Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Styling Hints: When Apple (AAPL) unveils its next-generation iPhone some time later this year, a larger version of the new handset may bear a surprising resemblance two other Apple gadgets, AppleInsider says. The Japanese blog Macotakara — which has a decent track record of Apple predictions — says that Apple has developed two leading designs for launch this year: one with a 4.7-inch display and the other with a 5.7-inch display. The report indicates that the larger of the new iPhones will represent a combination of design elements from the iPhone 5c and the seventh-generation iPod Nano. According to Macotakara, the bigger iPhone 6 will be just 7 millimeters thick. That is so thin that the rear camera will protrude slightly from the case, though that could fixed by slightly increasing the thickness of the handset prior to launch. If so, the new iPhone would follow the iPad Air, which the report indicates was originally designed to be 7 millimeters thick, but was later bumped up to 7.5 millimeters. By contrast, the current iPhone 5s is 7.6 millimeters thick. The larger of the new iPhones will be positioned as a higher-end version of the iPhone 5c, but not as a replacement. Some recent reports say the iPhone 5c will be dropped after the next iPhone launch.
Better Deal: Customers who spend more than $5,000 on Apple products over the course of a year qualify for the iPhone-maker’s little-discussed Apple Loyalty Program, TechCrunch notes. The loyalty program is generally aimed at institutions — companies, schools or other organizations — with IT departments, and more importantly IT budgets. The program has existed for some time. Last week, Apple rolled out a series of enhancements to the program, meant to boost institutional sales, including small increases in the discounts offered across all customer levels. The program features three levels, based on annual purchases. Red tier customers must spend more than $5,000 a year, while green tier customers spend more than $35,000 annually. Customers who spend more than $200,000 annually are classed as blue tier customers. In addition to higher discounts on iPads and iMacs, Apple has now added Apple TV sales to the loyalty program.
Tough Coverage: Apple is replacing a soldier’s damaged iPhone, Utah’s KSL reports. Staff Sgt. Shaun Frank was injured by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan last fall. Some of the shrapnel from the blast was caught by his iPhone, which prevented it from causing even more damage to his body. Frank’s sister says that the soldier was told that the iPhone probably saved him from being killed. The iPhone was badly damaged by the blast — Frank himself was pierced by shrapnel in his hands, legs and fingers. When Frank sent the iPhone to Apple to determine if he could get a new one under his mobile phone insurance, Apple initially told the soldier he would have to surrender the old phone in order receive a new one. Frank — who has an understandable attachment to the damaged and inoperable handset — opted to keep the old iPhone, meaning he has spent several months without a new iPhone. When KSL ran the soldier’s story, people pledged hundreds of dollars to buy Frank an new iPhone. The story also prompted Apple to change its mind; the company is now sending him a new iPhone.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.