Samsung on Tuesday released the findings of a recent survey intended to determine just how desirable consumer tablets are in the U.S. According to the survey, which was commissioned by Samsung Mobile and conducted by Kelton Research, 90% of U.S. consumers either already own a tablet or would consider purchasing a tablet. Of the current tablet owners among the 1,000 people polled in the survey, 76% said they use the devices to read news or books, 64% said they watch TV shows or movies, 61% use tablets to listen to music and 56% say the update their social network profiles with their slates. Also of note, 53% of respondents said they would rather play games on a tablet than a PC or dedicated game console, and 41% said they were interested in video chat. Samsung’s full press release follows below. More →
DigiTimes is citing a report from sznews.com today that three Foxconn employees have been arrested in Shenzhen, China for leaking the design specs of the iPad 2 to third-party case manufacturers ahead of the device’s launch. The three were allegedly arrested in December of last year and were charged in late March for the leaks. Foxconn grew suspicious of its own employees after accurate third-party iPad 2 cases began popping up on the market; the firm then asked local authorities to investigate. Foxconn manufacturers electronics for a number of major companies including Apple, HP, Palm, and Sony, and it has been called out in the past for the harsh treatment of its employees. More →
Reports of an iPad 2 sales freeze that may have gotten Best Buy in hot water with Apple emerged Thursday night, and the possible explanation given by someone claiming to work for Best Buy was odd at best. The anonymous whistleblower claimed that the retailer was holding iPad 2 inventory after having met its sales quota for the day. BGR has independently confirmed that retail employees of at least two Best Buy stores were told by managers not to sell iPad 2 inventory on Thursday afternoon. We have also obtained an internal communication delivered to all retail employees at a California Best Buy location on Thursday. The communication, which is claimed by our source to have been delivered by Best Buy management via SMS, instructs employees to hold all iPad inventory except for pre-orders. The message goes on to direct employees to misinform customers who inquire about the iPad 2, which could also be part of the reason the retailer is in hot water with Apple.
NewsFlash: ipads cannot be sold according to BBY. All ipads except for preorders MUST be held until further notice. Cant tell customers were holding them either
No explanation was offered to Best Buy employees by management, and employees in two different Best Buy locations stated that their Apple reps did not answer calls seeking clarification. Best Buy did not immediately respond to BGR’s request for comment.
UPDATE: Best Buy provided the following statement to BGR via email: “Best Buy continues to receive iPad 2 inventory from Apple on a regular basis. As we’ve said previously, we are fulfilling customer reservations first. Our stores have been asked to temporarily hold non-reserved iPad 2 inventory for an upcoming promotion. This is a customary practice for us when there are supply constraints. Best Buy enjoys a great partnership with Apple, and we’re delighted by customer response to iPad 2.” Best Buy did not address claims that retail staff is being instructed by management to misinform customers.
Does Verizon Wireless’ iPad 2 have a connection problem? Some users on Apple’s discussion forums seem to think so. One user named “nixxon 2000” started a thread in called “iPad 2 WiFi + 3G Verizon Cellular Data Issue” in which the user claims that his or her iPad 2 refuses to connect to Verizon Wireless’ 3G network. The only fix for this user is to hard reset the device using iTunes. We might typically chalk this up to a user error of sorts, but there are now five pages of replies, many of which are forum posters with the same problem. Reportedly, resetting the network settings doesn’t do the trick, and some Genius Bar employees weren’t able to find the root of the issue. One forum poster named “dtsguy” had this to say on the issue:
Easy way to duplicate: turn off cellular, then reboot normally. 3G will not come back regardless if switched on or off. Only way to turn back on is to 1) switch cellular back to ‘on’ and 2) reboot. All time consuming… Tried restoring, didn’t help……
We’re curious if this is a widespread issue or if it’s just happening with a handful of users, but we hope it’s something that can be fixed through a quick software update in either case. More →
Toys R’ Us may begin selling the iPad 2 next month according to a report from enthusiast site ModMyi. The site’s source provided a leaked screen shot that shows employee training software as well as a secondary product knowledge sheet. Apple’s latest tablet has been wildly popular since its launch on March 11th so this is good news for consumers trying to get their hands on a unit. As of late March, Apple began replenishing the stock in some retail stores, and its online store says that customers still have to wait 2-3 weeks for new orders to ship. The iPad 2 is also available from AT&T, Best Buy, RadioShack, Target, Verizon Wireless and Walmart, among other retailers. Toys R’ Us has not yet officially announced plans to offer the iPad 2. More →
Apple’s iPad 2 has topped Consumer Reports’ tablet ratings according to a press release issued on Tuesday. Consumer Reports has taken an odd stance on Apple’s mobile products in recent history, particularly where the iPhone is concerned. Apple’s iPhone 4 for AT&T and its iPhone 4 for Verizon Wireless both received Consumer Reports’ highest ever ratings, but the independent buying guide recommended against purchasing the phones due to their infamous antenna attenuation issues known as the death grip. With the iPad 2, however, antennas don’t come into play in the same way. “So far, Apple is leading the tablet market in both quality and price, which is unusual for a company whose products are usually premium priced,” said Consumer Reports’ electronics editor Paul Reynolds in a statement. “However, it’s likely we’ll see more competitive pricing in tablets as other models begin to hit the market.” In addition to the iPad2, Consumer reports tested tablets from Archos, Dell, Motorola, Samsung and ViewSonic, and noted that Apple’s chief competition for the time being is found in the Motorola XOOM. Hit the break for the full release.
