Apple to cut shipments of the Apple iPad mini by 20% in advance of a new model?

According to a report by anonymous members of the industry supply chain who supply components to Apple, the Cupertino based firm could cut shipments of the Apple iPad mini by 10-12 million units in the second quarter. The drop in shipments of the 7.9 inch slate could be as high as 20% on a sequential basis in April as the tech giant wants to conserve parts for the production of the sequel model of the Apple iPad mini.

While the next version of Apple’s 7.9 inch tablet is expected to be launched in the third quarter, some of the sources believe that the reason for the shipping cut has nothing to do with a sequel to the iPad mini and instead has to do with increased competition in the low priced 7 inch sector by various Android tablets.

According to the sources, the Cupertino based tech titan has adjusted its 2013 shipping schedule to 33 million iPads and 55 million iPad mini units. One of the most expected changes on a new Apple iPad mini would be a replacement of the rather low resolution screen with a panel offering a Retina display.

Apple airs new ‘Hollywood’ iPad ad

Just in time for The Oscars, Apple on Sunday aired a new television commercial for the iPad during the Academy Awards broadcast. Conveniently titled “Hollywood”, the app via a “lights”, “camera” and “action” sequence takes us through a series of programs for filmmakers, as well as various movie and video editing applications from the App Store. And in line with the previous two ads, called “Alive” and “Together”, this one also has some interesting subliminal messages…

Some of the apps featured in the commercial include Apple’s own iMovie, Bad Robot Interactive’s awesome movie effects program Action Movie FX, but also Apple Maps and iTunes Store apps and clips from Hollywood action movies.

Apple releases peppy new ‘Alive’ and ‘Together’ TV ad spots for iPad and iPad mini

Apple has released two energetic new commercials for the iPad showing off a few of the 300,000+ apps designed for its tablet lineup.

The first spot, “Alive”, runs through the adjectives “loud”, “deep” and “alive” to highlight interactive apps like GarageBand, TED and iMovie.

The second ad, “Together”, features the adjectives “wild”, “bright” and “together”.

The campaign works to make the point that the iPad is useful for creative and engaging activities, rather than just passive consumption of content. While the original iPad faced early criticism that it was better suited for consumers than creators, the breadth of apps in the App Store, including Apple’s own titles, like iMovie and GarageBand, have served to dispel the myth.

Apple announced in January that it had sold 22.9 million iPads last quarter. Its dominance in the tablet arena has diminished some, however, as competitors have caught up with their own offerings. Industry estimates for the fourth quarter of 2012 suggest that the company has held onto over 40 percent market share.

Apple iPad 5 expected to launch in March, stealing its looks from the Apple iPad mini

The fourth-generation iPad - Fifth-generation Apple iPad expected to launch in March, stealing its looks from the Apple iPad mini

Japan’s MacOtakara is reporting that the fifth-generation of the Apple iPad is going to be released in March, just five months after the launch of the fourth-generation model. According to the story, the tablet will be getting its design cues from the Apple iPad mini. While dimensions were not mentioned, the new model is supposedly lighter and thinner than the current full-sized tablet.

While the trend is toward thinner and smaller devices, the third and fourth-generation Apple iPad models were actually thicker than the original Apple iPad slates as the Cupertino based firm had to add the technology that fuels the Retina display. But if this report is legit, and we need to remain skeptical here, Apple has developed a way to reduce the size of the technology that powers the Retina display on the 9.7 inch screen.

Besides the fifth-generation iPad, Apple is supposed to be getting the second-generation of the Apple iPad mini ready. One persistent complaint about the Apple iPad mini is that the screen’s resolution is too low when compared with the newer full-sized models of the iPad. The 162ppi pixel density on the iPad mini is over 100ppi less than the 264ppi on the third and fourth-generation iPads. So you can expect better resolution on the screen of the next 7.9 inch model. Also, the faster A6X processor is expected to be powering up the next Apple iPad mini.

Apple seems to have cut its product cycle in half from 1 year to about 6 months. How will Apple fans respond to Cupertino pushing out a new model twice a year? In a way, it makes sense since Apple has to compete against a number of Android manufacturers who churn out new, updated products constantly.

Android grabs 41 percent of tablet market as Apple’s share falls!

Can the iPad mini save Apple’s slipping lead in tablet sales? The could be the question of the day as researchers announce Apple’s share of the tablet market dropped to 56.7 percent while Android tablets now account for 41 percent of the worldwide market.

According to Strategy Analytics, the iPad’s lead eroded from the 64.5 percent it held during the third quarter of 2011. Meanwhile, an army of Android tablets, helped by Apple losses, rose to 41.3 percent of the market, up from 29.2 percent during the same period last year…

Strategy Analytics Executive Director Neil Mawston said:

No single Android vendor comes close to Apple in volume terms at the moment, but the collective weight of dozens of hardware partners, such as Asus, Samsung and Nook, is helping Google’s Android platform to register a growing presence in tablets.

Thursday, Apple announced it sold 14 million iPads during the fiscal fourth quarter of 2012.

Although the company said iPad sales were up 26 percent compared to a year ago, observers felt sales were softened by a number of factors, including consumers delaying purchases until Apple’s announcement this week.

Analysts revised their earnings estimates downward after Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook Monday announced 100 million iPads were sold as of two weeks ago. But some sleuthing revealed a slowdown compared to previous periods.

However, it appears there is a global slowdown in tablet demand. Worldwide tablet shipments rose by just 43 percent in the fiscal third quarter, down dramatically from the nitro-fueled 289 percent growth reported in the second quarter of 2011.

“This was the weakest growth rate since the modern tablet industry began in the second quarter of 2010″, writes Strategy Analytics.

So, can the less-expensive iPad mini reignite the demand for tablets – especially those made by Apple?

The new tablet is expected to begin shipping November 2. Apple began taking pre-orders today and two hours later sold out of white iPad mini stock.

Will this be enough time to boost Apple’s flagging market lead?

Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu has described the iPad mini as a potential nightmare for Apple’s rivals, but can it counter Android’s momentum? The answer’s will likely have to wait until holiday shoppers vote with their wallets.