Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Going Away: Unnamed sources in Apple’s (AAPL) supply chain tell DigiTimes that the Mac-maker plans to end production of its lowest-end MacBook Pro this year. The 13-inch non-Retina MacBook Pro model is thicker compared to other MacBook Pro models due to the inclusion of a CD/DVD drive. It is the only MacBook Pro model to retain an optical drive. Last year, Apple dropped the non-Retina 15-inch MacBook Pro. DigiTimes notes that the price difference between the non-Retina 13-inch MacBook Pro and the same-sized Retina model has dwindled, making the continued production of the older model less viable. On Apple’s website, the non-Retina 13-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,199, compared to $1,299 for the entry-level Retina 13-inch MacBook Pro. Newer Retina MacBook Pro models feature sleeker clamshell designs without optical drives and featuring solid-state hard drives. DigiTimes has a mixed record in regard to reports concerning Apple products.
Critique: Corning (GLW), the maker of Gorilla Glass, is apparently unhappy about growing reports that Apple will cover its next-generation iPhone in sapphire crystal, CNET notes. On Tuesday, a senior vice president at Corning told attendees at an investment conference that sapphire was “about 10 times more expensive,” “1.6 times heavier,” and “environmentally unfriendly,” compared to Gorilla Glass. The Corning executive noted that producing sapphire requires “100 times more energy” than Gorilla Glass. He also said that Corning tests showed that while sapphire was scratch-resistant, Gorilla Glass could withstand about 2.5 times as much pressure before breaking. The executive said that yield issues with sapphire production made it much more expensive compared to glass. He added that sapphire transmits less light, leading to “either dimmer devices or shorter battery life.” Apple has partnered with GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT) to build a large factory in Mesa, Ariz., that is expected to produce sapphire components for the iPhone 6.
Patent Victory: Germany’s Mannheim Regional Court has dismissed two patent infringement lawsuits against Apple, AppleInsider notes. The rulings came last week in suits filed against the iPhone-maker by IPCom, a patent-holding firm. IPCom is suing to obtain revenue from patents it purchased from Bosch. Last year, IPCom won a similar patent suit against Deutsche Telekom (DTEGY). IPCom can appeal the court’s ruling.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.