Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Recruitment: In a bid to speed up new product development, Apple (AAPL) is going on a hiring spree in China and Taiwan, the Wall Street Journal notes. Sources say that Apple is poaching engineers from smartphone maker HTC and other Taiwan-based manufacturers. The goal of the hiring — which encompasses hundreds of engineers and supply chain managers — is to increase the speed with which it can create components for mobile devices in order to meet a quickened product release cycle. Apple now employes more than 600 engineers and operational workers in China. Apple has leveraged the popular social networking website LinkedIn (LNKD) to attract workers from rival technology companies. Last year, Apple released two iPhone models — the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c — simultaneously, a first for the company. Apple is widely expected to repeat that later this year by releasing two versions of the upcoming iPhone 6 with different screen sizes. Apple is facing pressure from consumers and investors to increase innovation in its product lines and launch more new products.
Good-Bye: After 18 years at Apple, CFO Peter Oppenheimer will retire later this year, AppleInsider notes. Oppenheimer will step down at the end of September. Luca Maestri, Apple’s current vice president of finance and corporate controller, will succeed Oppenheimer as CFO. The transition will begin in June. During Oppenheimer’s tenure as CFO Apple’s annual revenue skyrocketed from $8 billion to $171 billion. CEO Tim Cook praised Oppenheimer’s work at Apple, calling him “a dear friend I always knew I could count on.” While Oppenheimer is leaving Apple, he is joining the board of directors at Goldman Sachs (GS). He also serves on the boards of Sacred Heart Schools and the California Polytechnic State University Foundation. Oppenheimer’s departure was anticipated by Forbes contributor Chuck Jones last week.
Most Wanted: While most consumers in emerging nations buy mobile devices running Google’s (GOOG) Android operating system, Apple is the most desired device brand in those markets, the Telegraph notes. Industry research firm Upstream conducted a survey of consumers in Brazil, India, China, Vietnam and Nigeria. The 4,500 respondents were asked about their mobile device brand preference. Fully 32% of the people surveyed said they wanted an Apple product. Smartphone and tablet rival Samsung wasn’t far behind, preferred by 29%, while Nokia devices were desired by 13% of respondents. While consumers may prefer Apple devices, Android mobile devices steeply outsell iOS devices in those markets, mostly due to their significantly lower prices.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.