Monday, March 14, 2011

iPad 2 Bill of Materials Estimated at $326.60

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An iSuppli teardown analysis of the iPad 2 has revealed a Bill of Materials of $326.60, according to a press released from the company.

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With the second-generation iPad, Apple Inc. has held the line on the bill of materials (BOM), maintaining virtually the same costs as the first version of the device, an IHS iSuppli teardown analysis of the product has revealed. The 32GB NAND flash memory version of the iPad 2 equipped the with Global System for Mobile Communications/high-speed packet access (GSM/HSPA) air standard carries a BOM of $326.60. The 32GB version equipped with the code division multiple access (CDMA) air standard carries a BOM of $323.25. The compares with $320 for the first-generation 32GB 3G iPad, based on pricing from April 2010.

When manufacturing costs are added, the cost to produce the GSM/HSPA version rises to $336.60, and the CDMA version goes to $333.25. The attached table presents the IHS iSuppli preliminary BOM and manufacturing cost estimates for the two versions of the iPad 2 torn down by IHS iSuppli.

The component and vendor selection in the second-generation iPad 2 closely conforms with that of the original iPad. “Despite the obvious changes to iPad like the enclosure and the battery, and the less obvious changes in the touch screen, the iPad 2’s components and design are remarkably similar if not the same as those of the iPad 1,” Rassweiler observed. “The iPad 1 and iPad 2 use the same components and suppliers for the NAND flash, the multi-touch controllers and touch screen drivers, as well as the same core chip in the wireless section as was found in the iPhone 4. Many of the other components—including the apps processor and the Bluetooth/frequency/global positioning system/wireless local area network chips—have the same suppliers and are essentially new revisions of the chips found in the previous iPad and other iPhones.”

The touch screen in the iPad 2 has been modified and updated in the iPad 2, but the LG Display appears to be the same; and our cost estimates for the touch screen are markedly higher. The display and touch screen subsystem in the iPad 2 costs $127.00, compared to our initial $95.00 estimates for the iPad 1, based on pricing from April 2010. The difference is due almost entirely to the cost of the touch screen. The reason for the increase comes in large part from manufacturing challenges that the touch screen manufacturers have experienced since beginning production. Production yields, though they have been improving, has been very low throughout 2010, and drove prices to be much higher than initially expected. Furthermore, refinements in the touch screen specifications have driven the price point even higher for the iPad 2. Contributing factors to that cost increases include more expensive glue to improve the efficiency/performance in the bonding, thinner Gorilla cover glass and more detailed inspection process requiring additional equipment for optical and panel examination.

For the GSM/HSPA iPad 2, Apple is sticking with the same wireless baseband/radio frequency/power amplifier solution from Infineon—now owned by Intel—as is used in the iPhone 4 (GSM/HSPA version). Because of the use of a Qualcomm Inc. solution used in the recent iPhone 4 CDMA, we had initially speculated that Apple might consolidate suppliers for wireless chips and use a Qualcomm solution in the iPad 2 GSM/HSPA version. Instead the iPad 2 uses the same Intel chipset used in the iPhone 4 GSM/HSPA version. For the CDMA version of the iPad 2, it is assumed the chips and components from the CDMA version of the iPad 2 are those used in the iPhone 4 CDMA, and we have taken our wireless component list directly from our iPhone 4 CDMA teardown analysis.

The A5 processor in iPad 2 costs 75 percent more the A4 processor in the iPad 1, based on improvements in performance and inherent design changes. The A5 processor, whether produced by Samsung or another foundry, is based on Apple’s own designs. Apple owns the intellectual property, and as such, whoever builds the A5 processor for them is doing so as more of a foundry service—like a contract manufacturer—which gives Apple a huge competitive cost edge on the piece price of these processors. At $14, the A5 processor costs 75 percent more than the current A4 processor. The cost of this processor is expected to erode quickly over the course of the next year as Apple ramps production.

The iPad 2 employs an improved and more expensive battery compared to the iPad 1. The iPad 2 battery carries a cost of $25.00, compared to $21.00 for the iPad 1. The iPad 2’s battery is much thinner than the iPad 1’s and uses three cells, rather than two. Apple never takes a standard approach with batteries and challenges its vendors to create unique solutions to accommodate their desired form factor. Although other manufacturers are using similar flat pack batteries, these incredibly thin batteries, and special battery management circuitry just for Apple batteries, provide an exceptional result. Power management circuitry also plays a big role in the iPad 2, as well as in iPhones and iPods, and represent a major part of how Apple is able to maximize battery lifetime while minimizing size and weight.




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AT&T Makes Calling and Texting Japan Free Until March 31st

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AT&T today announced it has implemented international calling and texting support efforts for U.S. residential wireless and wireline consumers trying to connect with loved ones in Japan, following last week's tragic earthquake and tsunami.

Effective beginning last week, March 11, and continuing through March 31, AT&T wireless postpaid customers will not be charged for:

● International long distance usage from the United States and Puerto Rico to Japan
● Text messages to Japan, originated from a U.S. wireless number

In addition, and also effective March 11 through March 31, residential wireline customers can seek credits for up to 60 minutes of direct dial calling to Japan:

● Upon receiving their wireline bill, customers may call AT&T to receive adjusted calling for up to 60 minutes. In other words, no charges for up to 60 minutes of call time from the United States to Japan between March 11 and March 31.

