Purported iPad 3 shells floating around China, here’s a very high-resolution image of the inside, and photos of the outside

Full-sized, below.

Since a purported iPad 3 back-shell image leaked earlier today, we have dug into the story to uncover where it originally came from and some of the intricate details behind the part. For one, there are not only a few of these back-shells floated to repair shops, but there are sizable amounts of these parts built-in China. This gives credence to reports about the iPad 3 is in production, and it likely means things are moving full steam ahead of the rumored-March launch.

Next, the original image comes from a Chinese supplier who provides parts to iPad repair shops across the globe.

Perhaps the best news of the night is that we have a very high-resolution version of the image. Click the image below to view the full super high-res version. The iPad 3 rumors include the device to have a Retina Display, faster processor, improved graphics, and better cameras. As hinted by these back-shells and earlier rumors, the iPad 3 will likely sport a design that closely mirrors the iPad 2 design.

Update: Our friends at Apple.pro also obtained photos of the iPad 3 back shell, and they have a photo of the outer back portion. It appears that the camera lens is larger than the iPad 2 camera lens, and they confirmed the iPad 3 would feature magnets to support the Smart Cover. You can catch that photo after the break as well.

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LG announces 55-inch OLED HDTV, looks good enough for an Apple Television

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Various reports throughout the year claimed LG is providing the television behind the Apple HDTV.  However, nothing conclusive has surfaced.

As far as the big display makers are concerned, Apple’s relationship with LG is probably the strongest.  LG makes iPod Touch and iPhone Retina Displays, some iPad displays, and Apple secured a $500 million dollar investment in LG displays in 2009. The net investment was a temporary exclusive on panels for the 27-inch display that Apple’s iMacs and Thunderbolt Displays now use. Sony also makes OLEDs, but it does not have a strong relationship with Apple – at least as far as displays are concerned. The other big OLED maker is Samsung, and it is currently tangled with Apple in patent disputes.

With that said, look at the things that will be shown at the Consumer Electronic show. They have a 4 mm bezel -that is half the thickness of an iPhone 4S- and weighs in at a paltry 16.5-pounds. In addition, things like “1,000 times faster than LED/LCD displays” and “infinite contrast ratio” makes this sound like one of the best displays of 2012.

(Full sized images and the press release are below.):

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Japanese Report: Smart Cover will continue to work for thicker, next gen iPad with retina display

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According to Macotakara, the next generation iPad will be thicker and therefore won’t be compatible with all current iPad 2 cases.  That however won’t affect Apple’s Smart Covers which only cover the front.  They believe that the front screen will be the same as the other iPads, with the same types of corners and bezel as well.

We don’t know what that image is up there but Macotakara seems to imply it is a case for the new iPad. Update: The case is for the original iPad 3G according to its seller.  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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Sandisk 16GB Class 4 SDHC Card, 16GB Cruzer USB Stick: $15/ea+free shipping

SanDisk® SDHC™ Cards

From 9to5toys.com:


Staples has the 16GB SanDisk SDHC Card for $14.99 with free shipping.  That’s the lowest price we’ve seen for a 16GB SDHC card.  Class 4 represents a minimum speed of around 4MB/sec.

Staples also offers a Sandisk Cruzer 16GB USB stick for $14.99. 8GB is $8.99 and 4GB is $5.99.  Staples currently offers free shipping sitewide with no minimum. Read more

Apple drops refurbished iPads to $299

From 9to5toys.com:

The Apple Store dropped its price on the factory-refurbished, 1st-generation Apple iPad 16GB Wi-Fi (pictured), model no. MB292LL/A, to $299 with free shipping. That’s $30 under our June mention and is $184 under the lowest total price we could find for a new one. (It’s also the lowest we’ve ever seen for any iPad.) This 0.5″-thick tablet weighs 1.5 lbs. and features an Apple A4 1GHz processor, 9.7″ 1024×768 LCD touchscreen display, 802.11a/n wireless, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, accelerometer, compass, up to 10 hours of battery life, and more.

Also available is the factory-refurbished, 1st-generation Apple iPad 32GB Wi-Fi, model no. MB293LL/A, for $399. That’s another price-low, this time by $121. Both units carry a 1-year Apple warranty, the same as new units.

