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.
Amid rumors of a larger "iPad Pro" perhaps arriving in 2014 with a larger display in the range of 12-13 inches, Evercore analyst Patrick Wang yesterday released a research report indicating that supply chain sources are indeed supporting the circulating claims.
According to Wang's sources, Apple is looking to launch a 12-inch iPad in the fall of this year, targeting enterprise with a new "hybrid" device intended to bridge the gap between tablets and notebooks. Wang believes that the larger iPad will unsurprisingly also include a new A8 processor from Apple that may be a quad-core chip, as well as increased storage.
Arriving in fall ‘14, Apple goes Enterprise with an 12” iPad. Powered by the A8 chip (perhaps 4C), this expands ARM’s reach and, once again, transforms the traditional notebook market as we know it.
- Expect a 2-1 hybrid – think iPad + MBA – similar to how most iPads are used in the workplace and in the same spirit of MSFT’s Surface.
Wang points out that bill-of-materials estimates peg the cost of the Intel processors used in the MacBook Air in excess of 20% of the machine's cost, while the ARM processors used in Apple's iPad represent only about 5% of total cost for high storage capacity models. The much lower pricing for Apple's A-series chips could allow the company to pose a serious threat to the business notebook market for those applications where a new and larger iPad would be appropriate.
In his note, Wang points out that Apple faces two primary challenges in penetrating the enterprise notebook market with a larger iPad. The first is storage capacity, with the current iPad maxing out at 128 GB, while the second is support for the full Microsoft Office suite that is entrenched in the enterprise market. Microsoft has been reported for some time to be working on a version of Office for iPad, and the most recent reports have indicated that it could arrive in fall of 2014 following completion of the "Touch First" interface for Windows earlier in the year.
2014 will likely bring even more innovation to Apple's product lineup, with current rumors hinting at highly anticipated products like the Apple smart watch, a larger iPhone and iPad, and new developments with the Apple TV. A number of these products have been rumored for some time, but the spate of Apple product releases over the past few months and the imminent turning of the calendar offers a chance to bring those rumors back to the forefront.
According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple has plans to create "great products" in areas the company does not participate in today, and in a recent email, Cook told Apple employees that there's a lot in store for Apple in 2014, "including some big plans that we think customers are going to love."
In the list below, we've highlighted Apple's prospective 2014 product plans, outlining what customers might see from Apple in the next 12 months based on current rumors.
Apple's next iPhone is rumored to come equipped with a larger screen size, somewhere between 4.7 and 5.7 inches. Some rumors have suggested that Apple might release the phone in two separate sizes, both of which are larger than the current 4-inch iPhone 5s/5c.
Left to right: iPhone 5, Galaxy S III, "iPhone Plus", Galaxy Note II (Source: Marco Arment)
The larger iPhone, which will likely incorporate a faster 20-nanometer A8 chip from TSMC, may also include sweeping design changes in the form of a curved display. While it is possible Apple will release an updated iPhone earlier in the year, the most likely release target for the larger-screened device is September or October.
Along with a larger iPhone, Apple may be planning to add a larger iPad to its current tablet lineup, which comprises the 9.7-inch iPad Air and the 7.9-inch iPad mini. The "iPad Pro" or "iPad Maxi" as it has been called by the media, is rumored to include a larger 12.9-inch display, which would be most similar in size to the current 13.3-inch MacBook Air.
Mockup of the 12.9-inch iPad next to a 13-inch MacBook Air
The display reportedly offers higher pixel density nearing ultra high-definition quality and it will likely adopt many of the design elements offered in the current iPads, like an ultrathin chassis and narrow side bezels. Aside from a larger screen size, not much is known about Apple's larger iPad, and it is unclear when such a product might be released.
Apple's much-anticipated "iWatch," which was a major rumor focal point in 2013, will likely be released in 2014. According to rumors, the smart watch will primarily function as an accessory to the iPhone and the iPad, providing at-a-glance access to common iOS functions.
The watch may also include a multitude of biometric functions, possibly offering a pedometer and heart rate monitor, among other things, and it could also serve as a home automation hub. While it is entirely unclear what the iWatch will look like, rumors have indicated that it could have an OLED display in the range of 1.3 to 1.7 inches, possibly coming in multiple sizes for a customized fit.
