Archive of iPad Rumors

While the iPhone 7 Plus helped Apple achieve record-breaking earnings results last quarter, iPad sales remained on a downward trend.


Apple earlier this week reported that it sold 13.1 million iPads in the first quarter, which encompasses the holiday shopping season, down from 16.1 million in the year-ago quarter. As noted by Jason Snell at Six Colors, that's nearly half as many iPads as the 26 million that Apple sold during the same period in 2013.

Apple isn't the only tablet maker suffering from declining sales. The overall category continued to shrink by between 9% and 20% worldwide compared to the same quarter a year ago, placing pressure on Samsung and other vendors, according to the latest estimates from research firms IDC and Strategy Analytics.


Price remains a "key sticking point" for consumers looking to adopt high-end tablets such as the iPad Pro, which has created room for smaller vendors to capitalize on low-priced tablets, according to Strategy Analytics. Lenovo, for example, shipped an estimated 3.7 million tablets and grew 16% year-over-year in the quarter.

"2-in-1 tablets are a hot market segment but price remains a key factor in consumer behaviors around PC and tablet replacement devices, which is evident in lower shipments of iPad Pro and Surface Pro 4 devices in the quarter," said Eric Smith, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics.

IDC said the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini, rather than the iPad Pro lineup, continued to account for the majority of Apple's tablet shipments. For every ten slate tablets shipped, Apple sold only one iPad Pro, the research firm said. Apple does not officially break out iPad sales on a model-by-model basis.

Apple said it underestimated holiday demand for the iPad quarter, and that compounded a supply issue with one of its suppliers. Apple also drew down channel inventory by 700,000 units, so its results are not as bad as they look. Last year, Apple increased channel inventory by 900,000 units as the iPad Pro launched.

Apple also said the iPad has an 85% share of the U.S. tablet market priced above $200, so the tablet is doing exceptionally well in the premium segment that the company has targeted. iPad also undoubtedly remains the world's best-selling tablet, with a comfortable lead over its rivals, based on industry estimates.

Samsung was Apple's closest competitor with an estimated 8.1 million tablets shipped in the quarter for 12.8% market share, according to Strategy Analytics. Amazon, Lenovo, and Huawei rounded off the top five with an estimated 4.2 million, 3.7 million, and 3.4 million shipments in the quarter respectively.


As always, it is important to acknowledge that these are estimated figures, and that shipments do not necessarily reflect sales. There are also significant discrepancies between the IDC and Strategy Analytics datasets—particularly as it relates to Amazon—so treat the numbers with a proverbial grain of salt.

Apple has effectively marketed the iPad Pro as a computer in the post-PC world, but the company's second annual decline in iPad sales led Apple podcaster Marco Arment to raise an interesting question: what if the iPad isn't the future of computing?
What if, like so much in technology, it’s mostly just additive, rather than largely replacing PCs and Macs, and furthermore had a cooling-fad effect as initial enthusiasm wore off and customers came to this conclusion?
One thing is for certain: consumers are not upgrading their tablets nearly as often as smartphones. In order to reignite iPad sales, Apple will have to add compelling new features that entice the large base of existing iPad owners to swap out their current "good enough" tablet for a new one.

"We've got some exciting things coming on iPad and I'm optimistic about where things are headed," said Apple CEO Tim Cook. "Customer satisfaction is through the roof. iPad Pro at 99%. So I see a lot of good things and hope for better results."

Update: Strategy Analytics notified us that it made an error in its chart. The original graphic transposed the names of the 3-5 ranked vendors incorrectly. The chart above has the correct rankings. This article has been updated accordingly where necessary based on the adjusted information.
Accessory maker Gamevice today debuted a collection of new mobile gaming controllers for the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPad Pro 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch, iPad Air, and iPad mini, which all come with updated thumbsticks, improved buttons, a lighter build, and a Lightning connector for simple connection to each iOS device. The original version of the controller launched for the iPhone 6s in 2015.

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The iPhone 7 Plus Gamevice controller

Gamevice's controllers work by placing an iPhone or iPad into the space between each side of the controller, and connecting the smartphone or tablet to the accessory with the iPhone's Lightning port. The controller itself also has a Lightning port on the outside, so users can keep their iOS device charged while playing. When not connected to power, the controller is powered directly from the battery of the iPhone or iPad.

Like traditional gaming controllers, Gamevice includes two thumbsticks, a directional pad, shoulder buttons, four ABYX face buttons, and a menu button. The thumbsticks on Gamevice's controllers are horizontally aligned, similar to those on the PlayStation DualShock controllers. In addition to these features, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus versions of the controller have a headphone jack.

