LG is having trouble keeping up with demand for iPad displays

During a conference call LG’s CEO Kwon Young-Soo stated that his company is having trouble keeping up with the demand for iPad displays, despite the fact that its factories are working at full capacity.  It seems that Apple was not the only company taken by surprise by the high demand that met the iPad’s release. According to LG the supply of iPad displays will continue to be tight until early 2011.  Back in March news came out that Apple had contracted with Samsung for 3 million LCD panels for the iPad in addition to 10 million that had been ordered from LG.  It is possible that Apple might again turn to Samsung in order to get additional displays if LG can’t increase production to meet current demand levels. One has to wonder, however, from where will come displays for possible competing tablet devices is Apple is busy buying all that can be made by some of the industry’s largest manufacturers.  It is quite possible that the iPad’s success will hurt its competition indirectly as much as by its huge user approval rates. Supply of small LCD displays might end up being a critical bottleneck for other companies looking to bring new products to market in order to compete with the...
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The iPad goes on sale to strong demand in Hong Kong and Singapore

In both Singapore and Hong Kong the demand for the iPad was very strong as it went on sale this Friday.  In New Zealand initial demand seems to have been weaker as there was no clear information available on where the device would be available. In Hong Kong many people coming into stores to try to get a shiny new iPad were disappointed in finding that the best they could do was to put their names into multi-page waiting lists.  It seems that Apple’s Hong Kong resellers have no issues with people who want to buy large quantities of iPads, as they don’t seem to have problems in dispatching batches of iPads to neighboring countries in which the iPad isn’t yet available. As described in a post on one of the Wall Street Journal’s blogs, a Hong Kong reseller is shipping large batches of iPads for sale in other regions of mainland China and Vietnam, where the device hasn’t yet been made officially available.  This has left no iPads for the locals coming into the stores to purchase them just as they were released. Those who leave their names in waiting lists will have to wait quite a bit for the chance to get an iPad as that same store, for example, doesn’t expect to have any more iPads available for several weeks. In New Zealand there was some confusion as to where the iPad would be available as it seems that the local Apple office didn’t make any information available.  It seems that it wasn’t clear even in what cities there would be resellers carrying the iPad and in the end it turned out that it was available only the following cities: Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown, despite the general expectation that it would be available nationwide. This general lack of information made for small lines in the shops that were carrying the iPad.  From the descriptions I have been able to find so far, New Zealand might have had the slowest iPad launch to...
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Flipboard: a social magazine you should try, if you can

Flipboard: a social magazine you should try, if you can
About two days ago people started talking about Flipboard. Really talking a lot.  So much so that many people, including me, have found it very hard to try it out.   Just last night I noticed a tweet from the other side of the planet in which the editor of readwriteweb.com commented that he too couldn’t try it because Flipboard was over capacity. This problem should give you an indication of just how interesting a concept Flipboard really is.  In short, Flipboard collects information from your Twitter and Facebook (other Social Networks may be supported) feeds and uses it to bring all the links your friends are sharing into your iPad in a Magazine-like layout.   When you think about it, it sounds pretty interesting as you get a much more enticing presentation of the shared information than you do with pretty much any other application or interface I’ve seen before. The App collects the articles, posts and photos your friends have shared allowing you to see them in a magazine-like interface that provides the social features you expect on the web such as “liking” a specific item or sharing it with your own followers. I’ve embedded the demo video to give you an idea of how the application works and what it looks like.  I think that most will agree that is worth getting the free application to try it out in person, when they manage to overcome the capacity issue. It seems obvious that the folks at Flipboard underestimated the interest their application would draw. I hope they can iron out the capability issues soon as the concept is nothing short of brilliant, and they are going to have people coming in from all sides to try out the...
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iPads still selling as fast as Apple can make them

