Apple iPad 2 Launch – iPad Shipment For December Down

Concord Equity research analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has come up with a new report where he claims that Apple could be slowing down on the shipment of new iPad units from its suppliers ahead of the launch of the new iPad – rumored to happen in February next year.

According to a note sent to investors, Kuo has claimed that iPad shipments for December amounted close to 1.6 million units that was significantly lower than the 2.1 million units shipped in November this year.

What this has meant is that Amazon Kindle has been able to expand from being a niche player in the segment to becoming a more mass-market player. Kuo points out that shipments of Kindle matched with those of the iPad in December with the Amazon eReader expected to sell as many as 4.5 million units in the first quarter of next year.

Anyway, of interest is the shipment numbers for iPad. Given the February timeline for the launch of iPad 2, we wonder if Apple Stores would start reporting depleting inventory as we head to the new year. Do you see such a thing in your neighborhood store? Tell us in the comments.

Next Generation CDMA iPad In The Works?

The next generation iPad, which by some counts could be launching as early as February of next year, could come in a CDMA variant as well. This is according to a recent article on the Taiwanese publication, DigiTimes. The website cites sources to claim that the next generation iPad could come in three variants – a Wi-Fi only model, a 3G UMTS version and one on CDMA. Each of these models are expected to come with different storage capacities of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB taking the overall number of new SKUs to nine.

While the credibility of the source is still in question, we must point out that this rumor is not too improbable either. Apple signed a partnership with Verizon earlier this year that brought the Wi-Fi only iPad to the Verizon stores. A CDMA variant of the iPad that will run on Verizon is only a logical extension.

In any case, we will look forward to these new models that can only increase the choices for the consumer.

iPad 2 Hardware Features To Include Dual-Core Processor, Tapered Sides?

We are here with more iPad 2 rumors. Japanese blog Macotakara had earlier claimed from anonymous Chinese sources that the next generation iPad could come with a wide-range speaker offered on the rear-side bottom of the device.

Now, the blog has published a video of an iPad casing purported to be that of the upcoming iPad model that seemingly “confirms” this. Not just that, the video also shows that the new iPad could come with a flat back, tapered sides and realigned volume buttons. Check out the video below.

Rodman & Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar may not be the best when it comes to getting rumors right. But what he says this time could be interesting. According to him, the new iPad 2 – that is likely to sport Apple’s in-house processors, could be equipped with a dual-core chip that will make the device capable of running more powerful features.

If this is true, it is also likely for the next generation iPhone and iPod Touch models to carry these powerful processor chips. It is worth noting that all these iDevices carry the same processor chips developed natively at Apple.

Wide-Range Speakers On iPad 2 [Rumor]

According to new rumors, the second generation iPad could be coming with a number of changes in the configuration and layout. A Japanese Mac blog has cited an anonymous Chinese source in its claims that iPad 2 could measure 3mm smaller than the current iPad thanks to a smaller bezel. In addition to this, this upcoming device shall also purportedly sport a “flat like an iPod Touch” rear and a realigned ambient light sensor.

But most interestingly, this new device is reported to come with a wide-range speaker. You may remember that this feature was a debating point when we had written about a slot available with leaked iPad 2 case designs. The source has claimed this feature to be a “large wide-ranged speaker unit covered with metal mesh“.

Of course all of this is just a rumor and so come with the usual disclaimers. Nevertheless, it thickens the plot on the possible new features and we look forward to hearing more about this officially.

New iPad To Feature Gesture Controls Like Kinect?

The second generation iPad that is speculated to launch next year may not feature something as  revolutionary as this, but from what we see, a gesture based navigation system – like Kinect – could definitely be coming somewhere down the line. Earlier this month, a number of patents in the area of gesture-controlling were acquired by Apple that signalled that such a feature could be coming to iDevices somewhere down the line.

