Here are the latest rumors circulating in the Apple blogosphere:
Analyst Chris Whitmore with Deutsche Bank tells clients in a note — as reported by “AppleInsider” (http://www.appleinsider.com) — that Apple will finally address the huge pre-paid mobile phone market in September when the company releases a mid-range, contract-free iPhone. If Apple were to price this “iPhone 4S” at $349, Whitmore estimates that Apple could have the product be incremental to its corporate gross margin without negatively impacting profitability. My take: maybe, but I’m a bit dubious on this one, as I am with rumors of a lower priced, limited feature iPhone mini.
“PCWorld” (http://www.pcworld.com) notes that online retailers are showing signs that a MacBook Air refresh may be imminent. Best Buy recently stopped shipping all four models of the latest Air lineup through its online store. My take: the revved MacBook Air will definitely arrive in July, along with Lion. The question, of course, is exactly when in July.
“Ars Technica” (http://macte.ch/qv1xS) says “Apple’s increasingly tenuous relationship” with Samsung as a component supplier for its mobile devices could end next year, according to numerous sources inside the semiconductor industry. The company will likely tap contract fab Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company to build its next-generation ARM SoCs, currently dubbed “A6,” sometime in 2012. My take: this makes sense, as Apple plays hardball with its enemies — or, as in the case with Samsung, its frenemies.
— Dennis Sellers