In a conference call yesterday, discussing the company’s quarterly results, Apple executives confirmed that the iPad is still selling just as fast as they manage to manufacture it. Apple has been making efforts to increase the production of iPads, but as the device becomes available in new markets the general availability remains constraint.  At most locations, it is very difficult to find the exact model you are looking for, as the lower cost models sell just as soon as they arrive, with stores making lists of interested customers to be notified on availability. Apple’s results also showed that iPad sales are not having a negative effect on Mac sales.  Sales of both desktop and notebook Macs was significantly up from the same quarter of 2009 and were also up from the previous quarter.  At the same time general sales of netb0oks has significantly decelerated which would seem to indicate they are being significantly affected by the iPad. I suspect that the iPad’s huge sales success may be impacting the sales of netbooks indirectly, in addition to the sales which were not realized because the consumer purchased an iPad.  As more companies move to announce their intention of releasing tablets, the certainty that there will be more choice in this market in the near future, might be causing some to wait until those options are available and can be compared to the iPad and existing netbook options. The tasks that people generally accomplish with an iPad, such as using email, doing Web browsing and consuming media can generally be done with the low-end notebooks and desktops and the sales of these models is certain to take a beating over the next quarters.  This, however, will probably have little effect on Apple as Macs tend to be high-end computers and as such are less likely to be replaced by an iPad or competing tablets. During the conference call there was mention that Apple still had  amazing products to release during this year.  In general, from the regular pattern of release that Apple has adhered to over the past three years we should expect a refresh of the iPod line soon, probably with a new iPod Touch based on the current iPhone 4 design and feature set and a additional updates to the Mac Pro and iMac product...
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iPad hits nine new regions this week

Apple has confirmed that the iPad will be made available in nine more regions this week.  If you have been waiting to get an iPad you might finally get the chance, if you live in one of the following places: Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore. Of course, if sales do as well as in these areas as elsewhere you might have to be alert to catch an iPad on the store shelves.  At many locations it is still hard to just walk into an Apple store and find the exact model you are looking for.  At several locations only the most expensive 64GB 3g model can be...
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An update is available for the iPad’s operating system

Apple has made available an update to the iPad’s operating system.  With this update the version of the operating system goes from 3.2 to 3.2.1, but its name changes to iOS to match how it was already being called in version 4.  iOS 4 for the iPhone has also been updated to 4.0.1. The iPad update includes updates to wireless connectivity, a fix for a problem that could cause video playback to freeze and other small fixes.  This update also adds Bing as a search option in Safari.
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FaceTime for iPad and iPod touch details start to emerge

A post on Boy Genius Report has got an immensely blown up picture of what the configuration screen of FaceTime should like on the iPod Touch.  Earlier today the habitual rumors about the presence of a camera on the next generation iPod Touch were circulating and this seems to tie in rather nicely with the configuration screen which is supposedly from the developer seed of iOS 4.1 which shows that FaceTime will use and email to identify the user for the purpose of placing video calls. It is not recent news that Apple has experimented with adding a camera to the iPod Touch in the past.  A couple of prototypes of a third generation iPod Touch with a camera have surfaced in the past several months. Steve Jobs himself, in his keynote at WWDC 2010,  mentioned that Apple expected to sell tens of millions of FaceTime devices.  We must therefore assume either the iPod Touch, the iPad or both will get FaceTime support in the not too distant future.  As I don’t really expect to see a new iPad announced before January it seems likely that 2010 is really the year in which the iPod Touch will finally get a camera. While the Boy Genius suggests that FaceTime will use an Apple ID for user identification, the screenshots show only mention an email so it might be possible that it accept an email that is not tied to an Apple ID as your FaceTime “number”.  On the iPhone FaceTime makes use of the actual phone number of the person you want to call, but on the iPad and iPod Touch there is no phone number so another solution for identifying the person you want to call. Using email addresses is a good idea as just about anyone with an iPod, iPad will have an email account and anyone tha doesn’t can always get one free.  This identification method could also be used to allow users with Macs to share in all the FaceTime video calling network as all iMacs and MacBooks are equipped with...
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iPad competitors that could have been, but weren’t

I stumbled on this interesting article on CrunchGear that lists a series of iPad would be competitors that either never made it to the market or simply didn’t live up to the expectations.  Going over the list I was reminded of a post that I wrote several months ago and which called for a reality check on the iPad competitors. Companies that think they can just graft a touch screen onto a netbook and consider it a tablet are living in a land of fantasy.  Any initiatives in this direction can only lead to ultimate failure and a lot of money poured down the drain. CrunchGear’s list includes products from Lenovo, HP and Dell, along with several other companies.  Most of these companies have already realized that a tablet computer is no place to run Windows and are moving towards Android or a proprietary system such as HP with the webOS it acquired along with Palm, recently. HP’s initiative to acquire Palm and webOS seems to indicate that it is aware that just disguising a netbook as a tablet won’t cut it against the iPad.  It still remains to be seen if they will ruin their market approach by releasing innumerable models with slight variations which confuse consumers and frustrate accessory...
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Apple’s Scott Forstall gets a Twitter account

