Apple roundup: home button fingerprint sensor, Cook in China again?

|About: Apple Inc. (AAPL)|By:, SA News Editor

Developer Hamza Sood has uncovered code that appears to confirm rumors the iPhone 5S' (AAPL +1.8%) home button will have a built-in fingerprint sensor.

Tim Cook reportedly traveled to China this week to meet with China Telecom's (CHA +0.3%) leadership. No details on what was discussed; chances are CHA will be a major buyer of the low-cost iPhone.

In a "final office action," the USPTO has rejected 21 claims within Apple's pinch-to-zoom patent. Look for Apple to appeal the ruling. In June, the USPTO reaffirmed the validity of a claim in Apple's "rubber-banding" patent after previously invalidating it.

Leaked photo cases and a BI source indicate the low-cost iPhone will be called the iPhone 5C. "C" is meant to stand for "color," though as BI notes, critics could refer to it as standing for "cheap."

Sprint sold 1.4M iPhones in Q2, down from 1.5M in Q1 and a year ago. For reference, Verizon sold 3.9M iPhones in Q2, and AT&T at least 3.7M.

The iPhone's U.S. customer loyalty remains strong. A CIRP survey found 78% of U.S. iPhone owners upgrading to a new iPhone vs. 67% of Android owners buying a new Android phone.