Tuesday April 22, 2014 8:59 am PDT by Kelly Hodgkins
As part of a larger green initiative to help consumers recycle old iOS devices, Apple is now expanding its Reuse & Recycling program in the U.S. and Canada to include the iPad, reports 9to5Mac. Apple also is making it easier for consumers to purchase new devices with more flexible terms for applying in-store credits obtained when recycling an iOS device.
Previously, Apple's in-store Reuse & Recycling program accepted only iPhone models, which customers could trade-in for a store credit that could be used to purchase a new iPhone. Under this new plan, Apple will accept either an iPad or an iPhone for trade-in and will issue a credit that can be used towards a new purchase.
Customers may apply this credit towards a new iPhone or iPad, regardless of which device they are trading in, and they can even combine iPad and iPhone credits (with a limit of one of each device type) to apply toward the purchase of a new device. For example, a customer could trade-in an iPhone 5 and an iPad 2 to receive credits that can be combined to purchase a new iPad Air.
Apple yesterday confirmed it was expanding its Reuse & Recycling program to include all devices, regardless of their condition. Besides the iPad, Apple will accept for free any broken or older model Apple product providing customers with a way to easily recycle the device responsibly. If a recycled iPhone or iPad has some remaining value as determined by in-store Apple Specialists, Apple will issue a store credit.
This expansion is part of Apple's Earth Day celebration that began with the company's "Better" environmental campaign, which highlighted Apple's environmental efforts across its supply chain, its data centers and in its new Apple Campus 2 project. Apple also is commemorating Earth Day at its retail stores by placing a green leaf on its traditionally white Apple logo and issuing green t-shirts to its retail employees.
Following the leak of an alleged iPhone 6 front panel earlier this week, the iPad is now getting its turn with a pair of photos showing what is said to be a front panel for the next-generation iPad Air, shared by Dutch site One More Thing [Google Translate]. Notably, the part appears to include an integrated display in contrast to the separate panel and display parts used on the current model. A move to an integrated front panel/display would reduce overall thickness, potentially allowing Apple to further slim down the iPad Air or make room for other components such as a slightly larger battery.
MacRumors spoke with iFixit co-founder Kyle Wiens, who noted that the assembly could indeed be legitimate and use a manufacturing process similar to that seen on the Retina MacBook Pro. The move to an integrated panel/display would increase repair costs, but ease of repair has not been a particularly major focus for Apple and the company already uses an integrated display on the iPhone.
The next-generation iPad Air is expected to launch later this year, with notable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicting that upgraded iPad Air and Retina iPad mini models will debut in the third quarter of this year and adopt the Touch ID system introduced on the iPhone 5s last year.
Wednesday April 9, 2014 5:09 pm PDT by Richard Padilla
Apple may be preparing to feature its Touch ID fingerprint sensor on updated models of the iPad Air and Retina iPad mini that will be released later this year, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo states in a new research note.
We think the upgraded iPad Air will be launched earlier in 2014 than the iPad Air was in 2013. The biggest changes will be A8 processor, Touch ID (fingerprint recognition), and main camera resolution of 8MP.
...We previously thought Apple would not release a new version of the iPad mini this year, but we now think Apple will launch an upgraded version with same form factor, A8 processor and Touch ID (fingerprint recognition) to boost shipments of iPad mini with Retina display.
Regarding the next-generation iPad Air, Kuo adds that the tablet will launch at an earlier point than the original iPad Air did in November of last year. Kuo also notes that Apple is likely to cut the price of the existing Retina iPad mini, and that the newer model will feature the same form factor with an upgraded processor and Touch ID fingerprint sensor.
The researcher also once again speaks on the possibility of the long-rumored 12.9-inch iPad, stating that Apple is actively working on the device and gearing it towards uses in entertainment and productivity. However, Kuo notes that the product is unlikely to come out in 2014, falling in line with what he stated in his previous reports from this past February and last October.
