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Archive of iPad Rumors

Among "commercial channel" sales to distributors for corporate, government, and business customers, the iPad held the biggest share of sales for any tablet in the U.S. during 2013, while sales of Google Chromebooks made up a bigger percentage of the laptop market compared to Mac notebooks, according to a new report from The NPD Group.

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The data in the report showed that the iPad accounted for 15.8% of personal computing device sales in the channel, which was greater than that of Android tablets at 8.7% and Windows tablets at 2.2%. However, the iPad's share of unit sales in the U.S. this year is down from the year-ago period, where it made up for 17.1% of sales. Sales of both Android tablets and Windows tablets grew by 4.5% and 1.4%, respectively.

Meanwhile, sales of Chromebooks in the United States grew to 9.6% in 2013, surpassing the 1.8% share of unit sales held by Apple notebooks. Windows notebooks still held on to 34.1% of the market, but was down 8.8% from the 42.9% share it held last year.

The news follows a broader report from October stating that Mac sales were down 7% year-over-year for the full September quarter, as the decline of traditional PC sales as a whole is likely due in part to the rising popularity of tablets.

Both the iPad and the MacBook line of notebooks saw refreshes this year, as Apple announced the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display along with updated models of the 13-inch and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro at its October event. New versions of the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air were also announced at Apple's WWDC keynote this past June, and featured enhanced performance with significantly improved battery life.

Apple could also be gearing up to release new types of both products in 2014. Rumors of a larger-size iPad for release in 2014 have surfaced occasionally throughout the past few months, and a report in October from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stated that Apple may be planning to release a 12-inch MacBook with an all-new design in the middle of 2014.
Following a report last month stating that Apple supplier Quanta Computer had landed the contract to mass-produce a larger-sized iPad for late 2014, Digitimes is reporting that the 12.9-inch tablet will be released in October 2014 and will target North America's educational market. Apple is also said to be examining the possibility of replacing the 11-inch MacBook Air with the larger iPad.

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12.9-inch iPad (left) with 13-inch MacBook Air (right)
Apple's large-size tablet will be manufactured by Quanta Computer, and was originally expected to adopt either 12.9- or 13.3-inch panels, with recent rumors indicating that 12.9-inch has a better chance to be picked, the sources noted.
The report also states that Apple is planning to release a larger size iPhone in May 2014, using a 20nm processor manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). Reports of a next-generation iPhone featuring a larger screen have surfaced occasionally throughout the past year, while the claim of an A8 processor made by TSMC is follows a report in June stating that the company had struck a three-year deal with Apple to produce A-series chips starting in 2014.

However, a May 2014 release date for the next iPhone would be somewhat of a surprising move by Apple, considering that the most recent reports have stated that the larger-screened iPhone will debut in late 2014. A release then would be in line with the October 2011 launch of the iPhone 4s, the September 2012 launch of the iPhone 5, and the September 2013 launch of the iPhone 5s and 5c.

A report last month from The Korea Times indicated that production of a 12.9-inch Retina Display to be used in a next-generation iPad was already underway at an Apple supplier in Korea, with a target date of early 2014. The larger tablet is also said to carry an improved display nearing ultra high-definition (UHD) quality, which would be significantly bigger and contain more pixels than Apple's current 9.7-inch iPad Air.
A number of retailers have noted that the iPad Air was a top seller over the Black Friday shopping weekend, and new data from Localytics indeed shows that to have been the case. Localytics, which tracks the number of new devices showing up through its analytics network of over 20,000 apps and over one billion devices, saw a 51% increase in new iPad Air devices compared to the previous weekend.

