Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Merger: Sources tell the Wall Street Journal that Apple (AAPL) is currently in negotiations over a possible deal to acquire a Renesas Electronics unit. Japan-based Renesas has a 55% stake in Renesas SP Drivers, which produces the processors that control LCD display energy use. The remaining stake in the company is owned by Sharp and Powerchip Technology Corp. Apple has offered about $482 million for Renesas’ controlling stake in the company and has also approached Sharp and Powerchip about purchasing their stakes as well. Apple’s offer to Renesas values Renesas SP Drivers at about $1 billion. The addition of Renesas technology would aid Apple’s bid to reduce power consumption in smartphones and tablets. Other technology companies are said to be discussing a deal to acquire Renesas SP Drivers with Renesas, which cause the final price of any deal to move higher. Word of the talks come as Apple is widely expected to launch new iPhones with significantly larger screens compared to current iPhone models, making the acquisition of LCD power management technology increasingly critical for the iPhone-maker.
Battle: In the latest patent infringement lawsuit between Apple and Samsung, the South Korean electronics giant is introducing internal documents from Apple that it claims shows that the iPhone-maker was afraid of Samsung’s technology, TheVerge notes. Lawyers for Samsung produced an email from Apple marketing head Phil Schiller that was titled “Has Apple lost its cool to Samsung.” The body of the email contained just one line: “We have a lot of work to do to turn this around. Samsung’s attorney said that a new marketing strategy touting Samsung products as the “Next Big Thing” riled Schiller and “drove Apple crazy.” Apple was so incensed by the campaign that Schiller asked CEO Tim Cook to drop its long-standing ad agency. The current trial is expected to last at least a month. Apple is suing Samsung in California over five alleged violations of its mobile technology patents and is demanding $2 billion. It won an earlier patent-infringement lawsuit against Samsung in California.
Debuts: Apple is now selling iPad Air and Retina iPad Mini units with TD-LTE compatibility in China, AppleInsider notes. The tablets can communicate with China Mobile’s (CHL) new 4G/LTE network using the TD-SCDMA wireless standard. Apple announced the availability of the tablets in China on Monday. They are the first iPads that are compatible with China Mobile’s new network. Apple and China Mobile reached a deal in December that brought the iPhone to the world’s largest wireless carrier. A similar agreement to bring the iPad to China Mobile was widely expected to follow.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.