Wednesday April 9, 2014 4:29 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple is set to release a slew of new products during the third quarter of 2014 according to KGI securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo, who often provides reliable information on Apple’s product lineup.
In a 2014 product roadmap, Kuo suggests Apple will introduce its first new product of the year, a lower-cost iMac, during the second quarter. Soon after, during the third quarter, Kuo predicts Apple will introduce an upgraded iPad Air and iPad mini, followed by an iWatch in two separate sizes, and a 4.7-inch iPhone.
An upgraded Apple TV set-top box will come somewhat later, as will the rumored 12-inch ultra slim MacBook and upgraded Retina MacBook Pros. Later, in the fourth quarter, Apple will introduce the 5.5-inch iPhone, which is said to be delayed due to issues with in-cell display technology. Along with his roadmap, Kuo also gives specific information on each of Apple’s upcoming products.
- iWatch: Kuo believes the iWatch will ship during the end of the third quarter, offering biometric functionality, integration with the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, and a "fashionable appearance." As has been previously suggested, he predicts the device will come in two sizes, with a 1.3-inch and 1.5-inch flexible AMOLED display. It will also include a sapphire cover lens, biometric recognition, an NFC chip, wireless charging, a 200 to 250 mAh battery, and a slim and light design. Kuo also believes that Apple will offer the iWatch at multiple price points, with the most expensive version costing upwards of $1,000.
- iPhone 6: Supporting previous iPhone 6 rumors, Kuo believes the device will come in two sizes: 4.7 and 5.5-inches, with resolutions of 1334x750 (326ppi) and 1920 x 1080 (401 ppi), respectively. Both models will come with an A8 processor, 1GB of RAM, LTPS display panels, optical image stabilization, and Touch ID. Kuo points to a 10 to 20 percent narrower bezel, a 6.5–7.0mm thickness, metal casings, and NFC integration. Mass shipments of the 4.7-inch version are expected in September, with the 5.5-inch version shipping later. Kuo suggests that only the 64GB 5.5-inch version will use sapphire displays.
- iPad Air 2: The second-generation iPad Air is expected to adopt Touch ID, an A8 processor, and an improved camera with a resolution of eight megapixels. Kuo believes the second iPad Air could come earlier in the year than the previous iPad Air, which was released in October.
- iPad mini with Retina Display: Like the iPad Air, a new Retina mini could gain an A8 processor and Touch ID, but Kuo believes it will retain the same form factor. He also suggests that the older iPad mini with Retina display could be sold at a lower cost.
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro: Kuo believes that Apple is indeed working on a 12.9-inch iPad, but he does not expect it to be launched in 2014.
- 12-inch MacBook Air: As rumored, Apple is believed to be preparing an ultrathin MacBook Air that incorporates a touchpad without buttons and functions without a fan. It is also expected to include a higher-resolution display.
- iMac: A lower-priced iMac is believed to be on the horizon, which Kuo says could help boost iMac shipments by up to 23 percent. It could be Apple’s first product launch of the year.
- Apple TV: Apple is not expected to launch a full television set this year, but an upgraded set top box with an App Store and motion control technology is expected.
While Kuo’s predictions do include many rumors that have previously surfaced over the past several months from a variety of sources, his roadmap gives a solid overview of what we might expect from Apple in 2014. We've also broken out several of his predictions into individual posts that can be found here: iWatch, iPad, iPhone 6, MacBook Air.
Friday March 21, 2014 6:30 am PDT by Kelly Hodgkins
A new report by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) suggests iPad owners replace their tablets less frequently than their iPhone-owning counterparts, who upgrade almost every two years. The longer iPad replacement cycle may be more like the Mac, which tends to be replaced every 2-4 years, or possibly even televisions which have a five to 10-year ownership span. (Via Fortune)
The CIRP report, which surveyed 2,000 U.S. customers who purchased an iPhone, iPad or Mac in 2013, shows that almost half of iPad owners will go without their tablet, waiting a week or more to replace a broken, lost or stolen device. They also are twice as likely as iPhone owners to give their older iPad to friends or family members.
