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Apple CEO Cook reports ‘record’ iPad sales (Updated x2)

During the company’s conference call to discuss its dividend and stock buyback plan, Apple CEO Tim Cook indicated that the company was very happy with opening-weekend sales of the third-generation iPad. “We had a record weekend, and we’re thrilled with it,” Cook said; the company similarly declined to share exact launch weekend sales numbers for the iPad 2 after its launch last year. During the same conference call, Cook explained that the company felt extremely confident in its future product pipeline and potential growth opportunities, and also joked that the company loves to announce new products, just not during conference calls, after being asked about the product pipeline.

Update: AT&T has announced that it saw record iPad sales and activations on launch day, Friday, March 16.

Update x2: Verizon has also commented on its early sales. “We are quite pleased with sales, which have been brisk through the weekend, and we are excited to offer customers an alternative that lets them enjoy their new iPad on the nation’s largest 4G LTE network,” a company representative told AllThingsD.

Third-gen iPad rear camera same as iPhone 4

According to a new teardown of the third-generation iPad, the new tablet sports the same camera sensor module found in the iPhone 4. Chipworks writes that the sensor found in the third-gen iPad is the Omnivision OV5650, which features five-megapixel resolution, supports 1080p video recording—likely omitted from the iPhone 4 due to the limitations of the A4 processor—and a backside-illuminated sensor, though it should be noted that the lens system in front of the sensor is larger, and taken from the newer iPhone 4S. The front-facing camera was also found to be an Omnivision unit, specifically the same 640x480 (0.3-megapixel) OV297AA camera sensor found in the iPad 2 and the fifth-generation iPod nano. [via Mac Rumors]

Third-gen iPad discoveries: Verizon on AT&T, data plans

As third-generation iPad units have started to land in the hands of customers in the US, a few new details about the 4G models’ behavior have been discovered. As noted by Mac Rumors forum member jsnuff1, it is possible, thanks to the GSM roaming capabilities of the Verizon 4G model, to install an AT&T micro-SIM and access that carrier’s EDGE, 3G, and HSPA+ 4G networks. Doing so requires applying the AT&T APN carrier settings first, but is encouraging for those wishing to take advantage of the faster non-LTE networks offered by AT&T. In addition, iLounge’s own Jerrod H. has discovered that iPad users who are upgrading from prior 3G-enabled models and currently have grandfathered-in unlimited data plans need not swap SIM cards with their prior units, but instead simply need to sign in with the same account information, and the unlimited plan will appear as an option. In any case, swapping SIMs is not recommended, as older SIMs are unlikely to support LTE service.

Third-generation iPad unboxing, comparison photos posted

iLounge has received its first of several test units of the third-generation iPad, and has posted unboxing and comparison photos of the unit to our Flickr account. As had been revealed earlier in the week, the differences in packaging between the new iPad and the iPad 2 are small, with a different background image for the device, an iCloud badge on the bottom of the box, and the expected changes in the labels on the rear. Inside, the changes are similarly minor, with different, slightly more flimsy SIM card removal tool—included only with Wi-Fi + 4G models—being the most noteworthy difference. Expect much more on Apple’s latest-generation tablet soon.

Third-gen iPad launches in 10 countries to lengthy lines

Apple has officially launched its third-generation iPad in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland and the UK, as well as Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. According to a Reuters report, hundreds were lined up outside stores in Asia and Europe for the launch, many of them from outside the respective countries in which they were purchasing their iPads. AllThingsD reports that a healthy, if not “peak level” line was formed around Apple’s flagship 5th Avenue store this morning, while Cult of Mac cites anecdotal reports suggesting that lines at some large Apple Stores—including those on Regent Street in London and on Boylston Street in Boston—saw their lines quickly dissipate, with plenty of stock remaining for walk-in customers.

Walmart to start third-gen iPad sales at 12:01 am

Walmart has announced that it will start to sell the third-generation iPad at 12:01 a.m. local time tomorrow morning. According to the retailer, there will be a “limited supply of the new iPad available” at 24-hour Walmart locations starting at one minute after midnight, giving customers a nearly eight hour jump on those choosing to purchase their iPads at other brick-and-mortar retailers. Apple will officially launch the third-generation iPad tomorrow, Friday, March 16.

