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.

iPhone Is Most Popular Product On eBay 2010

eBay, the world’s largest online auction website, has published its annual list of the most popular items on their online stores for the year nearly gone by. Like many of the previous years, electronic gadgets continue to be one of the most popularly selling items. According to the latest listing, iPhone related items and accessories were the most searched for and purchased item on eBay in 2010. The etailer has revealed that close to 1,634,674 iPhone 4 related items were sold this year.

Apple also scores on another front – the iPad. The eBay study has shown that over 621,399 iPad related products were sold during this period. It is interesting to note that the iPad was launched only in April while iPhone 4 was launched in June of this year – which means these products did not sell all through the year and still managed the top slots. iPad, for the record, was eBay’s fifth most popular item.

Here are the top ten item categories that found popularity on eBay this year

1. iPhone
2. Barbie
3. Military jackets
4. Hot Wheels
5. iPad
6. World cup
7. The Beatles
8. Silly Bandz
9. Alice in Wonderland
10. New Orleans Saints

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.

iPad 2 Cases Feature Slots For Speakers

The past couple of weeks has seen a deluge of rumors and speculations with respect to the next generation iPad. Yesterday, there were reports from Japan that suggested that the wide slots noticed in iPad case designs earlier were for a “wide range speaker” and not an SD card slot as reported. While that remains a speculation so far, we just have more information that supports this claim.

A new iPad case posted on Chinese eCommerce website, Alibaba.com, has a rendering of the rear side that shows the slot being used to reveal the metal mesh of an iPad speaker. It must be noted that this is an image mockup that may not give the complete picture. Also, these accessories are designed by manufacturers based on design inputs they receive and may not always conform to the final design.

iPad case

Nevertheless, the latest speculation has raised the curiosity levels among observers and has renewed a debate on the merits of having an SD card slot vis-a-vis a speaker. What do you want on iPad 2?

iPad 3G On AT&T Website Available Now

AT&T has finally opened its online store to the iPad 3G+Wi-Fi model. The units are available at the same price as is available on the Apple Store. That means, you will need to pay $629 for the 16GB variant, $729 and $829 for the 32GB and 64GB variants respectively.

It is worth mentioning that AT&T has not offered a very positive retail presence to the iPad until now. The carrier began the sale of iPads on their stores only as recently as October of this year. With the latest announcement, the iPad 3G model on AT&T will finally get the presence that it deserves from an exclusive carrier. Having said that, we still do not have enough details about the shipment lead time. So be ready to get your Christmas gift late if AT&T shall take more than a day to deliver your order.

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.

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?

Buy iPad Online On Best Buy With Free Shipping

Best Buy has announced that starting this week, customers may be able to pick up an iPad from their online store for a guaranteed delivery before Christmas. Until now, customers could only reserve a device online and had to visit one of their retail stores for pick up. But with the new announcement, customers can purchase an iPad from Best Buy online with a 6-10 day shipping window. Best Buy has also noted that purchases of Wi-Fi only models made now will be guaranteed for delivery before Christmas.

There is not much difference in pricing – in fact there’s a minor $0.99 increase from the official retail prices. The 16GB Wi-Fi only version of iPad that will be available at $499.99 is the base model while the price of the 3G enabled variants extend up to $829.99 for the 64 GB iPad. You can check out the devices from Best Buy website here.