Can the iPad 5 with its A7 chip (or the iPad Mini 2) keep Apple’s tablet market share from falling?
Feb 07, 2013, THURSDAY. Article by: Kevin Go – A lot of rumors have been making rounds on the internet regarding the successor to Apple’s current generation iPad, from the iPad Mini-like exterior to the IGZO panel from Sharp, it’s pretty obvious that the Cupertino company is doing all it can to keep its table market share from shrinking even further.
Here is the back story, in the second quarter of 2012, Apple’s tablet market share used to sit at an impressive 65.4 per cent but after just two short quarters, the Cupertino tech giant’s share dropped to a staggering 43.6 per cent — a massive 21.8 per cent drop which is caused by no other than the growing popularity of the Android mobile operating system, let’s not forget about Samsung, Amazon, Asustek and many other device manufacturers joining the Android crowd.
Apple definitely foresaw this unfortunate event that’s why they had to do something to safeguard its dominance in the tablet segment, the weapon we’re referring to is the iPad Mini and the [quite ignored] iPad 4.
The demand for 7-inch tablets is continuously growing and — despite Tim Cook’s apparent distaste for them — Apple ended up outing the iPad Mini which belongs in the 7-inch category, albeit, with a 7.9-inch display. Apple knew that the iPad Mini can certainly hurt the sales of its larger iPad 4 sibling but sales cannibalism between two products under one brand is certainly better than no sales at all.
The attention of the tech community was stolen by the iPad Mini since it was “something new” to Apple and the price tag is certainly affordable for a tablet with the famous Apple logo. Consumers anticipate new Apple products more than refreshed ones since Apple only launch new devices once in a blue moon.
With that being said, Apple is determined to bring the consumers’ attention back to its 10-inch tablet with the introduction of the fifth-generation iPad, recent leaks suggest that the next-gen tablet will undergo some serious transformation, aesthetic-wise.
The iPad 5 will sport thinner vertical bezels, a better display (Sharp IGZO), an even faster processor (A7?) and an overall thinner profile, put quite simply, the iPad will purportedly look like an upsized iPad Mini.
More Reading: iPhone 5S (iPhone 6) rumors, iPad Mini 2 and a mystery phone.
According to numerous reports and analysts, Apple is planning on handing over the production of its custom-designed processors such as the A5X, A6, A6X and the upcoming A7 to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company or TSMC to reduce its dependence on its number one competitor, Samsung Electronics. Qualcomm, Nvidia and AMD are just some of the many big names in the tech industry that take advantage of TSMC’s 28 nanometer process.
Speaking of semiconductors, it’s still unknown if the iPad 5 will sport either a quad-core iteration of the A6X or the A7, given that the A7 is said to be 64-bit processor designed to for Apple’s future lineups of the Macbook family, we’re guessing that the A6X with four processing cores is the way to go.
Also worth noting are rumors about the iPad Mini 2 – and it is safe to say that it will eat a portion of the larger iPad’s market share. Rumor has it that the iPad Mini 2 will offer Retina display much like its larger brothers.
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