Monday’s Apple Rumors — China Piracy Reports Tempered

Here are your daily Apple news items and rumors for Monday:

Closing Shop: Word came out after Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) reported its stunning second-quarter earnings that the company’s success in China is under threat by the proliferation of fake Apple Stores and bootleg products throughout the country. Chinese officials took those reports seriously. A Monday report from Reuters said two “Apple Stores” – Apple’s actual stores don’t bear that name on their signs – in Kunming were shut down during the weekend. These stores were shut down first for operating without a business license. Three other stores in the area have been caught using the Apple name but are not authorized licensees. Most interesting, however, is that all five stores were selling legitimate Apple products and not knockoffs, meaning the threat of piracy – which has so damaged other technology companies like Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) in the country – might not be as great as previously thought.

Grand Central Apple Store: In the U.S., Apple is preparing what may be a flagship location for its retail chain. A Saturday report in The New York Post said that Apple has signed a 10-year deal with the Metropolitan Transit Authority of New York to open a store in the iconic Grand Central Station. Apple will pay $800,000 per year to occupy the north and northeast balconies of the main terminal. The MTA estimates the store will pull in $5 million in annual profits as well as improve the station’s identity as a shopping destination. It has been rumored for months that Apple was looking to open a retail location in Grand Central Station, but it was thought that talks between the Cupertino, Calif.-based company and the MTA had come to a halt in the spring.

Clandestine Facebook: Omnipresent social network Facebook is preparing a devoted app for Apple’s iPad for release sometime this summer. According to a Monday report at TechCrunch (via 9 to 5 Mac), the app already has been released, but users can’t hop on the App Store and download it. The Facebook iPad app actually is hidden in the code for the Facebook iPhone app. Instructions on activating the app already have been distributed online. The question now is why Facebook has been holding off on officially releasing the app.

As of this writing, Anthony John Agnello did not own a position in any of the stocks named here. Follow him on Twitter at @ajohnagnello and become a fan of InvestorPlace on Facebook.

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