"We think Apple would prefer the iPad become a big iPhone," the report concludes. "We suspect, though, based on recent CIRP data about how buyers use them, that it's as much like a Mac, TV, or iPod, with less frequent replacement."
This replacement rate could affect future sales, driving them down as the tablet market becomes saturated. In this scenario, consumers would hold onto an iPad for a longer period of time, and future first-time iPad owners would be more likely to receive an older iPad than buy a new one.
Even as competition increases and the tablet market slows, Apple still is the top tablet vendor worldwide with 36 percent market share, according to Gartner's March 2014 report. The Cupertino company sold a record 26 million iPads in Q1 2014 and 195 million tablets overall.
Tuesday March 18, 2014 6:26 am PDT by Kelly Hodgkins
After the fourth-generation iPad reappeared on Apple's online storefront earlier today, the company has issued a press release confirming the return of the device to the company's product lineup. The iPad with Retina Display will replace the iPad 2 as the company's entry-level full-sized tablet option.
“Now for $399 customers can get iPad with a stunning 9.7-inch Retina display, fast A6X chip, and 5MP iSight camera, offering a dramatic upgrade in power, performance and value compared to the iPad 2 it replaces,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The iPad line sets the gold-standard in mobile computing and all iPads have access to the largest and best ecosystem of more than 500,000 iPad optimized apps from the App Store.”
The 16 GB WiFi-only iPad 4 is available for $399, while the WiFi + Cellular model starts at $529 in the U.S., with both black and white color options available. The iPad with Retina Display will be sold through the Apple Online Store, Apple's retail stores and select Authorized Apple Resellers. Customers looking for additional storage capacity beyond 16 GB must purchase the iPad Air, which is available in 16, 32, 64 and 128 GB options.
In line with earlier rumors, Apple today also started selling a new 8 GB iPhone 5c in select countries. The new 8 GB model with five color options is available in Apple's UK online store for £429 unlocked, making it £40 cheaper than the comparable 16 GB model.
Distribution of the new lower-capacity model is, however, rather limited, with Apple confirming to Fortune's Philip Elmer-DeWitt that the 8 GB model will only be available in the UK, France, Germany, Australia, and China.
Tuesday March 18, 2014 1:55 am PDT by Richard Padilla
As indicated by multiplereports yesterday, Apple has officially launched an 8 GB version of the iPhone 5c and relaunched a 16 GB version of the previously-discontinued fourth-generation iPad. The 8 GB iPhone 5c is currently being sold in Apple's European Online Stores for £429 unlocked in all of the existing color options, where it is £40 cheaper than the 16 GB model and is expected to become available in the U.S. later today. The 16 GB iPad 4 is available worldwide and retails in Apple's U.S. Online Store for $399, while customers may also purchase a cellular version for $130 more at $529.
The relaunch of the 16 GB iPad 4 has resulted in Apple discontinuing the three-year-old iPad 2, although the company's European stores still currently show the iPhone 4S being sold alongside the new 8 GB iPhone 5c.
Apple's iPhone 5c has seen lower-than-expected sales since its debut last September due to high demand for the flagship iPhone 5s. The move also comes amid a renewed push by Apple to promote the iPhone 5c, as the company has debuted a new set of playful dot-centric for the phone on popular blogging platform Tumblr as well as the front page of Yahoo.com and in recent issues of The New York Times.
Meanwhile, the iPad 4 has been brought back into Apple's lineup after being removed in favor of the iPad Air last October. However, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted in February that the company would shift from the iPad 2 to the iPad 4, as the latter sports Apple's A6X chip and 1GB memory compared to the former's A5 processor and 512 MB of memory.
Both devices are available to order from Apple's Online Store or through the company's retail locations.
Friday March 14, 2014 8:34 am PDT by Kelly Hodgkins
Apple has "shelved" its plans to produce a larger-sized tablet, according to a report from Digitimes. Nicknamed the "iPad Pro", the 12.9-inch tablet was rumored to be under development with a launch date possible early next year.
