3 Apple stories making headlines

A trio of news reports -- including a possible product-related fatality -- don't reflect well on the tech giant.

By Benzinga Jul 15, 2013 5:45PM
By Tim Parker

Even as trading in New York began on Monday morning, Apple (AAPL) was already making headlines. Here are three of the most talked about stories at the start of the week.

Apple aiding in investigation of iPhone electrocution

The company has said that it will aid in the investigation of a Chinese woman who was killed by electrocution after answering a call on her iPhone 5 while it was charging. 23-year old flight attendant Ma Ailun reportedly had her phone plugged in and charging. After answering a call, she collapsed and died, according to a tweet from her sister.

In an e-mail, Apple said, "We are deeply saddened to learn of this tragic incident and offer our condolences to the Ma family. We will fully investigate and cooperate with authorities in this matter."

Apple to use Samsung to produce its next-generation iOS processors?

AppleInsider is reporting the company will return to Samsung to produce its in-house-designed "A9" system on a chip, which will power its "iPhone 7."

This rumor conflicts with a Wall Street Journal report that claimed Apple would use Taiwan Semiconductor for production of future chips.

The latter would make more sense, as Samsung has turned into Apple's fiercest competitor. The company has tried to distance itself from Samsung but has found it difficult, according to the WSJ report.

Taiwan Semiconductor on Monday announced that major suppliers like Qualcomm (QCOM) have cut orders, according to Digitimesciting lower demand for high-end phones. However, insiders say Samsung has taken market share from the company.

Apple is locked in a series of patent suits with Samsung -- another reason it could try and sever ties with the company.

Apple hiring engineers to fix iWatch design issues

According to the Financial Times, Apple is aggressively hiring fresh talent to help fix various design issues with its iWatch. Sources told the FT that development of the iWatch has gone from an exploratory phase to a full-fledged product development initiative -- but the timing of this new hiring spree indicates Apple's first new product since the death of Steve Jobs may not be ready until the latter part of 2014. There is still the possibility that CEO Tim Cook could scrap the idea completely.

Critics fear Apple's iWatch could end up being too late to make the type of impact that the iPod and iPhone made on the market. With numerous major tech companies reportedly working on wearable computing initiatives, the iWatch may get lost in the crowd unless it turns out to be a blowout product -- something increasingly difficult to achieve in the tech space today.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Tim Parker was long Apple.

More from Benzinga
Jul 16, 2013 6:35AM
It can only make sense that Apple start working on TRUE apps like- one that shuts the phone off when the car starts, one that shuts the phone off when homework is past due, one that shuts the phone off when household chores aren't done, one that shuts the phone off when you haven't spoken to another human in a day, one that shuts the phone off in public... heck... one that just shuts the phone off and leaves it that way.  
Jul 15, 2013 6:19PM
Consumers will soon realize, as the have with other PC's, that when you reach a certain point like the iPhone 4, Lumia 900 or GS3 you really don't need the next iteration. Same will go for the tablet. So when all the buzz and hype settles down where does that leave Apple and Samsung?
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