Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Promotion: Sources tell 9to5Mac that Apple will kick off an “enormous” event at its Apple Stores to increase iPhone sales in the coming days. The event is planned to take place at Apple Stores across a number of U.S. states starting on May 8. Apple will send emails to owners of older-model iPhones hoping to entice them to upgrade to an iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c. The move comes as Apple is preparing a range of new iPhone marketing and promotional efforts. A source said that Apple had recently raised the prices it pays to buy back older iPhones under its in-store trade-in program. Apple reported higher-than-expected iPhone sales during the last fiscal quarter. Word of the promotion also comes as data shows that Apple Store sales are slipping. In a research note release this week, Needham analyst Charlie Wolf says that same-store sales at Apple Stores fell 5% in March, AppleInsider notes. Apple Stores had experienced a 3% sales gain in December. Wolf attributes the decline in Apple Store sales to a lack of new products and the expanding distribution of Apple products through other retail channels.
Token Victory: On Friday, a California jury found Samsung guilty of infringing on three Apple patents and awarded Apple $119.6 million in damages, Reuters notes. After additional deliberations on Monday — resulting from an objection by Apple’s attorneys that the jury had made a technical error — the jury left the damage award unchanged. Apple had demanded $2.2 billion in damages, an amount that Samsung called a “gross exaggeration” during the month-long trial. The jury also ruled that Apple had violated one of Samsung’s patents and ordered Apple to pay the South Korean electronics-maker $158,400 in damages. Samsung had requested $6 million in damages.
Another Buy: Apple has purchased a startup developer of micro-LED screen technology, PC Magazine notes. Sources say that Apple bought LuxVue Technology. Apple released a statement indicating that it “buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” which most media sources take as confirmation of the purchase. In December, LuxVue conducted a $25 million Series C funding round. The startup has raised about $43 million from investors, including Kleiner Perkins. Last month, during a conference call discussing Apple’s quarterly results, CEO Tim Cook said the iPhone-maker had acquired 24 smaller companies over the past year and a half. He noted that Apple wasn’t “in a race to spend the most or acquire the most.” Last month, it was reported that Apple had quietly purchased a hydroelectric power project near its new Oregon data center back in November.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.