Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Sun Powered: The iPhone 6 won’t launch for months, but Apple’s (AAPL) next-generation iPhone is already generating some bizarre rumors. According to an analyst at Seeking Alpha, Apple has been investing in technology that could lead to this year’s iPhone being covered in sapphire glass with tiny solar panels embedded in the covering. The solar panels would help recharge the iPhone’s batteries when exposed to a strong light source. Apple could also feature the technology in a new version of the iPod Touch, though there are persistent rumors that Apple will not launch a next-generation of the iPod line, whose sales have been falling for years. The Seeking Alpha analyst notes that Apple already holds a variety of patents for mobile device solar charging technology and signed an agreement with GT Advanced Technologies to develop sapphire display covers late last year. Recent rumors indicate that Apple will launch an iPhone with a screen larger than 4.5-inches this year. Other rumors suggest that Apple could launch two iPhone 6 models, including one with a screen above 5-inches.
Comparison: Apple has grown considerably since the first fiscal quarter of 2001, before it launched the iPod and became more than just a computer-maker, Time notes. In the first quarter of fiscal 2001, which ended on Dec. 31, 2000, Apple reported a quarterly loss of $195 million on revenue of $1 billion. On Monday, Apple said that during the first quarter of fiscal 2014, which ended on Dec. 31, 2013, the company earned $13.1 billion on revenue of $57.6 billion. Fourteen years ago, Apple said it shipped 659,000 Mac computers during the December quarter. On Monday, Apple posted sales of 4.8 million Mac computers. During the 14 years between the two quarterly reports, Apple launched the iPod, iPhone and iPad. Earlier this week, Apple said it sold 51 million iPhones and 26 million iPads during the December quarter.
Promotion: Apple’s set top media streaming device, Apple TV, now has its own page on Apple’s online store, AppleInsider notes. Apple TV, which was previously listed together with the company’s iPod products, was given its own page — titled “Shop Apple TV” — in the website’s most recent update. The new page is stoking speculation that Apple is preparing a major hardware refresh for Apple TV. Recent rumors have suggested that Apple could add gaming apps to Apple TV. Increased chatter about Apple TV comes amid cooling speculation about the possibility of an Apple-branded televisions set.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.