Asustek Computer is promising to increase monthly production runs of its versatile Eee Pad Transformer tablet. Citing strong demand in the U.S., UK, Taiwan and China, the company will extend production totals from 8,000 units per month to 10,000 units per month. The company also has the lofty goal of manufacturing 300,000 Transformer tablets in the second quarter; with aspirations of shipping 2 million tablets in 2011. The Transformer, which connects to a dockable keyboard, retails for $399 and comes with 16GB of on-board storage. More →
According to Business Insider, a report from FBR analyst Craig Berger claims that Apple’s goal of producing 40-45 million iPads is “out of reach.” Apple’s current second-quarter production target is 6.2 million iPad units, but that may not be possible due to production issues with Hon Hai, Berger said. As a result, actual iPad production could drop to 5.2 million units during the third quarter. Similarly, Berger argues that Apple may face production issues from the March earthquake in Japan, particularly in relation to touchscreen displays. Berger’s report is on a par with a recent DigiTimes article that suggested Apple would have a hard time manufacturing enough iPhone 4 and iPad 2 units to meet demand due to material and labor shortages at Foxconn. More →
DigiTimes is reporting that orders for CDMA iPhone 4 units assembled by Pegatron have been cut in half — with only 5 million devices being manufactured in the initial 2011 order, down from 10 million units. Pegatron just this week reported a net loss of $19 million for the first quarter of 2011, which is a historical low. Over 3 million CDMA iPhone 4 handsets have been manufactured and shipped, and it looks like Apple is comfortable with selling around 1 million CDMA iPhones a quarter — until the much-rumored dual CDMA/GSM iPhone 5 is available in September. More →
Apple’s next-generation iPhone may launch even later than September this year, as has previously been rumored on numerous occasions. Apple has stuck to a summer launch for each new iPhone model released thus far, but the February introduction of Verizon Wireless’ iPhone 4 and the imminent release of the white iPhone 4 do suggest Apple may deviate from its previous schedule. Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo cited supply chain checks in a note to investors on Monday, in which he suggests Apple’s iPhone 5 won’t enter mass production until September. This would make a September release highly unlikely, and would instead mean the new smartphone might launch in October or later. Ming-Chi also reiterates earlier rumors that the iPhone 5 will be an incremental update, and will feature Apple’s new A5 processor, an 8-megapixel camera and a Qualcomm radio like the one found in Verizon Wireless’ iPhone 4. Industry watcher DigiTimes recently issued a report calling any iPhone 5 manufacturing timelines to this point “baseless,” claiming Apple has not yet discussed the device or any production timing with its manufacturing partners.
Blog Business Insider has filed a report that states Apple will begin production of its next generation iPhone — oft referred to as the iPhone 5 — beginning this September. Citing a note published by Avian Securities, the iPhone-report du jour states that a “key component supplier” has indicated that the Cupertino company will schedule production in preparation for a “very late 2011 or more likely a 2012” launch event. The same supplier also notes that a “lower-spec/lower-priced iPhone” is in Apple’s device road map — another popular rumor amongst technology sites. Analysts continue to postulate on the release date of Apple’s next smartphone product, with June of 2011 and January of 2012 being the two most popular guesses. The full text of Avian’s speculative statement is after the break. More →
Research In Motion will finally launch its anticipated BlackBerry PlayBook tablet on April 19th, though most had initially expected it to reach consumers well before that date. According to a new report from DigiTimes, Apple may have been behind the rumored delays. The report states that RIM’s touch panel supplier, Foxlink, was so inundated with display orders from Apple that it wasn’t able to meet RIM’s manufacturing needs on time. “Sources from touch screen panel makers also pointed out that PlayBook shipments were postponed for about a month from the original schedule due to a delay in software testing as well as shortage of touch panels because Apple already booked up most of the available capacity,” the report claims. RIM’s late launch could have a significant impact on PlayBook sales, though several analysts believe the BlackBerry tablet will still sell quite well in its debut year. More →
According to an unconfirmed report, Motorola is set to curtail production of its XOOM tablet beginning in April and production will cease after June. Industry watcher DigiTimes cites anonymous sources from within component suppliers in claiming that XOOM production in the first quarter of 2011 met forecasts of between 700,000 and 800,000 units. Motorola’s manufacturing partners are expected to ship between 400,000 and 500,000 units in March, and then April production will drop to 300,000 tablets. May’s production will reportedly dip further still and DigiTimes claims Motorola will stop building the XOOM at the end of June. The cause of the alleged drop in production is unclear, though the website’s sources speculate that Motorola may be uncertain about its position in the tablet market and will therefore slow production. They also speculate that Motorola may instead launch a new version of its XOOM tablet, which is the more likely scenario considering Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha’s previous comments with regard to the tablet market. Total XOOM shipments in 2011 are expected to be 3-5 million units, the report states.
