Tag: ipad

Apple puts big iPad on hold

new-ipadApple was originally going to release a 12.9 inch iPad this spring but now it appears the project will be put back to later this year, or even early in 2016.

The Wall Street Journal said that manufacturers of the iPad in the Far East have now been told that they can’t start production until the second half of this year.

Apparently it’s not just problems with the display panel – Apple is thinking about new features and wants enterprises to take tablets seriously. Late last year IBM and Apple signed a deal to cooperate on business apps.

The WSJ also reports that it may add USB ports to the new iPad, when it finally emerges.

Apple’s plans to release a 12-inch Macbook Air in the spring appear to be unaffected by the iPad news.

Tablet shipments set to slump

gala_appleApple is likely to hit a pothole for sales of its iPad this year with one report estimating shipments will slump by 40 percent in this calendar quarter.

But it won’t just be Apple that will be hit by the slump, according to a report in Taiwanese wire Digitimes.

All manufacturers are likely to see a fall as shipments of large screen smartphones – so called phablets – start to erode the tablet market.

Digitimes quotes its own intelligence unit saying that shipments of tablets worldwide will be 244 million this year, a drop on last year of something like 11.8 percent.

The tablet market also faces competition from low end notebooks which are to some extent being subsidised by Microsoft and other vendors.

Tablets are not generally seen by people as products that need upgrading. Apple will have to rethink its strategy on the sector as it prepares to launch more iPad models this year.

Tablet makers rethink their plans

cheap-tabletsDisappointing shipment numbers for tablets last year are forcing vendors to contemplate their marketing navels and come up with new ideas.
According to Digitimes, one way vendors want to turn the market round is to persuade their suppliers to slash the cost of their components so they can cut prices on production.
And Apple, the wire reports, had disappointing sales of the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, which were launched last autumn.
Sales of HTC products and Xiaomi products haven’t been that brilliant either.
Apple is rumoured to be introducing a 12-inch iPad that it hopes will cause waves of excitement.
The problem is that once you have a tablet, there isn’t much desire to get a new one that’s shinier unless you’ve more money than sense.
Apple appears to believe it can launch all sorts of new applications for the 12-inch iPad when it appears.

Apple to suffer on iPad sales

gala_appleApple sales of the iPad are likely to fall because people buying its products are moving to larger iPhones and those are cannibalising the market.

That’s according to the research unit of Digitimes which estimates that shipments of iPads will fall to about 55 million units in 2015, way down from sales during this year.

Other researchers believe that the iPad market has reached maturity in the so-called developed markets, and people are unlikely to buy a new and expensive tablet when their current iPads are powerful enough for most purposes.

But there’s a silver lining to every cloud and the research outfit believes that a combination of Sony exiting the notebook market and Apple cutting prices will see Macbook shipments growing by 15 percent next year.

Apple is expected to release a 12.9 inch iPad during 2015 and also ship 12.2-inch “Retina” displays but that won’t do very much to stem the decline of its very profitable iPad lines.

Meanwhile, Apple, as we reported elsewhere today, is toying on when to release its iWatch for the best possible selling period.

Apple iPad leads but others snap at heels

The late Steve Jobs with an iPadOut of the 74.53 million tablets expected to ship during the current calendar quarter, the Apple iPad will take the lead with 26.8 percent of the worldwide shipments.

That’s according to Digitimes Research, which said that out of those 74.5 million tablets, 20 million will be iPads, 27.8 million will be from other multinational vendors such as Samsung and Lenovo, and 26.7 million will be so-called “white box” or unbranded units.

Taiwan is the ghost in the tablet machine and accounts for two thirds of the global market for tablets with firms like Foxconn, Pegatron, Compal and Quanta churning them out.

While figures for tablets shipping in the fourth quarter seem healthy, and rose by sequential quarter by 17.6 percent, if you compare the figures year on year, there’s a decline of shipments by 10.1 percent.

The pundits have many theories as to why the tablet market is showing signs of stalling, but the favourite is that in Western markets most people already have one or more tablet and see little or no reason to either buy more tablets or to upgrade.

And increased sales of smartphones with larger screens – so called phablets – are nibbling away at the tablet market.

Masque attack hits Apple iOS devices

blue-appleA security firm warned that a vulnerability in Apple’s operating system means apps can be replaced by maleficent apps.

FireEye warned yesterday that all apps could be replaced except iOS pre-installed applications.

The company has verified the vulnerability in various recensions of iOS and told Apple the problem existed as long ago as July 26.  It dubbed the vulnerability Masque Attacks and warned that apps such as banking and email apps can be hacked.

