Bloomberg is reporting that “sources familiar with the plans” say Apple is planning to release two new iPhone models next year with curved displays. The two phones would have 4.7 inch and 5.5 inch displays respectively, both substantially bigger than the 4 inch Retina Display currently offered in the iPhone 5s and more in line with Samsung’s S4 and Note 3.
This morning, news is circulating regarding claims of a September iPad launch, gold iPhone 5S scratch tests, Apple products being allowed to be imported into Iran, and Apple potentially disrupting the way that mobile carriers work. Let’s take a look at each of these claims…
Yesterday we decided not to run with a story published by Bloomberg that Pegatron’s forecasted 25 percent to 30 percent drop for second-quarter revenue was due to “falling iPad mini demand.” It seemed a little far fetched that an Apple supplier would be giving up specific information on product demand, something we know suppliers in Apple’s circle typically remain tight-lipped on. Today CEO of Pegatron Jason Cheng has confirmed our suspicions in an email to Fortune claiming that Bloomberg reporter Tim Culpan made the iPad mini angle up.
While quoting an analyst’s expectations for iPad mini demand in Q2, Bloomberg’s Tim Culpan offered the following quote from Pegatron Chief Executive Officer Jason Cheng as proof:
A decline in revenue from the iPad Mini “is more on demand, while price has been stable. Not just tablets, also e-books and games consoles, almost every item is moving in a negative direction.”
Pegatron chief Jason Cheng says he wasn’t referring to iPad mini specifically, but rather all of its products including all tablets and game consoles, while noting that “clearly refused” to answer Culpan’s questions related to specific products. Here’s what he had to say about the Bloomberg piece: Read more
Not much news coming out of a new Bloomberg piece today on Sir Jonathan Ive’s new software design role. Earlier this week, 9to5Mac first reported on some big upcoming changes to iOS spearheaded by Ive based on multiple sources who have seen or been briefed on the new “flatter” OS. While echoing most of what we already reported, Bloomberg adds that Ive’s new role will provide potential delays for iOS 7:
The introduction of new features, along with an emphasis on cooperation and deliberation, comes at a cost for Cupertino, California-based Apple. Engineers are racing to finish iOS 7, the next version of the mobile software, in time for a June preview at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference. While the company still expects to release iOS 7 on time as soon as September, internal deadlines for submitting features for testing are being set later than past releases, people said… Bigger shifts, to such features as e-mail, may not even be ready this year and may be introduced in future releases, people said.
The report from Bloomberg doesn’t go into specific details about features which it claims “remain secret”, but earlier this week 9to5Mac shared details of other new features planned for iOS 7 including further Maps and Siri integration in vehicles. Apple is also toying with additional features that could possibly make their way to iOS 7, including new “glance-able” information and settings panels, such as the ability to access new panels via swipes from the left and right side of an iOS device’s display.
Bloomberg adds that Ive has met with companies behind gesture control technology that sounds similar to the Leap Motion controller. The report also noted that Ive led a two-hour town hall meeting in March to discuss upcoming changes, while pointing out that he now regularly attends meetings with Greg Christie and the software design team and has provided them with “an earlier look at what future hardware products will look like” Read more
As Ferrari unveils its new 1 million euro “LaFerrari” hybrid, the company has also confirmed it plans to strengthen its partnership with Apple in the months to come. According to Bloomberg, Ferrari Chairman Luca Cordero Di Montezemolo said the company is now “in talks with Apple about broadening a partnership on in-car entertainment.”
Ferrari SpA, the luxury carmaker owned by Fiat SpA (F), will be “more precise” about its partnership with Apple (AAPL) Inc. in the next few months, Chairman Luca Cordero Di Montezemolo said.
Ferrari, which today unveiled the 1 million euro hybrid model “LaFerrari,” is in talks with Apple about broadening a partnership on in-car entertainment, Di Montezemolo said today at the Geneva motor show.
Ferrari also said today that its new four seater FF coupe will come equipped with iPad minis:
The FF is also now seamlessly integrated with Apple technologies, thanks to direct access to the infotainment system via SIRI voice commands and the adoption of two iPad Minis as the entertainment system of choice for the rear seat passengers.
Ferrari announced in November 2012 that Apple Senior Vice President Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue was joining its board of directors. Cue tweeted about the launch of the new LaFerrari mode today, saying, “Ferrari does it once again… it is stunning.”
The full video of Di Montezemolo speaking at the Geneva motor show is below.
Bloomberg reported earlier this year that Apple had a team of over 100 product designers working on a wristwatch-like device. At the time, we noted that all the recent rumors and intel surrounding the iWatch seemed like the lead up to an impending product launch. Bloomberg is out with a new report today, claiming Apple will indeed launch its watch product in 2013:
Apple seeks to introduce the device as soon as this year, this person said. Apple has filed at least 79 patent applications that include the word “wrist,” including one for a device with a flexible screen, powered by kinetic energy… The watch business is experiencing a renaissance reminiscent of the cell phone industry before the iPhone.
The report added information about some of the potential features of the device that we had also heard of previously, including the ability to receive incoming calls, view maps, and record health data via various sensors:
Features under consideration include letting users make calls, see the identity of incoming callers and check map coordinates, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. It would also house a pedometer for counting steps and sensors for monitoring health-related data, such as heart rates, this person said.
Citigroup Inc. analyst Oliver Chen estimated Apple could generate $6 billion of the approximately $60 million in sales he expects the global watch industry to bring in during 2013. As pointed out by Bloomberg, gross margins are roughly four times bigger than TVs, which would only bring about $1.79 billion in gross profit for the company compared to $3.6 billion for watches.
Former creative director at Nike Scott Wilson told Bloomberg that Apple’s Jonathan Ive “has long had an interest in watches.” Read more