This will be a particularly busy fall for Apple watchers (and Apple) as speculation is rampant that the computer and mobile devices giant will not only release its overdue refresh of its top moneymaker, the iPhone, but a new iPad tablet computer as well.
Apple just released the iPad 2 last March, but the device expected in September wouldn't be completely new, reports say, but a high-definition version of the current model with double the screen resolution, or 2048 by 1536 pixels.
Geared Toward Professionals
Citing inside sources, Joshua Topolsky of ThisIsMyNext described the relationship between the two devices as similar to that of the MacBook and MacBook Pro, geared less to ordinary consumers than to professional users. The "iPad HD" would suit video and photo production, possibly with a special iPad version of Final Cut filmmaking and Aperture photo editing software, he said.
That report is backed up by a research note by FBR Capital Markets analyst Craig Berger, who hears that Apple has put out a request for price quotes from Chinese manufacturers for components for an "iPad Plus."
Rolling out both a newer iPad and an iPhone 5 would be a great way for Apple to show off its latest mobile operating system, iOS 5, which is due in the fall with some 200 additional features. And the new HD tablet could mark a shift in the company's marketing strategy.
"Rumors of a 'professional-grade' version of iPad don't seem too far-fetched," said mobile devices analyst Jeff Orr of ABI Research. "The company has a loyal following in the entertainment and content creation industries. However, creating a product focused on content interaction and editing seems a distraction from the greater need for a professional media tablet that cuts across job descriptions in the enterprise today. "
Orr noted that Apple's financial briefings have stressed the corporate response to iPad, while its marketing focuses on the ordinary consumer.
"Building a rugged, reliable and secure solution for the workplace appears to be a much bigger opportunity," said Orr. "Allowing a movie director to review the digital dailies on a media tablet is 'cool', but not essential. The ability for a media tablet to enhance existing workflow in the media industry will be the measuring stick for success."
An Even Thinner iPhone
The Wall Street Journal reported this week that, according to its sources, the iPhone 5 will launch by the end of September with a more powerful, eight-megapixel camera and a thinner and lighter design -- but still only a moderately different version of the current iPhone.
A person familiar with the matter told the Journal that Apple would include the Qualcomm chips it installed in the Verizon Wireless version of the iPhone 4, released in January, in the iPhone 5, rather than the Intel processors used in previous versions.
Apple usually releases new iPhones in early summer but reports said the company couldn't have the fifth-generation model ready in time.
Posted: 2011-07-07 @ 2:17pm PT
That's interesting considering apple just made their beta program open to the public.