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The first-generation iPad mini also performed well, seeing 28% growth compared to the previous weekend, while the iPhone 5c came in third with 26% growth. All three products were available in significant quantities for the Black Friday weekend and in many cases saw steep discounts. Products with tighter supplies and lower discounts, such as the Retina iPad mini and the iPhone 5s, unsurprisingly saw smaller spikes in activations.
According to Localytics’ data, a whopping 51% more new iPad Air devices were seen than the previous week. This is due to a combination of factors, including Apple’s promotion of giving gift cards with purchases of the iPad Air and iPad Mini (but not iPad Mini 2nd gen) devices. This, combined with a smaller base of iPad Air devices and the novelty of the iPad Air (released on November 1st) resulted in the iPad Air dominating on Black Friday weekend. Apple’s older iPad Mini model finished second, and the iPhone 5c took third.
Data from Localytics of course does not include devices purchased over the Black Friday weekend but set aside as future gifts, suggesting that the spike in sales was likely even higher than shown in the data.

While Apple's iPad Air has seen strong sales in part due to its recent introduction and dramatically thinner and lighter design, the device has also benefited from a general surge in popularity for tablets, with 39% of consumer electronics shoppers over the Black Friday weekend indicating that they planned to purchase a tablet. Given the iPad's market-leading position and plentiful supplies of the iPad Air, it is unsurprising that the device saw strong sales over the weekend.
iphone_5c_store_heroMultiple Apple Stores in the United States have started price matching the iPhone 5c and the iPad Air, reports 9to5Mac. On those particular devices, some Apple Stores will match the prices of brick and mortar retailers that have been selling the products below retail price.

Walmart, for example, sells the entry-level 16 GB iPad Air for $479, a $20 discount off of the standard retail price Apple offers. MacRumors heard conflicting reports of Apple Stores price matching discounts over Black Friday, but following the major shopping holiday, it appears retail employees may have been given more flexibility when it comes to price matching options.

Released in September and October respectively, both the iPhone 5c and the iPad Air have been widely available since the launch, while supplies of the iPhone 5s and the Retina iPad mini have been far more constrained, which explains why Apple is not offering price matching on those particular products at this time.

Apple's price matching policies vary from store to store, and some stores may opt out of price matching all together. Price matching only applies to physical stores and is limited to a 10 percent total discount, which means customers can still find a better deal elsewhere in some cases, especially when it comes to the deep discounts offered on the iPhone 5c.

Update: According to a retail employee, Apple now has an official policy on price matching, which allows specialists to price match iPhones, iPads, and Macs, giving up to 10 percent off on products without authorization. Specialists are also allowed to give business customers up to 20% off a non-Apple accessory when purchased with an Apple product via special order.

Currently, the iPhone 5s and the Retina iPad mini are excluded from price matching.
Following a September report stating that Apple may be working with Quanta Computer to develop a larger-sized iPad, Digitimes is now reporting that the Taiwanese-based manufacturer has landed the contract to mass-produce the tablet for the second half of 2014. Just last week, a report had claimed that the larger iPad was being targeted for an early 2014 launch.

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Mockup of 12.9-inch iPad next to iPad Air and iPad mini

The article also mentions that Quanta is expected to face difficulties when assembling the larger iPad because of its unique industrial design and assembly, which could also lead to constrained supplies:
Quanta is expected to encounter several challenges in terms of industrial design and assembly when making the large-size iPad. And since the size is not the mainstream specification, order volumes are expected to be limited, the sources said.
Component makers have also reportedly started pilot production for the iWatch, although low yields are rumored to be the reason behind delaying mass production of the device from Q1 2014 to Q2 2014. Quanta, Inventec, and Foxconn are said to be competing for iWatch production orders.

Last week's report from The Korea Times indicated that production of a 12-9-inch Retina Display to be used in a next-generation iPad was already underway at an Apple supplier in Korea. The larger tablet is also said to carry an improved display nearing ultra high-definition (UHD) quality, which would be significantly bigger and contain many more pixels than Apple's current 9.7-inch iPad Air.

