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March 1st, 2011

Rumors encircle Apple like moths surround a flame, and you’re well advised to ignore most of them. Recently, however, the Wall Street Journal put its imprimatur on a story coming out of China about the new iPad. WSJ reporters discovered that China’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. – “Foxconn”, the well known trade name under which it builds various Apple devices – is already assembling the second-generation iPad.

Retina Display technology a no-show

iPad 2With a faster processor, at least one built-in camera (likely the same as on our MacBook Pro rentals) and a thinner, lighter form factor, the iPad 2G (it probably won’t be called that) fills in many of the blanks in the original product. One feature that Apple fans hoped for, the Retina Display technology that makes the iPhone screen so magnificent, did not make the final cut. It is likely that the component cost was too great, as the iPad already commands a premium price between $499 and $829. New pricing has not been set.

There will also be more user memory and more potent graphics processing, WSJ reported. In addition to direct channels and CRE’s own ever-popular iPad rentals, the new model will be available from Verizon Wireless and AT&T. Sprint and T-Mobile are left out in the cold, at least for now, while the Apple-approved carriers hope for a repeat of iPad 1′s astonishing success, a 10-month sales tsunami that pushed Apple into the #1 PC maker slot for the year 2010. For wireless carriers, of course, tablets are becoming an important alternative means of selling profitable “data plans.”

Apple is booming

Since its April 2010 release, the iPad has sold 14.8 million units, and Apple’s most recent financial results (for the quarter ending in December) show the device accounting for 17% ($4.6 billion) of the firm’s $26.74 billion in quarterly revenue. That sales figure, by the way, is up 70.5% over the same period last year, while profits, at $6 billion, are up 77.7%. It won’t be long before iPads account for more Apple income than Macintoshes.

Industry watchers expect the revamped iPad to debut by summer 2011 with a price range paralleling the current line-up (with the original iPad becoming the “budget” model, perhaps?). Technology analysts at Piper Jaffray & Co., a leading international investment and securities firm, estimate that Apple will move 27 million iPads of both generations in 2011, while other observers say the Cupertino company could sell as many as 35 million units.

At CRE Rentals we stay abreast of the new technologies and techniques that make you more productive, no matter what “the economy” does. We make these tools available as rentals to spare you the endless expense of buying leading-edge equipment (while sparing Mother Earth another truckload of e-waste). Call or e-mail an experienced Account Executive, or use the Quick Rental Quote form. We’re ready to go if you’re ready to grow!

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