Friday November 8, 2013 6:16 am PST by Richard Padilla
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.
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.
Tuesday November 5, 2013 11:09 am PST by Eric Slivka
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%.
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.
Among 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.
Tuesday November 5, 2013 5:31 am PST by Richard Padilla
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.
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.
Monday November 4, 2013 6:34 am PST by Eric Slivka
For 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.
Sunday November 3, 2013 8:37 pm PST by Richard Padilla
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.
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.
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.
Friday November 1, 2013 12:30 pm PDT by Juli Clover
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.
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.
Friday November 1, 2013 8:18 am PDT by Eric Slivka
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".
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:
- 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.
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.
Friday November 1, 2013 6:50 am PDT by Richard Padilla
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Friday November 1, 2013 12:01 am PDT by Juli Clover
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.
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.
Thursday October 31, 2013 10:05 pm PDT by Juli Clover
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.
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.
Thursday October 31, 2013 6:01 pm PDT by Juli Clover
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.
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.
Thursday October 31, 2013 8:01 am PDT by Eric Slivka
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.
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.
Thursday October 31, 2013 12:39 am PDT by Richard Padilla
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.
Wednesday October 30, 2013 5:51 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Both Apple Retail Stores and Apple resellers have begun receiving iPad Air stock to prepare for Friday’s launch, reports 9to5Mac. Shipments have begun showing up at Apple Stores and third party locations such as Walmart.
According to the site, major Apple retail locations across the United States are getting more than 500 units of the iPad Air, suggesting that supplies of the tablet will be plentiful, as we initially reported earlier this week. International stores are also receiving decent quantities of the iPad Air.
We've heard similar from resellers of iPads internationally with some chains indicating that they will have a solid number of iPad Airs on tap for Friday. These stores say even more supply is promised for the next couple of weeks…
Due to seemingly adequate supplies of the iPad Air, Apple will reportedly accept requests for Personal Pickup, allowing prospective buyers to reserve an iPad Air online beginning at 12:01 AM Pacific Time and pick it up at an Apple Store later that same day, avoiding lines.
Online orders for the iPad Air will begin 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 in the U.S. and other countries in order to begin in-store sales. Third party outlets, such as Walmart, Best Buy, and Target, will also offer the iPad Air beginning on Friday.
Apple's iPad Air, which features a Retina display, an A7 processor, and an all new thin-and-light design, will be available in white/silver and black/space gray and begins at $499 for the entry-level 16 GB Wi-Fi only model with a $100 price increase for additional storage options up to 128 GB and an extra $129 for comparable cellular models.
Wednesday October 30, 2013 10:58 am PDT by Juli Clover
The iPad Air's graphics performance was 40 to 70 percent better than its predecessor in benchmarks conducted by AnandTech in an extensive review of the new tablet. Like the iPhone 5s, the iPad Air incorporates an A7 chip with IMG's PowerVR G6430 graphics processing unit (GPU), which is estimated to have a max GPU clock of 450 Mhz.
In T-Rex HD game simulation benchmarks, the iPad Air performed up to 75 percent better than the fourth-generation iPad and up to 36 percent better in the 3DMark Ice Storm benchmark. GPU gains over the iPad 4 were as high as 60 percent in 3DMark's GPU-specific benchmark suite.
While the iPad Air outperformed the iPad 4 in the majority of tests, there was a decline in triangle rate performance in the new model, though AnandTech has yet to see any real world impact from this change.
Along with significant improvements in GPU performance, the iPad Air has also shown huge gains in processing power. In Geekbench 3 benchmarks published today, the iPad Air was found to be twice as fast as the iPad 4.
AnandTech has a full review of the iPad Air that includes an array of benchmarks comparing the GPU performance of the iPad Air, the fourth-generation iPad, the iPhone 5s, the iPad mini, and several competing Android tablets. It's well worth a read to see the full scope of the iPad Air's performance improvements over both its predecessor and other tablets on the market.
