Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) today began selling the third generation of its popular iPad tablet, which sports support for LTE networks. Meanwhile, a teardown of the device revealed that Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), Broadcom and Samsung are among the key component suppliers for the device.
Click here for a video of iFixit's teardown of Apple's new iPad.
Crowds from Australia to Switzerland to the United States lined up to get the tablet, dubbed simply the iPad, which went on sale at 8 a.m. local time. The gadget features a Retina Display high-definition screen, faster processor and voice dictation. Earlier this week Apple ran out of pre-order supplies for the new iPad, indicating that demand is strong. Analysts at Canaccord Genuity raised their estimate of how many iPads Apple will sell this year to 65.6 million from a prior estimate of 55.9 million. Apple sold 40.5 million iPads in 2011.
Meanwhile, a teardown of the new iPad conducted by teardown and electronics manual firm iFixit suggested that Apple's dual-core A5X applications processor with quad-core graphics was manufactured by Samsung based on architecture from ARM Holdings. Samsung is believed to be the supplier of the device's LCD screen, though Reuters reported earlier this week that LG will also supply LCD screens for the new iPad. The baseband processors for both HSPA+ and LTE were supplied by Qualcomm. Additionally, the tablet has a Broadcom BCM4330 802.11a/b/g/n MAC/Baseband/Radio that includes an integrated Bluetooth 4.0+HS and FM transceiver. Many analysts have speculated that an LTE iPad is a likely precursor for an LTE iPhone later this year, so many of the same suppliers could wind up providing components for an LTE iPhone.
AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) will launch LTE-compatible versions of the device in the United States. Analysts have said that Verizon, which has an LTE network covering 200 million POPs, may be the largest carrier beneficiary of the new device, though AT&T has been quick to point out that even though its LTE network covers 74 million POPs, customers can still drop back to its faster HSPA+21 network outside of LTE coverage.
Additionally, as first noted by The Verge, the new iPad does not support FaceTime video calling over LTE. An Apple representative told Mashable that the service has always been available only over Wi-Fi networks and that it did not have an update. A Verizon representative told Mashable that the decision was Apple's alone. In 2010, when former Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced FaceTime for the iPhone 4, he hinted that the service might one day be available over cellular networks. "FaceTime's going to be Wi-Fi only in 2010," he said at the time. "We need to work a little bit with the cellular providers to get ready for the future, so we're Wi-Fi only in 2010." However, since then the service has not been offered on cellular networks. Carriers may be concerned with the data and signaling traffic that may add to their networks.
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Reuters article
- see this The Verge article
- see this Mashable article
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