Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
On the Horizon: Supply chain sources tell DigiTimes that Apple (AAPL) is planning to launch a new MacBook Air with a high-resolution display in the second half of 2014. The report notes that some suppliers say that Apple “significantly decreased” orders for MacBook shipments in March, though January and February MacBook shipments were in line with previous estimates. That could signal that MacBook shipments will decline as much as 15% in 2014, compared to the previous year. However, oher suppliers told DigiTimes that the forecast was inaccurate since Apple will refresh its MacBook line later this year, including the introduction of the Retina MacBook Air. A number of recent rumors have suggested that Apple will update its notebook line sometime this year, likely in the fall, possibly adding a 12-inch MacBook Air. The DigiTimes report also indicated that Quanta Computer is producing a 12-inch iPad for launch in the second half of 2014. That contradicts recent reports that suggested that Apple was “shelving” the larger iPad to concentrate on other projects. DigiTimes has a decidedly mixed record when it comes to reports about upcoming Apple products.
Milestone: Some time during the past month, Apple sold its 500 millionth iPhone, Forbes calculates. When Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, a number of analysts thought it might be a hard sell to consumers. Apple set an ambitious sales goal of 10 million iPhones for 2008. That year, it actually sold 13.7 million iPhones. By February 2011, Apple had sold about 100 million iPhones. By early 2012, Apple had sold 200 million iPhones. Before that year was out, Apple had sold 300 million iPhones. Apple hit the 400 million iPhone mark toward the close of July 2013. Forbes notes that pinning down the exact time when Apple sold the 500 millionth iPhone is difficult because sales data for the current fiscal quarter isn’t available yet and analysts’ estimates of quarterly iPhone sales vary widely. Forbes notes that while Apple usually celebrates notable benchmarks, the sale of the 500 millionth iPhone went by “quietly.” Apple is expected to sell its 600 millionth iPhone at the end of its current fiscal year.
Battle: Apple wants to hire BlackBerry’s (BBRY) Senior Vice President of Software Sebastien Marineau-Mes, but the struggling handset-maker is fighting the move in court, iMore notes. In December, Marineau-Mes informed BlackBerry that he would leave the company to become Apple’s Vice President of Core OS. BlackBerry claims that Marineau-Mes’ employment contract requires him to provide six months notice before he leaves the company. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has sided with BlackBerry, meaning that Marineau-Mes may have to remain at BBRY until June. Such executive poaching is common among technology companies. The effect that the court’s decision will have on Marineau-Mes’ joining Apple remains unclear. BlackBerry issued a statement calling the matter “unfortunate” but saying it would “not stand by while a former employee violates his employment contract.” BlackBerry said it expects its employees to honor their commitments to the company.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.