Meanwhile, iWatch reports have surfaced occassionally in the past couple of weeks, with Apple rumored to be releasing both 1.7 and 1.3-inch display sizes of the watch for men and women. NPD DisplaySearch analyst Paul Gagnon also noted that Apple appears to have put its major television product plans on hold for the time being in order to focus on wearables such as the iWatch.
An official at an Apple display supplier in Korea has told the The Korea Times (via Unwired View) that production of a 12.9-inch Retina Display to be used in the next-generation iPad is underway, with the tablet's release set for early next year. The report states that the 12.9-inch iPad will have an improved display nearing ultra high-definition (UHD) quality, which would be significantly bigger and contain many more pixels than Apple's current 9.7-inch iPad Air.
“Apple’s local first-tier display supplier is now producing a 12.9-inch Retina Display to be used in the new iPad, which will be coming out sometime early next year,” an official at a local Apple supplier in Korea told The Korea Times by telephone Tuesday.

...“The 12.9-inch iPad will have improved picture quality. As the Apple partner intends to boost its lineup for displays that have almost ultra high-definition (UHD) quality, the upcoming iPad will provide very clear quality similar to that of UHD,” said the official.
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Mockup of 12.9-inch iPad next to iPad Air and iPad mini

Reports of a 12.9-inch iPad have surfaced occasionally throughout the past couple of months, with The Wall Street Journal reporting in July that Apple and its suppliers had begun testing screens for a 12.9-inch iPad and a larger iPhone, which followed a sketchy rumor in May that said Apple was launching an "iPad Maxi" to target the ultrabook market. Supply chain research done by NPD DisplaySearch in October also suggested that a 12.9-inch iPad is set for debut next year, though that report did not specify when exactly the tablet would be released.

However, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo countered reports about a larger iPad in a research note last month, stating that he expects the company will instead release a new sixth-generation 9.7-inch iPad with 30%-40% higher pixel density than Apple's current iPad line. Apple just released the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display earlier this month, with the latter experiencing supply constraints, and a new "iPad Pro" would expand the iPad family to encompass three sizes.
A Vodafone retail store in Canberra, Australia was reportedly evacuated earlier this week after an in-store demo iPad "exploded", filling the location with smoke and sparks, reports News.com.au. While no one was harmed during the incident, the iPad reportedly emitted the sparks from its charging port as firefighters were called to the scene to handle the situation. An Apple representative reportedly visited the scene afterwards to investigate the explosion, but Apple has not commented on the incident.

Interestingly, the report originally stated that the device was an iPad Air, but the article has since been revised to simply refer to it as an "iPad" and the device shown in the photo accompanying the article does not appear to have the narrower side bezels seen on the new iPad Air.

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This is not the first time this year that an Apple product was accused of being a safety hazard, as a woman in China suffered eye injuries from her iPhone 5 after it exploded while she was on the phone this past August. Additionally, a Chinese man was left in a coma after receiving an electric shock while charging his iPhone 4 in July, which followed the death of a Chinese woman under similar circumstances.

Both latter incidents apparently involved the use of unauthorized third-party adapters, with Apple responding to the events by establishing an international third-party USB charger "Takeback Program" offering official replacement chargers for $10 to anyone who turns in a suspect adapter.

Apple began selling the iPad Air last Friday in over thirty countries through its official online store and at various other outlets.
Apple's new iPad Air marks a significant technological step forward for the company, improving performance while reducing the device's volume and weight by over 25%. Much of the size and weight savings have been enabled by improved power efficiency, allowing Apple to reduce the device's battery thickness and capacity by roughly the same 25%.

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Component thickness reduction in iPad Air

As noted in IHS iSuppli's component cost analysis released earlier today, the iPad Air now uses just 36 LEDs to light its display, down from as many as 84 in previous generations. Apple has also reduced the thickness of the display assembly, and so it appears that the display is indeed one of the areas where Apple has been able to make the most improvement on size and weight, both in the components themselves and in the battery capacity needed to drive them.