Despite Apple was informed months ago, no action seems to have been taken, which led FireEye to issue an urgent advice notice.

Users can protect themselves by not installing apps from third parties, other than Apple’s App Store.  It also warns people not to install apps from pop up.

And if iOS alerts you with the phrase “untrusted app developer”, don’t trust the app.

There’s more information at the FireEye page, here.

Apple’s new iPad disappoints

new-ipadNot even the Tame Apple Press was able to come up with much to say about Apple’s new iPad, which is surprisingly similar to the old model.

True they are a bit slimmer and had a fingerprint sensor, but everyone said that the gear was a bit of a yawn and offered nothing to wow consumers ahead of a holiday shopping season.

At a launch event on Thursday, Chief Executive Tim Cook called Apple’s new line-up, which includes a new iMac computer with a “5K retina” or high-end display, the company’s best ever. But analysts believe that propping up Apple’s reality distortion field will probably not save this tablet.

Of course, Apple fanboys will start queuing for the device immediately, but it is starting to look like saner heads will question why they should bother.

Gartner analyst Van Baker said that the only impressive thing was the 5K retina display on the iMac. The only other things we saw were just iterative improvements on the iPad.

Pre-orders start Friday for the larger iPad Air 2, priced at $499 and up, with shipping beginning next week. The smaller iPad mini 3 will be about $100 cheaper.

The new iMac, which sports the new “Yosemite” operating system, will go for $2,499.

Tablet sales are set to rise only 11 percent this year, according to tech research firm Gartner, compared to 55 percent last year.

Tablet sales for Apple, which defined the category with the iPad just four years ago, have fallen for two straight quarters. Investors remain focused on the iPhone, Apple’s main revenue generator, but a prolonged downturn in iPad sales would threaten about 15 percent of the company’s revenue.

Missing from yesterday’s event was a larger, more interesting, 12-inch-plus iPad, which actually would have been useful to enterprise buyers. Clearly it was bending too much.

TSMC will make iPad processors

blue-appleGiant semiconductor manufacturer TSMC will churn out the microprocessors for Apple’s next iPad.

That’s the word on the Taiwanese street. Digitimes reports that TSMC is already making Apple A8 CPUs for iPhone 6 smartphones.

Apple is expected to announce the next generation of its iPad in the New Year – amidst consistent reports that sales of tablets are flagging.

The CPUs will be built on a 20 nanometre process and, the report added, is codenamed the A8X.

Shrinking the die to 20 nanometres accounted for 10 percent of its revenues in Q3 2014.

TSMC turned over $6.87 billion in its third financial quarter of this year.

Tesla car is a big computer

Tesla Model SThe people at market research company IHS are known for taking apart PCs, iPhones and iPads to find out what the bill of materials (BOM) is.

Now IHS has gone that little bit further and taken a Tesla Model S apart.  We guess a Tesla Model S would make a reasonable meal for Monsieur Mangetout but it doesn’t appear he was called in to have a snack.

IHS suggests that the Model S is more of a computer than a car.  Andrew Rassweiler, director for materials at IHS, said: “It’s like looking at the components from the latest mobile device from an Apple iPad or Samsung Galaxy. When it comes to the user facing segment of the Model S’s electronics, the company has radically departed from business as usual in the automotive market.”

He said the cost structure of the electronics, the use of large displays, mobile microchips suggess the Model S is more like a smartphone than a traditional car.

Components include a 17-inch display, an Nvidia Tegra 3 1.4GHz quad core microprocessor and a OM twice the cost of the highest end “infotainment” unit.

Rassweiller said that the display is 10 inches larger than most car head units, with a resolution of 1,920 by 1,200.

IHS said it hasn’t finished taking the car apart yet, so perhaps Monsieur Mangtout – who once ate a plane – has a treat in store.

Apple to release two new iPads


Two new eye pads

Of course Apple itself has not announced it, it has leaked it as an official rumour to its favourite journalists who have lovingly published it.

The company plans to unveil the sixth generation of its iPad and the third edition of the iPad mini, as well as its operating system OS X Yosemite.  It appears that Yosemite is the same as previous versions with some cosmetic changes to excite the punters so they believe they are getting something different.

The iPad is expected to have a 9.7 inch screen, while the new version of the iPad mini will have a 7.9 inch screen.

They will be in the shops as part of Apple’s drive to sell goods during the holiday season.

