Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Launch: There is a new addition to Apple’s (AAPL) all-in-one iMac desktop computer line. Apple has introduced a new 21.5-inch iMac starting at $1,099. The cheaper iMac model costs $200 less than the base price of Apple’s standard 21.5-inch iMacs. The lower-priced model features “a 1.4 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost Speeds up to 2.7 GHz, Intel HD 5000 graphics, 8GB of memory and a 500GB hard drive.” By comparison, the standard 21.5-inch iMac base model comes with a 2.7 GHz quad-core Intel (INTC) Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive. All iMacs include 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and two Thunderbolt ports and four USB 3.0 ports as well as Apple’s iLife and iWork software packages. The new iMac is currently available for sale at Apple Stores and through its online storefront. Rumors had circulated last week that Apple would refresh its iMac line this week, though most observers had anticipated minor processor upgrades to existing models. Reports that Apple would release a cheaper iMac model have been making the rounds for several months. While the 21.5-inch iMac is getting a cheaper model, Apple has not revealed any plans to create a lower cost version of its 27-inch iMac.
Coming: Japanese manufacturers are now seeing record orders for components and tools associated with Apple’s next-generation iPhone, Nikkei reports. Mass production on iPhone 6 parts has started, and machine tools for iPhone production are being shipped to China at a “record level.” While the orders are surging, Japanese producers are wary since “sales of new Apple products have failed to live up to expectations in recent years” and are moving to take orders from low-cost Chinese smartphone makers in order to diversify their customer bases, the article says. Apple has a supply chain that encompasses 150 companies in various countries around the world, creating what the Japanese call the “Apple economic zone.” Apple is thought to support 1 million jobs building its products across multiple industries in different countries. Shipments of Apple products have increased every year, but growth has slowed since the launch of the iPhone 4S in 2011.
Opinionated: Speaking at the “Technology, Culture, and Consumer Adoption: Learning to Read the Cultural Landscape” seminar at the Cannes Lions festival in France, American singer Kanye West called late Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs “my biggest influence,” AdWeek notes. West said that he wants to “help raise the palette and raise the taste level of a generation and also be involved with the production and distribution and advertising of that thing everyone’s begging for” the way Jobs did at Apple. West noted that Apple’s recent $3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics – co-founded by rapper Dr Dre – was motivated by Samsung’s partnership with rapper Jay Z. “There would have been no Beats deal without the Samsung deal. It showed the No. 1 company the importance of connecting with culture,” West observed. However, there is no likelihood of West working with Samsung. “The reason I said I didn’t like Samsung particularly is because throughout my entire life, because of how my parents raised me, I have to work with the No. 1,” West explained. “I’m not going to represent any company but Louis Vuitton, because that’s No. 1. … Samsung is not quite Apple, but it showed that Jimmy [Iovine] and Dre would be able to connect with the No. 1 influencers,” he added.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.