According to a new report from Digitimes, the next-generation 9.7-inch iPad will be equipped with the same “G/F2 (DITO) thin-film type” touchscreen technology as the iPad mini. Apple (AAPL) currently uses a glass-on-glass touchscreen in its iPad models, however the switch to G/F2 technology will reportedly allow the fifth-generation iPad to be thinner and lighter. Digitimes notes that Apple’s move to DITO technology shows that the company is “looking to bump up its competition in the tablet segment,” adding that it is also expected to have a “more adequate supply” to the technology compared to the one-glass-solution technology Apple was said to be exploring. Recent reports have suggested that Apple will release a new iPad and iPad mini in March.
Is the tablet market shaping up to follow the smartphone market? Research firm IDC on Thursday reported that Apple’s (AAPL) share of global tablet shipments sank to 43.6% in the fourth quarter last year from 51.7% in the same quarter a year earlier, while Samsung’s (005930) share grew to 15.1% from 7.3% in the year-ago quarter. Both companies showed year-over-year growth, with Apple’s iPad shipments jumping 48.1% to 22.9 million units from 15.1 million, and Samsung’s channel sales spiking 263% to 7.9 million tablets from 2.2 million. More →
Apple (AAPL) has reportedly cut its display orders for the full-size iPad by 50% or more for the first quarter this year as demand shifts to the iPad mini. Following reports of weaker than expected iPad demand moving into 2013, Digitimes cites multiple anonymous industry sources in stating that Apple cut first-quarter 2013 9.7-inch iPad display orders from LG Display to as few as 6 million units. Apple originally had between 12 and 15 million display panels on order from its supplier according to the report, but “increasing popularity among consumers for the iPad mini” forced Apple to slash its orders. Apple CEO Tim Cook noted on a recent earnings call that reports of component order cuts should be taken lightly as the true context of any potential order reductions is not known.
With Apple’s (AAPL) announcement (and confirmation) that the company will start selling a 128GB iPad with Retina Display, it clearly shows exactly what Apple thinks of the industry — computers are over, even the company’s own computers. At $799 for the Wi-Fi model, the new 128GB iPad is just a stone’s throw away from an entry-level MacBook Air… you know, an actual computer. But if you look at Apple’s press release and how the company is positioning this product, it’s meant to be a computer replacement, and for a lot of people, it’s really starting to become one. More →
British electronics distribution specialist Context dropped a bit of a bombshell on Tuesday by claiming that Research In Motion’s (RIMM) PlayBook tablet outsold Apple’s latest iPad during the last two months of the 2012. Of course, Apple (AAPL) has its own retail stores in the UK where most in-store sales likely occur, but the sales channels monitored by Context still make up most of the electronics distribution in the UK. More →
Apple (AAPL) on Tuesday announced the upcoming availability of a 128GB version of its fourth-generation iPad tablet. The new slate will be identical to its predecessors in every way, but it will double the amount of available internal storage from the previous maximum of 64GB. Apple’s new full-size iPad model will be available beginning on February 5th and it will cost $799 for the Wi-Fi model or $929 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model. Apple’s full press release follows below. More →
If photos leaked on Monday evening are authentic, Apple’s (AAPL) full-size iPad will see its biggest design overhaul yet when it launches later this year. 9to5Mac, which has a history of reporting accurate details about unreleased Apple products, recently published a series of photos of what it believes to be the aluminum housing from Apple’s upcoming fifth-generation iPad. In line with earlier reports, the fifth iPad will seemingly adopt the iPad mini’s design identity, bringing the look of Apple’s flagship iPad in line with the rest of its mobile lineup. The new case is said to be thinner than the current iPad as well, and it features a smaller overall footprint despite holding the same 9.7-inch display. Additional images of the purported iPad case follow below. More →
It isn’t the “next big thing” Apple (AAPL) investors are said to be waiting for as the company’s share price continues to plummet, but Apple is reportedly prepping a new iPad that will be its first iOS device to pack more than 64GB of storage. 9to5Mac reports that Apple has a new fourth-generation iPad SKU that will soon hit the shelves at one of its retail partners’ stores. Details are slim but the site says its source noted the presence of the word “ultimate” next to the new iPad’s description in the retailer’s system, leading 9to5Mac to speculate that the new model will feature 128GB of internal memory, adding a fourth storage option to Apple’s full-size iPad arsenal. The 128GB iPad listed in the retailer’s system reportedly features both Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity options. A purported image from the “high-profile” retailer’s inventory system follows below. More →
Apple’s (AAPL) share of the global tablet market will continue to drop this year despite the launch of the iPad mini, a new report claims. Citing data obtained from unnamed sources at tablet vendors, Digitimes on Wednesday reports that Apple’s share of the tablet market is expected to dip in 2013. Market research firm IDC estimated Apple’s 2012 tablet market share at 53.8%. Digitimes’ report claims that Apple is not likely to launch any new tablets until the second half this year and new offerings from Apple’s Android rivals will send Apple’s global share of the market below 50% for the first time.
Slipping iPad demand may be worse than previously thought – Q4 iPad sales reportedly weaker than expected
Following an earlier report stating weakening demand for Apple’s (AAPL) iPad forced a big manufacturing slowdown at Apple’s panel supplier, more bad news emerges from China. According to data released by TrendForce, a China-based market research firm plugged into the supply chain in the Far East, display panel shipments for tablets grew 25.6% to 19 million units in December. The growth could be a positive note for the tablet market as a whole, but it comes alongside more troubling news for market leader Apple: According to TrendForce, fourth-quarter iPad sales were weaker than expected. More →
The new iPad mini may be cannibalizing full-size iPad sales faster than Apple (AAPL) expected. According to a report from Reuters on Friday morning, iPad display panel supplier Sharp has “nearly halted” production of the iPad’s 9.7-inch display. “Sharp’s iPad screen production line at its Kameyama plant in central Japan has fallen to the minimal level to keep the line running this month after a gradual slowdown began at the end of 2012,” Reuters‘ Reiji Murai and Miyoung Kim reported, citing information from multiple unnamed sources. According to the report, it is unclear how much of the slowdown is due to typical seasonal falloff and how much is due to demand weakening or shifting to the iPad mini. Canadian equity research firm Macquarie Research previously stated that it expects iPad sales to decline 40% sequentially in the first calendar quarter.
We’re now at the point where every single analyst is releasing sales estimates for Apple (AAPL) devices ahead of the company’s quarterly earnings report, and AppleInsider points us to a new note from J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz claiming that relatively low iPad sales could hurt Apple’s bottom line far more than iPhone 5 sales. According to Moskowitz, supply constraints could limit iPad sales over the holiday quarter to 18.4 million units, down from the 20.1 million units that he’d previously forecasted. Moskowitz says that such a miss would be “explainable” because it would be caused by “a supply — not demand — issue.” More →
Sales of Google’s (GOOG) low-cost Nexus 7 tablet have reportedly topped Apple’s (AAPL) iPad over the holiday season in Japan. Nikkei cites market research firm BCN in reporting that a survey of 2,400 stores across Japan suggests that Google’s 7-inch tablet accounted for 44.4% of all tablet sales by large electronics vendors in the region. Despite the launch of the iPad mini, sales of Apple tablets were said to account for 40.1% of all tablet sales over the period. It is unclear if Apple stores were included in the firm’s poll. More →