Following earlier rumors that claimed Amazon is gearing up to launch a smartphone that will rival Apple’s iPhone, The Wall Street Journal has confirmed with sources that the retail giant is currently testing the device with its suppliers, and that it could enter production as early as the end of this year.
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Following yesterday’s report from Bloomberg that revealed Apple plans to release the long-awaited iPad mini this September, a new report from The Wall Street Journal has this morning added even further credence to those claims.
According to “people familiar with the matter,” Apple’s suppliers are preparing for mass production of a new iPad with a display smaller than 8 inches, which is expected to begin in September.
With so many contrasting rumors in recent weeks, it has been hard to predict whether or not Apple will increase the size of the display for its sixth-generation iPhone. But according to sources for The Wall Street Journal, the Cupertino company is preparing to break away from its existing 3.5-inch panels in favor of a display measuring “at least 4 inches diagonally.”
While investigations into the working conditions in its Chinese factories still underway, Apple has now commissioned an independent environmental group to review its supply chain and identify any environmental concerns. The reviews are set to begin next month, and will focus on the environmental impact of factories belonging to Foxconn and one other unnamed supplier.
With so many rumors surrounding a smaller iPad of late, even the most skeptical amongst us are beginning to believe. The latest reports comes from The Wall Street Journal, which claims Apple and its suppliers are currently testing a new tablet with a smaller screen said to be around eight inches, that will “broaden its product pipeline amid intensifying competition.”
While Apple has been actively seeking to improve the working conditions for employees at the Chinese factories manufacturing its products, a former executive for the Cupertino company believes it could do more. The trouble is, Apple’s infamous secrecy is getting in the way.
“We’re trying really hard to make things better,” said one former Apple executive. “But most people would still be really disturbed if they saw where their iPhone comes from.”
Apple’s iPad 3 is expected to make its debut early this year, but it may not be the end of the much-loved iPad 2.
According to the company’s plans for display panel shipments, the iPad 2 is certainly not about to meet its demise. Instead, Apple may follow the same steps it has taken with the iPhone 4 and offer its second-generation iPad alongside the new model as a cheap $299 alternative — allowing it to compete with Amazon’s budget Kindle Fire tablet.
Apple and several Chinese environmentalists met Tuesday to clear the air on disputes over pollution they claim comes from factories supplying the tech giant with much sought-after iPhones and iPads. Following the Beijing meeting, one environmentalist questioned Apple’s sincerity.
What Is Apple Spending Billions On In 2012? Futuristic Chip Factories And Retooling Samsung Are Both Possibilities [Report]
In an intriguing note, a Wall Street analyst suggests Samsung — you know, the South Korean company keeping Apple’s legal department in yachts and private islands — could be one of the beneficiaries of $3.4 billion Apple will spend to retool suppliers’ factories in 2012. Or Apple could just build itself a couple of state-of-the-art chip factories from scratch.
Apple’s MacBook Air has been an incredibly popular machine since the company introduced solid-state drives as standard and reduced its price tag back in October 2010. But for some, it just doesn’t come big enough.
However, dreams of a 15-inch model are about to come true, according to sources in Apple’s supply chain. And it’ll be here by March 2012.