Third-gen iPad lengthens charging times

According to an anecdotal report in one of the early crop of third-generation iPad reviews, the new device takes substantially longer to charge than prior versions. “While the new battery clearly isn’t much bigger than the old one, it can hold much more juice (42 watt-hours versus 25-watt-hours)”, MG Siegler writes for TechCrunch. “The downside of this is that I’ve found it takes quite a bit longer to charge the new iPad. As in several hours — you’ll probably want to do it overnight.” Siegler also notes that the new iPad gets noticeably warm—“never hot, just warm”, he assures—in the lower lefthand corner after prolonged use; The Verge noted similar warmth when using LTE for extended periods of time, suggesting that it, and not the battery, is to blame. Expect full test results from iLounge’s independent review.

iFixit begins teardown of third-gen iPad

After acquiring a third-generation iPad at a Telstra store in Melbourne, Australia, iFixit has begun its teardown of the third-generation iPad. The repair manual site/parts supplier is still in the early stages of the teardown, but thus far has been able to check the model numbers on the back of the device’s 9.7-inch display, which reportedly suggest that the part is a Samsung LCD. We will be updating this story with more details as they become available.

Update: As the teardown continues, chips from Texas Instruments, Broadcom, Epocs, Toshiba, Qualcomm, and Fairchild have been found inside the device, as has the silver A5X chip cover; the A5X in this particular unit was manufactured by Samsung in the first week of 2012.

Update x2: As previously revealed, the third-generation iPad’s battery is a 3.7 volt, 42.5 watt-hour battery, and, as in past iPad models, takes up the bulk of the volume inside the device’s case.

FaceTime on third-gen iPad limited to Wi-Fi networks

As part of its testing for its review of the third-generation iPad, The Verge reports that the device still requires a Wi-Fi connection to use FaceTime. This is surprising due to the data speeds of LTE networks, which often times rival standard cable Internet, and are therefore just as capable of providing the bandwidth necessary for a video call. In addition—and as pointed out in the report—the Verizon third-generation iPad is capable of acting as a wireless hotspot, and could therefore likely provide a fast enough connection to an iPhone or another iPad to conduct a FaceTime call with little, if any, degradation in quality.

Wolfram Alpha adds image processing

Wolfram Alpha has released an update to the iOS application for its computational knowledge engine adding a new optional image processing feature. Available as a $1 in-app purchase, the premium image processing add-on allows users to import pictures into Wolfram Alpha for quick analysis and processing either from the device’s camera or photo library. The app will provide detailed information on an image including basic characteristics and EXIF data along with other data such as an intensity histogram and colour analysis; users can then perform additional processing functions including making level and colour adjustments, adding effects and performing optical character recognition. Modified images can be shared via e-mail, posted to Facebook or saved to the photo library. The latest update also adds e-commerce links for consumer product queries and weather information and general user interface improvements. Wolfram Alpha requires iOS 4.1 or later and is available from the App Store for $3; the image processing add-on is available as an in-app purchase for an additional $1.

Watch with eBay helps users find TV show related items

eBay has released Watch with eBay, a new iPad app allowing users to search the popular online auction site for items related to their favourite TV programs. The app provides an integrated, image-rich program guide that users can browse or search through based on ZIP code and service provider to see what’s on TV and then easily shop for items related to the selected program. Users can also search for specific items and bid, buy and pay for items directly within the app. The app also includes eBay Celebrity allowing users to learn about their favourite celebrities charitable causes and contribute to them as well as finding out what they may shop for on eBay. Watch with eBay requires an iPad running iOS 4.0 or later and is available from the U.S. App Store as a free download; the app is focused on buying items only, eBay notes that sellers should continue to use the standard eBay for iPad app. [via Engadget]

Third-gen iPad panel suppliers in doubt?

Following a report from yesterday claiming that Samsung was the sole supplier of touch-screen panels for the third-generation iPad, a second report has been published challenging the assertion. Citing a source close to the matter, Reuters reports that LG Display is supplying panels for the new iPad, refuting a Bloomberg report from yesterday that quoted an analyst from iSuppli as saying that Samsung was the sole supplier of panels for the device, due to quality control problems at LG and Sharp. “LG is also in a panel supply deal with Samsung for the new iPad,” Reuters’ source said. Interestingly, the earliest part leak of a supposed third-generation iPad LCD panel showed it to be manufactured by Sharp, and the company had been reportedly linked to third-generation iPad panel production as early as November 2011, while both LG and Samsung were named in a report from October 2011.