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The iPad Pro 12.9-inch Gamevice controller

The full list of updates includes:
  • It’s lighter. The iPhone now powers Gamevice, meaning that it doesn’t need its own battery. What’s more, it draws no more power than headphones do.
  • It’s got Lightning. Out goes USB port, in comes a Lightning port - meaning that you can charge your iPhone and your Gamevice at the same time.
  • It’s ‘thumbier’. The thumb sticks have been upgraded to be more ergonomic and comfortable, giving improved control.
  • Full support for iPhone 7. Gamevice for iPhone now supports every iPhone since iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Its patented design turns your iPhone into a mobile video game console.
Within its own app on the iOS App Store, called Gamevice Live [Direct Link], the company has curated a collection of apps that support its controllers, now reaching over 900 games. Titles include Minecraft: Pocket Edition, Assassin's Creed: Identity, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, Bully: Anniversary Edition, and more.

The iPad Pro and iPad Air Gamevice controllers are available today on Apple.com, and the iPhone 7 and iPad mini versions will launch on January 31. All models cost $99.95.

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The iPad mini Gamevice controller

Some users have noted on Twitter that the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Gamevice controllers have already begun appearing in some Apple retail stores ahead of their January 31 launch date.
OtterBox today announced that it will soon be expanding its modular uniVERSE case system to the iPad Air 2 and 9.7-inch iPad Pro, along with the introduction of new partners for the system like Brydge, olloclip, and Tile. uniVERSE combines the rugged protection of the company's brand with modular add-ons that enhance the features of the case, which is even more expansive on iPad thanks to two slotted rails, a new center connection point, and a removable spine -- all access locations for third-party modules.

The company announced a few partners for the uniVERSE iPad case system at CES. Options for users will include the addition of Tile's Bluetooth tracker, a lens clip from olloclip, credit card slots from Wagner, and a 9.7-inch aluminum keyboard from Brydge.

otterbox-universe-ipad The full list includes:
  • StabylCam StabylRig Image Stabilizer – handheld video and photo stabilizer for clear, crisp imagery and recording
  • Tile Slim Bluetooth Tracker – quickly find keys, smartphones and other valuables
  • olloclip Lens Set for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus – professional-style lenses to make the best photos and videos even better.
  • Wagner wallets and multi-tools – carry credit cards and a variety of tool functions like a knife, bottle opener, saw, hex and more
  • PopSockets Grip – get a grip on iPhone with a telescoping grip and viewing stand
  • HANSNAP – multi-adjustable hand strap for easy filming and screen viewing
  • ECO Sensors SPARROW Portable Air Monitor – a wearable environmental health and safety monitor that measures air quality and alerts the user of life threatening situations.
  • Brydge 9.7 Keyboard – maximize the functionality of iPad while providing the productivity of a laptop with this stylish, high-grade aluminum keyboard
  • ikeGPS Spike Laser Measurement Tool – comprehensive but simple-to-use smartphone laser measurement solution
  • FIRST Healthcare Magnetic Positioning Arm – position tablet in space near workstation for hands-free work
Users can already purchase uniVERSE for the iPhone 6/6s, iPhone 6/6s Plus, and iPhone 7/7 Plus at OtterBox's official website. For iPhone, the company has introduced modules that support the Square credit card reader, battery packs, and more.
Apple's product lineup has expanded over the past couple of years with the addition of the Apple Watch, a third notebook line, and most recently AirPods, and while 2016 turned out to be a bit of a disappointment for some with the Mac in particular seeing many models go the entire year without an update, there were still a number of significant updates.

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July 2016 mockups showing iPhone 7 and two variations of iPhone 7 Plus

As we reach the end of the year, it's worth a look back at some of the more notable and accurate rumors and leaks from 2016 to see how the sometimes long and winding road of rumors led to the product launches we eventually saw.

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A report from the Taiwanese supply chain emerged overnight claiming Apple will release a 10.5-inch "education and enterprise" tablet as part of its iPad line-up next year (via DigiTimes). The 10.5-inch iPad is said to be equipped with Apple's A10X processor, also expected in next year's refreshed line-up, with production slated to begin next month.

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Apple is launching the 10.5-inch iPad mainly because 10-inch and larger tablets have been popular among enterprises and the education sector in the US, the sources said. Its existing 9.7-inch iPad may be too small and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro too expensive for such procurement, the sources indicated.
A number of claims have emerged recently suggesting Apple plans to extend its iPad line-up with a new tablet dimension in the 10-inch range. Earlier this month, Barclays analysts claimed Apple will release a bezel-free 10.9-inch model alongside refreshed 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch iPads, citing its own supply chain sources, while in October Japanese website Mac Otakara said a new 10.1-inch iPad Pro would launch in early 2017.