Apple needs to do a lot better if it is going to keep its high share price. The outfit sold 13.3 million iPads in the quarter ended June, falling short of analysts’ projections for more than 14 million.

Apple supplier taken to task

Photo of China from satellite - Wikimedia CommonsA report by China Labor Watch and Green America has alleged that one of Apple’s suppliers in mainland China exploits its 20,000 workers.

According to the non-profit organisations, the Catcher factory, based in Suqian makes iPhone and iPad parts but it’s alleged to have health and safety, environmental, and human rights violations.

Apple had promised to encourage the company to reform problems in April last year, but the report said that there are still serious problems at the factory.

Those include a lack of proper ventilation, inadequate equipment for people handling toxic materials, locked safety exits, dumping of industrial fluids and waste into groundwater and nearby rivers, excessive hours for all workers, forced overtime, hiring discrimination and other problems.

You can find the full report here (PDF).

Intel ultrabooks face Apple threat

Intel-logoSamsung and Apple both have plans to release tablets with screen as large as 12 or 13 inches, putting further pressure on ultrabooks powered by Intel X86 processors.

Digitimes claims that the Apple unit will be made by Quanta with the likelihood that it will have a 12.9 inch screen, come out in October next year and will target the educational market.

Samsung, which is giving Apple a run for its money, is also rumoured to be releasing 12 or 13-inch tablets next year.

The same wire reports that Apple will introduce a large iPhone in May next year using a 20 nanometre microprocessor, with TSMC the foundry that has the win.

Apps ain’t heavy, they’re by Brother

ipad3Brother said it has created a series of apps intended to help its reseller community and its salesforce.

And to that end, it has given its entire sales force iPads with 3G access intended to help them put the message across about their products to resellers when they’re on the road.

David Peters, who heads up strategic development at Brother UK, said: “Access to our bespoke iPad apps means that our salesforce can easily access our online corporate resources, including those on our partner programme Brother Network, and as a result, provide better answers and a higher level of service.

“Brother UK is living and breathing an agile working culture, which increasingly typifies the working style of many of our partners and product end-users. By investing in the latest technology, we are not only improving our service to our partners, but also showcasing the progress we are making as a forward thinking solutions provider.”

Brits just want to keep taking the tablets

Santa CalusIn the buildup to Christmas it seems that the hot item for Santa’s stocking are tablets.

That’s according to nevouchercodes.co.uk, which today reports there’s an 18 percent increase for people searching for tablets.

But the white box buys may not fare so well, because the company says most of the searches are for iPads, Samsung Galaxy tablets and Amazon Kindles.

MD of the company Steve Barnes said that whiole people are searching they’re not buying yet.  Tesco and Argos entering the fray makes tablets more affordable as a gift, he said.

People are also searching for deals on Xbox360s and PlayStation 3s because they’re expecting older models to be discounted in advance of the release of new consoles.

Android tablets still lack tons of iPad apps

NexusSales of Android smartphones and cheap tablets are skyrocketing, but the same isn’t true of high-end Android tablets. While many models feature impressive hardware that could easily go toe to toe with the iPad, the app ecosystem just isn’t there yet. 

According to Canalys, out of the top 50 paid and free iPad apps in Apple’s US App Store, 30 percent are nowhere to be found on Google’s Play Store. Another 18 percent were available, but they were not optimized for tablets, which means they look and feel like oversized phone apps. Just 52 percent were available through the Play Store, optimized and ready for tablets.

“Quite simply, building high-quality app experiences for Android tablets has not been among many developers’ top priorities to date,” said Canalys senior analyst Tim Shepherd. “That there are over 375,000 apps in the Apple App Store that are designed with iPad users in mind, versus just a fraction of this – in the low tens of thousands – available through Google Play, underscores this point.”

Canalys expects all this to change, as the user base grows and Google introduces improvements to the Play Store. However, Google simply has to do more to support developers to invest time and money in high-quality Android apps for tablets. Since pricey Android tablets don’t sell well, the user base will remain limited. Most people who buy Android tablets go for cheap and small models, hence it is safe to assume that they are not willing to invest in premium apps and services, either.

The other problem facing Android developers is fragmentation. Apple developers need to design tablet apps for just two screen resolutions and form factors, both of which use the same aspect ratio. They don’t face nearly as many as many challenges as Android developers, who have to deal with dozens of different resolutions, form factors, Android versions, APIs and application processors.

Worse, at the end of the day Android developers have a very limited market for bespoke tablet apps, as the user base is still small and it’s growing from the ground up, i.e. growth is coming from low-end tablets that weren’t designed with anything serious in mind.