In a new analysis comparing the iPad Air's display to that of the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 and the Google Nexus 10, Ray Soneira of DisplayMate Technologies confirms that Apple has indeed changed display technologies in the iPad Air, moving to indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) semiconductor materials from the amorphous silicon (a-Si) compounds used in previous iPads. While rumors of Apple moving to IGZO for the iPad and other products have circulated for several years, Sharp has experienced difficulties ramping up production and it has taken until now for Apple to bring the technology to its products.

ipad_air_heroAmong the evidence cited by Soneira for his claim that the iPad Air has moved to IGZO technology are power measurements showing that the iPad Air's display offers a 57% improvement in power efficiency compared to previous iPads, a jump that simply would not be possible with a-Si technology. IGZO offers significantly better electron mobility than a-Si, allowing for much lower power requirements. The shift in technology has also enabled other improvements in the display of the iPad Air compared to its predecessor, and Soneira notes that Apple continues to offer an excellent display on its tablet lineup.
Compared to the 4th generation, the screen Reflectance decreased by 23 percent, the Peak Brightness increased by 7 percent, and the Contrast Rating for High Ambient Light increased by 32 percent – all good. Absolute Color Accuracy and Image Contrast fidelity are very good (but somewhat below the Kindle Fire) and are discussed in detail below. The emphasis for the iPad Air is in reduced size, thickness, and weight. The most important under the hood display improvement is the switch from a-Si amorphous Silicon LCDs up to a much higher performance IGZO LCD backplane, which was discussed in our iPad 3 Display Shoot-Out article last year. The switch to IGZO produces an impressive 57 percent improvement in display power efficiency from previous Retina Display iPads – so the iPad Air doesn’t get uncomfortably warm like the earlier iPads.
MacRumors spoke with Soneira about the state of the display industry and Apple's potential plans for the future, and Soneira noted that he expects the Retina iPad mini launching later this month to also adopt IGZO technology. If anything, a move to IGZO is more important on the iPad mini than on the iPad Air due to higher pixel density on the smaller device, with a-Si being infeasible for a Retina display at that size.

While the iPad Air's display is excellent, Soneira notes Apple is no longer at the top of the heap, with Amazon's Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 display actually performing better than the iPad Air's display. This is made possible by Amazon's use of low temperature polysilicon (LTPS) technology, which offers even better performance and lower power requirements than IGZO.

LTPS is commonly used on displays for smaller devices such as the iPhone, but Amazon has pushed the technology to the edge by bringing it to tablet-sized displays despite high costs and complicated production. Apple is unlikely to follow Amazon's lead in the near future, in large part due to scalability issues that simply won't support the tens of millions of tablets Apple is producing each year.

IGZO also offers a more natural transition for display manufacturers, as they can in many cases simply upgrade their existing equipment from current a-Si production, while moving to LTPS would require a complete change in production. IGZO is also just the first of a number of metal oxide semiconductors that show promise for improved display performance, pointing to solid opportunities for the technology to continue to evolve.

Overall, Soneira notes that the iPad Air display has seen a very solid incremental upgrade, although he does have a few quibbles such as the continued presence of an air gap between the display and the cover glass when Apple has been moving toward laminating the two components together in other products. And with Amazon able to pursue LTPS technology for the Kindle Fire HDX due to its smaller size and lower unit volumes, Apple is finding itself facing stiffer competition in displays where it has long been the industry leader.
IHS Suppli has released its estimate of the component costs involved in building the new iPad Air, performing a virtual teardown based on information revealed by Apple and industry knowledge. According to IHS estimates, the component cost of the iPad Air is between $274 and $361 depending on the model, with the base model's components actually totaling $42 less than that of the entry-level third generation iPad last year despite significant technology improvements to reduce size and weight while improving performance. IHS iSuppli did not perform a cost analysis on the fourth-generation iPad, which was released in late 2012.

The estimates from IHS iSuppli cover only the cost of the various components that make up the device and do not include other costs involved in product development, manufacturing, and sales, such as research and development, software, patent licenses, marketing, and distribution expenditures. The full report has not yet been released but AllThingsD received early access.

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The bill of materials includes $90 for the display, $43 for the touchscreen components, $18 for the A7 chip manufactured by Samsung, between $9 and $60 for the Toshiba-made flash memory chips, $10 for the DRAM chips manufactured by Elpida, and $32 for the cellular data network chips made by Qualcomm for the LTE-ready versions of the iPad Air.