Apple's iWatch may incorporate an ultra durable sapphire glass screen, as the company recently signed a deal with GT Advanced to ramp up sapphire glass production. Rumors have also hinted at a flexible, curved design.
Over the course of 2013, Apple ramped up its work on the iWatch, with a team of 100 product designers working on the project. The company also filed for iWatch trademarks in multiple countries throughout 2013.
Currently, Apple's iWatch is expected to debut during the second half of 2014.
Apple has been long rumored to be making some upgrades to its Apple TV, either in the form of a revamped set top box with additional functionality or a full blown television set. It is unclear what Apple will do in the television arena in 2014, however, as rumors have suggested that the company has shelved its TV plans for the time being in order to focus on wearables like the iWatch. Television remains an area of "intense interest" for Apple, according to Tim Cook.
If Apple does release a television-related product in 2014, it will likely be a new set top box that could bundle key features like an App Store and Siri, along with additional content offerings.
In 2013, Apple worked hard to beef up content offerings, adding several new channels, including WatchESPN, HBO GO, Vevo, Yahoo Screen, and PBS. The company is also said to be in talks with cable provider Time Warner and a deal with that company, as well as other improvements in content, could come in 2014.
Improving content and reaching deals with various cable companies and content providers is a necessary step before Apple can make headway in the television industry.
Many people believed Apple would introduce a new Thunderbolt Display alongside the Mac Pro, as it has been two years since the last Thunderbolt Display update. No new display appeared, but it is possible that the company will debut a new display product in 2014, likely offering a 4K resolution of 4096 or 3840 x 2160 pixels.
In late 2013, Apple supplier AU Optronics introduced new 27 and 32-inch 4K display panels, sparking speculation that revamped Thunderbolt Displays were on the horizon, though concrete information on a new display or a possible release date is unavailable at the current point in time. In lieu of a 4K Thunderbolt Display, Apple is offering a 4K 32-inch Sharp display as an add-on to the Mac Pro.
Other updates: iOS 8, OS X 10.10, MacBooks, and More
As it does every year, Apple will undoubtedly offer refreshed MacBooks over the course of 2014. Recently, a rumor has suggested that a 12-inch MacBook with a MacBook Air-style design and a Retina display could make its debut in the middle of 2014, and other incremental updates to products like the Retina MacBook Pro will come as well.
Apple has several products that have not been refreshed for quite some time, including its lineup of iPods and the Mac Mini, which could see updates in 2014.
New versions of both iOS and OS X are also expected, though few details are available on the software at this time. iOS 8 may include improvements to Maps, iOS in the Car, and a possible Siri API, while the next version of OS X could take on some iOS 7-style design elements. iOS 8 will probably arrive during the fall along refreshed iPhones, and it is likely that a revamped version of OS X will come during the same general time frame.
Saturday December 28, 2013 11:04 pm PST by Richard Padilla
Among "commercial channel" sales to distributors for corporate, government, and business customers, the iPad held the biggest share of sales for any tablet in the U.S. during 2013, while sales of Google Chromebooks made up a bigger percentage of the laptop market compared to Mac notebooks, according to a new report from The NPD Group.
The data in the report showed that the iPad accounted for 15.8% of personal computing device sales in the channel, which was greater than that of Android tablets at 8.7% and Windows tablets at 2.2%. However, the iPad's share of unit sales in the U.S. this year is down from the year-ago period, where it made up for 17.1% of sales. Sales of both Android tablets and Windows tablets grew by 4.5% and 1.4%, respectively.
Meanwhile, sales of Chromebooks in the United States grew to 9.6% in 2013, surpassing the 1.8% share of unit sales held by Apple notebooks. Windows notebooks still held on to 34.1% of the market, but was down 8.8% from the 42.9% share it held last year.
The news follows a broader report from October stating that Mac sales were down 7% year-over-year for the full September quarter, as the decline of traditional PC sales as a whole is likely due in part to the rising popularity of tablets.
Both the iPad and the MacBook line of notebooks saw refreshes this year, as Apple announced the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display along with updated models of the 13-inch and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro at its October event. New versions of the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air were also announced at Apple's WWDC keynote this past June, and featured enhanced performance with significantly improved battery life.
Apple could also be gearing up to release new types of both products in 2014. Rumors of a larger-size iPad for release in 2014 have surfacedoccasionally throughout the past few months, and a report in October from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stated that Apple may be planning to release a 12-inch MacBook with an all-new design in the middle of 2014.
