Like clockwork, Apple’s online store has been brought down as the team in Cupertino prepares the new pages tablet fans around the world having been waiting for. The Apple Store went down shortly after 10:00AM ET, and we don’t expect it to come back up until shortly after 1:00PM when Apple finally lets the cat out of the bag — not that’s it has really been in the bag for the past few months. Stay tuned to BGR for all the latest iPad 2 news as it breaks.
Set to be unveiled at a media event on Wednesday, the second-generation iPad will apparently be a pretty boring update that isn’t worthy of all the hype. An anonymous “Apple staffer” has reportedly fed enthusiast site Cult of Mac some thoughts on Apple slates, and he or she thinks the iPad 2 is a dud. The iPad 3, on the other hand, will be the awesome update everyone is waiting for. “For the iPad 2 don’t get your hopes up too high. That’s all I’m going to say,” the Apple employee is quoted as having said. “They’ve had a number of problems along the way, and the third-generation iPad is the one to make a song and a dance about.” The chatty rep gave no hints as far as a timeline for the iPad 3 — Apple typically releases an iOS device roughly a year after its predecessor, but several rumors have suggested we may see a third-generation iPad launch this fall. In the meantime, tomorrow’s second-generation iPad is expected to feature a significantly thinner case, dual cameras, a faster processor, more RAM and support for both Verizon Wireless and AT&T’s cellular networks. More →
In a note to investors on Tuesday, Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White became one of only a few analysts to take a minority stance on the iPad 2… sort of. White thinks Apple’s next-generation iPad will see stiff competition from the wave of tablets set to crash down on our shores this year, whereas most believe Apple’s tablet will be a clear winner over competitive offerings. “We estimate there are well over one hundred tablets coming to market around the world this year.” White writes. “Assuming a new iPad is unveiled at this event, we believe Apple must make a convincing case for why the iPad 2 is better than the plethora of competitors coming to market, while at the same time persuading iPad 1 buyers to upgrade to iPad 2.” That was enough to garner some attention, apparently, as White then pumped the brakes. “We still believe the combination of the Apple brand, economies of scale and the company’s powerful ecosystem are reasons enough for Apple to outpace its competitors,” he notes. White currently has a Buy rating on Apple stock with a $550 price target. More →
With Apple’s iPad media event only a day away, many people are asking just what Apple is expected to announce tomorrow. We have heard rumors and seen purported next-generation iPad parts leak practically since right after the first iPad launched. Thanks to third-party case manufacturers, we have also been given renders and even physical mockups of the forthcoming iPad 2. We’ve tried to separate the nonsense from the plausible, and here’s what we’re expecting from tomorrow’s event:
- A much thinner and lighter iPad. We’re talking seriously thin.
- A slightly thinner bezel around the iPad’s display, making the device’s footprint just a tad bit smaller.
- A dual-core Apple processor, possibly named A5
- 512MB of RAM
- A front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for FaceTime HD
- A rear-facing 2-megapixel camera
- Support for AT&T and Verizon Wireless networks out of the box
- Photo Booth for iPad
- Availability within 1-2 weeks, new price points starting at $399 for the entry-level Wi-Fi model
- Announcement and preview of iOS 5 to be released in the summer
We’ll know definitively tomorrow just after 1:00PM ET, but in the meantime, chime in with your own predictions and wishes, alright?
