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Talk of the Day -- iPad Air to hit Taiwan by Lunar New Year

Talk of the Day -- iPad Air to hit Taiwan by Lunar New Year

Apple Inc. has finally unveiled slick new iPads to take on rival tablet makers during the upcoming year-end holiday shopping season. Thinner. Lighter. Faster. That's what Apple offers in its newest iPad, which also has a new name: the iPad Air. Also unveiled at the invitation-only event in San Francisco Tuesday was the upgraded iPad mini, which has a high-definition "retina" display along with faster computing power and graphics. Local market sources said Apple is very likely to include Taiwan into the list of countries where the new iPads will be released in the second stage as was the case for iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. Should that be true, local fans of Apple devices would be able to get their hands on the iPad Air and iPad mini 2 before the Lunar New Year's Day which falls on Jan. 31, 2014. The new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C will hit local store shelves Oct. 25. In a strategic shift, Apple said Tuesday that its iWork and iLife software suites for tasks from video editing to mixing music and making business presentations would be free for its mobile devices. Some market analysts, including Gartner's Van Baker, said the new strategy is a wise move that can help drive sales of Apple's hardware. Like Google does with its online bunch of Docs applications, Apple is making available for free productivity software that Microsoft sells to users of Windows-powered computers, the analysts said. Market research firm Gartner forecast earlier this week that global tablet shipments will reach 184 million units this year, marking an annual increase of 53.4 percent. While the iPads remain the biggest-selling tablet, its market share is being eclipsed by rival brands running the Android operating system, according to industry surveys. Apple shares fell Tuesday as investors were not impressed by its new devices, but some analysts were upbeat over the U.S. technology giant's release of upgraded versions of its tablets, laptops and desktop computers along with free software. "I think it's going to be a really strong holiday for Apple," Baker said, adding that the highlight of the Tuesday event was the breadth of Apple's new products that include apps, iPads, MacBooks, Mac Pro and software. He predicted that Apple's new iPads will stimulate its fans to renew their devices. In contrast, WitsView, an LCD market research firm, gave a downbeat forecast, saying that Apple's new iPads will face cut-throat competition from low-cost tablets, phablets and touchscreen notebooks. Against this backdrop, WitsView lowered its estimate of Apple's overall iPad shipments from 72.1 million units to 70.5 million units this year, with a global market share of 37 percent. The following are excerpts from local media coverage of latest developments in the technology sector: United Evening News: Shares of Taiwanese companies in the Apple Inc.'s supply chain were mixed Wednesday as its new iPads fell short of investors' expectation. Among the Apple concept stocks, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., which assembles iPads and iPhones for Apple, fell 0.26 percent to close at NT$75.30, while smartphone camera lens supplier Largan Precision Co. lost 0.51 percent to end at NT$982.00. Shares of other Apple concept stocks such as Simplo and Catcher also lost grounds. Meanwhile, a Reuters report said Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp. has suspended at least one of its four main manufacturing lines and is outsourcing production to a Hon Hai Group subsidiary FIH Mobile because of a sales fall. HTC, however, denied Wednesday that it has shut down any of its production lines and will not sell off its facilities. FIH would not make any comment on the Reuters report. (Oct. 23, 2013) (By ESME Jiang and Sofia Wu)


Updated : 2021-02-28 15:34 GMT+08:00