SYDNEY/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Apple’s new iPad proved to be another hot seller on Friday, with hundreds queuing before dawn in Sydney to be the first to get their hands on the 4G ready tablet computer as the company’s share price hit $600 for the first time.
As consumers lined up around city streets to buy the iPad 3, one firm that took the device apart said Qualcomm, Broadcom, and Samsung Electronics had all held onto their prized roles as key parts suppliers.
Apple’s own outlets were beaten to the punch for the first store sales by Australian phone company Telstra, which started selling in Sydney and Melbourne just after midnight, eight hours before Apple’s flagship stores opened.
David Tarasenko, a 34 year old construction manager who was the first to pick up the iPad from Telstra, said ever since Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook revealed the tablet’s third iteration, he couldn’t wait to get one.
“When Tim Cook announced it, it sounded like such a magical tool. we just got hyped into it, we guess,” he said.
Others were happy to wait for the Apple flagship Sydney store to open, and by morning the queue outside had snaked around a city block.
“we’ve come from Hong Kong because this model is not available in Hong Kong. The features are very revolutionary,” second in queue Bob Cheung told Reuters.
“we’ve got the first one and we skipped the second one. This is a big difference form the first one. The processing speed, memory, graphical capabilities and everything like that,” said another customer, Michael Kelly.
Crowds were down on previous Apple launches, but there was still excitement as stores opened.
The stores sell Macintosh personal computers, software, iPods, iPads, iPhones, third party accessories, and other consumer electronics such as Apple TV.
The buzz helped propel its shares to record highs in US trade on Thursday, with Apple stock touching a high of $600.01 before easing back.
At the closing price of $585.56, the stock is still more expensive than the $499 starting price for a Wi Fi only iPad.
They bear a similarity to the concept of House brands, Private label brands in the United States, own brands in the UK, and home brands in Australia and generic brands.
Elsewhere around the globe, diehards had already begun lining up in front of Apple stores in Munich, Paris, London, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Check with your local store for availability, as these retailers typically have much less stock than Apple Stores.
Wall Street expects a strong start for the latest iPad and some analysts even expect sales of the current model to overtake the iPad 2.
Apple will continue to sell the iPad 2 but dropped its price by $100 to start at $399.
The iPad 2 is the second generation iPad, a tablet computer designed, developed and marketed by Apple Inc.
Apple may sell 65.6 million iPads, according to an estimate by Canaccord Genuity analysts who also raised their target price on Apple stock to $710 from $665.
So far, the company has sold 55 million iPads since it was launched in 2010.
Tablet sales are expected to increase to 326 million by 2015 with Apple largely dominating the market, according to research firm Gartner.
IMPROVEMENT NOT INNOVATIONThe third generation iPad is seen more as a collection of incremental improvements, such as a high definition “retina” display and a better camera, rather than a major innovation.
The inner workings of the iPad are similar to previous models, based on a “teardown” by a tinkerer from California gadget repair firm iFixit, who queued up in Australia to get one of the new tablets and quickly took it apart for a Web blog.iFixit cofounder Luke Soules’ pre dawn teardown at a Melbourne computer shop found Apple suppliers Qualcomm, Broadcom and Samsung had maintained their key roles in the newest iPad.
The iPad includes a Qualcomm LTE cellphone chip and a Qualcomm wireless modem for 3G and 4G.
Broadcom supplies a semiconductor handling wireless tasks like WiFi and Bluetooth, according to iFixit.
The iPad’s new A5X application processor, with improved graphics horsepower, is based on energy efficient technology licensed from Britain’s ARM Holding and is manufactured by Qualcomm, as in past Apple devices.
Originally developed for the iPhone, it has since been extended to support other Apple devices such as the iPod Touch, iPad, and Apple TV.
Supplying parts for Apple’s iPhones and iPads, the industry’s gold standards, is considered a coup for chipmakers and other manufacturers.
That can be helpful if you’re more comfortable talking to a support person on the phone or at the Genius Bar in an Apple Store, instead of searching for answers on Google whenever you have a question about how the iPad works.
But Apple doesn’t disclose which company makes the components that go into its smartphones, and insists its suppliers keep quiet.
Analysts recommend caution in drawing conclusions from the teardowns because Cupertino, California based Apple sometimes uses more than one supplier for a part.
Still, teardowns remain a key source of information for investors interested in betting on Apple’s suppliers, and the appearance of unexpected chips can move stocks.
“There are a whole lot of hedge funds out there that like to shoot first and ask questions later,” said Alex Gauna, an analyst at JMP who covers technology stocks.iFixit said the iPad’s display appears to be from Samsung.
A NAND flash memory chip, used to store media like music and video, is supplied by Toshiba.
The iPad teardown also revealed chips from Avago Technologies, Triquint Semiconductor and Fairchild.
($1 = 0.9499 Australian dollars)(Additional reporting by Poornima Gupta in San Francisco and Lincoln Feast and John Mair in Sydney.).
Jacqui McIntyre is a business journalist based in London, UK. Jacqui has a passion for financial markets and breaking news stories and loves writing about business news, stock market, and economic opinions that matters most to its audience. Jacqui spends a lot of time discovering and researching latest financial markets and industry news stories in order to make sure the latest and greatest stories are brought to you first on BigBoardNews.com.