Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Smooth: Two analysts say that when Apple (AAPL) releases two widely-anticipated next-generation iPhone models this fall, the larger one will offer more advanced image stabilization technology, Barron’s notes. Apple is expected to launch a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 model as well as a 5.5-inch iPhone 6 handset. Pacific Crest Securities analysts Kevin Chen and John Vinh think that Apple will include optical image stabilization technology only in the 5.5-inch model. Optical image stabilization — normally found in standalone digital cameras — helps mitigate the effect of vibrations in photos and videos. The current flagship iPhone 5s uses software to stabilize images, but software stabilization is not considered as effective as optical image stabilization, which results in better images and video. The two analysts say that Apple will likely tout optical image stabilization as another selling point for the 5.5-inch iPhone, which is likely to cost more than then 4.7-inch mode. “In our analysis, we believe Apple chose to only include OIS camera technology in the larger iPhone 6 given that there is still a significant cost premium ($4 to $5) over standard auto focus solutions and that it provides a point of differentiation between the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the step-up model (5.5-inch),” they write. Ming Chi-Kuo, the KGI Securities analyst with a good track record on Apple product predictions, also predicts that Apple will only add optical image stabilization to the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 model, MacRumors notes.
Hint: In another sign that Apple is moving toward the launch of a fitness-focused mobile product, the iPhone-maker has hired Atlas Wearables’ former lead engineer, AppleInsider notes. Alex Hsieh, who helped develop Atlas Wearables’ wrist-worn mobile fitness tracker, joined Apple in June. His exact title at Apple is unknown, but given his recent activities, his hire is fueling speculation that he is working on Apple’s long-rumored iWatch. Recent reports indicate that Apple is planning to include a wide variety of health-monitoring sensors in the iWatch, and has even asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve it as a medical device. Apple has recently hired a number of people from the health-monitoring and apparel industries and has reportedly attempted to poach talent from Swiss watch-makers. Most analysts expect Apple to launch its smartwatch in October.
Back: Shoppers at Costco (COST) can once again purchase Apple products at the warehouse retailer, Engadget notes. Costco formerly sold Apple devices, but dropped Apple products in 2010 after a disagreement over the iPad. Recent reports indicated that Costco had resumed its partnership with the mobile device and computer maker and now Costco stores are selling iPhones and iPads. Costco has priced the iPhone 5s at $78 with a two-year contract from Sprint (S), AT&T (T) or Verizon (VZ).
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.