Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Ramp Up: Reports from Asia indicate that Apple’s (AAPL) supply chain partners have begun manufacturing its long-rumored iWatch, GforGames.com notes. A Chinese language website says that suppliers will ship between 2.5 million and 3 million iWatch units during the second calendar quarter. By the end of the third calendar quarter, iWatch shipments will jump to between 14 million to 15 million units. That would support recent rumors that the iWatch will launch during the second half of the year, possibly in September. Apple’s will produce the smartwatch using system-in-package modules (SiPs), which feature integrated circuits contained in enclosed modules. SiPs need fewer external components to function compared to conventional printed circuit boards (PCBs). Processors, DRAM and memory can be built into SiPs in less space that PCBs would require, making SiPs useful in smaller electronic devices. GforGames says that the iWatch SiPs will be made by Kinsus Interconnect Technology Corp, NanyaPCB and ASE Group.
Debt: Apple has sold $12 billion in corporate bonds, Bloomberg notes. Apple executives had indicated last week that the iPad-maker would issue more bonds to pay for returning additional capital to investors. The most recent bond sale included the issuance of $2.5 billion worth of 10-year notes paying 3.45% interest — 77 basis points higher than 10-year U.S. Treasury notes. Apple is borrowing to pay for returning capital to shareholders rather than using its massive cash hoard because the cost of the bonds is lower than the corporate taxes Apple would have to pay to return billions in cash held overseas to the U.S. Apple has about $151 billion in cash and marketable securities, 88% of which is held outside the U.S. Remarking on the option to return the cash to the U.S. and pay the higher tax bill during a conference call last week, incoming CFO Luca Maestri said: “We don’t believe this would be in the best interest of our shareholders.”
Waiting: On Tuesday, lawyers for Apple and Samsung made their final arguments before jurors at the tech giants’ latest patent infringement trial, Reuters notes. Deliberations began Tuesday afternoon. A verdict could be announced at any time. Apple claims that Samsung violated a number of its patents and is demanding $2.2 billion in damages. Samsung says that Apple’s patents aren’t worth any where near that much and alleges that Apple infringed on two of its patents, but is only asking for $6 million in damages. Apple is also asking for a ban on the sale of some older Samsung devices. A Samsung attorney told jurors that some of the Apple technology in dispute in the lawsuit was never used in the iPhone, so any infringement by Samsung could not have seriously affected iPhone sales, while another claimed that Apple was exaggerating its damage claims. Apple’s attorneys responded by pointing out that Samsung had paid its expert witnesses $5 million in fees while demanding just $6 million in damages. Apple claims Samsung is deliberately attempting to devalue patents in order to reduce any judgement against it. Apple won the last patent lawsuit against Samsung in California, receiving a damage award totaling $930 million.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.