Rumor: Additional Tablet Supplier/Content Details Surface

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Date: Wednesday, January 20th, 2010, 07:38
Category: Rumor

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With January 27th and Apple’s expected tablet release date approaching, the rumors are flying in interesting new directions.

First, sources close to Time Inc. have informed MediaMemo that “Apple has only recently started” sharing details about its forthcoming device, and even those discussions have minimal details. Most of the talks between Time and Apple reportedly took place within the last few weeks.

As a result, Time Inc. isn’t expected to have anything to present at next week’s tablet unveiling. The source was quoted as stating that Time remains “intensely interested” in the device.

“But for now, Time Inc. executives are thinking about this stuff in a bit of vacuum, because they don’t know exactly what Steve Jobs has up his sleeve,” the report said. “Tease that out a bit and you can tell the story of most media companies: They’re excited to start taking advantage of the tablet–as soon as they find out what it is, exactly.”

In December, Time Inc. released a video demonstrating how users might read Sports Illustrated on a tablet-like device. Some members of the press were also allowed to test working demos of the concept.

In an interesting development, a new note Wednesday from UBS Investment Research cited industry checks in forecasting that the Apple tablet will be powered by a processor designed by P.A. Semi and built by Samsung. Analyst Maynard Um said it would likely be a complex system on a chip design.

Per AppleInsider, Um pegged Hon Hai Precision Co. as the manufacturer for the tablet, and said LG Display will likely supply most of the screens, with AUO being a second source.

Other parts noted by UBS were:

- Connectors from Chen Uei and Hon Hai.
- Wintek, Sintek and TPK as touch suppliers.
- Batteries from Simplo and Dynapack.
- NAND flash memory from Samsung.
- Broadcom to provide a “combo” chip for connectivity.

The note said the tablet is expected to hit the market at some point in the first half of 2010.

“Key will be timing and price points, in order to asses how material it could be for suppliers,” Um wrote. “In addition, how convincing the device will be could generate debate as per whether the tablet device category could be revived and help overall demand.”

Apple purchased chip designer P.A. Semi for US$278 million in 2008. The company specialized in sophisticated low-power designs.

Finally, Publishers Marketplace has said that “secret” negotiations are taking place between Apple and “nearly all (and most likely all) of the six largest trade publishers” in the U.S. The talks are reportedly underway in New York as Apple preps to unveil its tablet next week.

Those involved said that it’s possible a deal may not be reached in time for the January 27th event. It also noted that publishers could be “seeking greater control over pricing and supply of digital material.”

The rumors follow a report from earlier this week that Apple was in talks with publisher HarperCollins to sell e-books on the tablet, with a business model that would follow that of the existing App Store for the iPhone and iPod touch. Typical bestseller releases could cost about US$9.99, and Apple would give publishers 70% of the revenue, while keeping a 30% share for itself.

It’s speculation at this point, but it’ll be resolved in a week over at the Yerba Buena.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what you think in the comments.

Rumor: Apple to Release iPhone OS 4.0 at Jan. 27th Media Event, Details Leaked

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Date: Tuesday, January 19th, 2010, 09:08
Category: iPhone, Rumor

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You’ve got to admit, it’s the rumors that make life interesting.

Boy Genius Report has reportedly received information from a source close to the story claiming iPhone OS 4.0 will be introduced at Apple’s press event next week at the Yerba Buena on January 27th. Per the source, iPhone OS 4.0 will be limited to the iPhone 3G and 3GS (presumably including at least more recent iPod touch models and omitting the original iPhone) and will incorporate solutions for multitasking by running applications in the background and a revamped user interface for easier navigation.

Other changes will include the following:

- There will be multi-touch gestures OS-wide.

- “A few new ways” to run applications in the background — multitasking.

- Many graphical and UI changes to make navigating through the OS easier and more efficient.

- The update will supposedly be available for only the iPhone 3G and 3GS, but will “put them ahead in the smartphone market because it will make them more like full-fledged computers” more than any other phone to date. Everyone is “really excited.”

- A brand new syncing ability for the contacts and calendar applications.

The ability to run iPhone applications in the background has been near the top of many users’ wish lists, but Apple has yet to implement full backgrounding and multitasking due to its effect on performance and battery life, instead opting to deploy push notifications as a means for closed applications to serve data to users.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what you think in the comments.

Rumor: Apple Holding Talks with HarperCollins Over Potential Tablet Content

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Date: Tuesday, January 19th, 2010, 06:50
Category: Rumor

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I’d like to think that the upcoming Apple tablet could save both the publishing and journalism industries as well as paint your house on the weekend if need be.

Per the Wall Street Journal, Apple and publisher HarperCollins are reportedly conducting talks over possible e-book offerings for Apple’s new tablet device, with pricing that would follow the current App Store model.

