EETimes.com – Part 2: What’s inside Apple’s media pad?

EETimes.com – Part 2: What’s inside Apple’s media pad?.

SAN JOSE, Calif. — More details have surfaced about Apple Inc.’s media pad, dubbed the iSlate.As reported, Apple is likely to announce its new tablet on Jan. 27. A combination Apple media pad/e-book/netbook could steal much of the thunder in early 2010.

There has been much speculation what’s inside the tablet. C.J. Muse, an analyst at Barclays Capital, said Apple’s media pad makes use of the following chip vendors: Broadcom, Infineon, Hynix, Linear, Marvell, Novatek, NXP, Samsung, among others.

”Our channel checks suggest that while the CPU is likely supplied by Samsung based on design from Apple, the DRAM is likely to be procured from Samsung and Hynix. Samsung for the CPU is an interesting choice, as it reveals that the CPU is likely made at 45-nm,” Muse said in a report.

”Our checks also suggest a LCD driver IC supplied by Novatek and several chips from Broadcom such as touch panel controller, WiFi and bluetooth with likely Marvell as the primary source for the WiFi chip,” he said.

”Furthermore, checks also suggest that power management might be handled by Linear Technology for the battery and NXP for the system. RF transceiver and GPS chip are likely procured from Infineon to round out the mix,” he said.

”Our checks suggest the screen for the tablet will be LCD (not OLED as some have suggested — technology just not mature enough to support larger size display) and will be supplied panels from Samsung and LG Display,” he said.

”We understand the size of the display will be diameter of 9.67 inches suggesting, assuming 16 x 9 aspect ratio, that the display will be 4.74-inch width and 8.43-inch length. Our checks also suggest Apple is designing the Gorilla glass (from Corning) into the tablet, suggesting there are 3 layers of glass in the display,” he said.

What is the impact of the overall e-book reader market? ”The battlefield for digital media supremacy is quickly moving to the book market, with Amazon, Apple and Google armed with heavy arsenals of platform, content and user networks,” said Daniel Amir, an analyst at Lazard Capital Markets, in a report.

”To be sure, reading has now joined other forms of media (e.g., listening to music, watching videos) that have faced seismic shifts in distribution over the Internet, with far-reaching implications for traditional business models,” he said.

”Kindle dominates, but competition looms on multiple fronts. While Amazon launched Kindle in advance of the inevitable shift from physical to digital media, it appears that Kindle has established a defensible position as a single-purpose reading device. For 2010, we estimate sales of 4 million Kindles in a market of (less than) 6 million dedicated e-readers. Over the next 2-3 years, we also expect Amazon to make progress moving e-books from loss leaders to profit drivers,” he added.

  1. The chipset suppliers are almost identical to iPhone. The reporter assumes that the iSlate is expanded version of iPhone or iPod touch, which I believe reasonable assumption. I used my iPod touch to download the ebook from Amazon a couple of times, and vastly disappointed due to small screen size and strained eye. Reading from bigger iPod touch may solve screen size issue, but I wonder it’ll solve eye-friendly issue. In addition, LCD with back-light will cause battery problem as well. If it doesn’t last more than 5 hours from reading the book, it would not attract a lot of would-be-kindle buyers. BTW, today is Jan/27 that Steve Jobs will reveal iSlate at San Francisco.Apple has been doing this kind of big show already several times. Building hypes by leaking a bit of information here and there, and finally boom with big surprise. Good or bad, controversy sells in the end. Interestingly, today is also my birthday. I hope someone buy iSlate for me…

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