Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Digital Wallet: Sources tell the Wall Street Journal that Apple (AAPL) executives have spoken to financial institutions about creating a mobile payment system. The system would be based around Apple’s iTunes service, which already accepts payments for movies, apps, music, ebooks and TV shows. Apple has also created a new position to oversee the development of the mobile payment system and tapped an insider to head the effort. Apple already allows customers at its brick and mortar Apple Stores to make purchases with credit cards linked to their iTunes accounts by scanning items with their smartphones. In order to extend the service beyond Apple Stores, Apple would need to devise a way to permit customers to use credit cards linked to iTunes without having to enter the credit card data each time a sale is made. The latest flagship iPhone 5s, introduced in September, includes a fingerprint scanner, which many analysts suggest could be a critical security measure needed to protect a mobile payment system. iTunes has about 575 million registered users, providing Apple with a substantial built-in consumer base for an expanded mobile payment system.
New Deal: Apple has concluded an agreement that will see the iPhone return to Russian wireless carrier Megafon, Ireland’s Independent notes. Megafon stopped selling the iPhone in 2009. The carrier was reportedly unable to meet Apple’s contractual sales-volume demands. Under the new deal, Megafon will purchase iPhones for three years. Last year, Russian wireless competitor Vimpelcom signed a deal with Apple to become the first Russian telecom offering direct sales of Apple’s new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. Megafon is the second-biggest wireless carrier in Russia. The iPhone has about 9% of the Russian smartphone market by unit volume.
Anticipation: Apple will release its first fiscal quarter results after the close of trading on Monday, USA TODAY notes. Wall Street is anticipating a big jump in iPhone and iPad sales during the holiday quarter due to the launch of the flagship iPhone 5s and the iPad Air and Retina iPad Mini. During the same period last year, Apple sold 23 million iPads and 47.8 million iPhones. Some analysts say that Apple may have sold as many as 57.5 million iPhones during the last quarter.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.