According to AppleInsider, market research firm Gartner is projecting that Apple will sell 73 million iPads in 2012, accounting for 61.4% of the tablet market. That's about 1.4 million iPads per week. Apparently some manufacturers are simply ceding the territory to Apple for the time being, until Windows 8 arrives, Microsoft's new operating system that will run on both tablets and PCs. There had been some concern among market analysts this week that demand for the iPad was down and sales slowing, but it turns out that supplies have been constrained due to issues in the supply chain. You've likely heard about the poor working conditions at Foxconn, and Apple's and Foxconn's steps to address the matter. One result is that workers are limited in regard to the amount of overtime they can work, leading to a decline in iPad production.
In addition, Samsung has been unable to produce the volume of retina displays that are needed. However, it appears that both LG and Sharp have finally succeeded in mastering the complexities of producing this display and are now shipping small quantities, which should help fill the gap.
We'll have a good sense for how the new iPad is selling when Apple presents its March quarter earnings results on April 24. Some analysts are predicting that Apple will have sold over 12 million iPads in the quarter.
When Tim Cook launched the new iPad, he promised that Apple would be releasing additional exciting new products in 2012, and one of those may be a 4-inch iPhone. We have 6 long months to wait to see what Apple comes up with, but many are expecting an iPhone with a larger screen size. This speculation is typically based on comments from those close to the supply chain. On the other hand, some say that it's not likely, given the extraordinary success of the 3.5-inch form factor. Why would Apple mess with a winning formula? they ask. A larger iPhone would be more bulky and less convenient.
But what if Apple were able to make the iPhone 5 the same width, but with a larger screen? That's the premise of an interesting article on iMore. It explains that if the iPhone were just a tad longer, it could be bumped up to 4 inches. It would create a widescreen-friendly interface, yet not require developers to make many changes on their apps. Overall, it would give 20% more screen space.
Whatever Apple comes up with, it will likely be elegant and well thought out. It will be interesting to see what sorts of decisions Apple makes in the absence of Steve Jobs. Will fear creep in? Will they be afraid to change the iPhone, worried that people won't like it? Will they have the courage to continue to advance the platform? Steve Jobs was never afraid. If he felt intuitively that it was time to change the design, to go in a new direction, that was what Apple would do. There was never any fear of breaking something that was working. He simply forged ahead.