IHS analyst Andrew Rassweiler also points to the iPad Air's advances when it comes to supporting various LTE frequencies:
With the iPad Air, Apple appears to have reached a new milestone on the wireless front: It can support every LTE frequency with a single combination of chips. “This is something Apple tried to do with the iPhone 5S and 5C, but it couldn’t quite get there,” Rassweiler says. “One single model of the iPad Air is able to work with all US wireless carriers.”
IHS iSuppli reported last month that iPhone 5s component costs were estimated to begin at $199, with the cheaper iPhone 5c's costs estimated to be starting at $173. The iPad Air was released last Friday with adoption rates reportedly outpacing last year's iPad 4 and iPad mini launches, although Apple has yet to release official sales numbers for the device's opening weekend.

The full IHS Suppli report should be released tomorrow.
ios_7_cellular_hotspot_settingsFor those customers interested in taking advantage of the iPad Air's ability to allow other devices to tap into its LTE data connection, Apple's latest iPad continues to offer a robust 24 hours of battery life as an LTE hotspot, far more than dedicated MiFi hotspot devices, reports AnandTech.

While the 24-hour hotspot battery life is not new to the iPad Air, confirmation of the feature is comforting given that Apple has taken advantage of more efficient technologies to reduce battery capacity in the iPad Air by nearly 25% compared to the previous two generations without compromising performance.
I set the iPad Air up as a personal hotspot, wirelessly tethering it to a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display. I started a constant 100KB/s transfer on the MacBook Pro (2x the transfer rate of my iPad 3 test) and with the iPad Air's display off I measured battery life. Last time I chose 50KB/s as it was the average transfer rate across our old WiFi web browsing battery life test, I doubled the workload to be more reflective of more strenuous demands. In reality I'd expect to see a burstier usage profile, but that's something for me to test down the road.

A total of 24.08 hours and over 8GB of transfers later, the iPad Air finally died. Just like last time, you'll likely burn through your monthly data allotment before you run out of power.
The iPad Air is of course a much larger hotspot solution than dedicated MiFi devices, but for those who may already be carrying an iPad Air to use on its own, it continues to provide a solid option for delivering cellular data access to other nearby Wi-Fi devices.
App marketing service Fiksu has been tracking adoption of Apple's recent products, sharing some interesting data today comparing the new iPad Air to previous iPad launches.

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Two days after the launch of the iPad Air, the new tablet's share of overall iPad activity is five times that of the iPad 4 and more than three times that of the iPad mini following their launches last year. The iPad Air currently represents 0.73% of total active iPads after two days, compared to 0.14% for the fourth-generation iPads and 0.21% for the first-generation iPad mini in the same time frame last year.

One caveat for the comparison to last year's data is that the 2012 launches saw staggered releases for Wi-Fi and cellular models, with cellular models shipping at least two weeks later than Wi-Fi models in the first wave of countries. The data also follows a report from research firm Piper Jaffray Friday showing from a small survey that 75% of surveyed iPad Air purchasers on launch day already owned an iPad, compared to only 58% for last year's iPad mini launch.

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In terms of current usage, the iPad Air's 0.7% share of active iPads still pales in comparison to other models, with the iPad mini, iPad 4, iPad 3, iPad 2, and first-generation iPad making up 20.4%, 22.0%, 17.8%, 38.6% and 0.5% of total iPads respectively.

Fiksu is also tracking adoption of the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, and iOS 7, finding stronger adoption for iOS 7 than was seen with prior versions of iOS. Fiksu's data shows iOS 7 running on 71.2% of total iOS devices, compared to 62% for iOS 6 and 51% for iOS 5 at this same point following their releases.

Lastly, Fiksu's data on iPhone usage shows the iPhone 5s making up 4.6% of total iPhones and the iPhone 5c making up 2.0% of total iPhones. The iPhone 5 still makes up the largest share among all iPhones with a 37.3% market share, followed by the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 with 30.4% and 23.2% shares respectively.
Launch day supplies of the iPad Air in the U.S. appear to be dwindling slightly, with new orders of the tablet in all colors and capacities shipping within 24 hours and carrying a delivery estimate of November 6.

