Thursday March 24, 2016 1:03 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple is now accepting orders for the iPhone SE and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro through its online storefront and through the Apple Store app. Orders are available in first wave launch countries including Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, the UK, US Virgin Islands, and the US.
All of the major U.S. carriers, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile are accepting orders for the iPhone SE. Most carriers will start accepting orders at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time, but T-Mobile will not accept orders until 5:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Big box retailers like Best Buy, Walmart, and Target will sell both the iPhone SE and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, but it is not clear if the stores will offer orders on 3/24.
There have been no rumors pointing towards supply constraints, and as the iPhone SE and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro both use components from earlier devices, we expect supplies to be plentiful and readily available. Ordering as soon as possible is still recommended, however, especially when it comes to accessories like the Smart Keyboard. With the launch of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the Smart Keyboard was in short supply.
The iPhone SE is available in Silver, Gold, Space Gray, and Rose Gold, in 16 and 64GB capacities. Pricing starts at $399 for an outright purchase of the 16GB model, while the 64GB model costs $499. Customers can purchase the device on a payment plan with 24 monthly payments as low as $13.30 through a carrier or $0 down through a two-year contract.
Through Apple's own Upgrade Program, monthly payments on the iPhone SE can be as low as $10 for 24 months with the trade-in of an iPhone 5s. Older devices can also be traded in with Apple offering $12/month payments with the trade in of an iPhone 5 or 5c and $14/month payments with the trade in of an iPhone 4 or 4s.
Apple's 9.7-inch iPad Pro is available in Silver, Gold, Space Gray, and Rose Gold, a color that hasn't been offered in an iPad before. It is available in 32, 128, and 256GB capacities for $599, $749, and $899, respectively. Wi-Fi + Cellular models in the same capacities are available for an additional $130.
For details on the capabilities and features of the two new devices, make sure to take a look at our iPhone SE and iPad Pro roundups.
Deliveries for iPhone SE and 9.7-inch iPad Pro orders placed today will start next Thursday, on March 31. That is also the date when the two products will be available in Apple retail stores.
Wednesday March 23, 2016 9:03 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple has taken its online storefront down in order to prepare for the launch of iPhone SE and 9.7-inch iPad Pro orders, which will likely begin at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time or 3:01 a.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, March 24. Orders will be available on Apple's site, through the Apple Store app, and through carrier websites.
Apple will accept orders for the two devices in first wave launch countries that include Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, the UK, US Virgin Islands, and the US.
The iPhone SE is available in 16 and 64GB capacities in the United States, with pricing that starts at $399 for an outright purchase. The 9.7-inch iPad Pro is available in 32, 128, and 256GB capacities with prices that start at $599. Both Wi-Fi and Cellular models are available.
Supplies of the iPhone SE and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro are likely to be adequate and we do not expect the devices to sell out. Nevertheless, customers planning to purchase should do so right away just in case.
Deliveries on orders placed today are expected to begin on March 31, which is also the day when the two devices will be available for in-store purchase.
Tuesday March 22, 2016 11:43 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple never announces the RAM in its iOS devices, so that metric often remains a mystery until a device teardown or benchmarking tests. TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino has an iPhone SE and a new iPad Pro on hand, and was able to use a memory checking app to determine the RAM in both devices.
Based on his testing, it appears that both the iPhone SE and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro include 2GB of RAM.
2GB RAM puts the iPhone SE on par with the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus, both of which also include 2GB of RAM. As for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, 2GB RAM means its performance isn't going to measure up to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which is equipped with 4GB RAM.
As was recently discovered, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro also features a slightly underclocked A9X processor, another factor that will impact its performance compared to the larger tablet.
Geekbench testing by Panzarino suggests the iPhone SE is not underlocked compared to the iPhone 6s, with the A9 in the device running at 1.85GHz. On the test, the iPhone SE received a single-core score of 2538 and a multi-core score of 4421, on par with or slightly better than tests conducted on the iPhone 6s.
