Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Memory Cut: A report from a German technology blog says that Apple (AAPL) is preparing to add a new model to its iPhone 5c line, AppleInsider notes. The blog cites an email purportedly obtained from a German wireless carrier indicating that Apple will release a version of the iPhone 5c with 8GB of internal memory, possibly as early as this week. The new lower-end model will be priced at $707 without a contract in Germany, compared to $791 for the current 16GB iPhone 5c model. The iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 are currently the only iPhones available with 8GB of memory — and the 8GB iPhone 4 is only available in selected developing markets like India and China. Whether Apple plans to replace those units with the lower-memory iPhone 5c is unclear. The introduction of a cheaper iPhone 5c model could be intended to boost the handset’s sales among very budget-conscious customers in developed nations and make it more attractive in emerging markets. The iPhone 5c was launched in September alongside the flagship iPhone 5s, but has reportedly been vastly overshadowed by the premium model. Some recent rumors had indicated that Apple would dropped the iPhone 5c when it launches its next-generation iPhone 6 later this year.
Weak: Rumors of the new iPhone 5c come as a report says that the colorful handset has failed to impress Chinese consumers. According to the South China Morning Post, four months after its launch, the iPhone 5c comprises less than 2% of active Apple mobile devices. The data comes from Chinese app analytics platform Umeng. By comparison, the iPhone 5S, which reached Chinese consumers at the same time, now accounts for 12% of active iOS devices in China.
Style Guru: In an interview with Britain’s Sunday Times, Apple head designer Jony Ive says that the success of products like the iPhone and iMac prove that consumers do care about quality. “We’re surrounded by anonymous, poorly made objects. It’s tempting to think it’s because the people who use them don’t care — just like the people who make them. But what we’ve shown is that people do care. It’s not just about aesthetics. They care about things that are thoughtfully conceived and well made,” Ive remarks. He notes that Apple products have a surprisingly long life. “One of the things that is distinct about our products is that they get reused and passed on.” Ive notes that Apple consumers are loyal because they have a surprisingly intimate relationship with the company’s products, especially mobile devices. “The struggle to make something as difficult and demanding as technology so intimately personal is what first attracted me to Apple,” he explains. “People have an incredibly personal relationship with what we make.” He says that when Apple’s iconic designs are copied by other manufacturers: “What’s copied isn’t just a design, it’s thousands and thousands of hours of struggle.” Ive called late Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs “my closest friend.” The full interview is also available from Time.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.