Monday May 19, 2014 10:00 am PDT by Kelly Hodgkins
Apple today is expanding its iPad trade-in program to retail stores in several European countries, including France, Germany, Spain, and the UK. As spotted by Apfelpage.de and iPhoneAddict.fr, the program allows customers to recycle older iPad models at their local Apple retail stores and provides them with credits they can use towards the purchase of new devices.
Apple launched the iPad program last month in the U.S. and Canada on Earth Day as part of a larger green initiative to help consumers recycle old iOS devices. Customers can visit Apple retail stores and trade in their iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4 and iPad mini for store credit. The newer iPad Air and Retina iPad mini are not yet eligible for redemption.
The company has not revealed how much it will pay for these recycled devices in its international stores, but the pricing likely mirrors the existing trade-in program available in the U.S., with reduced prices for older devices and those in poor physical condition. Though not confirmed, Apple also may accept broken and non-working devices for free, providing a way for customers to responsibly recycle these devices.
A model said to be an industrial prototype of the upcoming 12.9-inch "iPad Pro" has surfaced, giving a look at what the larger tablet might look like in-hand. Discovered on Chinese Twitter-like site Weibo by Nowhereelse.fr [Google Translation] the machined aluminum is said to be a reference for creating cases and other accessories.
The design of the mockup is very rudimentary and while it is said to be the iPad Pro, it is impossible to determine the exact size of the prototype from the photos. It is also not clear if this "prototype" is based on any type of legitimate specifications as Apple is said to be multiple months away from releasing a larger tablet. Along with a larger size, the model also has an Apple logo and a rear camera cutout. At 12.9-inches, the iPad Pro would be similar in size to a 13-inch MacBook Air and quite a bit larger than the existing 9.7-inch iPad Air.
Rendering of a 12.9-inch iPad next to a 13-inch MacBook Air
News that Apple was testing displays for a larger 12.9-inch iPad first surfaced in July of last year in a report from The Wall Street Journal. While initial rumors suggested Apple could release the device in 2014, reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has pointed towards a possible 2015 launch date for the device, while Digitimes indicated in March that development on the tablet had been shelved in favor of other projects.
Rumors have suggested the iPad Pro, if released, will adopt many of the same design elements offered in the current iPad Air and Retina iPad mini, including an ultrathin chassis and narrow side bezels. It is also rumored to include an ultra high-definition display.
Tuesday May 13, 2014 7:05 am PDT by Kelly Hodgkins
Apple may advance the functionality of the iPad by adding a new split-screen multitasking feature to the tablet in iOS 8, reports 9to5Mac. The option would allow iPad owners to use two apps simultaneously on a single screen in landscape mode, a function frequently touted by Microsoft as an advantage for its Surface tablets over the iPad.
Previous concept for split-screen multitasking (not based on specific rumors)
Besides allowing the operation of multiple apps at the same time, the feature also may allow users to share data such as links and images between apps. The integration of this sharing functionality suggests Apple may open up support for XPC services in iOS, making it easier for developers to share content between apps.
In addition to allowing for two iPad apps to be used at the same time, the feature is designed to allow for apps to more easily interact, according to the sources. For example, a user may be able to drag content, such as text, video, or images, from one app to another. Apple is said to be developing capabilities for developers to be able to design their apps to interact with each other.
The multitasking feature, which is said to work in landscape mode only, is likely to land in the 9.7-inch iPad, with its extension to the smaller iPad mini unclear at this time. It may also be a critical feature for the rumored iPad Pro, which may ship sometime in 2015 with a 12-inch display.
Monday May 12, 2014 12:47 am PDT by Richard Padilla
According to a new report from market research firm DisplaySearch (via CNET and ZDNet Korea), Samsung claimed the top spot as Apple's biggest iPad display panel supplier in the first quarter of 2014, shipping 5.2 million units of the high resolution 9.7-inch panels that were used in the iPad Air and the reintroduced 4th generation iPad.
Samsung's panels accounted for 62% of Apple's 9.7-inch displays, while longtime partner LG Display shipped 3.2 million displays to account for 38% of the total. Apple was said to have chosen Samsung as a primary iPad display supplier last August, and reportedly turned to the Korean company in October to produce displays for the Retina iPad mini as Sharp and LG Display struggled with low yields.
Apple has been reported for quite some time to be seeking to reduce its reliance on Samsung as a component supplier due to tensions between the two companies as they have become top competitors in the mobile device market. However, Samsung's technological advantages and production capacity as a display supplier have proven valuable to Apple's needs over the years, as the two companies are likely to continue that partnership for the foreseeable future.
The survey of 2,513 tablet owners found that Apple led its competitors in four of the five measured categories, including performance, ease of operation, features and styling and design. Apple trailed only in cost, which isn't surprising given the starting $299 price tag of Apple's iPad lineup. Number two Samsung ranked above-average in features, styling and design, and cost.
All is not rosy in the tablet market, however, with overall satisfaction among tablet owners on the decline, dropping 18 points to 835 in 2014 from a high of 853 in 2012. Ease of operation was the feature that showed the largest drop in satisfaction, with tablets taking longer to setup and becoming more complicated to use.