The deal could offer enhanced e-books containing video, author interviews, and social-networking applications. These releases could command a higher price than the current e-book standard of US$9.99 for a typical bestseller.

It is unknown as of now if the e-books would be offered though the existing iTunes store or if a specialized e-book storefront would be created.

“Amazon created the e-book market by making the US$9.99 price for best sellers an integral part of its introduction of the Kindle e-book reader in November 2007,” the report said. “But the Kindle lacks color and video capabilities, two elements that are likely to be crucial to the future of enhanced e-books.

“Amazon could be shut out of enhanced e-books until the Kindle offers those features. The standard Kindle costs US$259, however, while analysts expect Apple’s tablet to cost about US$1,000.”

Back in early December, it was reported that Apple was offering publishers a deal that would allow them to release their content on other online stores, such as Amazon’s Kindle or the forthcoming multi-publisher digital storefront that would offer content from Conde Nast, Hearst, News Corp., Time, and Meredith for use on portable digital devices. It was reported then that Apple was planning on splitting the revenue 30/70 (Apple/publisher), compared to the 50/50 split offered by Amazon for publishing to its Kindle e-reader.

Apple is expected to announce a long-awaited tablet device at its upcoming January 27th media event at the Yerba Buena in San Francisco. Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Rumor: iPhone Developer Hints at “Imminent” iPhone OS 4.0 Release

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Date: Monday, January 18th, 2010, 05:15
Category: iPhone, Rumor

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Additional evidence of iPhone OS 4.0′s release being just on the horizon emerged Friday when Rick Broid of CNET’s iPhone Atlas stated that he received an e-mail from a “prominent app developer” regarding an update to the iPhone operating system. “Just wanted to give you a heads up that we’ve submitted an updated app for the new iPhone OS 4.0 software,” the e-mail allegedly said. Additional details on the supposed software were not given.

Earlier this month, it was alleged that Apple’s rumored January 27th media event at the Yerba Buena could include the introduction of iPhone OS 4.0. One report claimed the new software developer kit includes a “simulator” that makes it easy for developers to adapt to different screen resolutions.

Apple is widely expected to introduce its long-rumored tablet device at the event. This week, one rumor claimed that Apple has not issued any updates for the iPhone in some time because the next version has many tablet-related references that the company did not want to leak in advance of its planned unveiling.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what you think in the comments.

Rumor: Apple Apparently Purchases All 10.1″ LCD, OLED Screens for Near Future

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Date: Tuesday, January 12th, 2010, 06:36
Category: Rumor

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With only 15 days remaining until Apple’s January 27th media event at the Yerba Buena in San Francisco and the tablet rumor’s a’flyin’, an asian component supplier has stated that Apple has puchased all 10.1″ multi-touch LCD and OLED display panels for the near future.

Per TG Daily, an anonymous designer has confirmed that the 10.1″ screen size is currently unavailable, as Apple has supposedly ordered so many screens that the parts cannot be purchased by anyone else.

“We were designing a product for a customer and we needed 10-inch screens,” the source allegedly said, “but we’ve been trying for months and can’t get one from any of the Asian suppliers.”

OLEDs, or organic light-emitting diodes, deliver color pictures without the need for a backlight. They consume less energy and provide a superior picture. Such screens have been a popular choice for Apple competitors of late, with Microsoft using one for its Zune HD, and Google for its Nexus One smartphone.

Although the technology is superior, it’s also expensive. In November, one report suggested an OLED-based Apple tablet would cost between US$1,500 and US$1,700 to build based on current prices. It was then predicted an OLED tablet would cost about US$2,000.

However, the still-unannounced Apple tablet is widely expected to have a final price of less than US$1,000. Analyst Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray believes Apple could sell 1.4 million devices at an average selling price of US$600.

In December, analyst Yair Reiner with Oppenheimer specifically disputed the claims of an OLED screen. He said checks within Apple’s supply chain have said the device will use a 10.1″ multi-touch display using LTPS LCD technology (the same technology as seen on the iPhone). Reiner then went on to state that he expects an average selling price of US$1,000.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and feel free, as always, to hurl your two cents in on this.

Rumor: Apple Could Launch Next-Gen iPhone in May, Not June/July

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Date: Tuesday, January 12th, 2010, 04:16
Category: iPhone, Rumor

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It came from the rumor mill, so it must be true.

Per iPhon.fr, a group of “mobile operators” are citing that Apple is planning to release its next-generation iPhone in May this year as opposed to the June/July release dates that have historically been used in the past.

While this is still a rumor, the article itself was penned by the magazine’s editor in chief, a move which places a fair amount of credibility on the line. Within the article, a source is cited as claiming the early release move would help compete against tech giant Google, which recently released its Nexus One handset.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what you have to say.

Rumor: Apple Tablet to Feature Web Cam, 3G Access

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Date: Monday, January 11th, 2010, 06:09
Category: Rumor

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The nice thing about rumors and leaks: sometimes they’re true.