Apple's alleged move comes as these larger tablets face hurdles because the form factors are not compatible with the existing ecosystems, forcing manufacturers to scale back on their plans, claims Digitimes.
However, most of the large-size tablet projects face difficulties because of lack of support from related platform developers and ecosystems. Apple has also been said to shelved its large-size tablet project.
Mockup of a 12.9-inch iPad next to a 13-inch MacBook Air
It is unclear whether Apple having "shelved" the iPad Pro is a permanent move or if the company is simply taking a wait-and-see attitude with the project for the time being.
Rumors of the iPad Pro first surfaced last May with a claimed early 2014 launch timeframe, but while a number of other sources have weighed in with their own claims about the device including word that production on the device's display had already begun, targets for the device's launch have slipped over time. Most recently, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has frequently offered accurate information on Apple's product plans, suggested last month that while the iPad Pro remained under development, its launch would likely not come this year.
As rumors of a larger iPad gained steam throughout the latter half of 2013, Samsung moved to introduce its own product with the launch of a 12.2-inch tablet early this year.
Digitimes has a mixed track record with its reporting, frequently obtaining accurate information from within Apple's supply chain, but on occasion seeming to misinterpret that information.
Tuesday February 18, 2014 4:40 am PST by Kelly Hodgkins
Apple has released another story in its current "Your Verse" ad campaign for the iPad Air that showcases the extraordinary use of the tablet in a variety of situations. This latest edition shows how mountaineers Adrian Ballinger and Emily Harrington have used the iPad when scaling some of the world's most renowned mountains.
Ballinger and Harrington are shown using the iPad from base camp to summit, documenting their trip with photos and blog posts. Instead of waiting weeks to share their adventure, the pair used the iPad to provide expedition details as they happened. The iPad was also used for terrain mapping the terrain and route planning through treacherous mountain regions.
"Not long ago, they relied on outdated or inaccurate paper maps to inform their plan of attack. Sometimes maps of these areas didn’t even exist. But now with iPad and the Gaia GPS topography app, they can see remote mountain regions in great detail."
"Five years ago, it was hard to even get a paper map of some of these places. Now with the iPad it’s remarkable how much we can plan ahead," said Ballinger.
Mountain expeditions are only one of several stories highlighted by Apple. An earlier documentary shows how the iPad was used by biologist Michael Berumen to study underwater coral reefs, while other shorter profiles that encompass a variety of disciplines were summarized in the recent "Your Verse" ad. The "Your Verse" series is a continuation of the "Life on iPad" ad campaign that Apple kicked off last year.
Monday February 17, 2014 5:31 pm PST by Richard Padilla
A concept video of a 13-inch "iPad Pro" running a full version of OS X has been posted by Italian consulting company SET Solution (via Funky Space Monkey). The iPad in the video is depicted as having a large form factor with very thin bezels, and is shown displaying OS X Mountain Lion with touch controls. The video also shows off the ability to easily connect an Apple Wireless Keyboard and Magic Mouse to the iPad, enabling a full desktop-like environment.
The possibility of Apple combining OS X and iOS into one unified platform has been a popular topic of discussion recently, as both have begun to share a common sense of design principles. However, an interview with Apple executives Phil Schiller and Craig Federighi in Macworld last month revealed that the company sees the combination iOS and OS X as a "non-goal", with the former saying that the effort would be a "waste of energy" and the latter saying that Apple is focused on building the best products for unique purposes.
Despite this public dismissal, J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz predicted earlier this month that Apple is indeed working on a platform that combines OS X and iOS, which is termed as "iAnywhere." Specifically, the analyst states that the combo operating system would work in tandem with an iOS device docked to a secondary display, running as a full-blown computer. Various other companies have experimented with dual operating systems and other hybrid solutions in the past, but mostly to no acclaim from the general public.
Overall, it is unlikely that Apple will debut a tablet running a full version of OS X as seen in the video or a combo operating system anytime soon. However, recentreports do point to Apple releasing a 12.9-inch iPad running a next-generation version of iOS sometime in the future, with a launch projected for late this year or early next year.