Wednesday October 30, 2013 2:00 am PDT by Richard Padilla
John Poole of Primate Labs has revealed Geekbench 3 benchmarks for the new iPad Air, revealing that the device's 64-bit A7 chip is running at 1.4 GHz, scoring a 1465 on the single-core test and a 2643 on the multi-core test.
True to Apple's claims, the iPad Air benchmarks about twice as fast as the 4th generation iPad, with the A7 processor found in the new iPad coming in at 100MHz faster than the 1.3 GHz A7 chip found on the iPhone 5s. Poole claims that this is likely due to a number of factors such as a larger battery in the iPad Air that provides more power and a larger chassis that provides better cooling. Poole also notes that he expects the upcoming iPad mini with Retina Display to use the same A7 chip running at 1.4 GHz.
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.
Tuesday October 29, 2013 6:22 pm PDT by Juli Clover
At its October 22 iPad-centric event, Apple provided multiple publications with iPad Air review units. The embargo on reviews has just been lifted, which means several sites are now posting their thoughts on the thinner, lighter iPad Air. We've gathered some relevant excerpts from each site in order to highlight the general release reaction to Apple's newest iPad.
It's very hard to describe how good the iPad Air feels in your hand without actually picking one up. It’s kind of like the first time you saw a Retina display for the first time—shock.
This smaller size is great. If you have decent sized hands you can type with two thumbs on the iPad in portrait, something I wasn’t really able to do with the last generation iPad without a lot of stretching. Clearly a full-size iPad is not something you will be thumb typing with all the time, but it does give you an idea of how much smaller the iPad Air is.
In a feat of design and engineering, Apple has slashed the iPad’s weight by 28%, made it 20% thinner and 9% narrower, while increasing its speed and retaining the brilliant, 9.7-inch Retina display.
The new iPad weighs just 1 pound, down from 1.4 pounds for the previous top-of-the-line model, the iPad 4, which is being discontinued.
And it has done all this while maintaining the iPad's industry-leading battery life. In my tests, the iPad Air far exceeded Apple's claim of 10 hours of battery life. For over 12 hours, it played high-definition videos, nonstop, with the screen at 75% brightness, with Wi-Fi on and emails pouring in. That’s the best battery life I’ve ever recorded for any tablet.
Yes, as strange as it may sound, the latest iPad is actually just a larger version of the 7.9-inch mini. It's as if the smaller device -- which launched at the same time as the fourth-gen iPad -- was a pilot test for Jony Ive's new design language. Calling it the "Air" was fitting indeed, since it's ridiculously small and light compared to previous models.
It measures 7.5mm thick and weighs only one pound (1.03 pounds, to be exact), making it 1.9mm thinner and 0.43 pound lighter than the iPad 4. Apple's also trimmed the left and right bezel by roughly 8mm on each side. If that doesn't sound significant, just hold the Air for a minute and then pick up an older iPad; the difference is immediately noticeable. Simply put, the iPad Air is the most comfortable 10-inch tablet we've ever used.
Its light weight and thin form mean it gets out of the way – you don’t notice it, but you notice what you're doing on it. That, potentially, unleashes a new generation of tablet-based productivity. The fact that Apple is now giving away even more software means that perhaps the rebranding is, therefore, more than simply a marketing exercise. Air may yet be the oxygen for a new wave of uses for the iPad.
As it happens, though, this latest full-size Apple tablet is the most tempting iPad yet, better than its already best of breed predecessors, superior still to each and every rival big screen slate that I've tested. Apple dominates the tablet apps ecosystem. Its tablet remains the easiest to use.
In a side-by-side comparison against its immediate predecessor, the new iPad indeed opened apps more quickly and booted up and shut down slightly faster, though not to such a degree that I expect most people to notice.
What you may not know is this: Those 6.4 ounces make all the difference when, as you recline while reading or watching a movie, you conk out and the iPad falls forward to bonk you on the nose. The Air won't hurt you the way the old iPad did.
