Taiwan-based Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute expects roughly 360 million combined personal computers and media tablets to ship in 2011, Taiwan Economic News reports. MIC sees PC shipments growing 6.6% over 2010 to land at more than 320 million units this year, and it thinks shipments of media tablets like Apple’s iPad 2ill w exceed 48 million units in 2011, up 198% from 2010. MIC senior industry analyst Chris Wei notes that the improving global economy and replacement PC purchases in the enterprise market would be largely responsible for this year’s growth. Needham & Company analyst Charlie Wolf recently estimated that Apple would ship 30 million iPad tablets in 2011, but the company will likely far exceed that figure if tablet shipments are indeed to surpass 48 million units as MIC predicts. More →
A new independent study by security experts at Symantec attempted to measure how secure Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platform are, and also to determine how these mobile platforms stack up against desktop operating systems. Symantec claims that these mobile platforms are much more secure than today’s popular desktop operating systems, though the firm does note that the key variable, as always, is the human element. “Today’s mobile devices are a mixed bag when it comes to security,” said Carey Nachenberg, Symantec Fellow and Chief Architect, in a statement. “While more secure than traditional PCs, these platforms are still vulnerable to many traditional attacks. Moreover, enterprise employees are increasingly using unmanaged, personal devices to access sensitive enterprise resources, and then connecting these devices to 3rd-party services outside of the governance of the enterprise, potentially exposing key assets to attackers.” While Symantec neglects to reach a firm conclusion regarding which mobile OS is the most secure, the firm definitely seems to favor iOS more often than not. It says iOS’ app screening procedure plays a big role in the operating system’s security, and it also says the platform’s architecture makes it better at resisting malware attacks and data integrity attacks. It also says iOS offers better encryption and more secure access control for apps. Symantec’s full press release follows below.
Apple plans to ship more than 8 million MacBook Air computers in the third quarter of 2011, DigiTimes claims in a new report on Friday. The number represents more than twice the total number of Mac computers Apple shipped during its fiscal second quarter. DigiTimes‘ report cites sources within Apple’s supply chain in stating that combined MacBook production was ramped up to 2.2-2.4 million units in June, and Apple is expected to yield 2.7-2.8 million units in July. The Cupertino-based company is expected to release refreshed MacBook Air models ahead of the release of its new Mac operating system, OS X 10.7 Lion, and the notebooks should feature Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt I/O ports. The anticipated spec boost is expected to cause a surge in MacBook Air sales, but a target of 8 million units in a single quarter doesn’t seem terribly realistic; Apple shipped a total of 3.76 million Mac units in its March quarter, including its MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac and Mac Pro lines. Unless Apple also plans to announce a drastic price reduction when it unveils its new MacBook Air PCs in the coming weeks, we don’t see the company coming anywhere close to shipping 8 million units next quarter. More →
According to Consumer Reports, Apple’s various lines of laptop computers are the best notebooks in the world. Recent rankings published by the popular nonprofit consumer product tester place Apple computers at the top of every relevant laptop category. Apple’s low-end MacBook Air topped competitive offerings from Dell and HP in the 11-inch category, and its computers took the top five spots in the 13-inch class — the 13-inch MacBook Air was No. 1, followed by three different configurations of the 13-inch MacBook Pro and then Apple’s standard 13-inch MacBook. In the 15-inch category, various configurations of the MacBook Pro took the top three spots, and Apple’s high-end MacBook Pro beat out HP’s Pavillion and the Dell XPS for top billing in the 17-inch category. The only category Apple did not dominate was the 14-inch class, but Apple does not currently offer a 14-inch notebook. More →
While Acer scrambles to reverse the current negative trend that saw its PC shipments fall last quarter as revenue dove 56%, Taiwan-based competitor Asustek just issued second-quarter guidance that predicts growth in shipments over the first quarter of 2011. While analysts go back and forth over what the emerging tablet market’s impact on netbooks and notebooks might be moving forward, Asustek expects to ship 3.1 million devices this quarter, a 10.7% increase over the first quarter. While the company does plan to focus on tablets in addition to its core laptop business, it only expects about 9.7% of its total shipments — or 300,000 units — to be Eee Pad tablets. Asustek also expects revenue for the second quarter of 2011 to grow 5% to NT$77.6 billion. More →
Acer appears to have taken company founder and former CEO Stan Shih’s recent advice quite seriously. Late last month following news that Acer had lowered its guidance for the first quarter of 2011, Shih said Acer needed to overhaul its business if it hoped to remain competitive. He also noted that Acer should focus on improving its profit margin rather than becoming a leader in the PC market by shipment volume, as had been the company’s goal. Just two days later, Acer announced that its CEO, Gianfranco Lanci, was resigning from the company. Now, Acer’s interim CEO J. T. Wang said on Thursday that the company will indeed shift its focus away from shipment volume and will instead spend more time and money on research and development in an effort to deliver value and innovation to consumers. As an example, Wang said that Windows 8 and its support for ARM-based platforms would provide opportunities for new netbook and notebook designs. Wang also noted that while tablet sales will have an impact on sales of traditional computers, the devices’ impact on the market will not be dramatic enough to “kill” notebook computers or netbooks. More →
