Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Busy Fall: A report from a Japanese technology website indicates that Apple will debut two iPhone 6 models in separate launches this fall, CNET notes. EMSOne says that Apple supply chain partners will begin mass production of a 4.7-inch iPhone in July. Volume manufacturing of a 5.5-inch iPhone won’t begin until September, however. The difference in production timing suggests that the two iPhone 6 models will launch at different times. Apple is likely to release the 4.7-inch iPhone in September. The new report supports a growing number of claims that Apple will release two iPhone 6 models this year, and will take a step into “phablet” territory with a 5.5-inch iPhone. Some recent rumors say that the two iPhone 6 models will debut together, while others claim that the larger iPhone 6 model’s launch will be delayed due to manufacturing issues with its display. Apple will apparently face a crowded launch schedule this fall. In addition to new iPhones, Apple is likely to launch updated iPads and a growing number of reports indicate that it will debut its much-anticipated iWatch before the holiday shopping season.
Testimony: Apple has put a MIT-educated economist on the witness stand in its patent-infringement lawsuit against Samsung, Re/code notes. Chris Vellturo appeared in court to explain how he estimated the $2.19 billion in damages that Apple alleges Samsung caused through the patent violations. In the latest trial in a California court, Apple is accusing Samsung of infringing on five technology patents between 2011 and 2013. Vellturo said Samsung felt pressured to increase its smartphones’ ease-of-use in order to compete with Apple’s iPhone. He noted that internal Samsung documents introduced at the trial indicated that “what Samsung recognized is that the iPhone fundamentally changed the nature of competition.” Samsung’s violation of Apple patents between 2011 and 2013 marked “a particularly significant period for Samsung to have been infringing,” since the first mobile device a consumer purchases is a major factor in what brand of tablets or smartphones he or she may buy later. The economist said he had committed more than 800 hours to reviewing the financial impact of Samsung’s alleged patent infringement on Apple. Samsung has called Apple’s damage estimate a “gross exaggeration,” while denying the infringement. Samsung is also challenging the validity of Apple’s patents.
New Hires: Earlier this year, Apple recruited two baseband hardware engineers from Broadcom (BRCM), MacRumors notes. Xiping Wang departed Broadcom in January, while Paul Chang left the chip-maker in February. Wang last served as Manager of Broadcom’s Hardware Development Engineering, while Change was Chip Lead and principal engineer. They join about 30 baseband engineers and software developers that Apple has lured away from Broadcom and Qualcomm (QCOM) during the last several year. The hirings suggest that Apple is preparing to bring baseband chip design in-house. Apple has also reportedly been discussing the acquisition of smartphone display chip-maker Renesas SP Drivers.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.