When the iPad Air launched on November 1 at 12:01 AM Pacific Time, Apple declined to provide a shipping estimate, instead offering a blanket November 4 delivery date for all U.S. orders.

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Earlier this morning, in-store supplies of the iPad Air of began weakening at some retail locations, and the T-Mobile Space Gray 128 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad Air was the first model to see its shipping time slip to 5 to 10 business days.

Other countries around the world have also seen dwindling supplies, with some countries seeing 5–10 day shipping times for certain models. Higher capacity iPads and the Space Gray models appear to be selling out the fastest.

Though some stores are seeing less availability of higher end models, in-store supply of the 16 and 32 GB iPad Air remains strong in most areas. Prospective iPad Air buyers in the United States can use Apple-Tracker.com to check on local availability of the iPad Air.
With the iPad Air now having launched in over 40 countries today, supplies of the device are starting to weaken in some of Apple's online and retail stores. The most significant signs of tightening supplies are appearing in higher-capacity models in some countries, specifically 128 GB and 64 GB cellular models and 128 Wi-Fi models. In a number of countries these models are now listed as shipping in 5-10 business days.

Apple's U.S. online store continues to list delivery dates of November 4 for new orders of all models, while those looking to use Personal Pickup to order their devices online and pick them up today at a nearby U.S. Apple retail store will find that supplies are beginning to dry up with increasing combinations of models and stores now listed as "Ships to store" rather than "Available today".

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In countries other than the U.S., Apple's online stores list shipping estimates rather than delivery estimates, and the following combinations of models and countries have seen estimates slipping to 5-10 business days:

- Australia: Cellular 128 GB in space gray

- Austria: Wi-Fi and Cellular 128 GB in both space gray and silver

- Belgium: Wi-Fi 128 GB in space gray

- China: Wi-Fi 16 and 128 GB in space gray, all Wi-Fi models in silver (Cellular models not available yet)

- Czech Republic: Cellular 64 GB and 128 GB models in both space gray and silver, Cellular 32 GB and Wi-Fi 128 GB in silver

- Denmark: Cellular 128 GB in space gray

- Finland: Cellular 128 GB in both space gray and silver

- France: Cellular 128 GB in space gray

- Germany: Wi-Fi and Cellular 128 GB in both space gray and silver

- Hong Kong: All models quickly became unavailable for shipping

- Hungary: Cellular 64 GB and 128 GB models in both space gray and silver, Cellular 32 GB in silver

- Ireland: Cellular 128 GB in both space gray and silver

- Netherlands: Cellular 128 GB in space gray

- Norway: Cellular 128 GB in space gray

- Poland: Wi-Fi and Cellular 128 GB in both space gray and silver

- Portugal: Cellular 128 GB in both space gray and silver, Wi-Fi 128 GB in space gray

- Singapore: Cellular 128 GB in space gray

- Sweden: Cellular 128 GB in both space gray and silver

- Switzerland: Cellular 128 GB in both space gray and silver, Wi-Fi 128 GB in space gray

- UK: Cellular 128 GB in both space gray and silver

Update: U.S. users interested in checking availability of Personal Pickup for various models may want to take advantage of Apple-Tracker.com for a much more efficient method than going through Apple's online store manually for each model.

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Update 2: The Space Gray 128GB iPad Air w/cellular on T-Mobile is the first model to see its shipping time slip on the U.S. store. It is now available to ship in 5-10 business days.
iFixit has performed another one of its traditional high-quality teardowns on the iPad Air. The new iPad is dramatically thinner and lighter compared to the previous models, and also sports a 64-bit A7 chip, an M7 motion compressor, and a Qualcomm MDM9615 LTE modem. Among the details revealed in the teardown:

- The display appears to be manufactured by LG. The Korean company along with Sharp and Samsung are expected to be the primary manufacturers of displays for the iPad Air. But while supplies of the iPad Air are plentiful, LG and Sharp are said to be struggling with low yields of displays for the Retina iPad mini also due for launch this month, with Apple turning to Samsung for help.

