Apple to Announce Biggest Product Launch in History?
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is expected to announce its biggest second-half product launch in the company's history, bringing the highly anticipated iPhone 5 and iPad Mini to market in time for the 2012 holiday shopping season.
According to Computerworld, Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White believes that the strength of Apple's supply chain indicates that the Mac maker is bracing itself for two very impressive quarters. White points to the success of Apple's Taiwanese component makers; in July, sales soared to 14 percent. Over the last seven years, June-to-July sales have achieved an average increase of 8.5 percent. This could be a sign that Apple is prepared to release the iPhone 5 and the iPad Mini as soon as next month, White said.
While the iPhone 5 has been a sought-after device since before the iPhone 4S was unveiled, the iPad Mini was thought to be a work of fiction after Steve Jobs denounced the idea of a smaller tablet. Jobs did not directly deny the possibility of an iPad Mini, but his complaints about the seven-inch format were hard to ignore.
Regardless, reports from Apple suppliers and other industry sources suggest that the company has decided to develop a miniature iPad after all. There have been numerous rumors about the exclusive features the iPad Mini may contain, along with a few delay reports that claimed the device would not be released until 2013.
Apple is now expected to unveil at least one new product on September 12, but the company has yet to confirm this rumor. Many analysts believe that Apple will unveil the iPhone 5 that day and release it no more than two weeks later.
Aside from White, who thinks that the iPad Mini will ship in September, many analysts and bloggers believe that Apple's next tablet will arrive in October or November. In recent years, the company has not released two major products in the same month.
That could change, however, if the rumors surrounding Amazon's (NASDAQ: AMZN) next tablet, presumably titled "Kindle Fire 2", prove to be true. The online retail giant is expected to release three new versions of its tablet in September.
Earlier this summer, Apple received two additional competitors when Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) unveiled their first tablets. Google's device, the Nexus 7, is already in stores, but Microsoft will not release its Windows 8 tablet, Surface, for another two months.
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