Here are your daily Apple news items and rumors for Thursday:
There’s Other Tablets? Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) shareholders are understandably nervous about the company’s second-quarter earnings report due at the end of Thursday’s trading day. Retailers like Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) are reporting that the company’s new TouchPad tablet computer has been a monumental failure since releasing in early July. Any other company looking to put a tablet on the market in the near future would do well to peruse a new study published by Milwaukee-based analysis company Robert W. Baird. After surveying more than 1,000 consumers, the Baird survey found that 50% of respondents already owned a tablet or planned on buying one soon, and 95% of them said the tablet they’re interested in is Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad. By comparison, 10% said they were interested in purchasing HP’s TouchPad and just 4% expressed interest in Research in Motion‘s (NASDAQ:RIMM) PlayBook.
4G After All? Apple is expected to show off two new iPhones at the end of September. One will be the new, high-end iPhone 5, and the other will be a smaller, cheaper iPhone model. Both of these new phones, however, still will use the same 3G technology in the iPhone 4 that’s supported by Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T‘s (NYSE:T) largest networks rather than the growing 4G networks using Long-Term Evolution technology those telecoms have been building. At least, that’s what rumors have suggested. An anonymous source told Engadget on Tuesday that AT&T recently installed 4G equipment in a prominent Apple Store. The report showed a photograph of the equipment but later was removed at the request of the source. More interesting is that the equipment used the 700MHz and AWS bands — information that might be useless to the layman on its own, but enlightening when coupled with the fact these are the bands AT&T intends to use for its LTE network, provided its merger with T-Mobile USA is approved.
iPhone Maps Improved With Augmented Reality: A Thursday report at Apple Insider detailed a newly published Apple patent application titled “Augmented Reality Maps” that would bring interesting new functions to the iPhone’s Maps application. The new technology would use the same augmented reality technology used in other applications — data about physical objects in view of the iPhone’s camera is displayed over them on screen. This new technology would use the iPhone’s camera, GPS, compass and gyroscope in tandem to offer street name information and directions in real time based on what a person is looking at directly through their iPhone. Investors reading this are invited to marvel at the fact we now live in an episode of The Jetsons.