Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Boost: Desktop computer sales for Apple (AAPL) are looking a lot brighter this holiday shopping season, AppleInsider notes. Sales of Mac computers in the U.S. are up 29% during October and November, compared to the same period last year. The data was compiled by industry research firm NPD Group. However, this quarter’s Mac sales gains mostly derive from iMac supply issues that Apple faced during the final quarter of 2012, when the company launched a much-slimmer redesign of the popular all-in-one machines, only to be unable to meet consumer demand. Production problems — especially with the 27-inch iMac — lead to a 700,000 unit shortfall, delaying shipments for more than a month and frustrating many potential buyers. CEO Tim Cook later conceded that the new iMacs had been launched too early, well before the company had sufficient inventories to meet demand. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster predicts that global Mac sales will climb 13% year-over-year during the current quarter.
Tech Punch: After Apple unveiled the new iPhone 5s in September, a Qualcomm (QCOM) executive was quoted dismissing its 64-bit processor, a first for any smartphone. Despite those remarks, the appearance of Apple’s 64-bit processor actually ignited panic among rival smartphone makers. An unnamed Qualcomm employee told Dan Lyons at the Inbound Hub blog that “the 64-bit Apple chip hit us in the gut … Not just us, but everyone, really. We were slack-jawed, and stunned, and unprepared.” He noted that a 64-bit processor doesn’t yield significant performance improvements in current smartphones because existing mobile software is not designed to leverage the additional power. 64-bit processors have bee common in desktop computers and laptops for some years, but the iPhone 5s was the first smartphone to get such a chip. Rivals, including Samsung, have moved quickly to add 64-bit chips to upcoming smartphones. “Apple kicked everybody in the balls with this,” the Qualcomm employee told HubSpot. “It’s being downplayed, but it set off panic in the industry.”
Kiwi Defeat: A court in New Zealand has ruled that a waterproof smartphone case called the “driPhone” does not infringe on Apple’s iPhone trademark, Forbes notes. Apple claimed that similarities between the case’s name and the iPhone could confuse consumers. The driPhone’s inventor Hayden Crowther contested the claims and the court agreed with him. Apple has been ordered to pay Crowther’s legal costs, which is the norm for the losing party in New Zealand civil litigation. Apple has reputation for zealously guarding its trademarks in courts around the world. The iPhone trademark was challenged in Brazil, though Apple eventually won the case. In China, Apple was sued over the iPad name and ultimately settled with a small Chinese manufacturer.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.