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 →
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 →
Two of Apple’s component suppliers, Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co and Toshiba, have reportedly shut down some of their operations in Japan in the wake of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami. According to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, this could result in shortages of Apple’s iPad 2 and iPhone 4 in March, through the rest of the first quarter, and into June. Toshiba manufactures 40% of the world’s flash memory, and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co is believed to be Apple’s go-to company for BT resin — which is used on circuit boards. Munster says Apple’s strategy to buy from multiple component suppliers could help soften the blow. “This strategy has proven to be an effective way for Apple to leverage its balance sheet and its position as one of the largest buyers of many of the components it uses; moreover, this strategy may prove particularly helpful if supply is limited and pricing increases,” wrote Munster. “Finally, we believe Apple buys futures on important components, which will help offset near-term pricing swings. Our conclusion is that Apple is well positioned to suffer proportionally less than its competitors.” Apple’s stock traded down sharply yesterday on the news of an analyst downgrade and potential supply shortages. 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.“
Reports about some iPad 2 defects are beginning to surface from early adopters, and among those issues is a claim that some iPad 2 units bleed light from the LCD display. One YouTube poster, who goes by the moniker ‘iamPhones,’ has posted a video that shows some light bleeding mostly from the bottom of the LCD. It occurs when dark colors and blacks are displayed inside apps, during dark scenes in movies, and during the boot phase. It’s possible that the glue, which holds the LCD panel to the iPad chassis, hasn’t set on some units and is causing this defect, but we’re not sure. We haven’t seen any LCD bleeding issues with our two iPad 2 units. Have any of you experienced similar problems? Let us know, and hit the jump for a video showing the LCD bleed in action. More →
While Apple has not revealed initial sales figures for the iPad 2 launch this past weekend, one spokesperson has hinted that sales have been solid. Given the lines outside of an Apple Store in NYC on Friday, and some analyst claims that Apple sold close to 1 million iPad 2 units during the tablet’s debut weekend, that comes as no surprise to us. “Demand for the next generation iPad 2 has been amazing. We are working hard to get iPad 2 into the hands of every customer who wants one as quickly as possible,” Trudy Muller, an Apple spokesperson, told The Loop today. Apple’s iPad 2 hit store shelves on 5:00 p.m. on Friday, and virtually every retail store — including Apple, AT&T, Best Buy, Target, Walmart, and Verizon Wireless locations — have sold out of iPad 2 stock. Still looking to grab one? Try your luck in our iPad 2 giveaway. More →
We just rolled through the Fifth Avenue Apple Store in New York City to get a feel for the hype surrounding Apple’s iPad 2 launch today. We had a chance to talk to a few people about the event, and one person told us he had been waiting in line since 6:00 p.m. yesterday afternoon — with the help of a few Red Bulls, of course. Not too far back from the start of the line, we found a couple that had only been waiting since 5:00 a.m. this morning. That’s not too bad given that crowds began lining up to wait for the iPhone 3G seven days before its debut. We’ll be stopping by the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue again tonight around 5:00 p.m. to bring you an update, so be sure to check back for some video interviews. In the meantime, feel free to check out our gallery and hit the break for a video.
UPDATE: We updated the gallery with new images after the iPad 2 went on sale — be sure to check them out!
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 →
Images of what is claimed to be Apple’s second-generation iPad have been published by Chinese site DGtle. The images definitely line up with what we’ve heard so far — much thinner case, dual cameras, a speaker grill and so on. It also looks like rumors of a white iPad might pan out, as tipped by the white antenna cover seen in these pictures. Nothing is confirmed until we see that shiny new iPad 2 unveiled on stage a Yerba Buena later today though, despite the fact that this purported Apple tablet sure looks the part. Tune in to BGR at 1:00PM ET for all the latest news as it breaks, and hit the jump for more images.
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?
Ok, let’s not get too excited just yet… this one is kind of a stretch. The current generation of Apple’s magical iPad tablet was announced on January 27th — a Wednesday. Icons representing the iPad, seen above on the left, show “27″ as the date on the calendar. Apple’s latest iOS beta, however, includes a new icon for the iPad that shows a “9″ on the calendar app. As it happens, February 9th lines up pretty well with earlier rumors and we all know a second-generation iPad announcement is imminent at this point. Oh, and the 9th is also a Wednesday. Would Apple be playful enough to lob a clue like this out to the masses? It would be uncharacteristic indeed, but crazier things have certainly happened.
UPDATE: BGR reader Tim points out that the the current publicly available iOS software on the iPad also shows a “9″ on the iPad’s calendar icon when you change the wallpaper. As such, we can safely call this rumor debunked. More →
A source that has proven reliable in the past outs new components that will allegedly be part of Apple’s upcoming next-generation iPad. GlobalDirectParts, consumer electronics parts supplier and source of the Verizon iPhone parts video that ended up being the real deal, has added two interesting new items to its website. The first is an “OEM Apple iPad 2 LCD screen,” which rings up at $218.19 compared to the current-generation iPad’s display which cost $144.99 from the supplier when it first became available. This further supports rumors that Apple’s next iPad will have a high resolution display. The second component of interest is a $9.99 “OEM Apple iPad vibrating motor,” which would be a completely new addition to the iPad 2 considering the current iPad does not include a vibrate function. More →