Friday, November 04, 2011

Apple to reboot entire product line, launch two iPads in 2012: report

Remember the earlier rumors that the iPad 3 would launch in the September timeframe, along with what we now know as the iPhone 4S? Well, here comes another two iPads in one year rumor, but that's just the beginning of it.

The earlier rumor never panned out, as you undoubtedly know. It grew out of the fact that Apple unleashed the iPad 2 somewhat early, and since the iPad 2 was somewhat of an incremental upgrade (ahem, iPhone 4S, anyone?) some thought that meant an iPad 3 later in the year. This was despite the fact that Apple tends to upgrade its devices on an annual basis, 16-month upgrade cycle for this iPhone refresh be damned.

In terms of two iPads in one year, according to Digitimes' sources in the upstream supply chain, which are often accurate, Apple will launch two iPads in 2012, one in March. That will be about the right time for an iPad refresh, but that iPad is being viewed as an upgraded iPad 2, according to the sources. It will be thinner than iPad 2, and will offer longer battery life.

Meanwhile,Apple will launch the "real" iPad 3 in the third quarter of 2012. There weren't any details given for the iPad 3, but one thing noted in the Digitimes report is that Apple feels no need to rush a new, updated iPad out the door. It's an idea a J.P. Morgan analyst put forth in September.

As we said, though, that's only the tip of the iceberg. More information from Digitimes upstream supply chain sources indicates that Apple will reboot its entire product line in 2012. Rather than a grain of salt, we'd say you need to take this with a bushel of salt.

The sources said that Apple plans to completely overhaul its product line, including iMac, MacBook Air, iPhone and iPad. The report didn't mention MacBooks, per se, or other portions of Apple's product line, such as the iPod.

A reboot of the entire product line? A comic book line such as DC could do something like that, but an entire line of computers and consumer electronics? It's hard to believe.

On the other hand, two iPads in one year is possible. Although, where have we heard that before?

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