- The A7 chip found in the device has a part number of APL5698, which differs than the APL0698 chip found in the iPhone 5s. The processor in the iPad Air is likely the 1.4GHz variant which was discovered in benchmark results earlier this week, and is 100MHz faster when compared to the 1.3GHz variant found in the iPhone 5s. The Apple M7 "motion coprocessor" also makes an appearance in the logic board, with a part number of NXP LPC18A1.

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- 1GB of Elpida DDR3 SDRAM is found within the device but is now housed on one chip, compared to the two Elpida chips that housed the RAM on the fourth-generation iPad.

- The iPad Air now sports a 32.9 Whr two-cell battery, which is smaller than the 43Whr three-cell battery found in the fourth-generation iPad. However, it appears that the same ten-hour battery life from the last generation has been preserved on the new device.

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- As expected, the device contains essentially the same rear 5-megapixel iSight camera found in the previous generation, although with a shorter focal length. The front FaceTime HD camera remains at 1.2 megapixels for 720p quality, but with an improved sensor.

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- Dual microphones are now found on the top edge of the device for noise cancelling capabilities, and are joined by other minor changes including separated volume buttons on the side and stereo speakers on the bottom of the device like that of the original iPad mini.

- Two antennae sporting multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) technology are now included in the iPad Air, with Wi-Fi performance reportedly twice as fast when compared to previous iPads.

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- The device now contains a modular nano-SIM tray for cellular connectivity, changed from the micro-SIM tray found in the previous generation.

- Two Broadcom BCM5976C1KUB6G Touch Screen Controllers are now included in the iPad Air, which is similar to the BCM5976A0KUB2G trackpad controller found in current and previous MacBooks.

As is tradition for iFixit's teardowns, the company has assigned a repairability score to the iPad Air based on the accessibility of the various components. The firm rates the iPad Air's repairability at just 2 out of 10, with positive points for easy LCD accessibility and a non-soldered battery, but the sheer amount of glue and other adhesives used to hold the device together makes repair extremely difficult.
Apple began taking orders for its redesigned thin-and-light iPad Air in the United States, Canada, and Europe at midnight Pacific Time, after the tablet launched earlier today in several Asia Pacific countries. Supply of the iPad Air has been plentiful, with multiple worldwide stores still listing shipping times of 24 hours.

The iPad Air, available in space gray/black and white/silver can be purchased directly from Apple via the Apple Online Store and through the Apple Store iOS App. [Direct Link] The Apple Store app is often the most reliable way to place an order, as it circumvents web traffic. For the first time ever, Apple is accepting Personal Pickup requests in the U.S., allowing customers to reserve an iPad Air online for pickup at a local retail location.

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Initial orders from the Apple Online Store will ship within 24 hours for all colors, carriers, and capacities in Canada and Europe. U.S. online orders list a delivery date of 11/4 rather than a shipping estimate.

In the United States, Apple is selling the 16 GB Wi-Fi only iPad for $499, with incremental storage updates available for an extra $100 and Wi-Fi + Cellular models available for an additional $130. T-Mobile is offering the 16 GB iPad Air for $0 down and 24 monthly payments of $26.25 (additional storage requires a downpayment of $99 for 32 GB or $199 for 64 GB).

Walmart is selling the iPad Air at $479, a discount of $20, and Best Buy will be price matching Walmart's $479 price tag. Target may also be offering the entry-level 16 GB version for $479.

European countries seeing the launch of the iPad Air today include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. Apple's retail stores located in some of those countries will open at 8:00 AM local time to begin selling the device.

In the United States, the iPad Air can be purchased from the following retailers:

Apple:
Apple Online Store
Apple Store iOS App [Direct Link]

Carriers:
AT&T
Verizon
Sprint
T-Mobile

Third-Party Retailers:
Walmart
Target
Best Buy
RadioShack (In-Store Only)
Apple's Online Store is down in the United States and several other countries to prepare for the launch of online sales of the iPad Air. The iPad Air, which will be available to consumers in a few short hours, is Apple's new flagship thin-and-light tablet that comes equipped with an A7 processor, the M7 coprocessor, and upgraded MIMO Wi-Fi.