As we’re seeing now with Apple’s current MacBook Pro line, delayed shipping dates and sell-outs are often good indicators of an imminent product refresh. Discounts are also a good sign that a popular product is nearing the end of its life. With that in mind, new reports of retailers and carriers showing dwindling iPad inventory or discounting Apple’s tablet could be indicative of an impending next-generation iPad announcement. 9 to 5 Mac reports that British retail giant Carphone Warehouse is sold out of the 64GB iPad Wi-Fi as well as each of the three iPad Wi-Fi + 3G models. Carriers Orange and T-Mobile have slashed prices on current iPad inventory in half, so customers can now get an iPad for as little as £99.99 on a two-year contract. Finally, European retailer Ingram Micro is sold out of three iPad models, and is showing low inventory on the other three versions of the iPad. Apple is expected to launch the iPad 2 in March, though the company has not made any official information available surrounding the device. More →
Tawain’s Industrial Economics and Knowledge Center (IEK) said Wednesday that global tablet PC shipments in 2011 are expected to total 48 million units. The number sharply contradicts figures reported earlier today by DigiTimes, which suggest Apple will sell 65 million iPad tablets alone next year. The IEK is part of Taiwan`s government-funded Industrial Technology Research Institute, which issued a report regarding the potential impact of tablets, smartphones, smart TVs and 3D displays on the Taiwanese economy in 2011. The report notes that Apple’s iPad will be the firm leader in worldwide tablet sales next year, though Android will account for 25% of global sales, or 12 million units. The IEK also states that Android-powered smartphone shipments are estimated to total 270 million units in 2011 — six times the projections for 2010. More →
According to hit or miss industry watcher DigiTimes, Apple is betting big on the iPad in 2011. The site estimates that iPad manufacturers will ship 65 million units for Apple in 2011, a figure that is almost double the market consensus. According to the report, which is based on checks within various display manufacturers, iPad panel builders will be quite busy next year. LG Display will reportedly receive orders for 35 million iPad displays over the course of 2011, while Samsung Electronics and Chimei Innolux will each build 15 million panels. While DigiTimes has a number of accurate forecasts to its credit over the years, we definitely don’t see this report ending up in its win column. More →
According to Kaufman Brothers analyst Shaw Wu, RIM may be forced to delay the release of its first tablet computer, the BlackBerry PlayBook. Wu claims he is hearing that the PlayBook “needs to improve its relatively poor battery life of a few hours compared to 6 hours for the Samsung Galaxy Tab and 10 hours for [Apple's] iPad.” As a result, Wu writes, the launch of the BlackBerry PlayBook may be delayed until May, 2011. Wu notes that the cause of the battery issues may stem from the fact that QNX, the PlayBook’s operating system, was designed for use in scenarios where battery life is not an issue — such as in automobiles. RIM Co-CEO Jim Balsillie stated last month that the PlayBook would launch in the first quarter of 2011, with a price tag under $500.
We ran an exhaustive video preview of the BlackBerry PlayBook earlier this month, and called the PlayBook experience as it stands now “fluid, quick, and downright impressive.” With Apple’s iPad 2 and several Android tablets set to launch over the course of the first quarter, however, sales of the BlackBerry PlayBook could be negatively impacted should RIM be forced to delay the tablet’s launch until the second quarter. More →
Citing an anonymous Chinese source, Japanese Apple enthusiast site Kanteidan Blog reports several unconfirmed details about Apple’s upcoming second-generation iPad. The case on the iPad 2 will feature notable design changes compared to the current iPad model, according to the report. It will measure 239 mm by 186 mm, which is slightly smaller than Apple’s current 242.8 mm by 189.7 mm iPad case. The back will reportedly be flat instead of convex, like the current model’s case back, and the bezel surrounding the 9.7-inch display will be smaller. Finally, Kanteidan’s source claims the iPad 2 will feature wide-range speakers for improved audio quality. Apple’s next-generation iPad is expected to begin shipping from manufacturers in January or February, with a release likely falling some time in the first quarter. More →
DigiTimes is hit or miss and while we’re inclined to think there are some misses in its latest report on Apple’s upcoming iPad 2, there are also some hits — or safe bets, at least. Citing an unconfirmed report in a Chinese newspaper, DigiTimes lists five key new features that Apple’s upcoming iPad sequel will supposedly tout:
•Front-facing camera for FaceTime video chat
•A thinner glass panel for a lighter build
•A USB port
•A 3-axis gyroscope
Aside from the USB port, the paper’s claims sound reasonable. We’re not saying it’s impossible that Apple would add a standard USB port to the iPad, but we definitely give it a likelihood rating of 1 on a scale to 10 for the time being. More →