“Since the inaugural U.S. Tablet Satisfaction Study in 2012, a number of new tablet OEMs have entered the U.S. marketplace, differentiating themselves to satisfy a growing interest in owning a tablet,” said Kirk Parsons, senior director of telecommunications services at J.D. Power. “Price has significantly impacted the marketplace. The average purchase price continues to drop and consumer expectations of tablet performance and features are different than they were for past products. Subsequently, overall satisfaction has declined, especially with ease of operation, as navigation features and functions have changed.”
Not surprisingly, the most important feature cited by consumers when buying a tablet was cost, followed by features and brand reputation. Brand recognition is becoming increasingly important to consumers, beating out both manufacturer websites and personal recommendations as the reasons why they select a particular brand.
Wednesday May 7, 2014 3:29 am PDT by Richard Padilla
Apple supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has reportedly provided the first batch of Touch ID fingerprint sensors to be used in the iPhone 6, iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3, according to a new report from component information website cecb2b.com citing supply chain sources (Google Translate, via GforGames).
In addition to production at TSMC, the report notes that the fingerprint sensors are being assembled by TSMC subsidiaries Xintec and Suzhou Crystal Semiconductor. A report in January noted that TSMC would begin production on the sensors sometime in the second quarter of this year with a new 12-inch fab processing method, however a report in February stated that TSMC would be using the same 8-inch fingerprint sensor processing method that was used for the iPhone 5s.
The inclusion of Touch ID on the next-generation iPad Air and Retina iPad Mini would also fall in line with predictions from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who noted that both devices would gain the feature alongside processor upgrades and various other improvements.
Apple's head start on Touch ID fingerprint sensor production will likely help the launch supplies of all three devices. The component was said to be a key factor contributing to the limited supplies of the iPhone 5s at its launch last September, with low yield rates at Xintec and iOS 7-sensor integration slowing production.
Since the release of the iPhone 5s last September, most observers have expected that the Touch ID fingerprint feature will be making its way into the iPad lineup as Apple is able ramp up production on the sensors, so it is no surprise that KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo earlier this month predicted that both the iPad Air and Retina iPad mini will be gaining the feature later this year.
Actual evidence of iPad Touch ID support has now been discovered by French iOS developer Pierre Blazquez, as noted by iDownloadBlog. The evidence comes in the form of a BiometricKit bundle in iOS that serves as the framework for the Touch ID functionality, with the bundle being listed as compatible with both iPhone/iPod and iPad families.
Apple classifies its iOS devices into three families, with iPhone/iPod receiving a "1" designation, iPad receiving a "2" designation, and Apple TV classified as "3". BiometricKit is currently showing compatibility with both 1 and 2 families, although it is not exactly clear when iPad was added to the list.
Apple is likely to stick to its typical yearly upgrade cycle for this iPad generation, meaning that new iPads should appear in the latter part of this year. Kuo predicts that the new iPads will appear in late Q3 around the same time as new iPhones and perhaps Apple's much-rumored iWatch.
Update 9:07 AM: As noted by Benjamin Mayo, the reference has been around for "several iOS updates", but it still indicates that iPad support is likely in the works.
Wednesday April 23, 2014 3:02 pm PDT by Richard Padilla
During Apple's earnings call today, Apple shared new details on the state of the iPad, including information on sales expectations, the launch of Microsoft Office for the device, the education market, and the use of the tablet compared to competitors.
While the company's 16.35 million in iPad sales fell short of analyst expectations, Apple notes that sales came in at the high end of its internal expectations. Company executives cited two main factors: an increase in iPad channel inventory in the March 2013 quarter which artificially increased sales and that was "significantly" reduced this year; it also mentioned that it ended the December 2012 quarter with a substantial backlog of iPad mini orders that didn't shipped until 2013. The company added that it hit iPad supply/demand balance earlier in the launch cycle this year.
Apple also noted that two-thirds of people activating an iPad in the last six months were new to the device, while half of people registering an iPhone had never owned one before. Citing research from App Annie and Chitika, the company stated that the iPad generated four times the mobile web traffic as all Android tablets combined, and that two-thirds of US consumers that planned to purchase a tablet in the next 3 months would be purchasing an iPad.
CEO Tim Cook commented on the recent launch of Microsoft Office for the iPad, stating that the addition of the productivity suite "helps" and that it would have been financially beneficial for Microsoft to release the program "earlier". Overall, Cook noted that customers were "responding well" to Office in a field of many alternatives that were brought to the market, including Apple's own iWork suite for the iPad as well as competitors from other developers.
Cook also noted that Apple has a 95% share in the education market and that the company's focus was on getting more iPads into classrooms. He says the iPad is "the fastest growing product in Apple's history", and that the company is determined to stay focused on the things "we do best" and said that the company focuses on getting the details the right as opposed to simply being the first to launch.
Apple is expected to introduce updated models of the iPad Air and Retina iPad Mini this year, with some rumors suggesting that the company will add a larger "iPad Pro" to its tablet lineup in the near future.
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.
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