Saturday February 15, 2014 4:56 pm PST by Richard Padilla
Apple may be preparing to introduce an upgraded iPad Air this year and will likely hold off the release of a 12.9-inch "iPad Pro" and a newer iPad mini until next year, KGI Securities Ming-Chi Kuo states in a new research note. The analyst believes that a new iPad Air with an A8 processor and Touch ID fingerprint sensor will be the only new tablet that Apple introduces this year, as the company focuses on shifting its resources from the Retina iPad Mini towards developing the 12.9-inch iPad. Kuo estimates that the larger iPad will debut early next year or late this year with limited supply.
12.9-inch iPad (left) with 13-inch MacBook Air (right)
Compared with lower-margin iPad mini with Retina display, which shipments has been tepid, higher-margin iPad Air was a hot selling item in 4Q13, which will slow Apple in developing new iPad mini models. We believe Apple plans to launch upgraded iPad Air early this year, and will accelerate development of 12.9” iPad. As such, more resources will be allocated to these two products, which will affect the progress of the development of new iPad mini. All told, we think chances of the debut of a new iPad mini in 2H14 are slim. In addition, the 12.9” iPad is unlikely to be offered in 2014. For these reasons, we predict the only new iPad product in 2H14 will be the upgraded iPad Air.
In his research note, Kuo also states that the 12.9-inch iPad will act as a driver in allowing developers to create more interactive apps for a bigger screen. However, the analyst notes that Apple has prioritized developing the operating system for the iWatch this year, with plans to release its smart watch in 2014. Kuo also predicts that Apple will restart mass production of the iPad 4 in Q1 2014 as Apple looks to wind down iPad 2 production after a three-year run, which was reported earlier this week. Overall, the analyst predicts the iPad shipments will fall from 34 million units in the 1st half of 2013 to below 30 million units in the first half of 2014.
Kuo shared similar thoughts on the possibility of a 12.9-inch iPad last October, stating that the sixth-generation iPad would contain a 30-40% higher pixel density instead of a bigger screen. Various reports throughout the past couple of months have stated that Apple is targeting a late Q3 2014 launch for the iPad Pro, with some indicating that the device could be aimed toward the enterprise market.
Thursday February 13, 2014 6:28 am PST by Eric Slivka
Apple is winding down production of the iPad 2 as customer interest in the legacy device dwindles, according to a report from AppleInsider. First introduced in early 2011, the iPad 2 has remained in Apple's product lineup as a lower-price option even as newer iPad models have been discontinued.
According to people familiar with Apple's plans, the company has made the decision to ramp down iPad 2 production given that customers are resoundingly shifting purchases towards its more modern and capable iPads, namely the iPad mini and iPad Air.
Apple continues to sell 16 GB iPad 2 models priced at $399 for Wi-Fi only and $529 for Wi-Fi + Cellular for the time being, coming in $100 lower than corresponding iPad Air models. There is no word yet, however, on just when Apple plans to stop selling the iPad 2 as its stocks wind down.
The iPad 2 remained popular even up until the launch of the iPad Air, with educational institutions and other specialized markets preferring the device for a combination of its lower price and its compatibility with numerous accessories through the legacy 30-pin dock connector. But with the introduction of the dramatically thinner iPad Air and Retina display-equipped iPad mini late last year, sales of the iPad 2 dropped dramatically and the company has apparently decided that continued production is not worthwhile.
Wednesday February 12, 2014 7:35 am PST by Eric Slivka
As Apple continues its quest to make its iOS devices thinner and lighter, the company will take advantage of advancements in LED backlighting technology to shift to thinner components for the iPhone 6 and upcoming iPad models, according to a report from LEDinside, a division of research firm TrendForce.
The report notes that a thinner design will see Apple shifting from 0.6 mm thick side-view LED backlights to 0.4 mm thick modules, but also questionably claims that the iPhone 6 will arrive in June. The iPhone 6 is generally expected to arrive in the same September-October timeframe seen in recent years.