We also briefly saw a 32GB iPad for $299 at Cowboom this morning. Does all of this have anything to do with the TouchPad $99 nuttieness from the weekend? Unlikely.

Update: 16GB just went out of stock. Cowboom has 32GB for $299 on and off.
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Apple looking at 55-inch LG OLED displays for late 2012 Apple Television?

Smarthouse has a particularly bad reputation when it comes to Apple rumors, especially when they involve OLEDs.  But we’ll bite on their latest because it is so tantalizing.

There is also speculation that Apple has held discussions with LG Display the Company that makes display screens for MAC products, about the possibility of getting access to a new 55 LG OLED panel that will be used in a new Apple TV that will be capable of delivering music, Video & TV shows over an IP network.

On Friday LG said that they will launch a limited production OLED TV late in 2012.

There are no shortage of people advocating for an integrated Apple television, but certainly the leader is Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster who expects one next year.

As far as the big display makers are concerned, Apple’s relationship with LG is probably the strongest.  LG makes iPod Touch and iPhone Retina Displays and Apple secured a $500 million dollar investment in LG displays in 2009.  The net of that was a temporary exclusive on the panels for the 27-inch display that Apple’s iMacs and now Thunderbolt Displays now use.  Sony makes OLEDs as well but doesn’t have a strong relationship with Apple, at least as far as displays are concerned.  The other big OLED maker is Samsung, who is now tangled with Apple in patent disputes.

If Apple does do a TV, it will likely have some sort of game-changer tech innovation that Apple could exclusively own for a period of time.  A 55-inch OLED would probably qualify even though yields will be low and prices will be astronomical during the ramp up.

We’re still not convinced, however. Read more

iFixit tears down Thunderbolt cable, reveals active parts

As with just about any new Apple product release, iFixit has torn apart the Thunderbolt cable. Why a boring cable?  iFixit has revealed that the new Thunderbolt cable actually has active chips inside, making transfers  faster.

We found two Gennum GN2033 chips in the connector, one on each side. They were flanked by other, much smaller chips that surely added to the cable’s cost: two chips labeled S6A 1JG on one side, and chips labeled 1102F SS8370 and 131 3S on the other. Of course, there were tons of little resistors (providing impedance as needed) all around the larger chips.

Thunderbolt’s release on MacBook Pros and iMacs should be followed by new Macs coming soon. Inside the cable chip housing below Read more

Apple starts pushing back iPad launches?

People awaiting iPads in the Czech Republic were told they’d be in the first group of countries (outside the US) to get an iPad on March 25th.

We’re not sure why but the Czech Republic iPad website now shows they just got pushed back a month. (for those not in the know, Dubna=April).

Update: Apple has removed (not corrected) the launch date.

Update 2: Apple has finally got its Czech translator on the ball – says Brezna (March) now

Could be some issues with equipment and government specific to Czech Republic, a translation error or could be supply constraints like last year.

Time to hit eBay?

(Thanks Pavel!) Read more

iPad 2 weight savings: 75 percent is glass/LCD

The iPhone repair experts at iFixyouri have determined that most of the weight savings in the iPad 2 – a fifth of a pound, is in the LCD and Glass assembly.

Here’s a breakdown weights of the Wifi iPads:

iPad 1 – 712.60g
iPad 2 – 600.60g (iPad 2 – 112g lighter)

If we break that down even further, the iPad 1 LCD/Glass is almost half the weight of the original iPad.

iPad 1 front half(LCD & Glass assembly) – 347.90g
iPad 1 back half – 364.70g

However, breaking down the iPad 2, we find a much lighter glass assembly accounts for most of the weight loss.  The glass we found out last night is 27% thinner than the original iPad. Eliminating the frame that the glass sits on, using thinner LCD and thinner glass, Apple saved 84.7g. That makes up for 75% of the weight reduction.

iPad 2 front half(LCD & Glass) – 263.20g
iPad 2 back half – 337.40g

Apple was able to shave almost 30 grams off of the rest of the device, and with a slightly bigger battery, that is significant.  But the lightness you feel is mostly the glass weight savings.

Our report on the iPad 2 glass from over a month ago first detailed Apple’s effort to save weight in the LCD/Glass assembly.

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