Posts Tagged ‘tablet style’

New, less expensive model of iPad 2 may launch today

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

The rumour mill has gone into overdrive ahead of what is expected to be the launch of a new iPad today – with the latest leaks suggesting a new, cheaper model alongside an upgraded iPad 3.

Technology giant Apple has invited journalists to a ‘special event’ in California today with an invitation saying: ‘We have something you really have to see. And touch.’

Taiwanese site Digitimes reports that a new, cheaper model of the old iPad 2 may launch alongside the expected iPad 3 or ‘iPad HD’ – helping Apple to compete with budget rivals such as Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 tablets.

Citing unnamed sources in Apple’s supply chain, the tech site said, ‘In addition to iPad 3, Apple is also expected to unveil an 8GB iPad 2, allowing the tablet PC series to cover different segments and to defend against Windows 8-based tablet PCs, the sources noted.’

Apple had sold more than 55 million iPads around the world as of January this year.

Search data company Experian Hitwise says that one in 2000 of ALL internet searches have been for terms related to iPad 3 over the past week.

‘Demand for the iPad 3 online reached its peak in the last week as 1 in every 2000 searches online were iPad 3 related,’ says the company.

Some industry experts are even predicting the end of personal computers as touch-screen tablet-style computers grow in popularity.

Apple announced that more than 25 billion apps have been downloaded from its App Store by customers.

Nate Lanxon, editor of technology site Wired.co.uk, said he expected the latest iPad model to ‘look a lot like the current model’ but with a much higher resolution screen.But he said that might not be enough to send shoppers out spending their money straight away, adding: ‘On day one there is less reason to invest in one than three or four months down the line when the developers have got to grips with it and you can see what apps they have built for it.’

Long queues formed outside Apple’s flagship store in Regent Street, central London, two years ago as hundreds vied to get their hands on the original iPad when it was launched.

Apple was forced to push back its original late April UK launch date because of ‘overwhelming demand’ for the device in the US.

The company sold more than one million iPads in the US in the first 100 days making it a faster seller than the iPhone.

Sarah Rotman Epps, an analyst for Forrester Research, said the device’s Android competition has failed because most technology companies fail to see that the ‘apps’ are more important than the hardwares.
‘It’s about the services – what you can do with the device,’ she said in a blog post.

Apple’s competitors have slowly come to realize this, but only after bringing out dozens of tablets with whiz-bang features like 3-D cameras.

The company’s last release was the iPhone 4S – complete with voice recognition software – which went on sale in October.

It was launched just nine days after Apple’s pioneering former chief executive Steve Jobs died following a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer.

The launch was seen as a key ‘test’ for new CEO Tim Cook.

The unveiling at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, where the company also introduced the last two iPad generations, will be Chief Executive Tim Cook’s second major product launch.

Cook will again be flanked by Apple’s top executives when he kicks off a typically tightly choreographed show scrutinized by investors and industry insiders.

On hand will likely be Apple’s top marketing executive Phil Schiller, its head of Internet services Eddy Cue and software chief Scott Forstall – the standard cast for major launches following the death of founder and consummate showman Steve Jobs last year.

The competitor that has done the best is Amazon.com Inc. Its Kindle Fire tablet is cheaper than the iPad, and also tied into Amazon’s book, movie and music stores, making it an easy route to entertainment, just like the iPad.

Still the Kindle Fire has a long way to go.

Epps estimates that Amazon sold 5.5 million Kindle Fires in the fourth quarter of last year. Meanwhile, Apple sold 15.4 million iPads, and has sold 55.3 million in total.

According to Canaccord Genuity, 63 percent of the tablets shipped last year were iPads.

The only competitors with more than 5 percent market share were Amazon and Samsung.

The iPad launch comes as Apple has reached a rare milestone: last week, it was worth more than $500 billion.

Only six other U.S. companies have been worth that much, and none have held that valuation for long.

On Tuesday, Apple’s stock had fallen, bringing its market value down to $494 billion, but analysts believe it the company is worth closer to $550 billion.