Thursday Apple Rumors: Apple to Discontinue the iPhone 5

daily apple rumors AAPLHere are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:

Dropped: A report from a Korean news source says that Apple (AAPL) will stop manufacturing the iPhone 5 later this year, AppleInsider notes. The iPhone 5 was introduced last year and is Apple’s current flagship smartphone. However, the company is widely expected to launch a new flagship iPhone — anticipated to be the iPhone 5S — this fall along with a lower-cost iPhone featuring a plastic casing. According to the Korean report, the in-cell display technology used by the iPhone 5 is “not suitable for low-volume production” and the company will simply stop producing the phone once its successor is launched. If true, this would mark a break with Apple’s usual policy of continuing to sell prior generation iPhones after the launch of a new flagship phone. The iPhone 4S has remained very popular with consumers since the iPhone 5’s launch last year. And while the iPhone 5 has experienced production problems, Apple CEO Tim Cook called the company’s most popular phone “by far” just this week. Apple is said to be currently ramping up production on the iPhone 5S and iPhone Lite, with both phones expected to debut in September or October.

Buyback: According to Fortune‘s Philip Elmer-DeWitt, Apple is on a buying spree — of its own stock. After analyzing the company’s most recent quarterly report, the Fortune columnist calculates that Apple spent $16 billion last quarter repurchasing its own shares. Apple apparently spent an average of $444 a share to buyback 36 million shares. Roughly 22 million of those shares were retired during the quarter. Apple has 908 million outstanding shares. By contrast, Nokia‘s (NOK) market capitalization is currently less than $15 billion and BlackBerry‘s (BBRY) is less than $5 billion.

Warning: Apple is urging customers in China not to purchase unauthorized third-party chargers for its mobile devices, CNET notes. The company posted an advisory on its Chinese website, including ways to ascertain if their chargers are genuine Apple-approved equipment. The move follows reports of two Chinese iPhone owners who were electrocuted while their phones were charging. In one case, a 23-year-old woman received a fatal shock when she tried to answer her iPhone while it was charging. In another, a man was left in a coma after touching his iPhone while it was connected to a third-party charger. Unauthorized third-party accessories for Apple products are common in China with the quality of the devices varying widely. Some third-party products are almost indistinguishable from genuine Apple accessories.

For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.

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