Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Spiking: Thieves in the largest city in the U.S. find Apple‘s (AAPL) iPhones and iPads especially tempting, the Wall Street Journal notes. Though the rates for most crimes in the Big Apple declined over the past decade, grand larcenies remain almost flat due to a rise in “Apple picking,” the practice of swiping iPods, iPhones and iPads. Such thefts are generally listed as fourth degree grand larceny by NYC authorities. Thefts of Apple devices accounted for 18% of all NYC grand larcenies last year. Between 2002 and 2013, NYC saw murders fall 43%, car thefts plunge 72% and robberies drop 30%. Grand larcenies, by contrast, dipped just 1%. Unlike those other crimes, the number of grand larcenies has been increasing steadily since 2010. Law enforcement officials in NYC have specifically cited Apple thefts as the main reason for increasing number of grand larcenies in the city over the past several years. The city actually tracks thefts of Apple products in a separate category. In 2013, more than 8,000 Apple devices were stolen in NYC. By contrast, in 2002, just 25 Apple devices were swiped by thieves in the Big Apple.
Push: Apple continues to gear up iPhone promotions in India, the New York Times notes. With 800 million smartphone users, India is the world’s second largest market after China. Apple is expected to have sold amore than one million iPhones in India last year, about twice its sales in 2012. Young Indian professionals consider the iPhone a premium product with high status value, but are often frustrated by its high price. Apple has moved to offer various incentives and discounts to attract users and offset its high price, a disadvantage compared to lower priced smartphones running Google’s (GOOG) Android. Apple has adopted payment plans that put the iPhone within the reach of a greater number of young professionals and it has advertised trade-in deals for some other smartphones. Apple is also increasing its distribution channels in the country.
Market Setter: While a number of companies showed off smartwatches at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), one analyst says that the smartwatch market won’t really take off until Apple enters the fray, AppleInsider notes. Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White predicts that global sales of smartwatches won’t become “meaningful” until the iWatch is launched. Apple has been rumored to be working on a smartwatch for more than a year. The iPhone-maker has never confirmed the rumors, but rivals — including Samsung — have rushed their own products to market in a bid to get a jump on Apple. Recent rumors suggest that Apple is encountering manufacturing problems with the high-tech wristwatch. A number of analysts expect Apple to unveil the iWatch some time in the second half of this year.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.