For any of the above activity, customers will either see no charges reflected on their monthly statement, or they will see a full credit applied to their statement for activity between March 11 and March 31.

"We want to help our customers connect with loved ones in Japan in anyway we can," said Mark Collins, senior vice president, Voice and Data Products, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. "Connecting with family and friends is most important at times like this- we want to make it as easy and worry free as possible for our customers."

Still available, AT&T wireless customers can text "redcross" to 90999 to give a $10 donation to help the Red Cross with disaster support efforts in the area. No text message fees apply.

And, TV Japan – the 24 hour Japanese news channel – is available for free through March 17 to all U-verse TV subscribers, allowing viewers to follow the news and recovery efforts. TV Japan can be found on channel 3680.




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iPad 2 Smart Cover Uses 31 Magnets

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iFixIt has performed a teardown of the new iPad 2 Smart Cover finding that there are a total of thirty one magnets used to make the cover work.

Teardown Highlights:
● There are a total of THIRTY ONE magnets within the iPad 2 and Smart Cover: 10 magnets in the iPad 2, and a whopping 21 magnets inside the Smart Cover. They’re the reason why the cover works so well with the iPad 2.
● We used magnetic viewing film to reveal the magnets before taking our stuff apart. The film has special properties that allow it to react to a magnet’s poles, and it worked wonders in showing the magnets hidden beneath the Smart Cover and iPad 2.
● Sadly, none of the 31 magnets inside the devices had any special properties. All of them were the standard, two-pole kind, but they were arrayed in such a way that made clamping the Smart Cover to the iPad 2 quite easy.
● The Smart Cover has one dedicated magnet that turns off the iPad 2′s screen. The rest are used to either clamp to the iPad on the right side (the far-right column of magnets), or to form the triangular shape used to create a stand for the iPad 2.
● A steel plate on the far-left side of the Smart Cover attaches to 15 of the cover’s magnets (on the far-right) in order to form the triangular base.
● The far-right row of magnets clamps the Smart Cover to the iPad 2. The magnets in the iPad 2 had their polarity displayed: + – + – . The alternating polarity of the magnets in the iPad 2 was complemented by the opposite alternating polarity of the magnets in the Smart Cover (- + – +), ensuring that the Smart Cover always sits in the same orientation on the iPad 2.
● There’s also a row of magnets on the left side of both products. The iPad 2′s magnets are actually encased into the side of the device, and are used to securely clamp the iPad 2 to the Smart Cover’s frame. Interestingly, these magnets’ polarities were manually marked — a blue dash written with a marker — instead of having a machine stamp/engrave the polarity into them.
● It turns out that the Smart Cover doesn’t work nearly as well once you remove the magnets, steel plate, and plastic structural supports. Go figure!

You can check out the teardown pics below






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Apple Drops NFC From the iPhone 5?

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Apple has reportedly decided to drop Near Field Communication (NFC) technology from the iPhone 5, according to The Independent.

Apple apparently disclosed this decision in meetings with UK mobile operators.

One source close to the discussions said: "The new iPhone will not have NFC, Apple told the operators it was concerned by the lack of a clear standard across the industry." Yet Apple is understood to be working on its own NFC proposition, which would link payments through iTunes. It hopes to introduce the technology in a handset likely to be released next year.

Last month, analyst Brian White with Ticonderoga Securities issued a note to investors saying that his sources have indicated to him that the next iPhone will include NFC technology. However, Apple's approach will reportedly have "a twist that will make it unique versus his peers."




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Apple Begins Shipping Online iPad 2 Orders

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Apple has begun shipping its first online iPad 2 orders from Shenzhen, China. Ours has an estimated arrival date of March 18th.

Currently, the Apple Store is listing a 3-4 week wait for new iPad 2 orders.





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Phil Schiller Confirms White iPhone Available This Spring

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Phil Schiller, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing at Apple, has confirmed that the white iPhone will be available this spring.

@airickanderson Hi Eric. The white iPhone will be available this spring (and it is a beauty!).

The comments come via Schiller's verified Twitter account in response to a question from @airickanderson asking "how do i get a white iphone?".

Many had thought Apple had given up on the white iPhone 4 and would instead jump straight to offering the iPhone 5 in white.







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Apple Taking Donations to Help Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Victims

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Apple has created an iTunes page to take donations for Japanese earthquake and tsunami victims. 100% of the donations go to the American Red Cross.

Your gift to the American Red Cross will support our disaster relief efforts to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throught the Pacific. Your support will enable the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to victims of all disasters. On those rare occasions when donations exceed American Red Cross expenses for a for a specific disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters.

Click below to make a donation...

Donate




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Walking the Longest iPad 2 Line Video 5th ave NYC

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Take a look at this video which walks you along what CNN Fortune reports could be the longest line ever seen at Apple's Flagship Store in Manhattan.

The second edition of Apple (AAPL) tablet computer drew the largest crowd I've ever seen at New York's Fifth Avenue Apple Store. This was shot at 4 p.m. Friday. By the time the doors of the big glass cube opened, Gene Munster's team at Piper Jaffray had counted 1,190 heads.

Check out the video below...


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