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Friday, December 31, 2010

Apple prepares three versions of iPad 2 for 2011, says sources

Apple is expected to release three versions of iPad 2, supporting either or a combination of Wi-Fi, UMTS and CDMA, for 2011 with mass production to start as early as the later half of January. Apple will ship about 500,000-530,000 units to channels in January with shipment ratio of Wi-Fi, UMTS and CDMA models at 3:4:3, according to industry sources, citing upstream component makers.

The sources pointed out that about 60-65% of current iPad shipments are 3G models, indicating that consumers prefer models that are able to connect to the Internet all the time, therefore Apple is aiming to work even more closely with telecom carriers by offering more wireless solutions for iPad 2 to satisfy market demand.

In addition to wireless functions, Apple is also working on strengthening the iPad 2's anti-smudge and anti-reflective treatments in order to compete against Kindle and attract more consumers, the sources noted.

Since Apple's upstream supply chain is estimated to ship about 16 million iPads in 2010, the sources expects about 2-3 million iPad units of inventory will remain in the channel rolling over into 2011. Since Apple will gradually stop the production of iPad after January and launch iPad 2 by the end of the first quarter or the beginning of the second, the remaining iPad inventory should be able to satisfy demand during that period of time.

As for iPad 2, the sources estimate that the device's shipments in 2011 will reach 40 million units, accounting for 65-75% of the global tablet PC market.

source: digitimes


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