Apple Recap: Changing Displays, an iPhone Step-Down, Propping Up China

Tuesday was an interesting day for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), which managed to grab headlines related to the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show despite its absence from Mandalay Island. But with its rivals as well as suppliers showing off their wares at the annual event, Apple’s future was also being debated. As far as the stock was concerned, investors stayed positive as the company gained 0.27 percent to close at $525.31. Here are the key stories whirling around the iPhone maker on Tuesday:

A Look at Apple’s Display Future?

Topeka Capital analyst Brian White Sharp has said it’s inevitable for Apple to start using Sharp’s new IGZO technology, which was showed off by the display manufacturer at the Consumer Electronics Show. Sharp said the advanced displays had twice the resolution of a conventional LCD screen with up to 90 percent power savings. White said Apple would be the “prime candidate” to adopt IGZO for its mobile devices as it would help it compete more strongly with Samsung (SSNLF.PK) as well as reduce its reliance on current screen supplier LG Display (NYSE:LPL). (Read more)

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lots of iphonesAn iPhone for Growing Markets

Jefferies analyst Peter Misek had suggested last month that Apple was contemplating creating a low-cost iPhone with scaled-down features for cost-conscious markets. According to a report in DigiTimes on Tuesday, the company may go ahead and launch such a device in the second half of this year. The rumors of Apple launching a cheaper version of its smartphone have existed for a while, but the idea that the company was reluctant to work with lowered margins was shot down last year with the launch of the iPad mini. According to DigiTimes, supply chain sources indicated that Apple was working on manufacturing the cheaper iPhone with Qualcomm’s (NASDAQ:QCOM) latest Snapdragon chipsets. (Read more)

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Putting China on the Priority List

Apple chief executive Tim Cook is back in China for his second visit in less than 10 months and reportedly met with the country’s head of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Miao Wei. China has grown rapidly to become one of Apple’s most significant markets, but it is also an area that needs nurturing to grow further. Apple opened three new retail stores in mainland China last year to bring its total to eight and currently has wireless partnerships with China Telecom (NYSE:CHA) and China Unicom (NYSE:CHU), but is yet to agree on a deal with the largest provider in the country, China Mobile (NYSE:CHL). Could this visit bring that? (Read more)

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