New Verizon iPad Runs on AT&T 3G Networks with AT&T Micro-SIM

Today, Apple held the launch for the new iPad and along with the launch, a few interesting tidbits were revealed that weren’t mention during the media event. One of the major selling points of the new Verizon iPad Wi-Fi + 4G LTE is its ability to connect with GSM networks for international roaming purposes.

However, what wasn’t made clear was whether users could insert an AT&T micro-SIM card into a Verizon iPad and use that to connect to the data network. Since the Verizon iPad supports the same GSM frequency bands for non-LTE networks as the version sold for AT&T, it was technically possible to use a Verizon iPad on AT&T although Apple could have restricted the device’s operation on other networks.

MacRumors points out that the new Verizon iPad does work with AT&T’s network when an AT&T micro-SIM is used and the device’s carrier settings are updated to support connecting to AT&T.  The article also points out that the Verizon iPad will be limited to non-LTE bands (EDGE, 3G, HSPA+ 4G) on AT&T.

The Verizon iPad’s hardware supports the 700 MHz band for LTE to work with the carrier’s technology, while the GSM version sold for use on AT&T’s network supports both the 700 MHz and 2100 MHz bands as used by that carrier.

Apple Launches iTunes Section for Retina display-ready iPad Apps

Tomorrow, Apple will have its launch for the latest version of the iPad. In preparation for the upcoming launch, Apple has published a new list of 24 apps that best utilize the new iPad’s high resolution Retina display.

Since the time the new iPad was announced, developers have been working hard to get the proper artwork ready and submitting updates that can take advantage of the high resolution screen found on Apple’s third-generation iPad.

iPad Retina display apps sectionApple has introduced this new section just hours before its launch, and the company has put together 24 of the best and most popular apps that support the Retina display. The selected apps can be browsed and purchased via iTunes, or if the users has already purchased the app, they can directly download the app from iTunes or the iPad’s App Store app.

The apps that stand out the most are Tweetbot, which fully supports the Retina display and a new streaming option for your twitter timeline, and two of the apps demoed at Apple’s iPad media event – SketchBook Pro – the Autodesk drawing app and Namco’s new game, Sky Gambler’s: Air Supremacy.

Apple Officially Announces 8:00 AM Local Time Launch for New iPad on Friday

Today, Apple has officially announced that the new iPad will launch at 8:00 AM local time on Friday in the United States and nine other countries. Earlier this week, signs of an 8:00 AM launch started to show up, with the grand opening time of Apple’s new Highland Village retail store in Houston, and that time was confirmed  yesterday with a leaked photo of Apple retail store signage announcing the launch time.

Apple says that customers purchasing the new iPad will receive free Personal Setup to get their new device up and running, while promoting Personal Pickup options available through the Apple Store app for iOS devices. The company’s latest iPad will be made available in the U.S. and nine other countries this Friday. It will be made available at Apple’s retail stores and the company’s online store this Friday at 8 a.m. in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland and the U.K. The new iPad will also become available in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The company has also confirmed that the new iPad will be available from Best Buy, RadioShack, Sam’s Club, Target and Walmart in the United States. Carriers AT&T and Verizon has also announced that they will be offering 4G models of the new iPad beginning with Friday’s launch date.

Apple’s Tablet Market Share Hit by Kindle Fire in Q4 2011

If you were wondering how much the launch of the Amazon Kindle Fire impacted Apple’s dominance in the tablet market, IDC has the answer for you. According to its figures, Apple’s tablet market share dropped to 54.7% in the fourth quarter of 2011, which is much lower than it ws in the previous quarter. Apple’s market share dropped from 61.5% to 54.7%, while Android saw its market share rise from 32.3% to 44.6%.

A total of 28.2 million tablets were shipped globally in Q4 2011, of which 4.7 million were Kindle Fire units, and 15.4 million were iPads. After Apple and Amazon came Samsung, which shipped around 1.6 million units.

However, shipment figures don’t really tell you the complete story. Apple has the highest profit margins in the industry, and probably made more profit by selling one iPad, than Amazon made by selling 20 Kindle Fire units.

Besides, we expect the tide to turn back in Apple’s favor in the first half of 2012, as Apple starts shipping “The New iPad”. In Q3 2012, we should also see Microsoft start to make headway in the tablet market with Windows 8. Google’s rumored Nexus tablet could also help Android gain some additional market share. 2012 is going to be a crucial year for all players in the tablet market. My money, however, is on Apple… and maybe even Microsoft.

Samsung Supplying Retina Display Panels for Apple’s New iPad

“It’s business, not personal.”

If there’s one quote which describes Samsung’s relationship with Apple, it’s this one.

Despite all the patent lawsuits and battles between the two consumer technology giants, it’s still Samsung which came to Apple’s rescue when it was in need. For a hefty fee, of course.

Samsung is Apple’s largest component supplier and has continued to supply it despite Apple trying to sue it into oblivion, for the simple fact that it’s just good business.

After all the patent litigation between the two companies, Apple apparently tried to limit its dependence on Samsung as a supplier, which is understandable as it was also its greatest rival.

It reportedly turned to LG and Sharp to build the touch screen displays for its new iPad, but after they failed to meet Apple’s stringent quality requirements, the company seems to have gone back to Samsung. Samsung will be the sole vendor for the new retina display for the new iPad, which was unveiled earlier this month.

Samsung already makes a majority of the components that power the iPhone and the iPad. And it’s not like the relationship is one sided – even Samsung generates a significant portion of its overall revenue through Apple.

