Despite numerous reports suggesting Apple’s second-generation iPad mini will ship later this year with a Retina display, one industry watcher believes the Retina-equipped version of Apple’s latest tablet won’t launch until sometime in 2014. According to NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim, Apple’s next iPad mini will use the same display as the current model, though it will feature an upgraded processor and a slimmer design. The analyst also says Apple will launch a new Retina iPad mini in early 2014, though his claims are riddled with holes.
Consumers are still buying larger tablets but it seems as though they’re now more drawn to cheaper, smaller models such as the iPad mini and the Amazon Kindle Fire HD. Research firm DisplaySearch has found that “LCD tablet PC panel shipments reached 27 million units in March… primarily driven by 7-inch panels, which accounted for 48% of total tablet PC panel shipments.” The rise of smaller tablets is hardly surprising given the aggressive pricing that both Google and Amazon have established with their $200 7-inch tablets. However, DisplaySearch says that some of biggest growth is coming from emerging markets where white label manufacturers are selling 7-inch tablets for as little as $69 and putting significant pressure on established tablet manufacturers’ profit margins.
Apple’s new entry-level iPhone and its next-generation iPad mini with a Retina display will reportedly begin shipping from Apple’s manufacturing partner later this summer ahead of launches this fall. Numerous earlier reports claimed Apple is diversifying its manufacturing a bit this year, and now Digitimes’ unnamed supply chain sources claim that Pegatron has indeed been tasked with building a portion of two upcoming Apple devices. iPhones and iPad tablets had previously been built by Foxconn. The report says Pegatron will begin taking delivery of components for the entry-level iPhone and Retina iPad mini next month and the devices will start shipping in August.
Apple’s fifth-generation iPad will by all accounts feature a major design overhaul and according to a new report, it will launch in the third quarter after production ramps up in the next couple of months. Digitimes on Tuesday cites unnamed sources in Apple’s supply chain in claiming that the next version of Apple’s full-size iPad will see manufacturing ramp up in July and August. The tablet will reportedly then begin shipping sometime in the third quarter with a redesigned case and a 20% to 30% reduction in weight. The site also claims that volume production of Apple’s second-generation iPad mini has been postponed to November from September in an effort to boost fifth-generation iPad sales following its launch. The report does not state when the next iPad mini might launch, though it is widely expected to feature an upgraded display with Retina resolution.
One of the most intriguing aspects of Apple’s next-generation iPad is how much it will incorporate the design of its popular iPad mini, especially its thinner side bezels. A new leaked photo posted by Chinese blog Apple.pro shows what is purportedly a panel for the new iPad that features a much wider display and thinner bezels than traditional iPad models. Apple reportedly plans to release its next-generation iPad this fall after it announces the iPhone 5S. Earlier rumors suggest that the new tablet will be between 25% and 33% lighter than its fourth-generation model. The leaked photo of the new iPad panel is posted below. More →
While much of the concern about Apple’s margins has come from speculation about the company’s plans to release a cheaper version of the iPhone, the company may also be pondering releasing a cheaper version of its popular iPad mini tablet. Barron’s points us to a new research note from Citigroup analyst Glen Yeung, who believes that Apple will be forced to release a cheaper version of the iPad mini by the end of the year to maintain its market share against a flood of cheap Android tablets. More →
Apple is expected to debut a new iPhone, iPad and iPad mini tablet later this year. Earlier rumors have suggested that the company’s popular 7.9-inch tablet would see a variety of improvements over the previous model. According to MobiLeaks, the second-generation iPad mini will be equipped with an improved Retina display with 2048 x 1536 resolution that works out to 324 pixels per inch, and it will feature Apple’s dual-core A6X processor as well. The device’s camera will reportedly be upgraded with an 8-megapixel sensor on the back and a 2-megapixel sensor on the front. The thickness of the next iPad mini is also said to be increasing from 7.2mm to 7.5mm, likely to make room for a larger battery. Apple is expected to release the second-generation iPad mini sometime this fall.
When Apple unveiled the iPad in 2010, smartphone vendors were caught off guard and they rushed to launch similar tablets to take advantage of the new market that had been created. Their early efforts were absolutely awful, however. Android slates have gotten much, much better since those early days and now Android vendors’ combined tablet market share looks ready to pass Apple’s share. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company isn’t done setting trends though, and its iPad mini is the latest device Android vendors will look to base their new models on moving forward. More →
Reviewers loved the iPad mini and every indication suggests the smaller Apple slate is selling to consumers quite well. The one item that seems to be on everyone’s wish list, however, is a Retina display. Coming from Apple devices like the full-size iPad and the iPhone 5, the iPad mini’s pixel-starved screen can be painful to use at times, but that will change later this year when Apple launches the second-generation iPad mini with an updated Retina display. According to CNET, NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim says LG Display will begin mass production of the new iPad mini’s 2,048 x 1,536-pixel Retina display in either June or July ahead of a release this fall. Buying the new iPad mini this fall might be a bad idea though, since Shim believes an upgraded third-generation model will launch just a few months later in Q1 2014.
Apple is widely expected to launch an updated version of its iPad mini tablet later this year with a new Retina display, but consumers waiting for the refreshed tablet might want to skip the second-generation model and wait a bit longer. NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim on Sunday told CNET that Apple’s next-generation iPad mini tablet with a Retina display is on track for a third-quarter launch this year. But just as Apple’s third- and fourth-generation full-size iPad launches were surprisingly close to one another, Apple reportedly already has plans to launch another new iPad mini in the first-quarter next year with a faster processor. More →
That chomping sound you hear is the iPad mini eating into the sales of its older sibling. Unnamed sources have told Digitimes that Apple shipped 12.5 million iPad minis last quarter that accounted for roughly 64% of all iPads shipped. The reported iPad mini shipment numbers would give Apple’s 8-inch tablet a significant edge over the rival Google Nexus 7 tablet, which Digitimes‘ sources say has totalled around 4.5 million units shipped since its launch last summer. Earlier rumors have indicated that Apple might be working on two newer versions of the iPad mini for fall release: A more expensive version with a full Retina display and a cheaper version that could be priced competitively with the Nexus 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire HD.
One of the big knocks on Apple’s iPad mini is that it’s priced significantly higher than rival tablets such as the Google Nexus 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire HD. MacRumors points us to a new research note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claiming that Apple has apparently taken this criticism to heart and is now working to produce a cheaper version of the iPad mini that will cost between $200 and $250 when it releases. In particular, Kuo writes that “to cut costs, Apple might push for lower component prices, use a more advanced process to produce the A5 processor, simplify metal casing production, remove the rear camera, cut storage to 8GB and find more component suppliers to lower costs.” From the sound of things, it seems that Apple is taking a similar approach to producing a cheaper iPad mini that it’s taken with producing a cheaper iPhone by trying to figure out how to create a product at a lower cost that doesn’t sacrifice quality.
Microsoft managed to emerge somewhat unscathed from the first quarter’s PC sales decline as it handily topped analysts’ fiscal third-quarter consensus and posted profits that grew 20% over the same period last year. The company’s stock climbed in after-hours trading as CFO Peter Klein, who is leaving the company at the end of the current fiscal year, made some intriguing comments about future products. For one thing, Klein suggested that earlier rumors about Microsoft bringing the Start button back in its Windows 8.1 update due later this year are accurate. The executive also hinted that Microsoft is prepping smaller Surface tablets that will launch later this year to combat Apple’s iPad mini and Amazon’s latest Kindle Fire lineup. More →