Brian Blair


'Brian Blair' Articles

Apple's iWatch Said to Feature Round Design, Production May Start This Summer

Based on Taiwanese supply chain sources, analyst Brian Blair of Rosenblatt Securities believes Apple's iWatch will feature a round face, similar to a traditional watch (via Business Insider). The iWatch design will resemble Motorola's Moto 360 smart watch, with the Apple version shipping with a slimmer profile. Traditional watch-style iWatch concept based on TRIWA's Havana Nevil Brown watch, by Gábor Balogh Apple may begin production of the iWatch in late July, with the goal of producing up to 21 million units in the second half of 2014, claims Blair in a research note to investors. AppleInsider also highlights Blair's claim that Apple may partner with Quanta Computer to produce the smart watch device, instead of Foxconn which may be busy manufacturing the iPhone 6. Quanta's involvement in iWatch production has been rumored since last August. Blair's sources also believe Apple may be producing multiple models of the iWatch, including one that features a sapphire display cover. This information echoes an earlier report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who claimed the iWatch may ship at various price points and in a variety of materials that allow the smart watch to compete with both low- and high-end watches. Apple's iWatch is currently expected to arrive near the end of 2014, with a fashionable design and biometrics that provide basic health monitoring features. It likely will sync with an iOS device sharing data with iOS apps, including the new Healthbook app that is expected to debut in iOS 8. Though an iWatch announcement is not expected for WWDC,

Next-Generation iMac to Potentially Offer Television Functionality?

Forbes reports on a new research note from Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair suggesting that Apple may bring some aspects of its rumored television set to the iMac with a revision in the first half of next year.Blair envisions the company pushing the largest screen sizes of the iMac toward the TV market by integrating Apple TV and iCloud features into a slimmer all-in-one PC with TV capabilities. “We think this makes sense because while we typically think about the newest TV’s hanging on the wall in large form factors, Apple could effectively start with what they already have on the manufacturing line and slowly push their offering from 27 inches and scale up from there to 32 inches and then move on to the 42, 50 and 55 inch market,” he writes. “In short, we believe the initial Apple TV is their iMac computer that can function as a TV, over the iCloud platform.”While the full context of the claim is not included in the Forbes report, the claim is referred to as "speculation" on Blair's part and no specific evidence to support it is offered. Apple had previous offered its "Front Row" software for OS X, providing users with a full-screen media display to allow easy access to content while interacting with their Mac via the remote control previously included with most Macs. Front Row debuted on the iMac in 2005 and made its way throughout Apple's Mac lines, but was gradually phased out until it was completely removed in OS X Lion. Apple is said to be developing a television set product featuring Siri-powered voice input, with a release rumored for late 2012 or

'iPhone 4S' to Debut as Only New iPhone Next Month?

BGR reports on a new research note from Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair, who claims that Apple will be introducing only one new iPhone model, the so-called "iPhone 4S", at its October 4th media event. The claim runs contrary to some other recent rumors that Apple will be introducing both an iPhone 4S and a redesigned iPhone 5, but agrees with other analysts who have seen no sign of a redesigned iPhone 5 coming through Apple's supply chain.“We expect the focus of the new iPhone will be iOS 5, a speedier A5 processor and a higher resolution 8 MP camera with a small possibility of a larger 4 inch screen,” Blair wrote. “We believe the casing will be largely similar to the iPhone with some particular modifications to the antennae [sic]. We don’t expect a second, dramatically different iPhone to accompany this as we don’t think Apple needs to have 3 models in the market to address the high end, mid-tier and low end since the iPhone 4 (with memory lowered to 8 GB) will drop to $99 and effectively attack those markets.”The complete lack of parts evidence for a redesigned iPhone 5 has led to serious questions about the potential for such a device being launched this fall, and with the iPhone 4S having been seen sporting an A5 processor it seems possible Apple may be planning only the iPhone 4S as its next-generation iPhone

Production of Next-Generation iPad Set to Ramp in February? 'World Mode' Cellular Data Access?

A pair of reports today are rekindling anticipation for the next-generation iPad, with one note from DigiTimes suggesting that Apple has already locked in an initial set of circuit board suppliers for the forthcoming device, with more suppliers set to come online in February to support what is expected to be a very significant build rate. Ibiden, Tripod Technology and TTM Technologies have been named as the initial PCB suppliers for a second-generation Apple tablet PC, which is expected to be launched in the first quarter of 2011. Four more suppliers will be added to the list in February 2011, when shipments of the new iPads ramp up, according to industry sources. The sources said Ibiden, Tripod and TTM have received certification from Apple, and will start shipping any-layer HDI boards for iPad 2 in small quantities in December, the sources said.Separately, Apple has been rumored by Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair to have adopted a "world mode" GSM/CDMA chip from Qualcomm to provide cellular data access for the next-generation iPad. "Recent checks... suggest Apple is going to be ratcheting down production of the existing 3G iPad over the next two months in anticipation of ramping up a new World iPad that is powered by Qualcomm and will run on both GSM and CDMA based networks around the world," Blair writes.Such a move would allow CDMA carriers such as Verizon to offer an iPad directly compatible with their networks, avoiding the need for the packaging of Wi-Fi-only iPads with MiFi mobile hotspot devices currently offered by the carrier. The report goes on to note