Taiwan-based TPK Holdings Ltd. has been awarded a contract from Apple to supply between 70% and 80% of the touch panels for its upcoming fifth-generation iPhone, Taiwan Economic News reports. Referring to the next-generation smartphone as the “iPhone 4S,” the publication cites unnamed industry insiders with the report. TPK holdings is currently the world’s largest touch panel maker by volume, and is said to be the only manufacturer able to meet Apple’s steep quantity demands while maintaining consistent quality. TPK Holdings is already Apple’s top touch panel supplier and the unparalleled quality of Apple’s current touch experience makes the retention of its current No. 1 supplier a logical move. The Taiwan-based component manufacturer also supplies touch panels to HTC, Amazon and Barnes & Noble, among others. Apple is expected to launch its fifth-generation iPhone handset this fall. More →
Verizon Wireless will drop the price on all of its iPhone 4 accessories in anticipation of the iPhone 5 launch, PhoneArena is reporting. Verizon Wireless is expected to continue selling the iPhone 4 at a lower price point after its successor launches, however, so it is unlikely that the carrier will completely clear house of its accessories. If this report is accurate, the move could suggest Apple has a redesigned iPhone up its sleeves instead of a phone with the same industrial design and newer hardware inside. That’s in line with our exclusive report that the Cupertino-based firm will release a successor with a “radical new case design,” and another report from The Wall Street Journal claiming the phone will be thinner and lighter than its predecessor. Apple is expected to unveil the phone in late-August or in September. More →
Microsoft has released a new video that shows off several of the People Hub enhancements in Windows Phone Mango. The video walks viewers through a new notification Live Tile system for contacts that can be pinned to the homescreen. After a contact has been pinned, the Live Tile will quickly alert you of a new email, message, Twitter or Facebook status, missed calls, and more. If you tap into the card, Windows Phone Mango will show you an entire history of the conversations you’ve had with that person. We’re loving what we see so far and can’t wait for the release. A recent leak has suggested we can expect it, along with new devices, in September. Hit the jump for the video. More →
Foxconn will build Amazon’s rumored 10.1-inch tablet, DigiTimes reported on Thursday. The Android tablet is expected to ship in 2012 according to the report, but Amazon may want to get the device out the door a bit earlier in order to to have it on store shelves in time for the holiday season. A smaller 7-inch version that was built by Quanta computer is already on its way to Amazon and, while other reports suggested it is a 9-inch tablet, that is likely the model we have heard will launch in late August or September. We broke the news that Amazon will launch a “Coyote” tablet that packs a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra processor, as well as a larger “Hollywood” tablet powered by the new quad-core Kal-El chip. Since Kal-El devices aren’t shipping to consumers yet, it could be a safe bet to guess that Quanta Computer built the Coyote tablet while Foxconn has scored the order for the more powerful Hollywood device. More →
Apple may have delayed the iPhone 5 launch until next year due to an overheating dual-core A5 chip, a new report from Sohu.com suggests. Rumor has it (and it’s purely a rumor right now) that Apple will instead launch the iPhone 5 later this year or early next when the A6 chip is available — or after it figures out the A5 overheating problems. Sohu.com also said Apple will instead introduce a slightly upgraded “iPhone 4S” device, with the same form factor as the iPhone 4, in September or October. The device is expected to feature an 8-megapixel camera, and it will also sport a faster dual-core processor, two specs that are on a par with earlier reports. With all the recent chatter surrounding a more significant iPhone update due later this year, it’s likely that Sohu.com is working with old intel in this instance. More →
Foxconn will be the only manufacturer to build the iPad this year, DigiTimes reported on Wednesday. There were reports earlier this week that suggested Apple had been in talks with either Pegatron or Quanta Computer as a second manufacturer in order to create enough units for the launch of a new model in September. However, Foxconn reportedly caught word of Apple’s discussions with other manufacturing outlets and was able to convince the Cupertino-based company to stick with one manufacturer… for now. Apple is expected to launch a new iPad with a higher resolution screen in September. According to rumors swirling around analyst circles and in the media, the new tablet will be dubbed the “iPad HD,” “iPad Pro,” or the “iPad 2 Plus.” More →
A Dutch Apple blog named AppleSpot reported on Friday that Apple will launch a new 3G iPod touch in September. Similar to options available for the iPad Wi-Fi + 3G, users would have the option of purchasing the 3G iPod touch directly from a wireless carrier with a data plan. We’re expecting a possible iPod/iPhone/iPad refresh in September, and so it’s entirely possible that Apple is considering creating a version with a 3G radio. Such a device could also help carriers lock in more data plans and would continue to boost Apple’s presence among the flood of new Android handsets. Our only gripe with the whole story is that AppleSpot doesn’t have a proven track record reporting on Apple rumors. Plus, a 3G iPod touch would be just a little weird given that we expect every major U.S. wireless carrier to announce the next generation iPhone. More →