Now, Elliptic Labs, a Norway based company is learned to be demoing such a technology for the iPad at the Consumer Electronics Show scheduled for early next month. Now, it must be noted that Elliptic Labs is organizing this demo independently without any apparent partnership with Apple. However, considering that Apple has already expressed interest in the area, the demo will give us an idea of where the iPad is headed to in the future.

Here is a video preview of the technology developed by Elliptic Labs.

Share iPhone Apps Between Users Soon With Application Seeds

You may soon be able to share iPhone apps between friends using a feature called ‘application seed‘. Apple has filed a patent application for such a feature that the inventors think will bring more word-of-mouth publicity to the application.

Unfortunately, this iPhone app-sharing functionality will not mean you can save money by trying out the app purchased by a friend. Instead, this feature will merely transfer a trial version of the original app to the recipient. Worse, the developer can also choose to instead send a link to the App Store to the recipient.

iPhone app sharing patent

The patent application delves further on the aspect of word-of-mouth marketing noting that the recipient may in turn be able to share the demo version of the app or the App Store link to more users. The sharing is seemingly possible over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

iWork ’11 Releasing With Mac App Store Launch?

Is Apple prepping for an iWork ’11 release when the Mac App Store launches next month. This speculation comes after a number of Apple customer have reported that Apple Stores appear to be short on inventory of  iWork ’09 of late. It is quite likely that Apple would have pulled the plug on sale of iWork ’09 over its stores ahead of the launch of the new version software.

This speculation is further supported by the fact that Apple’s online store now returns iWork 11 as one of the query suggestions while keying in ‘iWork’. It is possible that this is merely a result of a number of users searching for the software on the Apple website in anticipation of the launch.

Nevertheless, this is an interesting development given that Apple would like to have a few high-profile products available on the Mac App Store during launch in order to enhance the utility of the service.

What do you think?

Apple Mac App Store Launch Date Announced

Apple has announced that the new Mac App Store will open on January 6. This is much behind what we had earlier speculated. You may recall our article from earlier this month where it was reported that the Mac App Store – that was originally planned for a Christmas release should be up and running by December 13th.

Now announcing the date on their website, Apple has revealed that the App Store will operate pretty similar to the way the iOS App Store works. Developers can make free or paid applications that will be hosted on the Apple servers for free. In return, Apple will take a 30% cut on any sale of paid apps made from the Mac App Store. The Mac App Store will open up in 90 countries at launch.

iPhone 5 Photos And Videos ‘Revealed’

Nobody, not even Gizmodo, know what the next generation iPhone will look like. Apple is yet to confirm the existence of a next generation iPhone (although unofficially we do know one new iPhone launches every year). But someone out there has just managed to catch hold of the specs – presumably through the Chinese suppliers – and have created what they call is a clone of the next generation iPhone.

If these pictures and video are true, then it would mean that Apple could be going in for yet another change in the form factor of the new iPhone. You may recall that the iPhone 3G and 3GS models did not look too different although iPhone 4 was significantly different.

Now if you are wondering what iPhone 5 would look like, this could probably be it. But don’t hold your breath just yet. This is just a rumor.

iPhone 5 picture
iphone 5 clone

iPad 2 Rumors – Volume Of Orders Expected To Cross 6 Million Per Month

According to reports on the Digitimes, Apple is anticipating high demand of the next generation iPad when it launches next year. The publication has revealed that Cupertino may have sealed a deal with two additional touch panel makers – Chimei Innolux and Cando – to cumulatively supply close to 6 million iPad 2 devices per month.

If true, Apple’s demand forecast for the next year could be extremely optimistic given that the company is expected to see more tight competition starting 2011. It is also worth noting that despite the huge market share that Apple owns right now, monthly sales are only in the range of 4 million units per month. Perhaps Apple sees more and more people upgrading from other portable computing devices like netbooks and notebooks to tablet computers that could significantly enhance the size of the overall market.

In any case, it will be interesting to see if Apple will manage to sustain such high demand levels through 2011. What do you think?