Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Waiting: Smartwatch enthusiasts looking forward to the launch of Apple’s (AAPL) long-rumored entry into the nascent market will have to wait until late next year, MacRumors notes. A Chinese technology website says that Apple has conducted trials of two smartwatch prototypes and plans to release a final product in October 2014. The iPhone-maker has not yet settled on the devices ultimate screen size. The prototypes that are being tested reportedly include wireless charging capability. The iWatch is said to feature a 100 mAh battery, which would be significantly less powerful than the 315 mAh battery found in Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch, which received decidedly mixed reviews when it debuted earlier this year. Apple has never confirmed that it is actually working on a smartwatch, though rumors have swirled about the product for more than a year, prompting other technology giants to hurry their own rival watches to the market. Other recent reports have suggested an second quarter 2014 launch for the iWatch. Those reports also indicated that Apple will release the iWatch in two sizes, possibly including a 1.7-inch screen version for men and a 1.3-inch model for women.
Supply Improvement: Apple is apparently beginning to ease inventory constraints for its Retina iPad Mini, CNET notes. Cellular capable models are beginning to appear at AT&T (T) stores, while Verizon (VZ) says it will ship the cellular versions of the high-resolution 7.9-inch tablet today. Wireless versions of the iPad Mini are available with shipping wait times of between one and three days through Apple’s website. Shipping wait times have fallen dramatically in the last few weeks. Earlier this month, the new tablet had a shipping wait time of three weeks at AT&T and 10 days at Verizon. When the Retina iPad Mini launched — without fanfare — last month, supplies were severely constrained, reportedly due to production problems linked to its pixel-dense touchscreen. The tablet features a 2,048-by-1,536 pixel display offering 326 PPI resolution. Apple is reportedly looking to expand the number of companies that manufacture the Retina touchscreens used in the smaller tablet in order to boost supplies of the device, which is expected to be in high demand during the holiday shopping season.
Boost: A consumer survey from Morgan Stanley (MS) indicates that a deal to add the iPhone to China Mobile (CHL) could boost Apple’s iPhone sales in China by as many as 23 million units over the next year, AppleInsider notes. The survey suggests a “base” level of 12 million iPhone sales through China Mobile, which has more than 700 million subscribers. The “bullish” scenario sees 23 million iPhones sold through the China Mobile deal in 2014. If the bullish scenario proves correct, Apple could see its annual earnings rise by $5 a share. Should the lower estimate more accurately reflect sales, Apple would add just $2.40 in earnings per share to its annual profit. If iPhone sales fail to take off, the company could sell only 5 million more units, a scenario that Morgan Stanley calls the “bear” case. China Mobile is expected to officially announce a deal to carry the iPhone when it debuts its new 4G/LTE network later this week.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.