The weight reduction and a 20 percent slimmer profile provide other benefits, too. My messenger bag strap didn’t dig into my shoulder as deeply when my iPad was in it. My hand didn’t cramp up while grasping the iPad Air for an hour while watching movies or playing games.
Apple's iPad Air will be available to the public 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.
Monday October 28, 2013 11:43 am PDT by Juli Clover
When Apple launches orders for the iPad Air on Friday, November 1, the company will reportedly accept requests for Personal Pickup, according to a source who notified MacRumors about Apple's plans.
With Personal Pickup, prospective buyers can reserve an iPad Air online beginning at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time and pick it up at a nearby Apple retail location later that same day without waiting in line.
Launch day availability of Personal Pickup is unusual for Apple, as the company did not offer the choice for the iPad 2, the last tablet that was offered without pre-orders. Apple also did not initially offer in-store pickup of the iPhone 5c, despite the fact that supplies of the phone were readily available.
Though Apple has elected not to accept pre-orders for the iPad Air, it appears that supplies of the tablet are plentiful, with no significant shortages expected. And while supplies of the iPad Air do not appear to be constrained, the same cannot be said for Apple's Retina iPad mini. The tablet, which does not yet have a solid release date, may not be widely available until early 2014.
Revealed last Tuesday, the new iPad Air weighs in at a pound and is 20 percent thinner and 28 percent lighter than Apple's previous fourth-generation iPad. Along with a Retina display, it includes an A7 processor, an M7 motion coprocessor, and a 5-megapixel rear camera.
Available in white/silver and black/space gray, the iPad Air begins at $499 for the entry-level 16 GB Wi-Fi only model with a $100 price increase for additional storage options up to 128 GB and an extra $129 for comparable cellular models.
While online orders will be accepted beginning at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time in the United States and at varying times in other countries, Apple retail locations will open at 8 a.m. local time in the U.S. and other countries in Europe and Asia to begin in-store sales.
Monday October 28, 2013 8:13 am PDT by Eric Slivka
While a number of accessory companies announced their lineups for the new iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display last week following Apple's media event, one big name in the business, Logitech, remained silent. The company has, however, now revealed its plans for the iPad Air in announcing a series of three keyboard case/cover accessories and a simple folio-style case for the new device.
The three keyboard products each feature a built-in Bluetooth keyboard with maximized key size for a fast and fluid typing experience. The Logitech Folio Protective Case offers tablet protection without a keyboard, and is Logitech’s thinnest and lightest folio for the iPad Air.
The new products include the following:
- FabricSkin Keyboard Folio ($149.99): Water-resistant and wipe-clean surface offers a Bluetooth keyboard with full-size keys and extra shortcut keys for fast access to system function. The case weighs just 0.9 pounds and measures 0.7 inches thick, with up to three months of keyboard battery life on a single USB charge, and is available in three different colors.
FabricSkin Keyboard Folio
- Ultrathin Keyboard Folio ($99.99): A similar general design to the FabricSkin Keyboard Folio, but not as water resistant and slightly thicker due to the use of individual keys. The Ultrathin Folio is the same weight as the FabricSkin model and offers the same three-month battery life, with four color options available.
Ultrathin Keyboard Folio
- Ultrathin Keyboard Cover ($99.99): Protecting only the front of the iPad Air when closed, this cover weighs just 0.73 pounds and measures 0.29 inches thick. The aluminum cover include an integrated keyboard offering up to three months of battery life on a single charge, with three different colors available.
Ultrathin Keyboard Cover
- Folio Protective Case ($49.99): A simply folio-style case protecting the iPad Air on front and back but without an integrated keyboard, this case is available in four different colors.
Folio Protective Case
All four accessories are launching in November, but Logitech is currently taking pre-orders for the products. The iPad Air debuts in the first wave of countries this Friday, November 1.
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