Given that it includes the same processor and the same RAM, the iPhone SE is as powerful as the iPhone 6s despite its much smaller form factor and lower price. The new iPad Pro, while less powerful than its larger sibling, has its own unique features, including a 12 megapixel camera with rear flash and a unique True Tone display.
Tuesday March 22, 2016 11:26 am PDT by Juli Clover
The new 9.7-inch iPad Pro adopts the same powerful dual-core 64-bit A9X chip that was first introduced in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, but the two tablets are not on par when it comes to performance. Based on information on Apple's website, it appears the A9X in the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is slightly underclocked compared to the A9X in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (via AppleInsider).
On its iPad comparison page, Apple lists the specs of the A9X in both of the iPad Pros, comparing them to the A7 chip in the iPad Air, iPad mini 2/3, and iPhone 5s. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro lists a 2.5x faster CPU and 5x faster graphics, while the 9.7-inch iPad Pro lists a 2.4x faster CPU and 4.3x faster graphics.
Apple has a history of underclocking the chips used in smaller devices. The iPad mini 2 and the iPad Air both used the same A7 chip, but while the iPad Air clocked in at 1.4GHz, the iPad mini 2 ran at 1.3GHz.
It's likely Apple is underclocking the A9X chip in the 9.7-inch iPad Pro due to its smaller body, which may be unable to dissipate heat as well as the larger 12.9-inch iPad Pro, The performance difference between the two tablets is likely to be unnoticeable in real world conditions, and even underclocked, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is offering some significant performance improvements over the 9.7-inch iPad Air 2.
Aside from the slightly lower clock speed, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro has several features that set it above the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, including a 12-megapixel camera with a rear flash and a new True Tone display feature that adjusts the screen's temperature based on ambient lighting.
The 9.7-inch iPad Pro will be available for order starting this Thursday, with in-store availability and shipments starting the following Thursday, on March 31. Pricing for the new iPad Pro starts at $599.
Update: Geekbench benchmark testing conducted by TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino suggests the A9X processor in the 9.7-inch iPad Pro runs at 2.16GHz, compared to 2.24GHz in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
The new iPad Pro received a single-core score of 3022 and a multi-core score of 5107. In comparison, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro sees average scores of 3224 on the single-core test and 5466 on the multi-core test. The 9.7-inch iPad Pro may not be quite as powerful as the 12.9-inch model, but it did significantly outperform the iPhone 6s and the iPad Air 2 on the Geekbench test.
Monday March 21, 2016 7:41 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple today provided members of the press with hands-on time using the iPhone SE and 9.7" iPad Pro, and first impressions of the new products are beginning to surface across the web. Below is a roundup of some of the more interesting observations and opinions about the new smartphone and tablet.
The Verge said the iPhone SE "finally makes a small phone feel powerful," which is unsurprising given it is essentially an iPhone 6s shrunk down into an iPhone 5s form factor. The 4-inch smartphone is powered by a 64-bit A9 chip with M9 motion co-processor, which is up to twice as fast as the iPhone 5s. Other features are outlined in our iPhone SE announcement coverage.
Usually, getting a small phone has meant getting a phone that skimps on power or on the camera (or, most likely, both). That's absolutely not the case with the iPhone SE. It feels every bit as fast and modern as an iPhone 6S, able to move quickly through screens and web pages. Obviously we weren't able to test the camera very extensively, but we can say that it launches quickly and takes photos just as fast.
TechnoBuffalo described the iPhone SE's top five new features as its 4-inch screen size, $399 starting price, 4K video recording, Live Photos support, and full Apple Pay support without needing an Apple Watch.
That’s going to be a nice bump for folks with the iPhone 5s who otherwise weren’t able to use Apple Pay due to the lack of an NFC chip in the smartphone. Also, Touch ID should be much, much faster than the sensor originally included in that device.
Business Insider highlighted how Apple used more scratch resistant materials for the iPhone SE shell, meaning it should not be prone to scratches and scuffs as easily as the iPhone 5s. This includes matte-chamfered edges and a slightly different aluminum backing with a color-matching Apple logo.
