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Apple Inc sold 3 million of its new iPads in the first three days the tablet computers were available, driving optimism for a strong holiday quarter despite intensifying competition.
Sales of the 7.9-inch iPad mini and fourth-generation 9.7-inch version, both Wi-Fi only models, were double the first-weekend sales of the Wi-Fi iPad sold in March, Apple said on Monday.
Apple did not break out numbers for the crucial iPad mini, a smaller version of the original tablet designed to spearhead its foray into a segment now dominated by Amazon.com Inc and Google Inc.
Analysts estimate that about 2.3 million of the new iPads sold over the weekend were the mini-tablets, surpassing expectations of 1 million to 1.5 million.
Apple Inc took the wraps off an 8-inch tablet on Tuesday in its biggest product move since the debut of the iPad two years ago, launching a smaller version of the gadget into a market staked out by Amazon.com Inc and Google Inc.
The 7.9 inch “iPad mini” marks Apple’s first foray into the smaller-tablet segment. Apple also announced a fourth-generation full-sized iPad with improvements in graphics and processing speeds, just two days before Microsoft is due to show off its own “Surface” tablet.
Apple hopes to beat back their charge onto its home turf of consumer electronics hardware, while safeguarding its lead in the larger 10-inch tablet space that even deep-pocketed rivals like Samsung Electronics have found tough to penetrate.
Chief Executive Tim Cook kicked off Tuesday’s event, held at the opulent California Theater in San Jose, by touting the just-launched iPhone 5 as the fastest-selling smartphone in history. He added that there are now 200 million devices running iOS6, the fastest upgrade rate he has seen since the mobile software was launched about a month ago.
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Apple Inc distributed invitations to an event in San Francisco on September 12, setting the stage for what is widely expected to be the release of its latest iPhone.
The invitation offers a clue that the fifth version of the popular iPhone could be in the pipeline. The invitation says “It’s almost here.”
A large number 12 on the invite, corresponding to the date of the event, casts a shadow of a number 5.The event will take place at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the site where Apple has unveiled various past products such as the iPad.
Photo: People attend the annual Apple Expo at the CNIT center at La Defense in Paris September 15, 1995. [Reuters/Mal Langsdon]
Apple Inc licensed its prized design patents to Microsoft Corp but with an “anti-cloning agreement” to prevent copying of its iPhone and iPad, an Apple executive said on Monday.
The testimony from Apple patent licensing director Boris Teksler came in one of the most closely watched technology trials in years. Apple is accusing Samsung Electronics Co Ltd of copying its iPhone and iPad, while the Korean company says Apple infringes several of its wireless technology patents.
Apple had reached out to Samsung in 2010, hoping to strike an agreement with its rival on patent licensing before their dispute hit the courts.
Teksler testified that Apple offered a clutch of patents for licensing but, crucially, viewed patents related to what he called the “unique user experience” as a highly protected category.
Those included design patents at issue in the lawsuit, covering the look and feel of the iPhone and iPad. Teksler told jurors last week he could count on “on one hand” the instances Apple has licensed those patents.
Apple Inc’s biggest success has become its biggest risk factor.
The iPhone revolutionized the smartphone industry, driving Apple’s expansion into Europe and China and, after just half a decade, yields about half its annual $100 billion revenue haul.
But the world’s most valuable technology company — which throughout the global recession near-unfailingly smashed Wall Street forecasts — is beginning to lose its aura of invincibility.