Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Wrist Power: In a search to extend the battery life of its much-rumored smartwatch, Apple (AAPL) may turn to the sun, the New York Times notes. Apple is testing ways to add solar panels to the iWatch’s screen, which sources say will be curved. Efforts to integrate solar power into Apple products date back to the iPod, according to Tony Fadell, who helped create the device for Apple. Fadell notes that solar power was deemed impractical because iPods are usually kept in pockets when outdoors and are rarely exposed to sunshine. Indoor lighting is usually too weak to charge devices through solar panels. Last fall, Apple placed job ads looking to recruit engineers experienced with solar energy projects. In addition to solar charging, Apple is experimenting with several wireless charging options, including the use of a charging plate. The Times notes that Apple has also tested motion-generated charging, a feature already common in non-smart wristwatches. Last year, Apple patented a flexible battery with a thin, curved form. Recent rumors have suggested that Apple is looking to integrate solar charging technology into its upcoming iPhone 6, which will be released later this year.
Penalty: A judge’s decision that found Apple guilty of conspiring with five publishers to fix e-book prices on the iBookstore could cost the iPhone-maker up to $840 million, Bloomberg notes. In a filing with a federal court, the attorneys general of 33 states involved in the original lawsuit are demanding $280 million in damages. The plaintiffs are also asking that those fines be tripled because federal prosecutors succeeded in proving that Apple was behind the price-fixing conspiracy. Apple is appealing the court’s decision. It has also recently contested the appointment of an external monitor for its e-book operation. U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote, who found Apple guilty of conspiring to fix e-book prices, has indicated that a trial will be held this year to determine any damages Apple will have to pay.
Travel: Over the weekend, Apple CEO Tim Cook visited the United Arab Emirates, AppleInsider noted. On Sunday, Cook had a face-to-face meeting with UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Cook is also reported to have made appearances at UAE retailers who are authorized Apple resellers. Apple is rumored to be looking to open its first brick-and-mortar Apple Store in the UAE, possibly in the Burj Khalifa, currently ranked as the tallest building in the world. Cook was reportedly seen at the Burj Khalifa on Sunday. Apple recently negotiated a deal with the government of Turkey to provide up to 13.1 million iPads to Turkish students under a four-year deal with up to $4 billion. Cook’s UAE visit could be tied to similar education-based negotiations.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.