Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Tick, Tock: With a number of rivals already entering the smartwatch market, pressure its building on Apple (AAPL) to unveil its own much-anticipated wristwatch, CNBC notes. In fact, at least one analyst now says that Apple has just months to launch the device or face being shut out of the new market. Trip Chowdhry, managing director at Global Equities Research, told CNBC that Apple has “60 days left to either come up with something or they will disappear.” Chowdhry clarifies that Apple won’t go out of business overnight — its massive cash hoard could fund operations for years by itself — but insists that Apple will “become an irrelevant company … it will become a zombie, if they don’t come up with an iWatch.” Chowdhry isn’t the only Wall Street observer warning that Apple needs to move before the smartwatch market gets too crowded. Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar WorldPanel, says that if no iWatch appears this year, Apple would have to launch something “amazing” in 2015. Evercore analyst Rob Cihra note that “everyone is expecting Apple to come out with something this year.” However, Cihra concedes that Apple often isn’t the first company to launch a product category, but usually produces something better than anything else on the market. He says people are looking forward to the iWatch “because there’s a real hope that Apple is going to show us the way” and will produce something that does more than devices from other companies.
Good Company: Apple CEO Tim Cook has made Fortune magazine’s first-ever “World’s Greatest Leaders” list. The ranking of top business, religious, political and entertainment figures includes such notaries as Bill Clinton, the Dalai Lama, Ford (F) CEO Alan Mulally, actress Angelina Jolie, U2 frontman Bono and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Cook is ranked 33 on the list of 50 top world leaders. The Apple CEO appears on the list behind Amazon (AMZN) founder Jeff Bezos. Fortune says that Cook faced “the toughest corporate leadership assignment in decades” following Steve Jobs’ death, but “carried it off with mostly quiet aplomb.” Topping Fortune’s list of the World’s Greatest Leaders is Pope Francis, who took the reins of the Roman Catholic Church last year after his predecessor resigned.
New Role: The director of an upcoming film about the life of the Steve Jobs wants an Oscar-winning actor to play the late Apple CEO, TheWrap notes. Director David Fincher will helm the new feature film, whose script will be adapted from Walter Isaacson’s best-selling biography of Jobs by screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. According to sources, Fincher would like to see Batman star Christian Bale take the lead role in the film. Indeed, TheWrap says that Fincher made the choice of Bale to play Jobs a condition of his directing the movie during negotiations with Sony (SNE), whose studio will produce the film. Bale is widely considered a good choice for the role due to his resemblance to the former Apple CEO. The studio has reportedly not begun talks with Bale about his possible participation in the project yet. Production on the new film is expected to begin early next year. A previous film about Steve Jobs’ time at Apple starring Ashton Kutcher received a lukewarm reception from audiences when it hit the big screen last year.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.