Digitimes reports Apple has started the certification process for components the company will use in the iPad 3, set to be released in 2012. Digitimes says some part markers have already landed certifications such as Radiant Opto-Electronics with LED backlight units, with others rushing to get the deals done in the upcoming months.
Taiwan-based component makers for backlight modules and light bars have received certification from Apple, however, the certification of panels is still in progress, added industry sources.
According to component makers, the timing for the launch of iPad 3 should be in 2012. Taiwan-based firms think iPad 2 will become the mainstream and Apple will lower its price to compete with other tablet PCs.
In the same post and in a separate report, Digitimes also notes Apple will continue using standard LCDs for the next-generation iPad, as opposite to rumors that claimed Apple was considering adopting AMOLED displays from Samsung Electronics. As AMOLED still wouldn’t be able to meet Apple’s demand, Digitimes believes Apple will rely on LCDs again.
Taiwan-based panel makers pointed out that Samsung brand tablet PCs have not all adopted AMOLED panels. Only its Galaxy S II smartphones feature AMOLED panels, hence, it is unlikely for iPad 3 to adopt AMOLED panels. Industry observers indicated that demand for small- to medium-size AMOLED panels has been increasing, therefore, causing a shortage. The production might not catch up with the schedule of Apple’s iPad 3. It is more likely for Apple to adopt AMOLED panels in products after iPad 3.
A series of reports from earlier this year suggested Apple could release two iPads in 2011, but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore according to recent speculation and claims that the iPad 3 will follow Apple’s usual schedule for the device with a release in Spring 2012.
According to a report published tonight by The New York Times, Apple is not developing a smaller version of the iPhone. Rather, the report indicates Apple is looking for ways to make the iPhone cheaper by cutting the costs of internal iPhone components, like Flash storage. Like previous speculation, the NYTimes report, which cites people familiar with Apple’s plans, mentions that by reducing the capacity of the iPhone storage (one of the most expensive components in iPhone production) Apple is aiming at letting users store their information and media online, on Apple’s servers, through MobileMe.
The new MobileMe, according to the Times, will be free and will let users “synch their files without using a cable”. Apparently, the goal is to make MobileMe’s infrastructure fast and reliable enough to allow for photo, video and media storage so that users won’t have to do anything to find content synced across all their devices. The move to MobileMe as the primary way to store content online instead of Flash memory would let Apple launch a cheaper iPhone, but not a smaller one. An iPhone with a different screen resolution would force developers to “rewrite their apps” and “would be more difficult to operate”.
But contrary to published reports, Apple is not currently developing a smaller iPhone, according to people briefed on Apple’s plans who requested anonymity because the plans are confidential.
Apple’s engineers are currently focused on finishing the next version of the iPhone, which is likely to be similar in size to the current iPhone 4, said one of the people. The person said Apple was not planning to introduce a smaller iPhone any time soon. Analysts expect the new iPhone to be ready this summer.
The New York Times also mentions a senior Apple executive said during a meeting “that it did not make sense for the company to make multiple iPhone models”. Apple is very concerned about the fragmentation issue of multiple devices with different specs running the same operating system. The NYTimes report thus contradicts what has been said so far by Bloomberg and the WSJ, which confirmed through anonymous sources that Apple was planning on releasing a smaller version of the iPhone with a 2.3-inch screen.