Apple officially confirms 8 am third-gen iPad launch

Apple this morning confirmed yesterday’s report that it will begin to sell the third-generation iPad at 8:00 a.m. local time on Friday, March 16. As revealed last week during the company’s special press event, the device will initially launch in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, and the UK, along with Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. In the US, the third-generation iPad will be available at Apple’s retail stores, as well as Best Buy, Radio Shack, Sam’s Club, Target, and Walmart. Apple will continue its rollout of the device on March 23, when it launches in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

Tweetbot for iPad adds streaming, Retina Display graphics

Tapbots has released an update to Tweetbot adding Retina Display graphics in preparation for the impending release of the new third-generation iPad as well as live streaming and several other smaller improvements. Tweetbot 2.1 now allows users to optionally stream tweets live over Wi-Fi instead of relying on a manual or timed refresh; the new tweet notification also now only sounds for mentions, direct messages, and new tweets that appear following a manual refresh. The update also improves Tweetmarker service integration and fixes a number of additional bugs related to direct messages and other issues. Tweetbot 2.1 for iPad requires iOS 5.0 or later and is available from the App Store for $3.

IDC: Despite record sales, iPad’s share of tablets slips in Q4

According to new data from IDC, the iPad saw its share of the tablet market slip in the fourth calendar quarter of 2011, despite selling over 15 million units. IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Media Tablet and eReader Tracker claims that Apple’s iPad, which saw shipments of 15.4 million units during the period, faced increased competition in the space, most specifically from Amazon, which shipped 4.7 million Kindle Fires. Based on total worldwide tablet shipments of 28.2 million units during the quarter, Apple held a 54.7 percent share of the market—down from 61.5 percent in the prior quarter—followed by Amazon with 16.8 percent, Samsung with 5.8 percent, Barnes & Noble with 3.5 percent, and budget Android tablet maker Pandigital with 2.5 percent. Overall, Android held a 44.6 percent share of the tablet market, a number which IDC expects will continue to grow at the expense of the iPad and iOS.

AT&T, Verizon to offer third-gen iPad with 4G at launch

AT&T has announced that it will offer Wi-Fi + 4G models of the third-generation iPad starting on launch day. According to the announcement, all models of Wi-Fi + 4G will be available, across all AT&T sales channels. “The new iPad is coming to the nation’s largest 4G network and we could not be more excited,” said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO, AT&T Mobility. “Our customers will get a widespread, ultra-fast and consistent 4G experience from AT&T on day one, plus unlimited access to the nation’s largest Wi-Fi network at no extra charge. We’re offering very competitive data plans for iPad and are confident customers will agree that AT&T delivers the best experience.” Apple will launch the third-generation iPad at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, March 16.

Update: Verizon Wireless has announced that it will also offer the third-generation iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G starting Friday, March 16 at all Verizon Wireless stores, as well as online.

Apple to launch third-gen iPad Friday at 8:00 am

New images of Apple retail promotion materials have confirmed that the company will be officially launching the third-generation iPad on Friday, March 16 at 8:00 a.m. local time. 9to5Mac, which posted the image, claims it came from a “friend in retail” and will be used out front of an Apple retail store prior to the launch. As noted in the report, a prior rumor claiming that Apple’s new store in Houston would open at 8:00 a.m. on the 16th suggested that Apple would be launching the iPad at that time, but no further confirmation was available at that time.

Third-gen iPad unboxed: 1GHz processor, 1GB RAM

A purported third-generation iPad unit has been unboxed and subsequently benchmarked by Thailand-based Tinhte.vn. As shown in the unboxing photos (Translated Link), the third-gen iPad box will feature a metallic iCloud stamp on the bottom, with the normal capacity and wireless network markings on the back—in this case, 16GB and 4G—and multiple markings that show it to be model number A1430. Otherwise, the device’s packaging appears to be quite similar to that of the iPad 2, including the same accessories inside the package. As for the benchmarks (Translated Link), the site found the third-gen iPad to deliver a Geekbench Score of 756, with a processor speed of 1 GHz—same as the iPad 2—but 1GB of RAM, or twice that of the prior unit. The unboxing video appears in embedded form below.

Apple confirms third-gen iPad pre-order sell-out

In a statement released to USA Today over the weekend, Apple confirmed that it has sold out of all third-generation iPad pre-order stock available for delivery on launch day. “Customer response to the new iPad has been off the charts and the quantity available for pre-order has been purchased,” Apple said in the statement. “Customers can continue to order online and receive an estimated delivery date.” On Friday, shipping times for new pre-orders slipped from March 16 to March 19, and Apple’s online store in the US now lists all new orders as shipping in 2-3 weeks. Apple will officially launch the third-generation iPad on March 16.

New third-gen iPad orders now shipping March 19 in US

It appears as though Apple has sold through its launch day allotment of the third-generation iPad on its online store. A quick check of the Apple Store in the U.S. shows that every color and capacity of third-generation iPad is now listed as shipping “by March 19”, as compared to the prior message which indicated the device would be delivered on March 16. As reported earlier today, Apple has started to email some customers in the UK to tell them that their orders—originally quoted with the March 16 delivery date—would not arrive until March 20 or 21.

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