Monday December 23, 2013 3:20 am PST by Richard Padilla
Following a report last month stating that Apple supplier Quanta Computer had landed the contract to mass-produce a larger-sized iPad for late 2014, Digitimes is reporting that the 12.9-inch tablet will be released in October 2014 and will target North America's educational market. Apple is also said to be examining the possibility of replacing the 11-inch MacBook Air with the larger iPad.
12.9-inch iPad (left) with 13-inch MacBook Air (right)
Apple's large-size tablet will be manufactured by Quanta Computer, and was originally expected to adopt either 12.9- or 13.3-inch panels, with recent rumors indicating that 12.9-inch has a better chance to be picked, the sources noted.
The report also states that Apple is planning to release a larger size iPhone in May 2014, using a 20nm processor manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). Reports of a next-generation iPhone featuring a larger screen have surfacedoccasionally throughout the past year, while the claim of an A8 processor made by TSMC is follows a report in June stating that the company had struck a three-year deal with Apple to produce A-series chips starting in 2014.
However, a May 2014 release date for the next iPhone would be somewhat of a surprising move by Apple, considering that the most recent reports have stated that the larger-screened iPhone will debut in late 2014. A release then would be in line with the October 2011 launch of the iPhone 4s, the September 2012 launch of the iPhone 5, and the September 2013 launch of the iPhone 5s and 5c.
A report last month from The Korea Times indicated that production of a 12.9-inch Retina Display to be used in a next-generation iPad was already underway at an Apple supplier in Korea, with a target date of early 2014. The larger tablet is also said to carry an improved display nearing ultra high-definition (UHD) quality, which would be significantly bigger and contain more pixels than Apple's current 9.7-inch iPad Air.
Wednesday December 4, 2013 6:49 am PST by Eric Slivka
A number of retailers have noted that the iPad Air was a top seller over the Black Friday shopping weekend, and new data from Localytics indeed shows that to have been the case. Localytics, which tracks the number of new devices showing up through its analytics network of over 20,000 apps and over one billion devices, saw a 51% increase in new iPad Air devices compared to the previous weekend.
The first-generation iPad mini also performed well, seeing 28% growth compared to the previous weekend, while the iPhone 5c came in third with 26% growth. All three products were available in significant quantities for the Black Friday weekend and in many cases saw steep discounts. Products with tighter supplies and lower discounts, such as the Retina iPad mini and the iPhone 5s, unsurprisingly saw smaller spikes in activations.
According to Localytics’ data, a whopping 51% more new iPad Air devices were seen than the previous week. This is due to a combination of factors, including Apple’s promotion of giving gift cards with purchases of the iPad Air and iPad Mini (but not iPad Mini 2nd gen) devices. This, combined with a smaller base of iPad Air devices and the novelty of the iPad Air (released on November 1st) resulted in the iPad Air dominating on Black Friday weekend. Apple’s older iPad Mini model finished second, and the iPhone 5c took third.
Data from Localytics of course does not include devices purchased over the Black Friday weekend but set aside as future gifts, suggesting that the spike in sales was likely even higher than shown in the data.
While Apple's iPad Air has seen strong sales in part due to its recent introduction and dramatically thinner and lighter design, the device has also benefited from a general surge in popularity for tablets, with 39% of consumer electronics shoppers over the Black Friday weekend indicating that they planned to purchase a tablet. Given the iPad's market-leading position and plentiful supplies of the iPad Air, it is unsurprising that the device saw strong sales over the weekend.
Tuesday December 3, 2013 1:56 pm PST by Juli Clover
Multiple Apple Stores in the United States have started price matching the iPhone 5c and the iPad Air, reports 9to5Mac. On those particular devices, some Apple Stores will match the prices of brick and mortar retailers that have been selling the products below retail price.
Walmart, for example, sells the entry-level 16 GB iPad Air for $479, a $20 discount off of the standard retail price Apple offers. MacRumors heard conflicting reports of Apple Stores price matching discounts over Black Friday, but following the major shopping holiday, it appears retail employees may have been given more flexibility when it comes to price matching options.
Released in September and October respectively, both the iPhone 5c and the iPad Air have been widely available since the launch, while supplies of the iPhone 5s and the Retina iPad mini have been far more constrained, which explains why Apple is not offering price matching on those particular products at this time.
