Here are your Apple rumors and news items for Friday:
iPad Retina Display: Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) competitor and component supplier Samsung will reportedly soon unveil a new 10-inch high-resolution screen from Samsung that could have meaning for tech investors by signaling the coming of the iPad 3. Samsung’s new display puts it on par with the retina display screen used in Apple’s latest iPhone. It would mark a significant improvement over other displays used in current tablets. It was rumored earlier this year that Apple would be releasing the third-generation iPad in the fall of 2011, making the still-new iPad 2 a lower cost model for the holiday. However, the announcement of a new high-quality screen from the supplier of existing iPad screens hints that a new iPad wouldn’t ship until early 2012.
All You Need is Beatles: A Wednesday report from Nieslen said that music sales in the U.S. are up 1.6% in 2011 so far, with digital music sales up 12.4%. These numbers are particularly hopeful for an industry that has watched watch CD sales growth peter out to nil and digital sales begin to flatten in 2010. (After growing by 13% between 2008 and 2009, digital music sales grew just 5% in 2010.) Nieslen credits the growth in both digital album and digital single sales to The Beatles’ catalog becoming available on iTunes last November. If Nielsen is correct, though, the surge from the past six months could dip as Beatles fans stop downloading. It also remains to be seen how cloud-based music businesses Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) CloudPlayer, and Apple’s own iCloud will shake up the digital music industry.
Amazon CEO Hints at Tablet: Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is something of a tease. Speaking with Consumer Reports (via Apple Insider) Bezos said that observers should “stay tuned” for news about an Amazon-made tablet PC. Since Apple introduced the iPad in 2010, there has been rampant speculation on whether or not Amazon would transform its Kindle brand from one associated with a devoted e-reader to a multi-purpose tablet. Bezos also said during the interview that it’s unlikely Amazon will be releasing a new color Kindle e-reader to compete with Barnes & Noble’s (NYSE:BKS) Nook, saying that color electronic ink “is not ready for primetime.”