Oct 15

Reuters claim that Apple will host an event on October 23 where it is expected to unveil a smaller iPad that will take on the less expensive devices offered by Amazon.com Inc and Google Inc, a source familiar with the matter said last Friday.

Wall Street analysts have predicted for months that Apple was planning a smaller, less costly version of its popular iPad to take on cheaper competing devices, a move that analysts say might hurt its margins, but prevent its rivals from dominating an increasingly important computing segment.

The source did not specify what the product would be and an Apple spokesman declined to comment, but tech blog AllThingsD reported earlier on Friday that Apple would launch the mini iPad at the event. The device is expected by many experts to have a screen between 7 and 8 inches.

A smaller iPad will directly compete with e-commerce company Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD tablet and Google’s Nexus 7. Both devices have 7-inch screens and sell for $199. The first Kindle Fire, launched last year, grabbed about a fifth of the U.S. tablet market.

The consumer device company is gearing up to unveil a new product at a major October 23 event, said the source, who declined to be named, only days before Microsoft Corp unveils Windows 8 and its new Surface tablet on October 26.

The Nexus 7, manufactured by Asustek Computer Inc, has also seen a successful start, with the tablet selling out soon after launch.

ipad-mini image care of intomobileOne Wall Street analyst said he had seen the smaller tablet, dubbed iPad mini by the media, while visiting component suppliers in Asia.

“We actually had the opportunity to play with a pilot iPad Mini used by one of the vendors,” Topeka Capital analyst Brian White said. “This 7.85-inch iPad Mini fit our hands like a glove and we were easily able to tuck the device in our sport coat, offering consumers a more mobile iPad experience for certain use cases.”

Apple events are typically among the most-watched items on the industry calendar, monitored by consumers and technology investors alike. The event in two weeks, however, comes at a time of volatility for the popular technology stock.

Apple shares closed up 0.25 percent at $629.714 on Nasdaq, barely recouping significant losses suffered over the past three weeks as investors cashed out after it touched an all-time high of $705.07 on September 21.

While the stock is up 55 percent this year, it is currently down 10 percent from its record high. Wall Street analysts have cited concerns about disruptions of iPhone supplies after a riot in September at one of the plants operated by its main contract manufacturer, Foxconn Technology, and sharp criticism from consumers about errors in its Maps service.

MARGIN RISK?

Apple’s fiscal fourth quarter financial results are scheduled to be released on October 25, two days after the event, offering analysts a rare opportunity to grill executives about a new product just after details are made public.

A smaller iPad could be a risk to Apple’s industry-leading margins, given that neither Amazon nor Google has been known to make much money from the smaller tablets.

Amazon’s first Kindle Fire just about breaks even, according to IHS iSupply estimates. But the internet retailer sells a lot of content – music, books – through the Kindle line.

Google has said that its $199 Nexus 7 is being sold at cost and has no profit margin.

Apple earned gross margins of 23 percent to 32 percent on its U.S. iPad sales between October 2010 and the end of March 2012, a court filing by Apple in a recent patent trial against Samsung Electronics Co Ltd revealed in July. The company’s margins on U.S. iPhone sales are almost double those of the iPad, averaging between 49 percent and 58 percent.

Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu said that, if Apple prices the smaller tablet between $299 to $349, it could maintain the current margins.

“The biggest cost in a tablet is the display,” he said. “On a mini, the display will be a bit cheaper.

If the tablet is priced below $299, Apple could still maintain a decent margin if it offers 8 GB of storage instead of the minimum 16 GB storage it has in the current iPad, Wu added.

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Apr 18

Maybe output is increasing as the supply of iPads shows signs of starts to catch up with demand.
This morning our local PC World had a delivery and we walked out with the last unit. We love it and the more you use it the more your start to appreciate the power and design excellence.
This is a product that just works so well, that using it is a pleasure.
See unpacking images below.

First post created on iPad with pictures from iPhone.
ipad box
open ipad box

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Mar 28

Line at Regent St Store on opening day – Friday PM. Warning long line.

 

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Nov 11

The iPad has created an industry and new entrants are hungry to join Apple at the trough. Samsung have just released the Galaxy, a 7 inch tablet device. Initial reviews have been lees that exciting with some major concerns about the screen size and functionality. Gizmodo called it a portable train wreck.

Samsung-Galaxy-Tab_1

Samsung-Galaxy-Tab_1

That’s a harsh but probably fair comment. Mr Jobs laboured the point about screen size in the recent earnings release. He used basic trig to show that an 11 inch device has roughly twice the amount of real estate compared to a 7 inch device. ┬áThe device is of course powered by Android.

Early next year will see the RIM project take light. This is another 7 inch device from Canadian heavy weight and blackberry maker RIM. The company has a loyal following in the smartphone set and is the product of choice for many millions of consumers and business. The will however miss this years Christmas or Holiday spending bonanza.

blackberry-playbook-tablet

blackberry-playbook-tablet

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