According to the latest data from IDC, Apple’s iPad accounted for 73 percent of the 10.1 million media tablets shipped in the fourth quarter of 2010. The research firm states that although this number was down from 93 percent share in the third quarter, it still expects Apple to maintain a 70-80% share of the market in 2011. “Strong holiday sales of media tablets were in line with IDC projections and strong consumer interest in the category while device vendors scrambled to offer products competitive with Apple’s iPad and now iPad 2,” said Loren Loverde, vice president, IDC Consumer Device Trackers. “Media Tablets are on pace to reach shipments of roughly 50 million units in 2011.” Overall, Apple held an 83 percent share of all tablets shipped in 2010.

As noted in our Instant Expert article, some second-generation Apple TV users are finding that their International NBA League Pass subscription does not include access to the new NBA League Pass feature of the Apple TV. According to an email from the NBA League Pass service posted on Apple’s discussion boards, “The application you are looking at on Apple TV is for the US League Pass which is a different product for the International League Pass. At this time NBA International League Pass does not have an Apple TV application.”

Apple and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC) have entered into an agreement that will see the latter make the A5 dual-core processor on a foundry basis, according to a new report. Citing anonymous sources, EETimes reports that the deal could be a blow for Samsung, which makes the A4, although it notes that it’s unclear whether Samsung will also make A5 chips for Apple. According to one source, Apple will use TSMC because Samsung competes with the iPhone and iPad, because TSMC has the highest yielding 40-nm process, and because it has the most 40-mm capacity.

In a recent interview with Tech Radar, Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson made several complimentary comments about Apple and its CEO Steve Jobs. When asked about the biggest name in technology, Branson responded “Steve Jobs,” adding, “I hope he gets through his current illness. He’s the entrepreneur in the world I most admire and I think [Apple] is the brand I most admire.” Continuing, he said, “[Jobs] is the greatest comeback artist as well. He’s twice been down and out and fought his way back and created a brilliant global company. Everything he does is real class and if he wants to rename his company Virgin Apple I’d be happy to merge! It’s a great brand and a great company and may he get well soon.”

Charles Starrett

Charles Starrett was a senior editor at iLounge. He's been covering the iPod, iPhone, and iPad since their inception. He has written numerous articles and reviews, and his work has been featured in multiple publications.