According to a new report from DigiTimes, Amazon is expected to ship a “conservative” 1-1.2 million of its new tablets during the third quarter — a time frame that’s in line with earlier reports that the online retailer would get its unannounced tablet out the door by August. Reportedly, orders from Amazon are the most positive of all tablet-builders so far, and the company is expected to demand as many as 2 million touch panel displays in August and September. While very little is known about Amazon’s tablet — or possibly tablets — we have heard that it is prepping an entry level model codenamed “Coyote,” with an NVIDIA Tegra 2 chip, as well as a second more powerful “Hollywood” model that’s powered by NVIDIA’s new quad-core T30 “Kal-El” processor, which offers a 500% performance increase over Tegra 2. Amazon already has a number of services that will compliment a tablet perfectly, such as Cloud Drive, Cloud Player, Amazon MP3, Unbox streaming videos, Kindle, and more — all of which will no doubt help it stir up the current tablet market. More →
The Wall Street Journal is singing a new tune Wednesday morning, reaffirming parts of an earlier BGR report suggesting that Apple is preparing to release a redesigned iPhone 5 later this year. Citing anonymous sources in Apple’s supply chain, the paper reports this morning that Apple has placed component orders with key suppliers for fifth-generation iPhone parts. As has already been widely reported, Apple’s next iPhone is said to feature an 8-megapixel camera and Qualcomm radios. The report veers away from the consensus in suggesting that Apple’s next iPhone will not share its design with the current iPhone 4, however, and will instead be thinner and lighter than the current model. BGR reported last month that Apple’s next iPhone would feature a “radical new case design” when it launches later this year. Apple reportedly plans to have 25 million next-generation iPhone handsets built in 2011, suggesting the Cupertino-based tech giant might finally come closer to meeting demand. Apple sold a record 18.65 million combined iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS units in its last fiscal quarter.
Apple will not release an “iPhone mini,” a second prepaid model or even a redesigned iPhone 5 in September, BMO Capital analyst Keith Bachman claimed in a note to investors on Monday evening. Instead, the Cupertino-based tech giant will stay true to earlier rumors and simply issue a modest spec bump wrapped in the current iPhone 4 case. Earlier on Monday, Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore claimed that Apple would be unveiling two new iPhone models this coming September, a redesigned iPhone 5 and a second budget iPhone to attack the prepaid market. But Apple will do no such thing according to Bachman, and he lowered his forecast for the September quarter as a result. Bachman now sees Apple shipping 17 million iPhone handsets in the quarter rather than 18 million. He also says the iPhone 3GS will continue to be the low-end iPhone, suggesting that the bump from iPhone 4 to “iPhone 4S” won’t even be significant enough to warrant making the current iPhone 4 model Apple’s $99 offering. More →
A new report suggests Apple’s manufacturing partners are preparing to begin assembling the next-generation iPhone some time between the middle and end of August. This time frame suggests that a launch might not occur until the second half of September at the earliest. Following a series of meetings in Taiwan, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty issued the new production timeline in a note to investors on Sunday. “Apple’s next iPhone will begin production in mid to late August and ramp aggressively,” the analyst wrote. Her meetings yielded no information about a new prepaid iPhone that might launch as a complimentary model in September, however. Huberty also reaffirmed reports that Apple is working on a branded television product that could open the door to a massive new revenue stream. “We also believe Apple is in the early design stages for a TV, which could add $19 billion and $4.50 of annual revenue and EPS longer-term,” she wrote in the same note on Sunday. Huberty sees Apple stock as a great purchase for investors in spite of its recent downward trend, and most analysts seem to agree, though the stock continues to drop despite countless favorable ratings from analysts. More →
According to DigiTimes, Amazon’s rumored Android tablets could launch as soon as this August or September. The online retail giant has a global sales target of 4 million units, with 700,000-800,000 units shipping monthly, and it hopes to get its products in customer hands during the peak sales period of the year — just before Thanksgiving and the holidays. We’ve reported exclusively that Amazon will launch the dual-core “Coyote” and quad-core “Hollywood” tablets sometime this year, and early reports suggested the tablets are already in the manufacturing stage. Reportedly, Amazon has contracted Texas Instruments, Wintek, ILI Technology, and Quanta Computer for parts and assembly. It’s been widely expected that Amazon will launch a streaming movie service on its tablets, too. More →
Customer service representatives, while often very helpful, are rarely solid sources for unannounced information. At the same time, there have been cases in the past where customer service reps have unknowingly shared information that was intended to stay behind closed doors, and we have a feeling this could be one of those cases. According to Apple enthusiast blog MacRumors, an AT&T rep recently confirmed to a subscriber that there will not be a new iPhone launching in June or July this year. The correspondence was initiated when the subscriber noticed his eligibility date for an upgrade was pushed back by five months. He contacted AT&T to determine the reason for the move, and was reportedly told the following:
Apple has informed us that they do not plan to release the iPhone in the June to July timeframe, though there will be a newer version in the future. Unfortunately, we have not been given a release time for the new phone. We will release this information on our website when it is available to us.
The news lines up with earlier reports, of course, which state that the iPhone 5 will not launch until September or later. Apple’s next iPhone will be an incremental update according to rumors, and it will reportedly feature Apple’s new A5 processor, an 8-megapixel camera and a case similar to the one found on the iPhone 4. More →