Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Wrist News: A report of out Asia indicates that Apple (AAPL) has tapped TPK, a Taiwanese touchscreen manufacturer, to make the screens for its upcoming iWatch, DigiTimes notes. According to the report the iWatch will feature “silver nanowire touch screen technology” as well as 3D protective glass and a flexible AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) screen. Silver nanowire technology touch panels are the result of a joint venture between TPK and Japan’s Nissha Printing. TPK is not expected to begin full-scale production of the displays until the second half of this year, pointing toward a Fall launch for the iWatch. DigiTimes has a mixed record when it comes to the accuracy of its reports involving future Apple products. Recent rumors indicate that Apple has expanded the iWatch development team to 200 employees and is hiring a number of health experts to support an expected health-monitoring focus for the smartwatch.
Office Pad: Rumors that an iPad-designed version of Microsoft’s (MSFT) popular Office productivity suite has been dropped are false, ZDNet reports. In fact, Microsoft may bring Office to the iPad before it reaches Windows 8 tablets. The iPad version of Office has been dubbed “Miramar” inside Microsoft. Late last year, outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer apparently cleared the way for an iPad Office version to be released as soon as it is finished. That release is expected to come some time during the first half of 2014. Microsoft will probably require an Office 365 subscription to enable Office software on the iPad.
Moscow Surge: Apple saw iPhone sales in Russia double last year, Bloomberg notes. Industry research firm IDC says Apple sold 1.57 million iPhones in Russia in 2013. The jump in iPhone sales came despite the fact that Russia’s three largest wireless carriers did not offer the pricey handset during the first half of last year. Russian laws do not allow wireless carriers to subsidize mobile devices with long-term contracts and Russia’s largest wireless carriers balked at Apple’s other contractual demands. However, Apple took a different tack, selling the iPhone through large electronics vendors. The move prompted large Russian wireless carriers — MegaFon, VimpelCom (VIP), and Mobile TeleSystems (MBT) — to start selling iPhones again. Apple generated iPhone sales of $1 billion in Russia last year, according to IDC’s estimates.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.