While LG supplies display panels for the older versions of the iPhone and the iPad, they weren’t able to meet the requirements for Apple’s new high resolution retina display for the iPad. They may start shipping these new displays by April though.

Apple Expected to Sell at Least 1 Million iPads on Launch Day

It has been less than a week since Apple announced the new iPad, and is already seeing tremendous demand. Just yesterday, we reported that the demand for the new iPad is “off the charts”. Now it is predicted that Friday’s iPad launch will be another huge hit for Apple, with one analysis predicting that the company will sell at least one million on the first day alone.

Analyst Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray said in a note to investors on Monday that he expects Apple will sell more than a million iPads on Friday when the new model hits shelves. Remember, one million in addition to the pre-orders Apple has received already. When was the last time such a number was predicted for any other tablet on the market? Specifically Android tablets. This would be a significant positive for the company, which may have seen iPad sales slow down after the holidays in anticipation of a new model.

Back in 2010, Apple sold more than 300,000 iPads on the first-generation product’s launch day. However, since the supply for the iPad 2 was tight, Apple did not reveal launch-day figure. Anyhow, that’s impressive for just a “bigger iPhone”, you know. So much for the people that said this device wouldn’t sell!

Houston Retail Store Grand Opening Suggest 8:00 AM iPad Launch on Friday

Earlier this month, just before the iPad was announced, we reported that the March 16th opening of a new Houston Apple Store may signal the iPad launch. Normally store openings occur on Saturday, but this store was reported to open on Friday. This led to the speculation that the iPad launch might be on that date, and Apple did indeed announce last week that the device will be available beginning March 16th.

However, the company has yet to announce what time the launch will begin in-store sales of the iPad on Friday. Sometimes, Apple has held major product launches first thing in the morning, but that was different with the iPad 2 last year. Last year, the company held the iPad 2 launch in the late afternoon.

Now, as noted by the Houston Chronicle, Apple has now publicly announced that the new Highland Village store will be opening at 8:00 AM on Friday. The demand for Apple’s new iPad has been “off the charts“, with the company’s online stores in all launch countries now quoting shipping estimates of 2-3 weeks for new orders.

Nokia to Launch Windows 8 Tablets in Q4 2012

Apparently, the rumors are true. According to a report by Digitimes, Nokia is likely to launch a Windows 8 tablet in Q4 2012. Nokia’s Windows 8 tablet will be powered by Qualcomm’s dual core platform – possibly Krait – and will probably be one of the best Windows on ARM devices at launch.

Nokia is currently the largest Windows Phone partner, and probably the only one that has put all its eggs (at least the ones that matter) in Microsoft’s basket. We have already seen interest by major notebook and tablet manufacturers like HP and Dell in Windows 8, and Nokia was only a logical ally for Microsoft in the tablet business.

Nokia will be outsourcing production of the tablets to Compal Electronics, and will ship out 200,000 units of the tablet in the first run.

Since Android has failed to dominate the tablet space unlike the smartphone space, I expect Windows 8 to have a very good chance of capturing a significant market share in tablets, with the Apple iPad being its only major competitor. However, the rumored Nexus Tablet by Google could change things.

On a side note, Windows 8 is going to have a very tough time competing with the iPad in the tablet market. With the iPad 3, Apple seems to have another winner on its hands, and its tablet platform is currently miles ahead of anything else on the market. The next few months are going to be very interesting.

Apple: iPad Pre-orders Sell Out, Demand ‘off the Charts’

Apple’s latest generation of the iPad is selling like hot cakes! Just yesterday, we reported that Apple had sold out of launch day iPad supplies in the U.S.. A similar effect was occurring in worldwide stores too. Today, Apple has officially acknowledged that iPad stock available for pre-orders are now sold out.

“Customer response to the new iPad has been off the charts and the quantity available for pre-order has been purchased,” a company spokesperson said. “Customers can continue to order online and receive an estimated delivery date.”

In addition, the company says that the customer response to the device has been “off the charts”, reports USA Today. Just within two days of Apple announcing the new iPad, orders of the iPad had already been pushed back from this Friday’s launch day delivery to a ship date of March 19th. Due to the tremendous response the device has received, Apple is expected to set a new sales records later this week when the devices launches. Color me surprised if they don’t.

When was the last time any Android tablet manufacturers could claim the same? Oh, and so much for the people that said it wouldn’t sell.


Windows 8: Embrace Or Reject?

Windows Logo

Microsoft made the “Consumer Preview” (beta) of the next version of their Windows operating system, Windows 8, available on February 29, 2012 in Barcelona. Since then, they also tweeted that they had over one million downloads within the first 24 hours. Needless to say, the interest in the new operating system is very high. It is so high that the casual users are screaming “I love it” and some of the power users are screaming “This is a piece of confusing mess”. Here is my take, trying to take a step back and wondering aloud, if there is a method to the madness.

One of the biggest changes in Windows 8 is the removal of the Start Menu and the replacement of the same with the Start Screen. Not only is the medium different – the Start Menu is exactly that, a menu, whereas the Start Screen is a screenful of brightly colored tiles with animations showing photos, notifications, etc. – but also, Microsoft has made it difficult/impossible to revert to “classic” style. Microsoft has made it clear, there is no going back, and this is the way to the future. This is the cutoff from the past and Microsoft’s entry into the PC-Plus era. “Touch first”, “fast and fluid” and of course, “no compromise”. The latter has been the topic of a lot of controversy, as you will see later in this article.