Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Torrent: During the third calendar quarter of this year, Apple (AAPL) plans to unveil new iPhones, iPads, a new MacBook Air and its much-rumored smartwatch, MacRumors notes. The hectic pace of product debuts are predicted by KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo, who has a respectable record when it comes to Apple forecasts. Kuo says that Apple will launch a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 model with a screen resolution of 1,334 x 750 pixels, and a 5.5-inch iPhone 6 with a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. He expects Apple to include its new A8 processor, Touch ID fingerprint reader and 1GB of RAM in both iPhones. Kuo says the 4.7-inch iPhone will launch in September, with the larger iPhone following some time later. Recent rumors have suggested that the larger iPhone might be delayed by production issues. Kuo predicts that only the 5.5-inch iPhone will have a sapphire-covered display. Apple will also release an updated iPad Air and Retina iPad Mini, both featuring an A8 chip and Touch ID. The iPad Air 2 could launch before October. Kuo expects Apple to launch a new 12-inch MacBook Air, which would ditch the fan and touchpad buttons in favor of a super-slim profile. Finally, Kuo says that Apple will launch its long-awaited iWatch during the third quarter. The iWatch — available with either 1.3-inch or 1.5-inch displays — will integrate with other Apple mobile devices and even Macs. Kuo says that the iWatch will feature flexible AMOLED displays. Additionally, Kuo expects Apple to eventually release a 12.9-inch iPad, but not this year.
More Marketing: According to AdAge, Apple has retained four more digital ad agencies: Area 17, Kettle, Interpublic’s Huge and WPP’s AKQA. Sources say that the agencies will concentrate on promoting Apple’s user experience and enhancing its digital marketing strategy. Apple already has a stable of digital ad agencies, including Interpublic’s Profero, Traction, Eleven, TBWA/Media Arts Lab and Publicis Groupe’s Rosetta. Apple will continue to work with those agencies. Documents introduced in Apple’s current patent litigation lawsuit against Samsung revealed that Apple’s Chief Marketing Officer Philip Schiller was dismayed by Samsung’s new marketing campaign and Apple’s perceived lack of appropriate comeback. Some ad agencies have recently criticized Apple for hiring marketing talent for in-house work. Apple has about 300 marketing personnel of its own and sources say it could bring that number up to between 500 and 600 in the future. Apple spent $1.1 billion on global marketing during 12 months ending with September 2013.
Departure: Greg Christie, Apple’s Human Interface Vice President, is leaving the company, 9to5Mac notes. Christie’s exit comes after “friction” between him and Senior Vice President and Apple lead designer Jony Ive, who will now control Apple’s software design group as well as his current industrial design team. Insiders say that Christie and Ive disagreed about the redesign of iOS 7 and that Ive went around Christie to guide the interface’s refresh during the software development process. Apple is planning to release updates to both iOS and OS X later this year. Christie recently testified during Apple’s patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung. Apple has confirmed Christie’s departure, noting that he is retiring after 20 years with the company.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.