Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Accelerated: Pressure from Samsung is prompting (AAPL) to speed-up work on a larger-sized iPad, DigiTimes notes. The larger iPad could reach consumers as early as the third quarter of this year. A flurry of rumors in recent months have suggested that Apple is developing an iPad with a 12.9-inch touchscreen. The rumors, which surfaced last year, indicated that the larger iPad, possible dubbed the iPad Pro, was aimed at business or education users. Not to be beaten to market by Apple, Samsung recently showed off a 12.2-inch Galaxy Note Pro tablet. Sources say that Apple is also working on new versions of its existing 9.7-inch iPad and 7.9-inch iPad Mini. In October, Apple debuted a super-slim iPad Air and the Retina iPad Mini. DigiTimes has a decidedly mixed record when it comes to reports of upcoming Apple products.
Personal Touch: Apple CEO Tim Cook kicked off the long-awaited launch of the iPhone on China Mobile (CHL) with a personal visit to one of the carrier’s stores in Beijing on Friday, CNN notes. Cook appeared alongside China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua. The corporate chiefs autographed boxes of iPhones for waiting customers. Apple announced a deal to bring the iPhone to the world’s largest wireless carrier late last month, capping years of negotiation. The iPhone has been offered by smaller Chinese carriers for years, but its inclusion on China Mobile — which has more than 700 million subscribers — is expected to boost Apple’s annual iPhone sales by between 10 million and 30 million units during the first year of the deal. At a media event in Beijing on Wednesday, Cook called China “a very, very important geography for Apple.” Apple’s share of the Chinese smartphone market has slumped in recent years under pressure from cheaper domestic manufacturers and state-run media criticism of Apple policies.
Glitches: Some users of MacBook Pro laptops are reporting technical problems with their computers, AppleInsider notes. Owners of the affected machines have posted a swelling number of complaints on Apple’s online support forums. MacBook Pro models experiencing the issues appear to have been made in early 2011 and feature discrete AMD GPUs. Reported problems include component failures and repeated system crashes. The number of complaints has been rising steadily since February. Most complaints center on the graphics cards. Some users think that heat accumulating inside the machines is damaging the graphics cards, causing their performance to degrade over time. Rebooting and clean installs of OSX do not appear to fix the problems permanently.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.