Poll: Would you buy a 13-inch iPad?

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With further rumors of a larger iPad in the works – the latest one Chinese site Pad News claiming that Apple is testing several variants of a 12.9-inch iPad – we thought it would be interesting to gauge the level of interest.

The specifics of this claim fall well into sketchy territory. Pad News suggests a 4K display, which wouldn’t match iPad resolution ratios (though as the current iPad is close to 2K, something close to 4K wouldn’t be impossible). It also suggests a launch date of April – given that Apple switched iPad launch dates from the spring to the fall, switching back again doesn’t seem terribly likely.

The core rumor, however, has been around for quite some time. Several different sizes have been suggested, but 12.9 inches is the one most commonly cited. This idea first emerged back in May, attached to the world’s least likely name, and gained credibility (without the silly name) when reported by the WSJ in July …  Read more

iPhone 5s production in numbers: 500K phones a day, 600 workers per iPhone

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WSJ piece on Foxconn ramping up production of the iPhone 5s to meet demand provided an interesting glimpse at some of the numbers involved.

Foxconn operates 100 production lines, which are now operating at maximum capacity 24/7 to turn out 500,000 iPhones 5s handsets per day according to the report. Each iPhone represents the combined work of around 600 people. The unnamed Foxconn source said that this amounted to 100 people more than for the iPhone 5c due to the increased complexity of the high-end phone …  Read more

Sketchiest of Apple television rumors suggests 4K 55- & 65-inch screens next year at $1500-2500

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One of the many Apple Television concepts out there (image: theverge.com)

Among the less likely of the many rumors surrounding  Apple’s long-expected move into full televisions is one reported in Bloomberg today, suggesting that Apple will launch 55- and 65-inch 4K televisions in the final quarter of 2014 with pricing in the $1500 to $2500 range.

Masahiko Ishino, an analyst at Advanced Research Japan Co, claims the displays will be made by LG, the GPUs by Samsung and the frameless glass cover made from Corning Gorilla Glass 3, with Foxconn assembling the products …  Read more

iPhone takes 51% share of smartphone activations at Verizon in Q3, unit sales flat compared to Q2

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Graph by Benedict Evans.

Verizon has just reported their results for the third quarter, with smartphone sales topping 7.6 million units. While the press release does not disclose details about iPhone performance, on Verizon’s conference call, the company announced that iPhones were responsible for just over half of all Verizon’s smartphone activations, compared to about 43% in Q2. It is important to remember the distinction between activations and sales, with activations including passed-down devices to spouses or children as well as the strong iPhone reseller market.

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KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo provides details on new iPads coming in Q4

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An analyst note from a usually reliable Ming-Chi Kuo (郭明錤) seemingly confirms our expectation that Apple will not announce new iPads on September 10th, but at a separate event later in the year.

The note makes supply chain forecasts suggesting that assembly production of the iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 will start with low-volume production this month, and enter mass-production in the final quarter. If the tablets were to be announced on September 10th, we would expect them to be much further along the production cycle by now.

As expected, both iPad models are said to use the A7X processor, which should see be a particularly noticeable improvement on the existing A5-based Mini.

There were a couple of surprises in the note …  Read more

Apple gears up for expansion in China with more than 200 senior job openings

Photo: news.cn

Photo of Beijing Apple Store: news.cn

Apple appears to be preparing for increased focus on the Chinese market, with more than 200 (mostly) senior job openings appearing on LinkedIn, reports the WSJ. Some of these were added in the past three weeks, many within the last few days. Digitimes reported yesterday on Apple also seeking senior engineers in Taiwan.

With the developed market close to saturation point, the BRIC markets – Brazil, Russia, India and China – are key to Apple’s future expansion. Worldwide, smartphones represent only just over half of the total cellphone market, generating massive potential for future growth.

Apple’s challenge in China is as much a political one as it is marketing-based …  Read more

Apple CEO Tim Cook says Made-in-USA Mac will be assembled in Texas

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During this morning’s Senate hearing regarding Apple’s tax strategies, Apple CEO Tim Cook provided opening statements regarding Apple’s perspective on the issues. Notably, during a time in which Cook was discussing Apple’s United States-based operations and strategies, the Apple CEO said that Apple’s upcoming Made-in-the-USA Mac line will be assembled in Texas…

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Apple rejects 5-8m iPhones supplied by Foxconn

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China Business (via The Register) claims that Apple has returned between 5m and 8m iPhones due to quality issues. It’s not known which handsets are affected.

Details of just what went wrong are sketchy, as the source for this tale is an anonymous Foxconn staffer chatting to China Business. That report, after being forced through a couple of translation engines, suggests Apple sent back at least five million iPhones, and maybe as many as eight million, “due to appearance of substandard or dysfunctional problems.” Read more

Apple updates homepage in China to recognize earthquake, offers donations and support

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Apple has updated its official China website homepage to offer its respect and sympathy following the disastrous earthquake that has affected the country over the past few days.

The acknowledgement present on Apple’s site reads as follows:

Our deepest condolences to those who were taken away by the Sichuan Yaan earthquake, and respect to all the rescuers. May those who have passed away rest in peace, and may the survivors stay strong.

The company has also offered a statement that pledges cash donations and new Apple devices to help schools that have been affected:

In this difficult time our hearts are with the Sichuan earthquake victims. In addition to cash donations to help the victims ride out the storm, we will also commit to donating brand new Apple equipment to some of the schools in the affected region, and the local Apple staff will be on standby to provide support.

Apple has reportedly pledged 50 million Yuan in total. (Thanks to Richard Lai from Engadget for the translations.)
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Foxconn posts record profits citing increased efficiency of iPhone and iPad production

foxconnHon Hai Precision Industry Co, better known by its parent company name Foxconn, posted record quarterly profits in the final quarter of last year, citing increased production and improved efficiency of iPhones and iPads, as reported by Bloomberg.

Net income rose 5.6 percent to $1.2 billion, ahead of analyst expectations, but may face more challenging times ahead … Read more