Per French web site Nowhereelse.fr, an executive with wireless operator France Telecom suggested in an interview Monday that Apple will soon release a tablet equipped with a Web cam, and Orange customers across Europe will be able to use the device.

Stephane Richard simply answered “oui” to a couple of questions Monday about a tablet with a Web cam. When asked if Orange customers will be able to use Apple’s tablet, he said, in French, “of course.”

Richard did not volunteer the information, but rather responded by saying yes to a series of tablet-related questions from journalist Jean-Pierre Elkabbach.

The transcription of the questions went as follows:

Elkabbach: According to weekly Le Point, in a couple of days Apple will be launching its tablet computer…
Richard: Yes.
Elkabbach: …equipped with a webcam.
Richard: Yes.
Elkabbach: Are Orange customers going to be able to enjoy it?
Richard: Of course!

Orange is primarily based in Europe and Africa. It is the fifth largest wireless carrier in the world, with more than 189 million customers.

Apple is expected to announce the long-awaited tablet device on January 27th at its media event at the Yerba Buena Arts Center in San Francisco, California. Current speculation has the unit shipping in March.

Additional Reports Bolster Likelihood of Apple January 26th Media Event

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, December 31st, 2009, 05:58
Category: iPhone 3GS, iPod, Rumor

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A new report published by Fox News has bolstered rumors regarding Apple’s anticipated media event on January 26th at the Yerba Buena center in San Francisco, California. While the original report indicated that Apple had reserved the space to make “a major product announcement,” today’s report indicates that sources have first hand knowledge that the event will be associated with a product in the “mobility space.”

For those anticipating the release of a tablet device at the event, Apple has reportedly told some of its iPhone developers to prepare their apps to run on a larger device, which is not a major undertaking given the flexible foundation supporting today’s iPhone apps.

Reports that Apple is hosting its own January media event at the Yerba Buena, a location it has historically used for its fall iPod-related music events also help explain why the company announced last year that it would no longer be presenting a keynote or even hold a booth at IDG’s Macworld Expo event. The event date set in late January allows the company more time to plan and prepare for the slate introduction.

Rumor: Apple Places Orders for Possible Tablet Displays, Connector Devices

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Date: Monday, December 28th, 2009, 06:52
Category: Rumor

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It’s a new week, so let the tablet rumors flow.

Apple has apparently placed mass orders for 10″ displays as well as strong glass panels and connectors to go with them.

According to DigiTimes, manufacturer Foxconn’s panel-making subsidiary Innolux will serve as the primary supplier of 10″ panels for the forthcoming multi-touch device while display panel vendor Wintek will fill many of the remaining orders.

Citing sources close to the story, DigiTimes has reported that Apple has been “seeking solutions to strengthen the glass of the 10-inch panel for the” tablets, a move which contributed to delaying the device’s launch until the first-quarter 2010.

Foxconn’s optical glass processing subsidiary G-Tech Optoelectronics will reportedly provide this unidentified glass strengthening process, while Taiwan-based optical film maker Wah Hong Industrial has also been tapped to supply components that will aid in the effort.

Based on an analysis of the shipping schedules of Apple’s upstream component suppliers, it’s been predicted that Apple could announce its new tablet device in January with volume shipments to follow by March.

In Addition, the Economic Daily has reported that manufacturer Cheng Uei Precision has received large orders for new flat-panel Tablet PC connector parts. Strangely enough, the article suggests the company is unlikely to start delivering those parts to Apple until the third quarter of 2010.

A media event thought to be related to the Apple tablet has been scheduled for January 26th at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Arts Center.

Rumor: Apple Books Media Event for Late January, Tablet Release Speculation Escalates

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Date: Thursday, December 24th, 2009, 06:10
Category: Rumor

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It’s almost Christmas and since speculation makes life interesting, here you go:

Apple has reportedly scheduled a media event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco on Tuesday January 26th, 2010, for a major product announcement. Per the Financial Times, Apple has reportedly rented the stage for “several days” at the end of January. Officials with Apple and the center declined to comment.

Although it’s currently unknown what the media event will center around, reports have emerged from the Times stated that Apple’s long-awaited tablet device was due for a January, 2010 unveiling and would go into mass production soon after. Additional reports have surfaced that Apple is in negotiation with TV networks to hash out subscription plans and content for video on the iTunes Store.

Another report stated that a tablet with a 7″ screen was due to be announced in January. This differs from long-standing reports of a device with a 10″ touchscreen, albeit Apple could be manufacturing two differently sized units.

Web blog Silicon Alley Insider was reportedly told by a source that Apple asked developers to prepare full screen versions of their apps for a January demo. Apple has apparently requested that the software in question scale beyond the 320 x 480 pixel size of the current iPhone and iPod touch screen, but said that applications that can accommodate the larger screen size will run “just fine” on the new device.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.