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Eye on Apple: Former Supplier Exec Admits Leaks, More iPhone/iPad Rumors

The world of technology leaks sure isn’t child’s play — just ask Walter Shimoon. Snared in an investigation on “expert networks,” a money-making venture that puts hedge funds together with tech insiders, Shimoon, a former exec at Apple parts supplier Flextronics, appeared before a Manhattan court yesterday to face charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and security fraud.

Expert networks had been flying under the radar for years, but is now attracting new attention from the likes of the SEC, which spearheaded Shimoon’s arrest last year. He was apprehended for leaking insider iPhone and iPod sales figures in Q3 and Q4 2009, as well as pre-release details on the iPhone 3GS and the iPad. According to The New York Times, Shimoon plead guilty and will be sentenced in July 2013.

But none of this seems to be discouraging iOS tipsters, which have some new nuggets today. Over at The Wall Street Journal, an unnamed insider divulges that the next-gen iPhone will be thinner and lighter than the iPhone 4, with an 8MP camera and possibly world-mode connectivity, thanks to new Qualcomm baseband chips. Apple, expecting the device to garner as many as 25 million shipments by year’s end, told suppliers to brace themselves. The new handset is apparently very complicated to assemble.

Meanwhile, Apple Insider reports on analyst Craig Berger’s note to investors alleging that a new iPad may be released this year with a higher resolution display. Citing contacts in Apple’s overseas supply chain, he says parts makers have gotten requests-for-quotes from Apple for such a tablet, which wouldn’t be the full-on next-gen iPad that’s rumored to launch in October, but more of an incremental update to the existing version. He writes, “We hear Apple could migrate the iPad’s display resolution from a current pixel density of 132 (pixels per inch) to 250-300 ppi for the ‘iPad 2 Plus’ (note that the iPhone 4’s screen is 326 ppi).”

But even Berger himself isn’t entirely sold on this; he himself points out the fact that though no production schedule has been confirmed, so it’s anyone’s guess as to when this could arrive.

Would you go for a thinner, lighter iPhone, or a new, more pixel-dense iPad? Or do you think it would be a mistake for Apple not to unveil major upgrades this fall? Weigh in.

[via The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Apple Insider]


Adriana Lee

Adriana is the resident writer-slash-culture vulture who has written about everything from smartphones, tablets, apps, accessories, and small biz...

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