Acer founder Stan Shih on Tuesday said the company needs to overhaul its operations in order to stay competitive with the changing market. Shih’s comments, which were made at a National Culture and Arts Foundation event in Taiwan, were a response to news that Acer had lowered its first-quarter guidance. Acer said that declining demand in the U.S. and Europe due to the rapid growth of the consumer tablet market would result in a 10% drop in sales for the first quarter. Shih believes that Acer should overhaul its operations and focus on increasing profit margins rather than becoming a leader in the global PC market. Acer noted on Tuesday that its net profit margin is expected to drop below 2% in the first quarter from 2.93% in the previous quarter. Shih, who retired from his role as head of Acer in 2004 after founding the company in 1976 and building it into the largest computer company in Taiwan, said significant overhauls are commonplace at Acer. The company founder said that in the past, Acer has undergone an overhaul every 10 years or so in an effort to adapt to changes in the global market. More →
According to Deutsche Bank in a note sent out to clients, Apple’s combined iPad and MacBook / MacBook Pro market share puts them right ahead Asus, Toshiba, Dell, and Lenovo globally. Obviously you have to be willing to classify iPad tablet devices in the category as laptops and notebooks, but it isn’t exactly far-fetched. Especially when customers are buying iPads over a new netbook or in some cases laptops. The jump to the #3 spot (again, if you classify iPads as portables) pulls Apple up from the #7 slot globally, and it doesn’t look like Apple’s piece of the pie will be sliding any time soon. “Retail checks suggest this share shift continues in July.” The only two companies in front of Apple in this non-standard market share survey? Acer and Hewlett Packard. Let’s see what a Retina display-equipped, FaceTime-toting new iPad will do the market then, shall we? More →
During an interview with PC Pro, Sony’s deputy president of the VAIO Business Group, Ryosuke Akahane, announced that the Japanese company is planning to split its VAIO notebook line-up in two. The first, “division one” would consist of notebooks designed and manufactured by Sony itself, whilst “division two” will have both the design and manufacturing process outsourced to various companies. The reason for the move is that Sony wants to rapidly accelerate the visibility of and interest in the VAIO brand. Akahane noted that it would be expensive and very inefficient for Sony to create a separate brand — such as Dell has done with its Studio and Inspiron lines — so what will ultimately happen is the division one series devices will feature cutting-edge technologies which will eventually find their way into the division two line-up. Quick to calm concerns that latter notebooks will be of inferior quality, Akahane said that “the quality criteria itself is no different between division number one and division number two” and added that they will retain the “taste of VAIO, the style of VAIO.” Akahane is predicting Sony will sell 10 million VAIO notebooks in 2010, a 47% increase over its 2009 sales. More →
Yup, they’re refreshed all right. Apple’s online store just came roaring back to life after being down for quite some time and, surprise, surprise, some new MacBook Pros have appeared. As expected, Apple has rolled out models with Intel’s Core i5 and Core i7 mobile chipsets. The base model 15″ MBP now starts off at $1,799 and has a 2.4GHz Core i5 processor, 4GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M with 256MB RAM, 320GB HDD and up to 9 hours of battery life. If you’re feeling absolutely crazy and have an extra $1,400 to spare you can bump your storage up to a 512GB SSD. If you want to improve on the display, an extra $100 will get you a Hi-Res 1680×1050 glossy display. Throw in an extra $50 on top of that and you’ll have yourself some anti-glare goodness. When it comes to the 17″ model, Apple has outdone itself. A very competitive $2,299 yields a 2.53GHz Core i5 processor, 4GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GT300M with 512MB RAM, 500GB HDD, 1920×1200 Hi-Res Glossy display and a battery life rated from 8 to 9 hours. A 2.66 Core i7 processor is available for an extra $200 while 128GB, 256GB and 512GB SSDs are available for an extra $200, $650 and $1,300. An anti-glare display option is available on the 17″ for $50.
There’s a bunch of different options and combinations that can be had, so hit the jump for a detailed rundown of each model. More →
Although the release of Dell’s first laptop in the Adamo line isn’t a huge shock thanks to the little tidbit we got earlier, at least we can now say it’s official. Dell has just announced its new dream machine — but it’s going to cost a pretty penny. For $1,999, you get a 1.2GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of RAM and a 128GB solid state drive. While you can easily find a decent notebook that packs far more punch than this Adamo model for a fraction of the price, it sure as hell won’t look anywhere near as sexy. The build quality should also be top-notch due to the fact that its chassis is milled and sculpted from a single sheet of aluminum (hmm, a trend that seems to be catching on). Hop to it if you’ve been holding out for one of these because pre-orders start today and deliveries begin March 26. Oh, and don’t forget to hit the jump for a video and the full press release.
A sponsored advertisement on Google’s Ireland website may have inadvertently leaked the release date for the much hyped Dell Adamo. The sponsored link for Dell Adamo promises that we can “Discover the love story on 17/3” and sends the user to Dell’s Adamo splash page. Sure this could be another slick marketing ploy but it could mean we’re all in for a treat tomorrow — a very expensive treat. We must admit that a St. Patrick’s Day launch revealed by an Irish website sounds delightfully ironic, doesn’t it? Maybe Dell will even launch a special model in green to go along with all the green beer that will be flowing. No? Ok, probably not.
There is still a massive shroud of mystery surrounding the upcoming Adamo line of high-end laptops by Dell. The scrappy Texas start up-turned PC giant semi-announced the line last month at CES, showing off a sexy black laptop, saying essentially nothing about it and allowing no one to turn it on. Smooth. Dell just updated its Adamo microsite to include a new Flash layout with links to a bunch of coverage Adamo has received thus far (and one link to a video that has nothing to do with the Adamo), along with a whimsical intro and a few fields where you can sign up for future info. There is still very little known about Dell’s luxury line of inevitably overpriced laptops but from the looks of things we may soon be in store for a new round of details. For the time being however, basic specs, metal cases, spun metal trackpads, backlit keys, high quality materials and luxury-level price tags are the only details you can take to the bank.
Thanks, Rupam and J.C.!