Apple's manufacturers could start shipping its next-generation iPad in February 2011, according to a new report from DigiTimes.
Apple's manufacturers could be prepping a next-generation iPad for shipment
within the next 100 days, if a report from DigiTimes proves correct.
that publication's Dec. 7 article, "sources from Taiwan-based component
makers" indicated "that the iPad 2 will ship as soon as the end of February in
2011." The report also claims "the device's firmware is currently still in
testing," leading Apple to push back its production schedule from January.
Expected initial shipments total about a half-million units.
As with any iPad rumor, there is a substantial margin of error. In August,
DigiTimes Research predicted the next-generation iPad would feature a 7-inch
screen and an ARM Cortex-A9-based processor.
A few months later, during an Oct. 18 earnings call, Apple
CEO Steve Jobs dismissed the idea of a 7-inch tablet as inferior to a 10-inch
one. While that could have been a bit of deliberate misdirection on Jobs'
part, that cycle of rumor and official refutation is endemic when it comes to
Apple is unlikely to comment about a next-generation iPad before it hosts an
actual unveiling, especially considering how any official hint of another
device in the pipeline-particularly within the next 100 days-could spark a
wait-and-see attitude among potential buyers.
In the meantime, Apple will likely enjoy robust sales during the holidays.
"With the powerful combination of Apple's iPad, iPhone 4, refreshed iPod/iPod
Touch portfolio, the new MacBook Air and Apple TV, we believe Apple is
positioned for a big holiday season this year," Brian White, an analyst with
Ticonderoga Securities, wrote in a Nov. 29 research note. "Regardless of the
overall strength during Black Friday and the holiday season at large, we
believe Apple has the products that consumers demand."
Research company Strategy Analytics estimates the iPad's share of the tablet
market at 95.5 percent. However, the iPad also faces competition from a rising
number of Android tablets, including the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Research In
Motion's upcoming PlayBook. The
Galaxy Tab has reportedly sold more than 1 million units since its
mid-November release in the United States.
tablets will make up 15 percent of the worldwide tablet market in 2011, on
their way to a 28 percent share by 2015, predicts IMS Research. RIM's PlayBook
could also present substantial competition for the iPad in the enterprise
space, despite the latter's recent software updates designed to make it more
appealing to IT administrators and employees.
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.