As Apple prepares to launch the iPad Air, prospective buyers around the country have begun lining up outside of Apple Stores. Supply of the iPad Air is expected to be plentiful, with even some standard mall stores receiving shipments of up to 1000 units.

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The iPad Air launched in several other countries earlier in the day and stock remains steady in those online stores, with shipping times still listed at 24 hours, aside from Hong Kong, where the tablet has sold out.

Apple will be accepting day one Personal Pickup requests for the first time ever with the launch of the iPad Air, which means consumers can reserve an iPad Air online after 12:01 AM and pick it up later that same day.

The Online Apple Store is expected to come online and accept orders at 12:01 AM Pacific Time, or 3:01 AM Eastern Time. In store sales will begin later in the day, at 8 AM local time.
Apple's iPad Air has already gone on sale in multiple countries around the world, including Australia, where Ben Pasternak waited in line to get one of the new ultrathin tablets and filmed his Apple Store launch day experience.


After receiving his iPad Air, Pasternak also filmed an unboxing, giving the world a glimpse of an iPad Air out in the wild. Like other iPads, the iPad Air comes packaged in a sleek white box.


While the iPad Air has already launched in several countries like Australia and Singapore, additional countries across Europe will be able to purchase the tablet in a few short hours. In the United States and Canada, online orders will begin at 12:01 AM Pacific Time with retail sales commencing at 8 AM local time.
After going offline earlier today in advance of today's iPad Air launch, Apple's online stores in the Asia-Pacific region have returned for business.

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In line with reports that supplies would be plentiful, all models of the iPad Air are currently listed as shipping within 24 hours in Australia, China (only Wi-Fi models available), Japan, and Singapore, while Apple's Hong Kong store is listing 1-2 week shipping estimates.

All Apple online stores around the world are currently online, but the company's European stores will be going offline later today in advance of orders going live in a number of countries there. North America will follow several hours later, with orders set to go live in the U.S. and Canada at 12:01 AM Pacific Time.

Update: All iPad Air models in Apple's Hong Kong online store have now moved to "Currently Unavailable". Apple's outlets in Hong Kong invariably see high demand as customers seek to purchase devices there and export them to China. While that impact may be partially muted by the fact that Wi-Fi models are also launching in China itself today, pricing differences mean that the same devices are up to 15% cheaper in Hong Kong than in China.
Ahead of the launch of the iPad Air just hours from now, Apple's online stores in the Asia-Pacific region have been taken offline. Countries in the region where the device will be launching include Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macao, and Singapore, although all online stores in the region are currently down.

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Apple's in-store sales will begin at 8:00 AM local time in countries where the company operates its own stores, and online store outages should work their way across the world later today with separate batches for Europe and North America.

Apple's November 1 launch for the iPad Air is taking place in over 40 countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China (Wi-Fi models only), Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macao (Wi-Fi models only), Macedonia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States.
ipadfamily2013 UK Carrier Three has announced that it will be the first British carrier to offer cellular models of the iPad Air on November 1 and the iPad mini with Retina Display upon its release, reports Engadget.

The carrier will offer an entry-level 1GB data plan starting at £7.50 per month on contract, in addition to the £499 up-front cost for the tablet itself. For £25 a month, the carrier is offering a 15GB data plan, which will also be offered on contract. Initially, celluar models of the iPad Air purchased on the carrier will be restricted to 3G data, as Three will begin rolling out its faster 4G LTE networks in December, with service first launching in London, Birmingham, Manchester, and Reading.

Three also announced that cellular versions of the Retina iPad mini will be avaliable through its services with the same data plans offered alongside iPad Air, however it still remains unclear as to when specific release of the second-generation iPad mini will be due to tight supplies.

The iPad Air will be available beginning on Friday, November 1, with initial online orders beginning at 12:01 AM Pacific Time in the United States and at varying times in other countries. Apple retail locations will open at 8 AM local time on Friday to begin in-store sales.