According to sources from Apple supply chain, the iPhone 6 is likely to be released in June 2014, and will have larger monitor size of 4.7”. Industry insiders also projected the iPhone 6 will have a much lighter frame, which will lead to upgrades in LED backlight specs. In the previous generation, the iPhone used 0.6t side-view type LED, in contrast the new iPhone will probably be adopting 0.4t side-view type LED.
Apple has been rumored to be increasing display size for the iPhone 6, and while LEDinside's report only mentions a 4.7-inch model, a number of other claims have included an even larger model at 5.5-5.7 inches. Larger displays will undoubtedly lead to larger device bodies, but that extra height and width could give Apple more room to spread out components and reduce device thickness from the current 7.6 mm of the iPhone 5s, and thinner backlights could aid that goal in an industry where fractions of a millimeter count.
LEDinside claims that similar changes are coming for the iPad, particularly with a rumored 12-inch model. According to the report, new iPads will see their backlights shift to 0.6 mm thick modules from the current 0.8 mm components.
Thursday January 30, 2014 3:58 pm PST by Jordan Golson
A rumored 12.9-inch iPad may still have significant development time left, according to an analyst at IHS, a supply chain research firm. According to CNET, IHS analyst Rhoda Alexander said there were a number of different larger panels, that could be potentially for a larger iPad, floating around display manufacturers -- but not in volumes necessary for an imminent launch.
"Some manufacturers over the last six months have received sample quantities of a larger panel. They're playing around with a product that could possibly be an iPad-related product," she told CNET in a phone interview.
"Various sizes are being reported with 12.85 inches being one of the sizes," she said.
Mockup of 12.9-inch iPad next to iPad Air and iPad mini
Alexander went on to say that IHS did not see significant shipments of any of the larger panels, and suggested that there may not be a market for iPads larger than the current 9.7-inch model. "We have to get a lot further down the line in terms of seeing really strong indicators from Apple that such a product exists, and we're just not at that point."
According to a research report from Evercore analyst Patrick Wang, Apple's larger iPad may be aimed at the enterprise market. Recent rumors have indicated that the 12.9-inch iPad will launch no earlier than the third quarter of 2014.
Wednesday January 29, 2014 6:01 am PST by Eric Slivka
Following its mobile phone report earlier this week, research firm IDC has published its estimates of tablet shipments for the fourth quarter of 2013, showing that Apple continues to lead the market with roughly one-third of all shipments.
Worldwide tablet shipments in 4Q13 in millions of units (Source: IDC)
Apple's share of the market has generally declined over the past two years amid the proliferation of low-cost Android tablets, particularly unbranded "whitebox" devices in the Chinese market. The holiday quarter with refreshed iPads did, however, allow Apple to raise its share of the market to 33.8 percent from 29.7 percent in the previous quarter.
Apple once again led the worldwide market for tablets, shipping 26 million units during the quarter, up from 14.1 million the previous quarter and 22.9 million in 4Q12. While the quarter represented the company's most successful on record, its year-over-year growth of 13.5% was well below the industry average. The numbers bring into focus the challenges the company faces as it attempts to grow its tablet business in markets outside of its traditional mature-market strongholds and in the face of continued success from competitors both large and small.
Apple saw its worldwide tablet market share for the quarter grow to 33.8%, up from 29.7% in the third quarter but down from its 38.2% share in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Apple's iPad shipments (red) and share of worldwide tablet shipments (blue) for 2Q11–4Q13 (Source: IDC)
As always, it is important to note that IDC's numbers track shipments instead of sales, and thus how many shipped devices are making their way into consumers' hands remains unclear. IDC's figures are also estimates, as most companies do not release their exact tablet shipment data and thus research firms must rely on supply chain data and calculations from information that is made public by manufacturers to build their estimates.
