Questionable analyst roundup: 10M home automation iWatches? 12-inch MacBook Air and much more

Home automation image: insideci.co.uk

Home automation image: insideci.co.uk

There are a couple of analyst rumors doing the rounds at present that are best described as … questionable.

First, we have Brian White claim (via VentureBeat) that the key focus of the long-rumored iWatch is as a control for home automation systems.

As an Apple supplier, our contact offered insight into the “iWatch” and described this potential new device as much more than an extension of your iPhone but as a multi-purpose gateway in allowing consumers to control their home (i.e., heating/cooling, lights, audio, video, etc.)

You may recall that Mr White is a man who likes his remotes: he predicted back in April that the Apple HDTV (which he always claims is going to be released in the next quarter or two) would be controlled by an iRing …  Read more

Expert: Apple settled for older display tech in new iPad, Sharp’s IGZO tech wasn’t ready

With the new iPad’s “resolutionary” 2048-by-1536-pixel Retina display, which is arguably the flagship feature of the device, it might be somewhat surprising to hear that Apple originally planned on using lighter, thinner display tech. This is according to display expert and President of DisplayMate Technologies Raymond Soneira who told CNET, “There’s no question that the iPad 3 is Plan B.”

He claimed Apple would have used Sharp’s IGZO tech for a thinner display assembly, but instead was forced to go with older, amorphous silicon that required a larger battery. The move could have accounted for some of the increased weight to 1.46 pounds and depth of .037 inch. Soneira explained:

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More iPad Retina images found in iTunes U, iBooks 2 files

iTunes U (Click to enlarge):

iBooks 2:

Thanks @sonnydickson for the images 

We have been finding references to 2X iPad images for well over a year (including iBooks 1.2), but with the next iPad expected soon, these images found in the iBooks 2 file have some importance:

We’re still expecting a 2X Retina iPad in the coming months.

Thanks Brenden! Read more

Analyst: iPad 3 Retina Display production “has started”

Mere hours after we verified the connection between DigiTimes display predictions and the J2 prototype found in iOS 5 code strings, DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim told CNET that production of a QXGA 10-inch 2048-by-1536 Retina Display for iPad 3 “has started”, as previously hinted:

It’s happening – QXGA, 2048×1536. Panel production has started [for the next-generation iPad]. There’s three suppliers. [...] It takes a couple of weeks for the production to go to the ODMs (the manufacturers). Then the manufacturer puts them in the housing. Then, that goes off to shipment. We could start seeing finished devices produced in December. And then being ready to be shipped in January. With volumes gearing up in February and March

J1 and J2 are code-names DigiTimes outed as next-generation iPad models allegedly in the works for 2012. Acknowledging possible issues with volume manufacturing of such a high-resolution display, the analyst stressed Apple should be able to meet targets because it is sourcing parts from three display manufacturers: Samsung Electronic, LG Display and Sharp.
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Apple takes top spot from HP for “Mobile PC Market Share” (including iPads)

According to analytics firm DisplaySearch, Apple has officially passed HP (by nearly 4 million units) to become the top PC manufacturer worldwide with a 21.1% share. However, these numbers are somewhat controversial given the fact it includes iPad sales in the stats, a device that makes up 80% of Apple’s total PC shipments in Q2.

The research notes tablet shipments are up almost  “70% Q/Q and over 400% Y/Y”, while notebook shipments were down 2% Q/Q. This just reinforces the fact that the iPad shipments greatly inflate Apple’s market lead in the “Mobile PC Market”. Even with incredible growth in the tablet market (thanks to the iPad), the 48 million notebook PCs shipped in Q2 2011 still greatly outweigh tablet shipments of 16.4 million. If you take tablets (iPads) out of the equation, Apple’s frenemy Samsung still tops the list for growth, up  44% for shipments Y/Y.

Apple shipped 3.9 million units more than HP’s 9.7 million units, making for a total of approximately 13.6 million MacBooks and iPads. The report also notes that PC shipment worldwide growth is on the rise even without Apple, noting  “non-Apple tablets reached over 5.6 million units for the quarter” putting Y/Y tablet shipments up 25%.

From the report:

“Preliminary results show a second consecutive quarter of Y/Y shipment growth rate decline,” said Richard Shim, Senior Analyst for DisplaySearch. “While part of the Y/Y decline can be attributed to a strong first half of 2010, the rising tablet PC shipment growth rate begins to point to notebook PC shipment cannibalization.”

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Read stories to your kids remotely with iPad

You can’t always be there at bedtime to read your kids their evening stories.  However, Nursery Rhymes with StoryTime let’s you read them their favorite stories remotely using an iPhone.  While it doesn’t replace being there, it is a nice stopgap and a great idea.  The artwork on these stories is top notch.

I see this as being fantastic for parents that are split up or even parents that travel often.  Perhaps v2 could have a little FaceTime window.

$3.99 at the App Store

For iPad, half a billion units five years from now

Life is definitely good in the land of iPad. In 2016, sales of Apple’s tablet should top more than a hundred million units annually and half a billion units cumulatively. It’s projected to grab the biggest chunk of an estimated 60 million slates in this year, another indication that 2011 and 2012 will be the years of iPad. This notion is shared by analyst Jennifer Colegrove who says tablet PCs are “the fastest growing application for touch screens.”

A simple armchair analysis suggests cumulative iPad shipments nearing a whooping half a billion units by the end of 2016. Yes, five years is too long a time for crystal ball peering, but even the most outspoken naysayers coming out of the woodwork should acknowledge the iPad’s enormous potential for Apple’s fortunes.

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