J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz sent a note to investors on Thursday in which he said he is raising his 2011 tablet shipment forecast to 51.9 million units, up 13% from his original prediction. Moskowitz believes Amazon’s tablet, which may launch in November for $250, “could be interesting” and it may be the first tablet to truly rival the iPad, MarketWatch noted. “While the OS is likely to remain a weak spot on an Amazon device, we believe the brand name, content and distribution capabilities of Amazon pose risks to Apple’s dominance of the tablet market,” Moskowitz wrote. Amazon is expected to pre-load the tablet with its Unbox streaming video offering, Cloud Drive storage service and its own music and app stores. Apple’s iPad and iPad 2 tablets currently own more than 70% of the tablet market and Moskowitz says second place is still up for grabs. “We are still awaiting the emergency of a clear number two player, though this may not happen until the launch of Windows 8 in 2012,” he said. “In our view, smartphones and tablets are hurting PC growth, as consumers are being distracted by the array of higher-capability device options available. In addition to the cannibalization effect, we believe that tablets, plus smartphones, are resulting in consumers deferring PC purchases.” More →
Amazon’s upcoming Android tablet will soon launch for “hundreds less” than Apple’s $499 entry-level iPad 2 tablet, the New York Post reported on Thursday. According to the report, which cites an anonymous source, Amazon will launch its first Android tablet in September or October and aggressive pricing is seen as crucial to Amazon’s success in the space. BGR exclusively reported back in May that Amazon is working on two tablet devices — the entry-level dual-core “Coyote” and the high-end quad-core “Hollywood” — and at least one of them is expected to be unveiled in the coming weeks. Amazon’s tablet offerings will reportedly feature the Android operating system, perhaps heavily customized, along with deep integration of several Amazon services such as the Amazon Appstore, the Kindle eBook store, Amazon’s Cloud Drive service and others. More →
The Russian government is considering disallowing the use of Apple’s iPad tablet within government agencies due to security concerns, Russian-language business news site RBC Daily reports. Instead, it is investigating various alternative tablet options including RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook, Android-powered tablets or even a new device created by a Russian agency. Government security experts are reportedly looking for more “cryptographically secure tablet PCs” than Apple’s iPad tablet, and if the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology’s recent certification is any indication, the BlackBerry PlayBook could fit the bill. RIM announced last week that its PlayBook tablet received FIPS 140-2 certification, thus allowing it to be used by U.S. government officials. No other tablet has received FIPS certification to date. More →
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 →
If you’re looking for a reason to call out sick on Friday, here it is. On Thursday Square Enix followed up its March launch of Final Fantasy III for the iPhone by releasing a new iPad version. We’ve been playing the iPhone version for a while and appreciate the crisp 3D graphics and easy controls. Plus, you’re guaranteed to get more than just a few hours of game play out of this epic title that first made its debut in 1990 — before being relaunched on the Nintendo DS in 2006. Square Enix promises new and improved 3D visuals and story sequences on the iPad, quicker browsing through monster bestiary and other game records, and new visual designs for Job Mastery cards. The user interface has also been revamped to take advantage of the iPad’s larger display. There’s a reason we have a few Sumolounge beanbag chairs in our office… and this game is it. 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.
On Friday, Verizon Wireless announced that its cell phone trade-in program, which originally launched last September, will now accept tablets. The Verizon Wireless Trade-In Program was created to provide customers with a Verizon Wireless gift card worth up to $300 for their gear. It bases the value of a product off of a number of things, including whether it will power up or not, if the display works or not, and whether or not the display is cracked. We tested the value of a 16GB Apple iPad Wi-Fi + 3G that powers on and has a working display without cracks. Verizon Wireless appraised that device at $185. We’d probably be better off selling it on eBay. Hit the jump for the full release. 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 →
AT&T on Friday dropped the price of Apple’s original iPad Wi-Fi + 3G models to all-time lows. While supplies last, AT&T is offering the 64GB iPad Wi-Fi + 3G model for just $529 — $300 below the tablet’s initial launch price. AT&T lists the steep discount as an online-only price. The 16GB iPad Wi-Fi + 3G model is now just $429 online while supplies last, and the 32GB model is sold out, which may explain why its logical price point is now occupied by the 64GB iPad. Remaining inventory of the original iPad models is thought to be extremely low at this point, so it is unclear how long these deals will last. More →
According to an independent survey conducted by market research firm ChangeWave, Apple’s iPad still has no real competition in the eyes of consumers. ChangeWave released the results of its survey on Thursday, revealing that 82% of respondents planned to purchase the iPad instead of a competitive offering such as the Motorola XOOM, BlackBerry PlayBook or Samsung Galaxy Tab. The firm surveyed 3,091 consumers in the month of February — before the iPad 2 was announced and, for the most part, before the XOOM was available for consumers to try — and 27% said they planned to purchase a tablet in the future. Of those 835 people, a whopping 82% said they would be buying the Apple iPad. The Motorola XOOM found itself in the sights of 4% of the group and the BlackBerry PlayBook and Samsung Galaxy Tab each took 3% shares of ChangeWave’s sample. The remaining 8% intended to purchase a tablet other than the four devices named in the survey. More →
Several industry analysts estimate that Apple’s iPad 2, which became available online early this morning and will go on sale in stores this evening, should handily beat the opening weekend sales achieved last year by the original iPad. Analysts at Creative Strategies, Rodman & Renshaw and Piper Jaffray all concur, and it only seems logical, of course. Inventory shortages played a big role in hampering launch weekend sales of the original iPad model, which sold 300,000 units in its first 24 hours of availability. Despite being an incremental update that disappoints in some areas, the iPad 2 will be much more widely available at launch, with retail partners including AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Best Buy, Walmart, Sam’s Club and Target carrying the tablet on top of availability at Apple Stores across the country. The iPad 2 goes on sale at 5:00 p.m. on Friday. More →
Apple has just gone and done it, boys and girls — the next generation iPad is now official. Moments ago, Steve Jobs just announced the new iPad, the iPad 2 — surprise, it’s pretty much what we were suspecting. Here are some key specifications right from the man himself:
- Apple A5 processor, dual core CPU
- 2x CPU speed, 9x graphics speed improvement
- Front and rear cameras
- 33% thinner, 13.4mm to 8.8mm thin — thinner than an iPhone 4, and lighter than the previous iPad
- AT&T and Verizon models, white and black iPads
- Same original iPad battery life, over 10 hours of usage and a month of standby time
Pricing for the new iPad lines up exactly with the original model: iPad Wi-Fi will be available in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB capacitties for $499, $599, and $699 respectively. The iPad Wi-Fi + 3G will be available in the aforementioned sizes for $629, $729, and $829. The new model will go on sale in just under two weeks starting in the U.S. with many more countries joining in on March 25th. More →
If you’re planning on staying at the The Plaza hotel in New York, you have one more thing to look forward to, and that’s iPads in every room and suite. Since January, the five star hotel has put iPads in all guest rooms for a multitude of reasons. One of the coolest? The custom app that the iPad runs. Replacing an older touch panel, the new app allows guests to control lights in the room, change their heat and air conditioning systems, order room service, make restaurant reservations, request wake up calls, communicate with the concierge, and even print boarding passes. According to the general manager of the hotel, their previous system, “wasn’t sophisticated enough for what we wanted to do” and they ” chose the iPad because it is a great piece of equipment that is here to stay and won’t disappear tomorrow.” Sounds good to us. Video of the iPad running the custom app by Intelity after the break. More →