Tuesday January 28, 2014 5:57 am PST by Kelly Hodgkins
Industry-wide notebook shipments will continue to decline in 2014, claims NPD DisplaySearch. Revised estimates predict shipments from all vendors, including Apple, will reach 134 million units, down from an earlier estimate of 152 million unit.
One factor contributing to this decline is the expected Q3 2014 launch of Intel's upcoming Broadwell CPU. Intel confirmed in its latest earnings conference call that its Broadwell chipset will enter production in Q1 2014 and become available in the second half of 2014. Slowing PC demand and yield issues forced Intel to delay Broadwell by at least a quarter from its original timetable, with that delay likely contributing further weakness in the PC market. Intel's Haswell processor line, the company's current CPU family and predecessor to Broadwell, was released in June 2013 and landed in the MacBook Air during the same month.
DisplaySearch also cites the rumored 12.9-inch iPad, wearables and the convergence of mobile and desktop operating systems as market forces that could shift consumers away from notebook PCs.
At the same time, the expected launch of a 12.9” iPad from Apple could trigger growth in larger tablet PC screen sizes, leading to even more competition for potential notebook PC buyers. In addition, wearable devices and other new concepts are expected to compete for consumer spending during the holiday season and beyond. Finally, the trend toward user-interface fusion and operating-system integration will offer a more seamless working platform between mobile devices and PCs, which would further extend mobile device advantages for businesses.
Despite a declining market, Mac sales in the just-ending quarter were strong, increasing from 4.06 million units in Q1 2013 to 4.8 million in Q1 2014. Mac net sales accounted for 11% of the company's revenue for the quarter, up slightly from 10% a year ago.
Wednesday January 22, 2014 6:24 am PST by Kelly Hodgkins
Apple today added two new 30-second video advertisements, "Sound Verse" and "Light Verse," to its YouTube channel. The pair are part of Apple's new ad campaign that focuses on how people are using the iPad for music, mountaineering and more. The uploaded clips, which have been airing on television for several days, are shortened versions of the original 90-second "Your Verse" ad that debuted during the NFL playoffs earlier this month.
As their names imply, almost every scene in the "Light Verse" ad includes sunlight or the use of light in the scenes, while the "Sound Verse" clip features the power of sound.
Apple also launched a companion website called "Your Verse" that takes a closer look at how the people in the advertisements are using the iPad in innovative ways, a familiar theme that Apple has promoted in the past. Late last year, the company debuted its "Life on iPad" video and companion website that showcase the many ways the iPad is transforming the home and the office.
Wednesday January 22, 2014 5:12 am PST by Kelly Hodgkins
Apple will announce its next quarterly earnings on Monday, January 27, and ahead of the announcement analysts are releasing their iPhone and iPad sales estimates for this holiday quarter. As we noted earlier this week, analysts predict record quarterly sales of 55 million iPhones, a 16% increase over the same quarter last year. A follow-up report today from Philip Elmer-Dewitt of Fortune suggests sales of the iPad will grow 10% year-over-year to also set a new record for Apple.
Elmer-Dewitt surveyed iPad sales estimates from 45 analysts, including 28 professionals and 17 amateurs. Estimates range from 21 million to 28 million units, with an average of 25 million units.
The average estimate among all the analysts is 25 million iPads, up 10% from the same quarter last year.
The indies, as usual, are a bit more bullish than the pros. As a group, they're looking for 16% growth, compared with the Street's 8%. Unless they've updated their numbers, four sell-side analysts -- Cowan's Timothy Arcuri, Credit Suisse's Kulbinder Garcha, Citi's Glen Yeung and CLSA's Avi Silver -- still expect Apple to report a drop in iPad sales.
Early metrics from the holiday season mirror these analyst expectations. By one count, the iPad lineup collectively accounted for 18% of Target's Black Friday sales, while the iPad mini was a top seller at Walmart. The App Store also experienced a spike in interest on Christmas day, with revenue increasing by 56 percent and the total number of downloads growing by 53 percent.
