If you believe rumors and industry analysts, Apple is getting ready to bring some big products to market.
First and foremost, the company is likely to launch a tablet that's similar to the iPod Touch, but larger, in the first half of 2010, marking the company's entry into the Netbook race, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. In a research note, Munster handicaps the gaps in Apple's product lineup. The gaping hole: there's nothing between the iPod Touch and the MacBook. Enter this iPod Touch on steroids for $500 to $700.
Apple's game plan will revolve around its multitouch patents to cook up something different from your generic Netbook. Munster's theory makes a lot of sense. A Netbook would tarnish the Mac's average selling price and potentially cheapen the Apple brand. A tablet wouldn't. Double bonus: a Mac tablet would compete with Amazon.com's Kindle e-book reader.
Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook called Netbooks junky, but he never dismissed the consumer demand for them.
We can also expect the next version of the iPhone on July 17, according to AppleiPhoneApps.com, which cited a source who is "closely connected to Apple's hardware development team." The Web site posted some details on just what the third-generation iPhone will offer.
Meanwhile, as part of the ramp-up toward releasing this software to the public, Apple began running a stress test of push notifications--the hallmark feature of the new operating system. This system sends notifications to your phone whenever there's an update from an application, even when it's not running.
The newest data from Gartner shows that Apple's share of worldwide smartphone sales grew from 5.3 percent in the first quarter of 2008 to 10.8 percent in the first quarter of 2009. In terms of unit sales, Apple jumped from 1.7 million in the first quarter of 2008 to 3.9 million during the same period in 2009.
While the quarter's iPhone adoption metrics may be impressive, Apple wasn't the only smartphone maker with big gains. Research In Motion saw its BlackBerry market share rise from 13.3 percent in first quarter of 2008 to 19.9 percent in 2009. The company's unit sales grew from 4.3 million to 7.2 million over the same period.
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