The good news: The iPhone SE gives you everything great about the iPhone 6s for $250 cheaper.
The bad news: Despite all those great features, it still feels a lot like the iPhone Apple unveiled 2.5 years ago.
As of today, Apple has started offering replacement tips for the Apple Pencil in its online store. A set of four Apple Pencil tips can be purchased for $19, with deliveries estimated to take place on Wednesday, March 23 at the earliest.
The $99 Apple Pencil ships with an extra tip in the box, but until today, there was no way to purchase additional tips from Apple. When the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil launched, Apple said it would add replacement tips in the future, a promise it has now made good on.
Apple Pencil tips can be replaced by unscrewing the old tip, inserting the new tip, and screwing it in place.
The launch of the new Apple Pencil tips comes as Apple debuts the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, a second iPad in the iPad Pro family able to take advantage of the Apple Pencil.
At today's "Let Us Loop You In" event, Apple debuted the the 4-inch iPhone SE, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, and new Apple Watch bands, plus released new software updates for iOS, OS X, tvOS, and watchOS 2.2.
We've covered all of the main product announcements, but some smaller tidbits of information went largely unnoticed, including the launch of a new 256GB 12.9-inch iPad Pro, new iPhone and iPad cases, and details on iPhone and iPad sales. We've rounded up all of these lesser-known details below.
Find something new that should be included on the list? Send us Tips email and we'll add it.
256GB 12.9-inch iPad Pro - With the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, Apple introduced a new 256GB storage capacity, which has also been extended to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Apple is selling a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro with 256GB of storage for $1,079 for Wi-Fi only or $1,229 for Wi-Fi + Cellular.
9.7-inch iPad Pro USB 2 Transfer Speeds - According to the product description for the Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter, while the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is able to transfer data at USB 3 speeds, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro can only transfer data at USB 2 speeds. That implies the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is not using the same Lightning port as the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which has a Lightning port able to support USB 3.0 transfer speeds.
At USB 2 speeds, iPads and iPhones can transfer data at around 25 to 35 MB/s, while USB 3.0 transfer speeds are much faster –- up to 625MB/s.
New iPhone and iPad case colors - Apple has introduced new spring colors for iPhone and iPad cases. New Silicone case colors for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus include Yellow, Apricot, Light Pink, Lilac, Royal Blue, and Mint. Apple has dropped the following colors: Blue, Turquoise, and Pink.
There are also new Leather Case colors for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, including Marigold, Storm Gray, and Marine Blue. For the iPhone SE, Apple has a Leather Case available in Black and Midnight Blue. Third-party cases available for the iPhone 5/5s also fit the iPhone SE, and Apple has updated product descriptions to note that its collection of third-party cases will fit both devices.
The Silicone Case for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is available for $69, while the Smart Cover is available for $49. Both are available in White, Stone, Yellow, Apricot, Light Pink, Midnight Blue, Lavender, Lilac, Royal Blue, Mint, Charcoal Gray, and Red. Spring colors – Yellow, Apricot, Light Pink, Lilac, Royal Blue, and Mint – are also new for the iPad mini Silicone Case and Smart Cover.
Smart Keyboard for 9.7-inch iPad Pro - Apple’s new 9.7-inch iPad Pro includes a Smart Connector, allowing it to connect to accessories like a new Smart Keyboard. Smart Keyboards are now available in 12.9 and 9.7-inch sizes, with the new 9.7-inch Smart Keyboard priced at $149, $20 less than the $169 price tag of the 12.9-inch Smart Keyboard. The 9.7-inch Smart Keyboard is identical to its larger sibling, available only in charcoal.
Classroom app - For teachers and students, there’s a new Classroom app [Direct Link] that’s available for download today. Classroom is designed to allow teachers to guide students through lessons, watch their progress, and make sure they’re on track. When used in conjunction with Apple’s educational tools, Classroom lets teachers launch the same app or website on every student device at the same time. It also includes options for locking screens into a single app, AirPlaying content to an Apple TV, reset student Apple ID passwords, and more.