Apple will be reporting its quarterly earnings on January 27, 2014 after the close of trading, at approximately 4:30 PM Eastern / 1:30 PM Pacific. MacRumors will have full coverage of Apple's earnings release and the associated conference call taking place at 5:00 PM Eastern / 2:00 PM Pacific.
Friday January 17, 2014 5:29 am PST by Kelly Hodgkins
As outlined in our feature highlighting Apple's possible product plans for 2014, a number of rumors have suggested Apple may be working on a 12.9-inch iPad model that could launch later this year. The company is allegedly accelerating development on this device in response to Samsung's introduction of two competing 12.2-inch tablet models, with market sources cited by Digitimes claiming that Apple is now prepping the so-called "iPad Pro" for a late Q3 2014 launch at the earliest.
Mockup of 12.9-inch iPad next to iPad Air and iPad mini
The claim that Apple's timeline is motivated by a perceived need to match Samsung's recent introductions seems doubtful given that Apple has routinely taken its time coming to market even in the face of competitors rushing to beat Apple to its own rumored products, but at a minimum the claimed launch target offers one more data point for those trying to predict a release. Some sources have predicted a launch as soon as early this year but such a timeline seems very unlikely given the absence of part leaks and other substantiating evidence.
Earlier reports suggested the 12.9-inch iPad Pro could be a hybrid device that would appeal to enterprise customers looking for a machine that bridges the gap between tablet and notebook. Based on display panels currently under development in the supply chain, research firm DisplaySearch believes that the iPad Pro could ship with a 12.9-inch Retina display with a resolution of 2732 x 2048 and 265 ppi.
Besides the iPad Pro, Digitimes' sources unsurprisingly also claim Apple is working on new 7.9-inch and 9.7-inch models to replace the current Retina iPad mini and iPad Air. These models will likely debut in Q3 2014, keeping with Apple's current late fall release schedule for the iPad. Demand for the iPad is expected to be strong again in 2014 with the company selling between 80 and 90 million units over the course of the year.
Wednesday January 15, 2014 5:39 am PST by Kelly Hodgkins
Research firm DisplaySearch has once again tapped its sources in the display supply chain to assess what panel sizes and resolutions are currently under development, using that information to speculate on the display technology that may land in Apple's iPhone 6, new iPad and rumored iWatch. According to the firm's latest report, the iPhone 6 and iPad may receive size and resolution boosts in line with circulating rumors, while the iWatch could sport a flexible AMOLED display.
On the high end of the spectrum, DisplaySearch analyst David Hsieh predicts the iPhone 6 could ship with a 5.5-inch display that has a 1920 x 1080 resolution, yielding a density of 401 pixels per inch (ppi). The display would be a LTPS (low-temperature polysilicon) TFT LCD, which is the same technology used in a number of previous iPhone models. Another possibility is a smaller 4.7-inch LTPS screen with 1600 x 900 resolution and 386 ppi. Either configuration would bump the iPhone 6 up from the 4-inch, 1136 x 640 display found in the iPhone 5s, and a previous report has suggested that Apple could release both sizes.
On the iPad side of the equation, Apple may increase the size of the tablet and introduce a 12.0-inch "iPad Pro" model. This echoes several previous reports in recent months claiming that an oversized iPad with a 12.9-inch Retina display is entering production and may launch as soon as early 2014. There have, however, been no part leaks supporting the existence of such a device so far.
According to DisplaySearch, the 12.9-inch "iPad Pro" model could include a display with a resolution of 2732 x 2048 and 265 ppi, edging out the 12.2-inch panel Samsung introduced in its new Galaxy Tab Pro and Note Pro tablets. The Samsung models ship with a 12.2-inch display that has a 2560 x 1600 resolution and 247 ppi.
DisplaySearch also reiterates an earlier claim that the iWatch may ship in two different sizes. The firm's forecast predicts the Cupertino company may adopt a 1.3-inch display for women and a larger 1.6-inch display for men. Both sizes would sport a 320 x 320 resolution and would use flexible AMOLED technology. Rumors suggest Apple may debut its iWatch product sometime in 2014.
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