Bloomberg: Apple to release its iWatch within 9 months

iWatch-Concept-slap-bracelet

Bloomberg reported earlier this year that Apple had a team of over 100 product designers working on a wristwatch-like device. At the time, we noted that all the recent rumors and intel surrounding the iWatch seemed like the lead up to an impending product launch. Bloomberg is out with a new report today, claiming Apple will indeed launch its watch product in 2013:

Apple seeks to introduce the device as soon as this year, this person said. Apple has filed at least 79 patent applications that include the word “wrist,” including one for a device with a flexible screen, powered by kinetic energy… The watch business is experiencing a renaissance reminiscent of the cell phone industry before the iPhone.

The report added information about some of the potential features of the device that we had also heard of previously, including the ability to receive incoming calls, view maps, and record health data via various sensors:

Features under consideration include letting users make calls, see the identity of incoming callers and check map coordinates, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. It would also house a pedometer for counting steps and sensors for monitoring health-related data, such as heart rates, this person said.

Citigroup Inc. analyst Oliver Chen estimated Apple could generate $6 billion of the approximately $60 million in sales he expects the global watch industry to bring in during 2013. As pointed out by Bloomberg, gross margins are roughly four times bigger than TVs, which would only bring about $1.79 billion in gross profit for the company compared to $3.6 billion for watches.

Former creative director at Nike Scott Wilson told Bloomberg that Apple’s Jonathan Ive “has long had an interest in watches.” Read more

iPad 3 parts leak as rumored 2012 release comes closer

As the rumored early 2012 iPad 3 release draws closer, Cydia Blog discovered a part for the iPad 3 on TVC Mall’s website. What you see above is apparently a replacement part for the microphone on the iPad 3, and shows some pretty major changes compared to the iPad 2′s microphone — namely the shape. The apparent dock connector and ribbon cable for the iPad 3 also leaked this summer. Cydia Blog reports:

The new part, when compared with iPad 2, shows a different arrangement in internal circuitry, hinting a major re-design. The tail end of the part makes a “U-turn”, whereas the iPad 2′s Microphone Mic Flex Cable makes almost 90-degree turn both ways. Except for few details, the leaked part so far doesn’t offer a tantalizing tease.

The iPad 3 is rumored to launch early 2012 — maybe February — with a rumored higher res display and thicker form-factor. Other specs are rumored to be a dual-mode wireless chip for both CDMA and GSM, Apple’s A6 processor, and more RAM. Citi’s analyst Richard Gardner says he’s heard from sources that a February launch is coming, but some have pointed to mid-summer. The updated mic form-factor above could point to pretty major internal changes. It should be worth noting, however, that manufacturer replacement parts aren’t always in the final version. (via MacRumors)

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Report: Next iPads to arrive in 3-4 months, parts being delivered now

Digitimes tonight reports that next generation iPads are expected to be available in the next 3-4 months as manufacturers in the supply chain have started delivering parts and components for the new tablets to OEM contractors while reducing those prepared for iPad 2.  The report follows a Citi Analyst last week who said that “several sources” have confirmed the next-gen iPad will launch in February saying, “there do not appear to be any significant technical hurdles remaining”.

Current production of iPad 2 will reportedly remain high at 14-15 million units in Q4 2011 but tail to 4-5 million units in the first quarter of 2012 as anticipation for the next iPad grows and inventory is cleared out.

Meanwhile, Foxconn Electronics will begin to produce the next-generation iPads in January and to ramp up the production volume starting February, according to a Chinese-language Commercial Times report, which quoted Kevin Chang, an analyst of Citigroup Global Markets, as indicating.

Production of the new iPads is expected to reach 9.5-9.8 million units in the first quarter of 2012, estimated sources in the supply chain. Sales of iPad products totaled 25.06 million in the first three quarters of 2011 and are likely to reach 40 million units for all of 2011, the sources estimated.

The next generation iPad is expected to have a Retina display, a faster A6 processor – possible Quad Core, and be slightly thicker than the current model… Read more