Scott Forstall, Apple’s VP for iOS, has created a Twitter account.  So what?! Apple, as a matter of policy, discourages its employees from blogging or engaging in other forms of public communication due to its secretive approach to new products.  While I don’t expect the company to move away from that secretive posture that has become one of its most distinctive characteristics, but it might signal that the company will open another line of communication with the community, other than press-releases. Any additional information coming out of Cupertino will be welcome, but right now I’m not too confident that we’re going to really see Scott Forstall engaging users directly through Twitter any time soon.  This might actually just be a move to create a profile and thus avoid that others take the spot with a fake account.   Of course, fake accounts can be taken down with the appropriate request to Twitter, but it just seems simpler to create a real account to blog it.   If this is the case, the over 18.000 people that are already following Scott on Twitter are in for a long...
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FaceTime and the second generation of the iPad

With the new iPhone 4 Apple introduced a new video conferencing application that allows users to place video calls directly from their phones, through WiFi networks.  While people have been able to do video conferencing through several other means for quite a while, this is the first time that it has been made so easy on a device which not only is very portable, but is already in the hands of millions of people within a few weeks of its introduction. This widespread availability of the FaceTime application may have huge implications for future versions of the iPad and competing devices.  Recently Cisco announced its plans to release a tablet like device running Google’s Android with a focus on the Enterprise Market and video call capabilities.  While such a device might be a good fit for organizations which are already heavily committed to Cisco’s voice and video conferencing infrastructure, it will probably face a hard battle against a camera equipped second generation iPad. Consider for a moment that by the time a second generation iPad hits the market Apple may well have sold upwards of 20 million FaceTime enabled iPhones.  All those iPhones will be able to receive and place calls to a camera equipped iPad, making the iPad’s video calling capabilities immediately useful.   By the same token, a large number of executives who are already iPhone users will be able to place and accept video conference calls from home or while travelling without having to carry around anything but their mobile phones. In fact considering Apple’s approach to delivering functionality that is useful and immediately usable to users it may just be that Apple decided to release the iPad without a camera exactly because it had plans to release it in the iPhone first.  As millions of people would be buying iPhones, regardless of its video call capabilities, by introducing this feature first in the iPhone Apple can be sure that a person buying a brand new iPad 2nd generation will immediately be able to see the benefits of being able to video call friends, regardless of whether or not these friends have purchased a new iPad. The iPad is already being widely used in business scenarios, with or without formal corporate IT backing.  The iPad is quickly becoming the device of choice for going into a meeting and taking some notes and being able to quickly check something on your email or on the Web.  With a starting price of $499, the iPad is an investment that many are willing to make just to get rid of the carrying weight of a regular notebook and at the same time they are personal and portable enough for people to simply presume or pretend that it is the same as using a Palm or iPod and that corporate IT shouldn’t have anything to say about it. What all this means is that by the time other devices that want to compete either in the video calling or just business tablet category reach the market, they may find the iPad is already firmly entrenched in those areas and have the backing of many top level executives which are already making heavy use of iPads for taking notes, reading, etc and making video calls from their iPhones. The combination of all of the iPad’s current functionalities with the ability to immediately integrate with millions of 4th generation iPhones,through video calls, might just help Apple secure a huge chunk of the tablet market, even after many competitors reach the market. Of course, all this really depends on whether or not people really want to make video...
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Rumor: iPad production reaches 2 million units per month

It seems that several analysts decided to publish new guesses about how Apple’s sales did last quarter. Among these guesses was one which was a presented by more than one analyst and which suggested that Apple may have increased production of iPads to 2 million units a month. Apple is scheduled to introduce the iPad in nine new  countries this month and it would seem only prudent to continue increasing production as there is no sign that demand is slacking off in the countries where the device is already available and it is more likely than not to face high demand in the new markets. Just today I came across a 64 GB WiFi iPad selling for almost $1800 in a shop in Rio de Janeiro.  This is almost 3 times the value of the device in an Apple Store in the US.  Brazil is not one of the countries where the iPad is already available, but there is clearly strong demand, considering the asking...
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Watch one of the first iAds

