Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
iSpend?: Sources tell Re/code that Apple (AAPL) is recruiting “senior payments industry executives” as part of an effort to launch its own mobile payment service. Apple already has data on hundreds of millions of user credit cards as part of its iTunes business. The iPhone-maker would like to leverage that existing base to build out a full-blown mobile payment service. Apple has been speaking with potential candidates for two high level roles at the company that would focus on launching the payment service. The fact that it hasn’t put executives in place yet suggests that the rollout of a mobile payment system is unlikely to happen in the near-term. One source called Apple’s vision for the new mobile payment service “very, very serious.” Apple’s mobile payment system would center around using iPhones to pay for purchases at brick-and-mortar retail stores with payment methods linked to user iTunes accounts. Last year, Apple added the TouchID fingerprint scanner to its flagship iPhone 5s, a move widely seen as a possible prelude to a mobile payment system. The fingerprint sensor could provide iPhone owners with a convenient layer of security and identity confirmation needed to make an iPhone-based mobile payment system feasible. Recent rumors indicated that eBay’s (EBAY) PayPal online payment system was interested in partnering with Apple on a mobile payment service. Sources indicate that talks between Apple and PayPal have continued.
Green: In time for Earth Day, Apple says it will offer free recycling of Apple devices that are returned to Apple stores, the Associated Press notes. Apple products like iPhones, iPads, iPods and Mac computers contain components made from highly-toxic materials not suited for disposal in landfills. Apple has also announced plans to use renewable power at all of its retail, office and data center locations, though it did not offer a timetable for introducing renewable energy to its Apple Stores. A recent report indicated that Apple has acquired a hydroelectric power project close to its new Oregon data center. Apple has built solar farms to power other data centers across the country. Earlier this month, Apple was praised by Greenpeace, which hailed the company’s environmental efforts and called Apple “the most innovative and most aggressive in pursuing its commitment to be 100 percent renewably powered” among major technology companies included in a report on environmental responsibility.
Too Much: A Yale University professor testified on Monday that Apple’s mobile technology patents were worth only a fraction of what the iPhone-maker is claiming, Bloomberg notes. The testimony comes as the South Korean electronics giant contests Apple’s latest round of patent infringement claims in a California court. Apple has argued that Samsung’s violation of a number of Apple patents in older smartphones cost the iPhone-maker $2.19 billion in damages. Samsung has called that a “gross exaggeration.” Professor Judith Chevalier told the court that, in her analysis, the patents in question were of marginal value. Apple has contended that Samsung should pay damages amounting to more than $40 for every phone found to violate its patents. Based not the Chevalier’s analysis, Samsung says it owes at most 35 cents per phone. This is the second major patent lawsuit between the two tech giants in California. In 2012, a jury found Samsung guilty of violating Apple patents and awarded Apple $1 billion in damages. A judge later cut that award to $600 million, but a second jury added $290 million in additional damages.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.