Apple customers are just now getting the iPhone 4S into their hands, however, the company’s highly anticipated (and rumored) iPhone 5 may hit the market sooner than later. According to report from 9to5 Mac, Apple is on schedule to ship the iPhone 5 in the summer of 2012. Why didn’t Apple release it earlier, as rumored? CNET said in a recent story that Steve Jobs was heading up the iPhone 5 project, which was met with delays in February, while the iPhone 4S was developed by another team. The iPhone 5 production delays would have made a holiday deadline impossible. As such, Apple was forced to make the final decision to hold the iPhone 5 until kinks in the production line were ironed out. The iPhone 4S team moved forward and released the phone on schedule and in time for the holidays. Rumors still suggest the iPhone 5 will be thinner, lighter and will have a teardrop form factor.
Janney Capital Markets analyst Bill Choi believes Apple’s success with the iPhone will continue to sky rocket. Choi estimated recently that Apple will ship 87 million iPhone units this year and 107 million during 2012, a 27 percent increase year-over-year. Apple’s growing number of carrier partners will be the primary catalyst for the growth, Choi said, noting that 228 wireless carriers offered the iPhone in a total of 105 countries during the third quarter of this year. “There are still a handful of major carriers worldwide that have yet to carry the iPhone. Potential deals with Sprint (52.1M subscribers), T-Mobile (33.6M subscribers), China Mobile (628M subscribers) and other large international carriers pose a catalyst to fuel iPhone sales,” Choi wrote in a research note. Despite a recent rumor that suggests Apple will sell a new iPhone with support for T-Mobile’s “4G” network, statements from T-Mobile USA chief marketing officer Cole Brodman have suggested that T-Mobile USA will not carry the iPhone this year. Apple will unveil its new iPhone lineup on Tuesday and is currently expected to launch an improved model as well as a watered down and more affordable version of the current iPhone 4. More →
Sprint will deploy its 4G LTE network early next year and has already started to deploy the required equipment, CNET reported on Tuesday. Reportedly, Sprint is also already testing the network, although sources speaking to CNET did not reveal where the tests were occurring. The move is enabled by Sprint’s “Network Vision” plans, which it first discussed in December 2010. During our recent tour of Sprint’s facilities in Overland Park, Kansas, when Sprint CEO Dan Hesse confirmed that the carrier’s 4G plans would be discussed this fall, we were able to snap a few photos of an Ericsson E-Node Base Transceiver System (BTS). Sprint explained at the time that, should it decide to move to an LTE network, engineers just had to add an LTE card to the BTS and perform the required tests to get a new network up and running. Sprint has also already announced a deal with Lightsqured to deliver 4G LTE support to its customers, although it has not yet been discussed when the roll-out will occur. BGR will be attending a Sprint “Strategy Update” in New York City on October 7th where we expect to hear more about Sprint’s future 4G plans. More →
Global shipments of eReaders are expected to skyrocket this year, ballooning 183% from last year to reach 34.8 million units. According to new data from the Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute, part of Taiwan’s Institute for Information Industry, 12.3 million dedicated eBook readers shipped in 2010. The figure is relatively in line with earlier estimates of 12.8 million units from market research firm IDC. The MIC estimates that global eReader shipments in 2011 will total up to 34.8 million units, and 2012 shipments could grow a further 46% to surpass 50 million units. The firm sees the U.S. as the biggest growth market during that period, and the eReader landscape is expected to shift moving forward. “Consumers prefer e-readers with multimedia functions, MIC said, the overall performance, colorization, and product differentiation are key factors for market success,” Taiwan Economic News noted in its coverage of MIC’s report. “Cross-industry alliances will also be decisive for players in the new game, the center said.” More →
Apple’s popular iPad line will still dominate the consumer tablet market a full decade after its initial launch, according to one analyst. In a new report, Needham analyst Charlie Wolf sees the iPad’s share of consumer tablet shipments declining gradually over the next nine years to 60% in 2020. 60%, of course, is still an overwhelming share of the market. Future tablets are more likely to steal market share from each other rather than from the iPad, the analyst explains, noting that competitive offerings to date have been greeted by consumers with “a yawn and lackluster sales.” Wolf sees iPad shipments reaching 35.61 million units in 2011, up 137.4% from last year and representing 85% of all tablets shipped. In 2012, iPad shipments will grow to 54.3 million units according to Wolf’s model, and shipments will hit 72.66 million units in 2013. The analyst sees iPad shipments reaching nearly 140 million units in 2020, representing 60% of all tablets shipped that year and accounting for $53 billion in revenue and $16 billion in profit despite an average selling price that will have dropped to $377 from $630 in 2010. Wolf’s 10-year iPad projections follow below. More →
Apple will begin to merge its OS X and iOS operating systems in 2012 according to predictions made by Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek.”We believe Apple is looking to merge iOS (iPhones/iPads) with OS X (Macs) into a single platform for apps and cloud services starting in 2012-13,” Misek said. He believes that the A6 processor is “capable of PC-like strength,” and that Apple will implement it into its iPad 3 during the first quarter of 2012, into the iPhone 5 next summer, and into the MacBook Air in 2012 or 2013. “Users want to be able to pick up any iPhone, iPad, or Mac (or turn on their iTV) and have content move seamlessly between them and be optimized for the user and the device currently being used,” Misek said. “We believe this will be difficult to implement if iOS and OS X are kept separate.” There have been rumors that Apple has considered building its own TV, which Misek refers to as the “iTV,” although that has been pure speculation. More →
