Often-maligned Digitimes nailed Apple’s 2012 iPad rollout roadmap 10 months in advance

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Taiwan-based IT industry watcher news and market research site Digitimes frequently gets dissed for alleged spotty accuracy. Indeed, a meme of sorts has developed that Digitimes usually gets things wrong. For example, take this comment posted to my recent AppleTell blog about the 13″ Retina MacBook Pro’s value shortfall, in which I cited a Digitimes report that rMBP sales have been below expectations so far: “Digitimes has a very well know (sic) history of being completely wrong about everything.”

I beg to differ. First, It’s hard to imagine what the critics expect from a journal that specializes in reporting unconfirmed scuttlebutt from anonymous industry insider sources, and in my observation, Digitimes’ intelligence has often proved remarkably good, given the context that it originates in.

For a concrete example, back on January 6, 2012, Digitimes’ Monica Chen and Steve Shen reported that Apple would ship a third-generation iPad with a full HD display in March and then an “iPad 4″ (named so by its component suppliers) in October, according to industry insider sources in Taiwan.

Chen and Shen also projected that the 3rd-gen iPad would have a high-res Retina display and longer battery life, although its other hardware specifications might not be so amazing, and that Apple would take the advantage of the iPad 3 launch to slash the price of its iPad 2 to US$399.

Moreover, they predicted that a true battle for market share would arrive when Apple shipped its iPad 4 in October with upgraded hardware specifications, about the time when Microsoft would release Windows 8.

Not bad foresight from ten months out. Indeed, amazingly accurate predictions, save for the prognosticated longer iPad battery life.

Of course there have been instances where Digitimes has been mistaken, but in my impression less often than not, and to assert that they have “a history of being completely wrong about everything” is way over the top, and, well, wrong in a lot of cases.

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