Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Another Hint: Speculation that Apple’s (AAPL) next-generation iPhone might feature a scratch-resistant sapphire display has been bolstered by a report that its new factory in Arizona is preparing to produce a massive number of 5-inch sapphire displays per year, 9to5Mac notes. The factory in Mesa, Az., is a joint venture between Apple and GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT). Apple has reportedly been pushing to get manufacturing started at the facility by the end of this month. Documents obtained by 9to5Mac indicate that the factory has received 518 fully-assembled industrial furnaces for the facility. Those furnaces can produce between 103 million and 116 million 5-inch sapphire displays a year. Another 420 furnaces are currently on order for the facility. Once assembled, those furnaces could increase sapphire screen production to 200 million units a year. The joint venture between Apple and GAT was launched in November.
Censored: Chinese consumers who purchase iPads can have personalized messages engraved on the devices — so long as they avoid certain terms, the Los Angeles Times notes. Apple’s online store will apparently flag political language as “not suitable.” Language barred from Chinese language inscriptions includes references to the Dalai Lama, Tibet, Taiwan or Xiajiang. The name of a dissident Nobel Prize-winning activist, now imprisoned by the Chinese government, is also banned. An Apple spokesperson said the company complies with “local laws and requirements.” Restricted words for iPad engraving in China appear to mirror words blocked by Chinese government Internet filters. Apple has long prohibited its stores from engraving expletives or profanity on its devices. The Chinese government has routinely suppressed language and opinions it considers a challenge to the supremacy of the Chinese Communist Party.
Slipping: A technology analyst says that Apple’s Retina displays are no longer the best displays available, CNET notes. A research note issued by an analyst at DisplayMate Technologies claims that “the best and most innovative displays” are currently being launched by Samsung, Amazon (AMZN) and Google (GOOG). The analyst points out that Amazon, for instance, is using Quantum Dot technology in the display for its Kindle Fire HDX 7.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.