Oct 30, 2013 - 12:43 PM - by dgstorm
The US mega-retailer, Best Buy, is gearing up for the first sales of the iPad Air. They just announced through their website and email that Apple's newest tablet will be "Coming Soon." Of course, it shouldn't be too surprising because Apple did say the device would be available on November 1st. That's this Friday for those who weren't already anxiously awaiting!
If you go to Best Buy's site you can already check out their lineup with prices for the various versions of the iPad Air. Sadly, you can only add it to a "wish list" as Apple is not allowing pre-orders on this one.
How many long lines do you think we will have for this launch?
Source: Best Buy
The Retina display iPad Mini is finally a reality (however, only the iPad Air launches for consumers this Friday, on November 1st). But at this moment it’s not quite sure whether or not Apple will have enough iPad Mini 2 units to meet the demand. Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook was asked during his company's quarterly earnings conference call by Steve Milunovich, an analyst with UBS, if the iPad maker will manage to meet the high demand.
Tim Cook didn’t express a great deal of confidence, saying the following:
To remind you, the iPad mini with Retina display is launching after the new iPad Air which could mean that there were issues in the supply chain.
"It's unclear whether we will have enough for the quarter or not. We know how many we will have, but you really don't know the demand until you start shipping."
A new report from DigiTimes cites sources with Taiwan's supply chain who points at Sharp as being the main bottleneck. The company is reportedly having problems with production yields of the 7.9-inch display panels for the iPad Mini, just like we have previously presumed. DigiTimes said:
Shortage issues don’t seem to affect the iPad Air, as the company will offer same day in-store pickup for orders. Are you going to buy the latest iPad Air or the iPad Mini with Retina display?
"The availability of the iPad mini with Retina display may not be enough to meet market demand because Sharp's supply of 7.9-inch Retina display panels based on its Oxide TFT process is seeing low yield rates, according to sources with Taiwan's supply chain. LG Display (LGD) is another supplier 7.9-inch Retina panels, the sources noted. LGD uses a-Si process and accounts for about 60% of the panels supplied for use in Apple's iPad mini with Retina display, with Sharp accounting for 40%, the sources said."
Source: MacRumors, DigiTimes
Oct 29, 2013 - 5:03 PM - by dgstorm
Recently, during a third quarter conference call, Tim Cook expressed his passion for Apple very eloqently. First Cook made his enthusiasm clear by indicating "it's going to be an iPad Christmas." He elaborated by sharing his appreciation for the innovative product line which has fueled Apple's success. He said, "all of these are products only Apple could have delivered. And most companies would be proud to have just one of them."
His most poignant statement came when describing the various philanthropic interests which are important to Apple,
Cook made sure to express his appreciation for the customers, shareholders and employees who have helped make Apple great. He shared,
"We're also proud to be a force for good in the world beyond our products. Whether it's improving working conditions or the environment, standing up for human rights, helping eliminate AIDS or reinventing education, Apple is making substantial contributions to society. We're also proud to be a force for good in the world beyond our products."-Tim Cook
"I'd like to thank all of our customers and our long term shareholders for their loyalty, and I'd also like to thank Apple's many talented employees who have worked tirelessly to bring us this far and who are passionately focused on making great products that enrich people's lives."
During the fourth fiscal quarter conference call on Monday, Tim Cook announced that the company had its best quarter in education so far, generating more than $1 billion in revenue. The iPad was the main “culprit”, taking a whopping 94 percent tablet market share in teaching institutions.
Apple is thus strengthening its presence in the education field where it faces Microsoft, a company that remains one of the leading names, especially when it comes to software. Educational sales for Apple have increased by 8 percent year-over-year, the iPad taking a health 22 percent leap forward. Mac sales also jumped 8 percent compared to the same time in 2012.
In the hardware field, Apple has to fight Google with its low-cost offering Chromebooks. Apple’s CEO doesn’t seem to be afraid, though:
Also, Apple’s CEO calls the company's share in the education arena unheard of in most businesses.
"We see Chromebooks in some places, but the vast majority of people are buying PC/Mac or an iPad."
"It's sort of unheard of. I've never seen a market share that high before. So we feel like we're doing really well here, and feel great to be making a contribution to education."
One of the biggest deals for Apple in education is the partnership with the Los Angeles Unified school district to supply every student with an iPad. A school in the Netherlands has even replaced traditional textbooks with the iPad, which proves that iPad’s charisma extends far beyond the United States.
On Monday Apple announced its fourth-quarter earnings reports, which managed to beat most of the Wall Street analysts’ estimates once again. The company has registered a net profit of $7.5 billion on sales of 33.8 million iPhones, 14.1 million iPads & 4.6 million Macs.
Apple has managed to sell a new record of 33.8 million iPhones, which is almost a 7 million increase over the 26.9 million iPhones Apple shipped in the year-ago quarter. iPad sales were almost identic, Apple selling 14.1 million iPads during the quarter, compared to 14 million in the year-ago quarter. This could be caused by the fact that the new iPads have been announced later than the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c.
The revenue this year was bigger than last year for Apple, $37.5 billion compared to $36 billion, but the reported net profits are smaller - $7.5 billion compared to $8.2 billion.
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said:
Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer added:
"We're pleased to report a strong finish to an amazing year with record fourth quarter revenue, including sales of almost 34 million iPhones. We're excited to go into the holidays with our new iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s, iOS 7, the new iPad mini with Retina Display and the incredibly thin and light iPad Air, new MacBook Pros, the radical new Mac Pro, OS X Mavericks and the next generation iWork and iLife apps for OS X and iOS."
