Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes is calling for iPad 3 in October. Based on an industry chatter in the Asian supply chain, they are claiming that Apple has begun commissioning parts for the third-generation iPad and fifth-generation iPhone, both debuting in small quantities in September and in volume the following month. iPad 3 should be “even thinner and lighter”, with panel resolution increasing to 250dpi.
There won’t be two iPhones – one being a major upgrade and the other for low-income markets – as some analysts predicted. About 85 million iPhones and 40 million iPads are expected in the entire 2011, the sources estimate, which means Apple could dethrone HP and become the leading portable PC maker in the world. Total third-quarter iPad shipments should total 15 million units, of which 12 million should be iPad 2s. Total iPhone shipments for the quarter should reach about 25 million units (7 million iPhone 5s and 18 million iPhone 4s).
Such an aggressive manufacturing and the shortened release cycle reveal that Apple is betting big on the post-PC world. Fourteen months following the iPad’s arrival, Apple still owns the tablet market. Research firm comScore estimates that iPad enjoys 97 percent share of tablet traffic in the US and 89 percent globally. And with more than 100,000 iPad-optimized apps in the App Store, competitors are increasingly experiencing setbacks putting a meaningful dent in Apple’s tablet lead.
The involved supply chain partners include Apple’s long-time manufacturing buddy Foxconn plus component suppliers Simplo Technologies and Dynapack International Technology (batteries), TPK Holding and Wintek (touch panel modules), Catcher (chassis) and Largan Precision (webcams). A previous DigiTimes report asserted that Largan Precision could also become a principal supplier of eight-megapixel camera lens modules for Apple. The publication also reported in June that both OmniVision and Sony will supply Apple with eight-megapixel CMOS image sensors, presumably for a fifth-generation iPhone.
Today’s report jives with a 9to5Mac story from April when Sony CEO Howard Stringer sat down with Walt Mossberg, revealing that his company supplies Apple with sensors. He said, “Our best sensor technology is built in one of the (tsunami) affected factories. Those go to Apple for their iPhones… Or iPads. Isn’t that something? They buy our best sensors from us?”