Apple's price matching policies vary from store to store, and some stores may opt out of price matching all together. Price matching only applies to physical stores and is limited to a 10 percent total discount, which means customers can still find a better deal elsewhere in some cases, especially when it comes to the deep discounts offered on the iPhone 5c.
Update: According to a retail employee, Apple now has an official policy on price matching, which allows specialists to price match iPhones, iPads, and Macs, giving up to 10 percent off on products without authorization. Specialists are also allowed to give business customers up to 20% off a non-Apple accessory when purchased with an Apple product via special order.
Currently, the iPhone 5s and the Retina iPad mini are excluded from price matching.
Monday November 25, 2013 5:30 am PST by Richard Padilla
Following a September report stating that Apple may be working with Quanta Computer to develop a larger-sized iPad, Digitimes is now reporting that the Taiwanese-based manufacturer has landed the contract to mass-produce the tablet for the second half of 2014. Just last week, a report had claimed that the larger iPad was being targeted for an early 2014 launch.
Mockup of 12.9-inch iPad next to iPad Air and iPad mini
The article also mentions that Quanta is expected to face difficulties when assembling the larger iPad because of its unique industrial design and assembly, which could also lead to constrained supplies:
Quanta is expected to encounter several challenges in terms of industrial design and assembly when making the large-size iPad. And since the size is not the mainstream specification, order volumes are expected to be limited, the sources said.
Component makers have also reportedly started pilot production for the iWatch, although low yields are rumored to be the reason behind delaying mass production of the device from Q1 2014 to Q2 2014. Quanta, Inventec, and Foxconn are said to be competing for iWatch production orders.
Last week's report from The Korea Times indicated that production of a 12-9-inch Retina Display to be used in a next-generation iPad was already underway at an Apple supplier in Korea. The larger tablet is also said to carry an improved display nearing ultra high-definition (UHD) quality, which would be significantly bigger and contain many more pixels than Apple's current 9.7-inch iPad Air.
Meanwhile, iWatch reports have surfaced occassionally in the past couple of weeks, with Apple rumored to be releasing both 1.7 and 1.3-inch display sizes of the watch for men and women. NPD DisplaySearch analyst Paul Gagnon also noted that Apple appears to have put its major television product plans on hold for the time being in order to focus on wearables such as the iWatch.
Tuesday November 19, 2013 5:14 am PST by Richard Padilla
An official at an Apple display supplier in Korea has told the The Korea Times (via Unwired View) that production of a 12.9-inch Retina Display to be used in the next-generation iPad is underway, with the tablet's release set for early next year. The report states that the 12.9-inch iPad will have an improved display nearing ultra high-definition (UHD) quality, which would be significantly bigger and contain many more pixels than Apple's current 9.7-inch iPad Air.
“Apple’s local first-tier display supplier is now producing a 12.9-inch Retina Display to be used in the new iPad, which will be coming out sometime early next year,” an official at a local Apple supplier in Korea told The Korea Times by telephone Tuesday.
...“The 12.9-inch iPad will have improved picture quality. As the Apple partner intends to boost its lineup for displays that have almost ultra high-definition (UHD) quality, the upcoming iPad will provide very clear quality similar to that of UHD,” said the official.
Mockup of 12.9-inch iPad next to iPad Air and iPad mini
Reports of a 12.9-inch iPad have surfaced occasionally throughout the past couple of months, with The Wall Street Journal reporting in July that Apple and its suppliers had begun testing screens for a 12.9-inch iPad and a larger iPhone, which followed a sketchy rumor in May that said Apple was launching an "iPad Maxi" to target the ultrabook market. Supply chain research done by NPD DisplaySearch in October also suggested that a 12.9-inch iPad is set for debut next year, though that report did not specify when exactly the tablet would be released.
However, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo countered reports about a larger iPad in a research note last month, stating that he expects the company will instead release a new sixth-generation 9.7-inch iPad with 30%-40% higher pixel density than Apple's current iPad line. Apple just released the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display earlier this month, with the latter experiencing supply constraints, and a new "iPad Pro" would expand the iPad family to encompass three sizes.
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.
MacRumors attracts a broad audience
of both consumers and professionals interested in
the latest technologies and products. We also boast an active community focused on
purchasing decisions and technical aspects of the iPhone, iPod, iPad, and Mac platforms.