5 SPARKS You Need to Know About Apple’s Positive Week

The sweet hum of positivity hovered around Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) this past week, with the stock heading upward almost every day. The company had several developments to be thrilled about over the past few days and it largely stayed in the positive category as far as media focus goes. With its developers’ conference coming straight at us right alongside the end of the weekend, the company will surely be in the limelight again all of next week, too. But for now, let’s cut through the weeds for this week’s cheat sheet of Apple’s most important storylines.

No Commitment, No Worry

In a pretty significant step toward expanding its user base, Apple has stripped the iPhone from contract requirements, letting two different wireless providers start selling its in-demand smartphone with a prepaid deal. First it was Leap Wireless (NASDAQ:LEAP) that announced it would get the iPhone for its prepaid service, Cricket, starting June 22, and then within the week, Sprint (NYSE:S) had the phone on its Virgin Mobile pay-as-you-go brand. Virgin will be offering the phone starting July 1 and has not revealed its pricing structure yet, but Cricket will be charging $55 for unlimited talk, text, and data. The 16GB 4S model will be the user’s for only $499 and without the hassle of a two-contract. This version of the phone is ordinarily sold for $650 without the subsidy. Read more: Apple iPhone Gets into One-Call-Stands

Pulling Its Weight

Despite objections from both Nokia (NYSE:NOK) and Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM), Apple has had its way with the international SIM card standards body. This week, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute finally approved the nano-SIM, which is 40 percent smaller than the prior model at its 12.3 millimeters by 8.8 mm by 0.67 mm after months of debate. Apple had demanded the smaller SIM card to make space on the phone for additional features or a larger phone battery, while competitors opposed its recommended standard. The Finnish phone company had even accused Apple of misusing the standardization process, but for now, its complaints seem to have gone unheard. Find out what happened here: Nokia Unhappy With Favorable Decision for Apple’s iPhone

Friend Request Approved

Apple and newly public Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) look like they’re ready to become best friends. There is word that the iPhone maker will strike the first big partnership with the social network at its Worldwide Developers Conference next week by announcing a deeper of Facebook into its mobile operating system. At the moment, Twitter is Apple’s main third-party authentication and sharing service partner on the iOS. The two have been flirting for quite a while now, with Apple chief executive Tim Cook calling Facebook the one company closest to being like his. Maybe it’s finally time to update the status. Read more: Facebook: Apple’s About to BOOST Us into the STRATSOPHERE

My Camera Makes Phone Calls

According to tech analyst Mingchi Kuo, Apple is finally upgrading its front-facing camera with the next-generation iPhone by giving it high-definition capabilities, a smaller chip, and a new location at the top center of the phone. According to KGI’s Kuo, Apple is expected to make “quite a few essential adjustments” to its next iPhone, and he also suppers the bigger-screen concept that has been talked about for a while. Kuo also wrote in a research note to investors that the rear camera was likely stay 8-megapixel strong, though its aperture range could go up. What else may change? Read more: Apple’s iPhone 5 Gets HD Camera

More Minnow Stomping

Apple tried its best to stop HTC from bringing in two of its Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android-powered phones into the country last month, forcing U.S. Customs to halt the shipments and inspect the models. The action stemmed from an ITC ruling that had gone in Apple’s favor last December, where the watchdog body ruled that HTC had violated an Apple patent regarding a click-to-call feature. While the Taiwanese company had to bear the delay, it finally managed a go-ahead. But now Apple is at it again, claiming that HTC’s work-around for the patent wasn’t really legitimate. In fact, it is stepping up its attack this time, naming a total of 29 HTC models in its new petition to the ITC. We’ll have to wait and see how that goes. Read more: Apple Flexes Legal Muscles At HTC