The week in gadgets

23 May 2011

What’s rumbling in the consumer tech world as James Cameron gets ready to release Titanic in 3D, Apple assesses the impact of the explosion in China on iPad 2 supplies and Amazon reveals it sells more Kindle books than printed books.

What will China explosion mean for iPad 2?

Analysts are busy scratching their heads to discover what impact the weekend explosion at a manufacturing plant in China, where iPad 2 devices are produced, will have.

Apple says it is working closely with Foxconn to discover what caused an explosion at the Chinese manufacturing plant. Two people died and 15 others were injured in the blast.

The plant in Chengdu is understood to be where Apple produces iPad 2 tablets.

Foxconn also manufactures laptops for Dell in the southwest China region. Apple is expected to sell close to 32m iPad devices this year.

A Titanic opportunity for 3D

Just in time for the 100th anniversary of Titanic sinking comes the Academy Award-winning film on 3D.

Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox have announced that Titanic, starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, will be re-released in cinemas on 6 April 2012. The film was originally released in 1997.

The Belfast-built Titanic set sail on its maiden voyage on 10 April 1912. Five days later, the passenger ship hit an iceberg and sank in the Atlantic Ocean, claiming more than 1,500 lives.

E-books begin to outsell printed books

E-commerce giant Amazon has revealed it is now selling more Kindle books than e-books – with 105 Kindle e-books selling for every 100 print books.

This includes sales of hardcover and paperback books by Amazon where there is no Kindle edition. Free Kindle books are excluded and if included would make the number even higher.

Amazon sold more than three times as many Kindle books so far in 2011 as it did during the same period in 2010.

Apple’s cloud locker for music ready for big debut

Apple is feverishly working away on delivering its iCloud music service and is just one big record deal away from creating a legitimate service that could do to cloud computing what iTunes did to revolutionise digital content delivery.

Sony is the latest big record label to join up with Apple’s licensed music locker for the cloud, joining EMI and Warner in enabling users to access their music collections from mobile devices and computers.

It is understood a deal with Universal is also on the cusp of being signed.

Apple is planning to launch a fully licensed cloud music service that will compete with unlicensed cloud locker offerings from Amazon and Google.

In recent weeks, Apple completed work on building its online music storage locker – effectively an iTunes for the cloud.

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John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years