For its fiscal 2014 first quarter, Apple predicts the revenue to be between $55 billion and $58 billion with operating expenses between $4.4 billion and $4.5 billion.
"We generated $9.9 billion in cash flow from operations and returned an additional $7.8 billion in cash to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases during the September quarter, bringing cumulative payments under our capital return program to $36 billion."
The PlayStation 4 gaming console will commercially launch for consumers on November 15. Sony recently announced that they are going to release their mobile PlayStation app for North America two days before the launch, and later on in Europe.
By using the iOS PlayStation App, PS4 players will be able to talk with their friends from the PlayStation Network, see trophies, spectate other players' gameplay and buy PlayStation Store content. You will also have the ability to control the PlayStation 4 console via Wi-Fi, which means you could use your iPad or iPhone as a keyboard.
But the most important feature is the second screen functionality which will transform your iPad into an additional game screen.
The iPad Air officially launches for consumers on this Friday, and probably many of you are excited for that moment. Along with your iPad Air purchase, you’ll probably be looking to buy some accessories for it, such as a new case or a protective cover. Of course, you can try Apple’s own Smart Cover or Smart Case, but if that is not enough for your tastes, you’ll be glad to know that Belkin and Logitech have announced their new iPad Air accessories.
Belkin’s flagship iPad Air accessory seems to be the Qode Ultimate Keyboard Case, coming in black or silver aluminum body, with an impressive 264 hours of active battery life for $130. The Qode ThinType Keyboard Case retails for $100 but offers just 79 hours of active use with the same aluminum build. The $80 Qode Slim Style keyboard case is even cheaper and comes in black, red, topaz, purple and sorbet.
Chet Pipkin, CEO of Belkin:
Logitech also announced four new iPad Air tailored accessories, but unlike Belkin, most of their products are similar to the cases already available for previous generation iPads. The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Folio ($99) comes with a built-in Bluetooth keyboard, stand with multiple viewing positions and Logitech’s SecureLock. The aluminum Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover ($99) let you to dock your iPad as a stand and magnetically attaches to protect the screen when you are not using it.
"Research firm IDC speculates that more than 227 million tablets will ship worldwide in 2013, up more than 57 percent from 2012(1), and from our own research we know that consumers are using these tablets primarily as laptop replacements and to watch video content. We created our iPad Air accessories around these use cases, upping the ante in terms of protection, versatility and comfort to provide the best experience possible with their new device."
There is also the Logitech Folio Protective Case at $49.99 and the Logitech FabricSkin Keyboard Folio, the priciest one at $149.
Source: Belkin, Logitech
Many people rely only on their fingers to control their Apple tablet, but your iPad could be much more functional with the help of such a gadget as the Livescribe 3 smartpen. The new Livescribe 3 smart pen is especially designed for Apple devices, working for the iPhone 4S and upwards, and iPad 3 and upwards.
The Livescribe 3 smartpen recognizes what you write on paper and digitizes it on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch thanks to the Bluetooth Smart wireless technology. And the paper is no ordinary paper, of course, it is Livescribe’s proprietary dot paper that can recognize what you write on it with the smartpen.
The Livescribe+ companion app makes it possible for users to write notes on the Livescribe paper and watch them appear on the screen of their iPad in real-time. Livescribe’s CEO, Gilles Bouchard:
You can also use the built-in microphones your iPad or iPhone to record audio and synchronize it with the written notes. The Livescribe 3 smartpen’s starting price is $150 but it’s probably going to become a hit among engineers, architects and just anybody else that wants to modernize the good old pen and paper.
"People shouldn't have to choose between their pen and their digital devices. The Livescribe 3 smartpen sends everything they write on paper to their tablet or smartphone, where our mobile application makes this information useful in truly innovative ways. It's simply the most elegant and versatile pen we've ever made."
There is also the possibility of sharing written notes, photographs and diagrams over Mail, Messages, Evernote, Dropbox and many other apps. The “scanned” writing becomes available as a PDF file.
The iPad Air is launching officially for customers next Friday, on November 1st. Consumers can buy the fifth-generation iPad, as always, from Apple’s Stores, but they can also buy it along with a data plan from their carrier. This year, Apple is expanding its carrier partnerships for sales of cellular-capable models, and T-Mobile is included for the first time.
Now, America's fifth-largest wireless carrier, U.S. Cellular, has announced Friday that it will also be selling the new iPad Air from Nov. 8, a week after its commercial launch. Smaller regional providers like C Spire, Bluegrass Cellular and more recently, Alaskan carrier GCI, have announced that they would also carry the iPad Air, but didn’t specify an exact date.
Are you a customer of any of these carriers?
At the iPad Air and Retina display iPad Mini unveil event, Apple said that it would be replacing the black and slate first-generation iPad mini with a space gray version. Starting with Thursday, has Already began stocking the space gray iPad Mini at some of its brick-and-mortar stores. According to AppleInsider, the iPad Mini models with the new color are arriving on select Apple Stores on a limited basis.
As expected, most of the stores have quickly sold out the initial batch of space gray iPad Mini units. The space gray color was first introduced with the launch of the iPhone 5s as a replacement for the "black and slate" color option. Apple also dropped the original iPad mini's price to $299 for the 16GB Wi-Fi version.
What do you think of the new space gray color?
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