Sales numbers - During the event keynote, Apple exec Greg Joswiak announced Apple sold 30 million 4-inch iPhones in 2015, which encompasses the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c. In total, Apple sold 231.5 million iPhones during the year. Apple also announced that it has sold 200 million 9.7-inch iPads since 2010.
True Tone display - Apple has introduced a True Tone display in the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, which uses built-in sensors to detect the ambient lighting in the room and adjust the display accordingly. The feature is unique to the 9.7-inch iPad Pro and can be turned off in the Settings app for those who want a display temperature that does not fluctuate.
iPhone 5s - Apple is no longer selling the iPhone 5s in the United States, having discontinued it in favor of the iPhone SE.
iPhone SE Touch ID - The iPhone SE adopts many features from the iPhone 6s, but it does not include the next-generation Touch ID sensor. The iPhone SE continues to use the Touch ID sensor from earlier iPhone models.
Embedded Apple SIM: The 9.7-inch iPad Pro includes an Embedded Apple SIM along with a regular Nano-SIM slot.
For more details on the products and updates Apple announced today, make sure to check out our recap post, which has links to all of today's event coverage.
With the conclusion of today's spring "Let Us Loop You In" event that saw the debut of the iPhone SE, 9.7-inch iPad Pro, and new Apple Watch updates, Apple has posted the full 63-minute video event recap on its website, and a YouTube version should be coming in the near future.
On YouTube, Apple has shared all of the videos that were shown during the event, including an overview of the 9.7-inch iPad, a look at ResearchKit, and an overview of "Liam," a robot that breaks down recycled Apple products to reuse as much of the raw materials as possible.
MacRumors posted extended coverage on all of the new products that were announced today, ranging from what's new in iOS 9.3, tvOS 9.2, OS X 10.11.4, and watchOS 2.2 updates to the features in the 9.7-inch iPad Pro and the 4-inch iPhone SE. A full list of our event coverage is below:
The new iPhone SE looks almost identical to the iPhone 5s, beyond the switch to matte-chamfered edges and a color-matched stainless steel Apple logo on the rear.
The new 4-inch smartphone retains a 3.5mm headphone jack, despite rumors that Apple will switch to an all-in-one Lightning connector on the iPhone 7 due later this year.
A closer look at the iPhone SE's new matte-chamfered edges (Image: The Verge)
iPhone SE is available in the same four colors offered across most of Apple's newer product lineups: Gold, Silver, Space Gray, and Rose Gold.
16GB and 64GB models can be purchased for $399 and $499 respectively. The 16GB model is also free when subsidized with a two-year carrier contract. Financing plans are available from $17 per month.
The new iPad Pro also looks virtually identical to its larger 12.9-inch sibling, with the only noticeable difference being the tablet's smaller 9.7-inch screen akin to iPad Air.
A side-by-side comparison of the new 9.7" iPad Pro (right) and 12.9" iPad Pro (left) (Image: The Verge)
The smaller iPad Pro has adopted many of the same pro-level features, including an Oxide TFT display, Smart Connector, Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard support, and the same positioning of other ports and buttons.
The new 9.7-inch iPad Pro comes in four colors: Silver, Gold, Space Gray and Rose Gold. Pricing starts at $599 for 32GB of storage with Wi-Fi only, while 128GB and a new 256GB option will be available for $749 and $899 respectively. Pre-orders begin March 24 and shipments to customers will start March 31. ➜ Click here to read rest of article...
Monday March 21, 2016 11:55 am PDT by Husain Sumra
Apple today announced a new iPad in the iPad Pro family, debuting the 9.7-inch iPad Pro with all of the features of the existing 12.9-inch iPad Pro, including the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard support. The 9.7-inch iPad Pro even has a few improved features over the 12.9-inch version, including a True Tone display and better rear and front-facing cameras.