eBay has revealed sales figures for the iPad 2 during its first two weeks on the market. The online auction house created a chart that shows just under 12,000 iPad 2 units were sold during the two week period that it was exclusively available in the United States. The graphic notes that 35% of iPad 2 units sold during that 2 week period were to international customers looking to get an early taste — that figure is down from the 65% of international customers who purchased the original iPad on eBay. Canada and Russia were the two largest importers, each purchasing about 500 iPad 2 tablets. Hong Kong, Japan, and the United Kingdom each bought about 350. Australia purchased 317 iPads last year, but only purchased 110 iPad 2 devices in 2010. The 16GB Wi-Fi version of the iPad 2 was the most popular, as it represented 30% of all iPad 2 sales. Apple has yet to release its official iPad 2 sales figures. More →
Despite being 27% thinner, a series of stress tests show that the glass covering Apple’s iPad 2 display is significantly stronger and more flexible than the glass used on the original iPad. The team at Apple product repair shop iFixYouri took it upon themselves to put glass display covers from the original iPad and the iPad 2 through a series of abusive stress tests, and the results are pretty remarkable. We’ve already spoiled the ending but watching the iPad 2 glass survive these torture tests is pretty impressive to say the least. Hit the break for the video and please, don’t try this at home. More →
Just ahead of Apple’s international launch of the iPad 2, replenishment of U.S. inventory appears to be incoming. BGR has confirmed with various Apple Store and third-party retailer locations that new shipments have begun to arrive over the past few days. Retailers we have spoken with in the New York metropolitan area appear to be receiving new units in very small quantities, and Wi-Fi iPad 2 tablets seem much easier to come by than 3G-enabled units. Apple’s online store also adjusted its shipping estimates for new orders down to 3-4 weeks from 4-5 weeks. While the short supply has lead many to believe Apple’s new iPad 2 is selling quite well, the company still hasn’t announced any sales figures. More →
There’s so much to say about Apple’s new tablet, the iPad 2, yet it really boils down to a few short and sweet sentences. It’s the latest tablet on the market, having beaten the upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook to market by a good month, and its return to store shelves (or lack thereof) comes just a few weeks after Motorola’s highly anticipated XOOM launched. It seems as though every manufacturer has tablet fever as of late, though Apple really defined this product category, and now it’s back in an even bigger way just under a year later. Read on to find out if the iPad 2 really has the chops to rock and roll with the best of them!More →
Apple may have revamped its online ordering system in an effort to prevent close-watchers from trying to figure out just how many iPad 2 units have shipped, according to sources speaking to AppleInsider. When the original iPad launched, users from Investor VIllage AAPL Sanity Board were able to figure out the number of iPad sales by comparing the order numbers. This year, however, orders are shipping with a randomly generated number. That means that you can’t look at order numbers to get a ballpark figure of how many iPad 2 units have shipped. That sounds like a logical move for Apple, which probably wants to keep sales figures close to the vest until it can announce an official number on its own. Oddly, though, Apple has not yet released any numbers in relation to how many iPad 2 tablets it has shipped. Analysts have estimated that Apple may have sold 1 million iPad 2s during its opening weekend, but we figure Apple would have made an announcement by now if that was fact. In any case, most retailers sold out of the device immediately, and as of yesterday there were still lines at the 5th Avenue Apple Store in NYC. So one thing is for clear: there’s certainly a large consumer demand. Enough for one Apple spokesperson to claim sales were “amazing.“
Strong demand in the U.S. means strong revenue in Taiwan, and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., parent company of notorious manufacturer Foxconn, saw revenue continue to climb in February. Hon Hai pulled in NT$152.9 billion (almost $5.2 billion) in the shortest month of the year, Taiwan Economic News reports, up 25.9% over the same month in 2010. Over the first two months of 2011, Hon Hai’s revenues sit at NT$339.1 billion ($11.5 billion), a 31.5% increase over January and February 2010. Growth has slowed, however, as outlined in an earlier report. The company is continuing to increase revenues despite skyrocketing labor and material costs, however, and the growth is attributed to high demand for popular gadgets like Apple’s iPad 2 — which is currently sold out across the country — as well as the original iPad and Microsoft’s motion-based Xbox 360 controller, the Kinect. Sales of the Microsoft Kinect sensor recently passed the 10 million mark, making it the fastest-selling consumer electronics device of all time. More →
Some Apple Store locations may or may not be releasing a second wave of iPad 2 shipments to the public today, but potential buyers who would prefer not to deal with the chaos are in for some bad news this morning. Shipping times have varied a great deal in the short time since the iPad 2 was launched last week. Most recently, Apple listed shipping quotes of between two and three weeks. With rumors of new shipments floating around, many had hoped these shipping delays would be reduced as new inventory reached U.S. shores, but unfortunately that’s not yet the case. Apple’s online store now shows increased shipping delays of between four and five weeks, meaning orders placed today might not arrive for over a month. Apple’s shipping quotes typically err on the side of caution, however, so those who order the tablet today can expect to be pleasantly surprised when their iPad 2 ships early. More →