Saturday, April 13, 2013

'The tide is turning' between Apple and Android tablets, research shows

'The tide is turning' between Apple and Android tablets, research shows

Can Android finally claim the top tablet spot?

A research group said today that Android tablets will finally beat the iPad in 2013 as tablet sales rise 38 percent over sales in 2012.
ABI Research predicted that 150 million tablets will ship in 2013, a figure that's up significantly from last year.
But it's not surprising that tablet sales are rising while PC sales continue to get more and more pathetic.
What's more interesting is what ABI predicted for Apple and Android.
Taking a bite of the Apple

The ever-waging war between iOS and Android is about to shift toward Google's OS, at least in the tablet space, ABI Research said.
"The tide is definitely turning toward Android-based tablets," Jeff Orr, mobile devices senior practice director at ABI said in a press release. He added that "Apple will not slouch as it feels the competition approaching."
Nevertheless, the firm forecasted that Android tablets are about to finally overtake the iPad, despite the "timely" introduction of the in iPad mini in 2012.
It also predicted that Samsung will be the breakaway challenger that will differentiate itself the most from the Android pack. "A well-executed Samsung tablet strategy could double the company's market share this year," said Orr.
And so it goes

Apple shouldn't exactly feel blindsided by ABI's findings, as analysts have been predicting Android's eventual victory for years in spite of iOS's continued dominance.
In 2010, the year of its debut, the iPad had 87 percent of the tablet market, but during 2012 Android's growth more often than not outstripped Apple's, and the future that's being predicted now wasn't hard to see.
RBC Capital Markets researcher Mike Abramsky said in early 2011 thatAndroid would dominate the tablet market by 2014, a prediction that looks like it will come true.
And the International Data Corporation (IDC) made the same claim in March this year, saying that Android tablets will overtake iPads in 2013 thanks to price-conscious consumers choosing more affordable options.
IDC said Android will take up to 48.8 percent of the market, while Apple could drop to 46 percent of tablets sold. Its overall sales forecast of 190.9 million tablets shipped was much higher than ABI Research's more recent figure of 150 million, though.
In any case, the same thing has already happened in smartphones, withAndroid devices pulling ahead of the iPhone last year.
ABI said that 60 percent of tablets shipped in 2012 were iPads and iPad minis, while 37 percent used Android (including OS branches like the one used on the Kindle Fire HD).
Unless Apple has an ace up its sleeve, it could finally lose the top tablet spot to Android this year.

iPad mini 2 release date, news and rumours

iPad mini 2 release date, news and rumours
Apple might clear things up on the next iPad mini
iPad mini casing
Could this be the new iPad mini casing?

The iPad mini has been on sale since November 2012, so when will we get the iPad mini 2?
It seems like Apple was surprised by the iPad mini demand - it sound three million of the new iPad 4 and iPad mini in three days.
The story goes that the iPad mini 2 will have an even sharper display of 2,048 x 1,536 pixels packed into the same 7.9-inch space.
RBC Capital Markets analyst Doug Freedman - who was in China visiting chip companies in mid-December 2012 said: "iPad Mini Gen-2: Apple's gen-2 iPad mini is getting pulled-in, and is likely to have several new suppliers, with TXN gaining content."
When retailers start to price cut that can sometimes mean they're making way for a newer model, and as Cult of Mac notes, in the US that's just what Wal-Mart, Best Buy and MacMall are did on Wednesday 3 April, reducing prices of the iPad 3 and iPad mini prices by about 30%.
And could the iPad mini 2 also have the A5X processor under the hood? It seems likely, but as GottaBe Mobile reports, it's unlikely that Samsung will be the manufacturer of whatever part appears in the device.
iPad mini 2 casing

Images of what could potentially be the casing for the new iPad mini 2 leaked online in February. The photos come courtesy of the Chinese Weiphone forum, showing a silver rear casing for an iPad mini.
Most immediately noticeable on the casing is that the Apple logo and text is a sky blue color, rather than the typical black.

After you get over the color distraction, the more important point is a more subtle difference from the current mini, in that the casing appears to indicate a thicker device that the existing model.
The iPad gained a little extra girth when Apple upgraded it to a Retina display, so a thicker casing in these alleged iPad mini 2 shots seem to point to some Retina presence in this model.
iPad mini 2 release date

With production of the sharper screens projected to start by the later half of 2013, the iPad mini 2 release date could be mid to late 2013? And could it be that April is the release date for a revised version as well as the debut of the iPad 5? It doesn't seem that likely.
Ming-Chi Kuo, a financial analyst with KGI Securities, has published what is believed to be a leaked roadmap of Apple products for 2013. That points at an iPad mini 2 being released late in the year.
BGR cites a pair of reports that agree with the late 2013 release date, in time for the Christmas rush.
iPad Mini 2 display

The grown up iPad 4 has a Retina display, and the next mini should either have that Retina tech or something similar.
The biggest criticism of the current iPad mini so far is its relatively low 1,024 x 768 resolution. Critics wonder why a Retina display wasn't incorporated into the first iPad mini to begin with, but it seems it was largely to do with the speed of the product's announcement.
Some said Apple went with a lower resolution so it had some low hanging fruit to grab for the next upgrade. Production problems surrounding the iPad mini might also be the culprit.
The forthcoming iPad mini 2's retina display is said to have a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536 pixels, doubling the current iPad mini's 1,024 x 798 screen and packing more pixels than the iPad 4's 264 ppi.
Anand Lal Shimpi and Vivek Gowri of Anandtech suggest that there are three things Apple has to do to bring a retina display to the iPad mini.
Reports in February 2013 suggested the iPad mini 2 retina display was already being manufactured. It's suggested that it will have a pixel density of 324ppi. As we saw with the iPad 4, could a better iPad mini 2 display also mean a bulkier product? Not it, as rumours suggest, the screen is a tough Sharp IGZO display.
GottaBe Mobile believes that Apple will certainly "actively [move] away from Samsung for the next generation of mobile products." Apparently Apple sent out a request to parts manufacturers for estimates for the iPad 5 and iPad mini 2, Samsung was not a recipient of the request.
iPad mini 2 price

When the iPad mini was first released, reports said the steep price point of $329/£269/AU$369 was due to manufacturing difficulties. Indeed, well into early 2013, iPad minis were not shipping quickly.
The new GF DITO touchscreen technology that helps make the mini so small is reportedly one of many production hurdles.
AU Optronics (AUO), the company that produces the current iPad mini LCD panels, was also having yield issues with the mini screens at first, so a Retina-like display could have caused additional production headaches.
However, AUO claims it smoothed out production problems surrounding the current panels, already resolving the light leak issues that held up fabrication.
Would a retina display iPad mini 2 also push the price upwards? There may also be retina and non-retina variants to keep the basic price low.