"iPad Pro is a new generation of iPad that is indispensable and immersive, enabling people to be more productive and more creative. It's incredibly fast, extremely portable, and completely natural to use with your fingers, Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard. And now it comes in two sizes," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "The 9.7-inch iPad Pro has a new Retina display with True Tone technology, four-speaker audio system, blazing fast A9X chip, 12-megapixel iSight camera, 5-megapixel FaceTime HD camera, faster wireless, and support for Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard. It is the ultimate upgrade for existing iPad users and replacement for PC users."
Described by Apple's marketing chief Phil Schiller as "the ultimate PC replacement," the 9.7-inch iPad Pro uses the same display components as the 12.9-inch iPad Pro -- custom timing controller, photo alignment, and oxide TFT -- resulting in a display that's 40 percent less reflective and 25 percent brighter than the display in the iPad Air 2. It also has a wider color gamut with 25 percent greater color saturation for more vivid colors. Like the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro's display includes support for the Apple Pencil.
Unique to the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is a True Tone display that uses four-channel ambient light sensors to measure the color temperature of the ambient environment, changing the temperature of the tablet's display to match. The feature goes hand-in-hand with Night Shift, the blue light reduction mode in iOS 9.3.
Measuring in at 6.1mm, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro weighs less than a pound. Design wise, it looks like a smaller 12.9-inch iPad Pro, with four speakers for improved audio and a Smart Connector for use with accessories like the new Smart Keyboard. Inside, there's an A9X chip that offers incredible performance and a long battery life, plus there's support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi With MIMO technology, faster LTE advanced, and the Apple SIM to connect to LTE networks while traveling.
The 9.7-inch iPad Pro has an improved 12-megapixel camera, with Focus Pixels for faster focusing, a better image signal processor, advanced noise reduction, and better face detection. It's the same camera used in the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus, with support for 5K video, 63-megapixel panoramas, and Live Photos. There's also a rear-facing flash, the first flash included in an iPad. Apple has also improved the front-facing camera, introducing a 5-megapixel FaceTime HD camera with a front-facing Retina Flash feature.
The new 9.7-inch iPad Pro comes in four colors: Silver, Gold, Space Gray and Rose Gold. Pricing starts at $599 for 32GB of storage, with 128GB and a new 256GB option available for $749 and $899, respectively. Cellular models are also available in 32GB ($729), 128GB ($879), and 256GB ($1,029) configurations.
The 9.7-inch iPad Pro will be available to order beginning Thursday, March 24, from Apple.com, and in Apple's retail stores, through select carriers and Apple Authorized Resellers on Thursday, March 31, in Australia, Canada, China (Wi-Fi models only), France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, the UK, US Virgin Islands and the US.
The Apple Pencil for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro continues to be available for $99. The Smart Keyboard designed for the smaller tablet is priced at $149.
Apple is continuing to sell the 9.7-inch iPad Air 2, dropping the price to $399, and the company has added a new 12.9-inch iPad with 256GB of storage for $1,099 for Wi-Fi only and $1,229 for Wi-Fi + Cellular.
Monday March 21, 2016 10:01 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple's "Let Us Loop You In" event kicks off at 10:00 AM Pacific Time today, and we're expecting to see several product announcements including a new 4-inch "iPhone SE," an updated 9.7-inch iPad perhaps branded as an "iPad Pro," and a few updates for the Apple Watch line, although upgrades to the watch itself will not be coming today.
We're also expecting to see a full set of operating system upgrades today, as Apple has been beta testing iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4, tvOS 9.2, and watchOS 2.2 for several months now. Today's event is being held at the Town Hall auditorium on Apple's headquarters campus in Cupertino.
In addition to Apple's video stream, we will be updating this article with live blog coverage and issuing Twitter updates through our @MacRumorsLive account as the keynote unfolds. Highlights from the event and separate news stories regarding today's announcements will go out through our @MacRumors account.
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Apple's online stores around the world are currently down in advance of the event.
Archive of Live Updates in Reverse Chronological Order
Apple will hold its first event of 2016 next Monday, and while it won't be as exciting as last year's event that saw the launch of the Apple Watch, Apple is planning to introduce several new products. Headlining the event will be the 4-inch iPhone SE, Apple's first 4-inch iPhone since 2013.
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