UPDATE: Following the publication of this post, Motorola supplied BGR with a comment via email. The company states that DigiTimes’ report is not accurate, and Motorola will continue to manufacture the Motorola XOOM.
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop confirmed to Reuters that his company has started developing its first Windows Phone handset. “We’re right now, today, having people work on the first Windows Phone devices,” said the CEO. Nokia announced that it would adopt Microsoft’s Windows Phone mobile operating system on future smartphones during a February press event. The timeline of when the Finnish company will release its first Windows-based handset has been a debated topic amongst many industry analysts and pundits. While it is widely assumed that consumers will have to wait until at least 2012 to purchase such a device, Elop has publicly stated that he wants a Nokia-branded smartphone running Microsoft’s OS in market before the close of 2011. The terms of the deal are expected to be finalized within the next few months. More →
A new report emerged on Thursday that resurrects earlier rumors of a larger display on the upcoming iPhone 5, as well as a full circle return to the sleek metal case of days past. The Apple aficionados at 9to5 Mac claim to have a solid source at Foxconn, the Chinese manufacturer responsible for building the iPhone, who claims iPhone 5 production is getting under way. Considering the next iPhone is expected to launch in June, this would certainly make sense. The mole reiterates earlier rumors that the iPhone 5 features two main design changes compared to the iPhone 4: a larger display and a metal case back. Other than that, the source suggests that the iPhone 5 looks much like the current model. Some have argued that the metal case on Apple’s original iPhone caused signal attenuation issues, but now that the company’s unique new external antenna design has been sprinkled with a dash of reality distortion, antenna attenuation and dropped calls are features, not bugs. Should it choose to continue utilizing the current design, Apple could use any materials it wants since the user’s hand does the attenuating, not the case. More →
Strong demand in the U.S. means strong revenue in Taiwan, and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., parent company of notorious manufacturer Foxconn, saw revenue continue to climb in February. Hon Hai pulled in NT$152.9 billion (almost $5.2 billion) in the shortest month of the year, Taiwan Economic News reports, up 25.9% over the same month in 2010. Over the first two months of 2011, Hon Hai’s revenues sit at NT$339.1 billion ($11.5 billion), a 31.5% increase over January and February 2010. Growth has slowed, however, as outlined in an earlier report. The company is continuing to increase revenues despite skyrocketing labor and material costs, however, and the growth is attributed to high demand for popular gadgets like Apple’s iPad 2 — which is currently sold out across the country — as well as the original iPad and Microsoft’s motion-based Xbox 360 controller, the Kinect. Sales of the Microsoft Kinect sensor recently passed the 10 million mark, making it the fastest-selling consumer electronics device of all time. More →
Citing industry sources, Taiwan Economic News reports that HTC has high hopes for its debut tablet, the HTC Flyer. Announced at Mobile World Congress last month, the HTC Flyer is an Android 2.4-powered slate with a 7-inch touchscreen display, a 1.5GHz processor, 32GB of storage, 1GB of RAM, a 5-megapixel camera rear camera and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video calling. Despite a tremendous amount of competition expected this year, HTC has reportedly placed an initial order with manufacturers for over 1 million units of its Flyer tablet. This seems like a massive first order for HTC, which is also expected to launch two more Android tablets in the first half or 2011 according to the report. Taiwan Economic News states that the 3G-enabled Flyer will retail for approximately $600 off contract, which would make it over $100 less expensive than the 32GB iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G model from Apple. More →
According to Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will begin production of the white iPhone 4 this month, with shipping to begin sometime in April. Kuo states that Apple made a change to the “film material” used on the inside of the outer-casing that had been causing a “lamination” issue on white models. If true, the timing is a bit peculiar. Apple is expect to unveil its next-generation iPhone — being called the iPhone 5 for now — in June of this year, giving the albino iPhone 4 a mere two months at the top of the iThing totem pole. Are any of you Apple fans crazy enough to buy a white iPhone 4 in April or May? More →
An unconfirmed report from industry watcher DigiTimes suggests Apple may have been forced to reduce its first-quarter iPad production by as much as 50%. The report cites upstream component makers in claiming Apple’s first-quarter iPad 2 production volume has been revised down from between 400,000 and 600,000 units to between 300,000 and 400,000 units. The new lower production targets are allegedly the result of display panel shortages and last-minute specification changes Apple made ahead of production. Earlier rumors suggested Apple’s spec changes might delay the launch of Apple’s iPad 2, but DigiTimes claims the tablet is still on track for a second-quarter release. Apple is expected to unveil its next-generation iPad tablet at a media event next week. More →