The first iAds from Apple are here. Today is the first day of actual operations of Apples new mobile advertisement network and a video of how one of the first ads created work has been posted to YouTube. I’ve embedded the ad video below so that you can check it out. This ad is for the Nissan Leaf, a 100% electric car. iAd has an impressive concept, but we still have to see if users will engage with the ads as much as Apple expects them to. I look forward to seeing the first numbers on the effectiveness of these ads. This one is certainly very...
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iPad flies past Android in Web browsing usage share

With the numbers for May out it is clear that the iPad is the best device around for Web browsing as it managed to blaze past Android’s usage share in just 3 months.   The iPad single handedly beat all Android devices combined.  This is certainly a reflection of the fact that there are not real competitors to the iPad that are running Andorid, yet.  This should change in a few months as some other manufacturer manages to get their act together and produce a decent Tablet computer equipped with Google’s mobile OS. At that point the iPad should start to see real competition but until then it will probably continue to enjoy a reasonable usage advantage and quite possibly continue to broaden that advantage. The following are the web browsing usage numbers from NetMarketShare. March, 201 Android: 0.07%   iPAd: 0.00% April, 2010 Android: 0.09%   iPad: 0.03% May, 2010 Android: 0.11%     iPad: 0.09% June, 2010 Android: 0.14%    iPad: 0.17% The numbers above are dated based on when they are releasedand correspond to the usage in the previous...
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Hulu comes to the iPad

This week Hulu announced a new service called Hulu Plus which will allow users to watch full seasons of TV Series and movies on their iPads, iPhones and iPods.  This new service will not be free, carrying a monthly fee of $9.99.  This service will also be accessible from other devices such as Sony’s PS3, laptops and even LCD TVs. This service is a change in business models for Hulu who had been relying solely on advertising in shows it made  freely  to registered users to generate revenue.  With this change the company introduces a premium service which offers access to more content but the subscribers will still have to watch its...
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Apple’s secrecy might be responsible for the new iPhone’s reception issues

Apple’s secrecy might be responsible for the new iPhone’s reception issues
A lot of people are complaining about reception issues with the iPhone 4, while a lot of other people say they have had no issues at all. I won’t take sides here to say that there are issues or not, but I will presume for the sake of argument that they do in fact exist. How could such a serious issue such as this go undetected to the point where the phone has not only gone into production but actually sold millions of units?  Let’s not kid ourselves into thinking that Apple hasn’t sold millions of the iPhone 4.  Their original sales announcement stated that they had sold over 1.7 million iPhones in the first 3 days of sales.  Well, its been four days since those numbers were drawn up and there can little doubt that they have far passed the 2 million units . I would have to say that I can’t imagine that Apple would have really released a product which was as susceptible to interference from the user’s hand as the iPhone 4 seems to be if reports are to be believed, unless this issue was not discovered until very late in the production process.  But how could this happen? Apple’s need for total secrecy around new products might very well lay at the heart of this question.  Let’s go back a short while in time and remember the lost/stolen iPhone incident where an Apple employee left a bar without his iPhone prototype.  At that time several posts that described the prototype made reference that it was inside a case which made it look like an iPhone 3G. Considering Apple’s extreme need secrecy requirements it is quite possible that employees that were testing the phone were required to use the device inside such a case at all times in order to avoid having it seen in public and identified for what it was.  If that was the case then it is all together possible that when the device was field tested, by company requirement, it was always insulated from the user’s hands by the case that meant to disguise its appearance.  In this case most, if not all, of the testing of the phones in everyday usage scenarios would have been done in conditions which would have prevented the people participating in the tests from ever really noticing the problem. Apple uses the incredible secrecy it manages to maintain around its products to great marketing effect.  Certain knowledge that a new device will be released with cool new features would probably affect sales of the current generation much more than the notion that a new model should be released around a certain time of the year.  Also, the general anticipation for seeing what a new product will look like, what will be its features and price help fuel discussion on the media and on the tech blogs resulting in a lot of free advertisement for the company.    All this has always been very positive for the company. It is quite possible that this last round of secret development, despite prototype leakage, may have been hugely beneficial to initial iPhone 4 sales, while at the same time being intrinsically detrimental to the usage experience of a large number of users. *Images: Apple...
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