Revenue from mobile gaming is expected to reach $16 billion in 2016, ABI Research said in a report released last week. ABI expects the growth, which is a big jump from the current $5 billion in revenue expected this year, to come from in-game purchases. “An ever-larger share of mobile gaming revenue is coming from virtual goods and other purchases that take place within the game,” ABI Research senior analyst Aapo Markkanen said. “These in-app payments will account for about one-third of the 2011 revenue base, but by the end of 2016 their share will increase to almost half of the total. Also, the in-game advertising revenue will increase considerably, as more and more advertisers take advantage of mobile games’ mass-media potential.” Games such as Zynga’s Farmville and Capcom’s Smurf Village are examples of titles that rely heavily on in-game sales to produce revenue. Markkanen also said that having good game content is a much better business approach to the mobile gaming market than relying on luck, and he used Rovio’s hit game Angry Birds as an example of that. Read on for the full press release from ABI Research. More →
Cisco could cut as many as 10,000 jobs — 14% of the company’s employees — in an effort to boost profits, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. 3,000 Cisco employees accepted buyouts and early retirement packages, which will cost Cisco between $500 and $1.1 billion during the fourth quarter. While the layoff plans aren’t final, 7,000 more jobs could be cut by the end of August. The move comes as analysts predict that Cisco’s router and switches business will continue to slide into next year, and the company believes the job cuts could save it as much as $1 billion during 2012. “We will provide additional detail on the cost reductions, including layoffs, on our next earnings call,” Cisco spokesperson Karen Tillman said. The call is scheduled for early August. On April 12th, Cisco announced that it was restructuring its consumer business and killing off its Flip video camera arm. More →
Adding on to the paper’s earlier report suggesting a redesigned Apple iPhone 5 is about to enter production, The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday added preliminary details surrounding the iPhone 6. The device, which is said to be launching some time in 2012, will feature a “new way of charging the phone,” the report claims, though further details were not provided. It is possible that Apple is looking into a charging solution similar to the Touchstone technology found in HP’s mobile devices, though this would hardly be “new.” Additionally, the report claims Apple is indeed working on a smaller, cheaper iPhone model with an edge-to-edge display, though no new details were added to older rumors in the same vein. The Journal’s earlier report suggested Apple’s fifth-generation iPhone handset is currently being shopped among manufacturers in China. The report also counters earlier reports in claiming the device will be thinner and lighter than the iPhone 4. BGR reported last month that the iPhone 5 would feature a brand new case design, lending additional support to earlier claims that the phone might feature a new slim, tapered case.
In a recent interview with Forbes, Nintendo of America’s president and chief operating officer Reggie Fils-Aime was asked how his company will market the new Nintendo Wii U console — given that the existing Wii will still be on the market. Fils-Aime responded by noting that the console will not launch until after April 1st of next year — a date we hadn’t heard yet — and that, historically, Nintendo has sold multiple devices side by side. Fils-Aime pointed to the launch of the Nintendo DS alongside the Gameboy Advance, and also said that the Wii was on the market at the same time as the Game Cube. He also discussed cross-platform play, which could allow users to play against one another using different Nintendo machines “We have one key developer with a very strong relationship to Nintendo, the same developer who created Smash Brothers, that is envisioning a Smash Brothers experience that will be cross platform between Wii U and 3DS,” Fils-Aime said. Nintendo took the wraps off of the highly anticipated Wii U during the E3 tradeshow early last month, but has yet to announce a price for the console.
Sony’s manufacturing partners will begin building the consumer electronics giant’s next-generation video game console toward the end of this year, with a launch scheduled for 2012, DigiTimes reports. Details surrounding Sony’s PlayStation 4 are very limited for the time being, but the report states that the new console will feature integrated movement-based controls similar to the Microsoft Kinect controller. Foxconn and Pegatron, the two manufacturing firms charged with assembling Sony’s PlayStation 3, will build the new console according to DigiTimes’ sources. 2012 shipment volume for the PS4 is said to be at least 20 million units. Sony’s PlayStation 4 was not expected to launch until 2013 or 2014, but with Nintendo’s Wii U launching next year and Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox due to be unveiled in 2012 as well, it is possible that Sony accelerated the new console’s development in order to remain competitive. Sony’s current PlayStation 3 console has sold more than 51 million units globally since its launch in November 2006. More →
During the CommunicAsia conference in Singapore on Tuesday, Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop said Nokia is now on track to release its first Windows Phone device during 2011. Previous reports had suggested that Nokia would release its first Windows Phone in 2012 — when it’s expected to launch as many as a dozen different devices, including at least one with a dual-core processor. “Our primary smartphone strategy is to focus on the Windows phone,” Elop said during the conference. “I have increased confidence that we will launch our first device based on the Windows platform later this year and we will ship our product in volume in 2012.” Despite the move to Windows Phone, Elop also said that Nokia has plans to launch ten new Symbian devices during the next 12 months. More →
Sony Chief Financial Officer Masaru Kato announced to the press on Monday that the company expects to post an annual loss of $3.2 billion for its fiscal year ending in March 2011 — the second largest loss in company history. The news comes as yet another blow for the Japanese consumer electronics giant, whose online networks have been the target of a series of cyberattacks that impacted more than 100 million customers. Sony had previously expected to post a profit this year, however the company had to write off $4.4 billion for a tax credit from a previous quarter. A series of earthquakes that rocked Japan earlier this year had a negative impact on the company as well, slowing production and destroying factories. The affect of the quakes carried over to the company’s first quarter, Kato told the press, but Sony is still optimistic about 2011/2012. For the fiscal year ending in March 2012, Sony expects to post an operating profit of 200 billion yen, or $2.45 billion at today’s exchange rate. More →