Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Connected: Sources tell the Financial Times that Apple (AAPL) is planning to take the wraps off a major push into the “internet of everything” market. The iPhone-maker will reportedly unveil its plans to connect Apple devices to a home automation platform at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco next week. The effort, described as a “big play” by the sources, will reportedly center around integrated “smart home” devices that can be controlled remotely. Other technology giants, including Google (GOOG) and Samsung have taken steps into the home automation market, including Google’s recent $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest Labs, maker of the smart WiFi-connected thermostats. Apple has reportedly assembled a group of smart-home product producers whose items will be certified to work with Apple’s smart-home platform. Apple will reportedly tout security and privacy protections incorporated into its smart-home system. Apple’s smart-home system would be designed to work with a user’s existing Apple devices. A user’s home would detect the arrival of its owner by communicating with his or her iPhone, for instance, activating lighting and other systems. Extending the connection of mobile devices like the iPhone with a home’s internal systems would greatly reinforce customer loyalty to the Apple ecosystem. The WWDC will be held between June 2 and June 6.
Undone?: Reports that Apple would acquire Beats Electronics surfaced earlier this month, but despite persistent rumors that the parties were on the verge of announcing the deal, no official word of an acquisition has come. According to Billboard, a number factors are delaying the finalization of the Apple-Beats merger. At a reported price of $3.2 billion, buying Beats would be Apple’s largest acquisition to date and the hashing out the details — especially the valuation of Beats’ assets, including its subscription music service — are taking longer than expected. Sources tell Billboard that Apple is especially unhappy that news of the deal was leaked before Apple’s was ready to make an announcement. Also, a video posted by Beats’ co-founder Dr. Dre and a musician/actor friend touting the deal with colorful commentary stoked worries about the compatibility between Apple’s and Beats’ corporate cultures. Those concerns may also bleed over to the senior roles that Beats’ co-founder Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre would reportedly take at Apple after the merger.
Hijacked: Some Apple device owners in Australia and New Zealand claim that their devices have been hacked, CNET notes. Users say that their devices display a messaging indicating that the unit has been “hacked by Oleg Pliss.” The devices then lock themselves and messages are sent to other devices demanding a payment of $100 to unlock the hacked devices. Users report that multiple Apple devices are affected simultaneously. Many of the devices were apparently compromised during the early hours of the morning. Reports of the incidents have appeared on Apple support forums. Local telecommunications carriers are referring affected users to Apple.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.