had been delayed, but says the delay might be an indicator that the available supply of silver, which is used in some iMac components, might not be enough to meet demand. Krauth contends that silver’s current price is “decoupled from what the demand data indicate.” He also cites several other reasons why he thinks that silver prices may double over the next year. Krauth’s argument is curious given silver’s recent price declines.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.