However, today's report marks the second independent source to suggest Apple plans to introduce a 10.5-inch mid-tier iPad. In August, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the same thing and earmarked the same A10X processor for the tablet, suggesting there may be more substance to this particular rumor.

In addition, Kuo claimed Apple will also launch lower-price versions of the 9.7-inch iPad. Today's sources corroborate that claim also, citing Apple's apparent intention "to compete with Android models".

Shipments of the rumored 10.5-inch iPad are expected to reach two million units in the first quarter of 2017 and may reach 5 to 6 million units in the year, DigiTimes sources said.

More "revolutionary" changes to iPads, including a switch to OLED displays, are expected in 2018, according to Kuo's earlier report.
While the iPad Pro lineup has increased Apple's tablet revenue based on higher price points, helping offset a lengthy slide in units sold, the latest data from market research firm IDC claims the iPad Air and iPad mini lines accounted for more than two-thirds of Apple's tablet shipments in the fourth fiscal quarter.

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Apple officially reported 9.26 million iPads sold in the quarter, representing late June to late September, but it does not break down its tablet sales by individual model. IDC did not share its methodology behind calculating iPad Pro sales specifically, but vaguely notes that it uses proprietary tools and research processes.

Despite selling some 600,000 fewer iPads compared to the year-ago quarter, Apple's tablet revenue remained flat at just over $4.2 billion in the quarter. The reason: iPad Pros cost more. The higher ASP is important for Apple as the worldwide tablet market continued its slump last quarter.

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IDC estimates tablet shipments dropped to an estimated 43 million units in the quarter, marking a 14.7% year-over-year decline. Apple led all vendors with 21.5% market share, up slightly from 19.6% in the year-ago quarter, while Samsung trailed in second with an estimated 6.5 million shipments and 15.1% market share.

Amazon and Chinese competitors Lenovo and Huawei rounded off the top five with an estimated 3.1 million, 2.7 million, and 2.4 million tablet shipments respectively in the quarter. Amazon saw explosive 319.9% growth due to its Amazon Prime Day sale in early July that led to a huge surge in shipments of its Fire tablets.

During its recent earnings call, Apple financial chief Luca Maestri said the company is "highly successful" in the tablet market, with 82% market share of premium tablets priced above $200. Meanwhile, IDC said other vendors are "racing to the bottom" with low-cost, sub-$200 traditional and detachable 2-in-1 tablets.

"The race to the bottom is something we have already experienced with slates and it may prove detrimental to the market in the long run as detachables could easily be seen as disposable devices rather than potential PC replacements," said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst with IDC.
Apple today quietly updated its lineup of older iPads, increasing the minimum storage on the iPad Air 2, the iPad mini 4, and the iPad mini 2 and lowering the prices of the maximum storage tier. The iPad Pro has also been updated with new pricing options, with Apple making storage increases more affordable.

The iPad Air 2 is now available in 32 and 128GB configurations, priced at $399 and $499, respectively, for the WiFi only models. Previously, Apple offered a 16GB model for $399 and a 64GB model for $499. Cellular models continue to be priced at $130 more than WiFi models.

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The iPad mini 4 is now available in 32GB and 128GB configurations at the same price point as the iPad Air 2, $399 and $499. Apple previously sold a 16GB iPad mini 4 for $399, a 64GB model for $499, and a 128GB model for $599.

The iPad mini 2 is now only available in a 32GB capacity, priced at $269. Apple has done away with the 16GB model and has dropped the price of the new 32GB model to the price the 16GB model used to be sold at.

As for the iPad Pro, Apple has dropped the prices on higher storage tiers by up to $100. Pricing on the iPad Pro is as follows:

12.9-inch
32GB - $799
128GB - $899 (was $949)
256GB - $999 (was $1099)
128GB Cellular - $1029 (was $1079)
256GB Cellular - $1129 (was $1229)

9.7-inch
32GB - $599
128GB - $699 (was $749)
256GB - $799 (was $899)
32GB Cellular - $729
128GB Cellular - $829 (was $879)
256GB Cellular - $929 (was $1029)

The new iPad pricing is available immediately on iPads purchased from the online Apple Store, the Apple Store app, and Apple's retail locations.
Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has released a new research report outlining his expectations for the future of Apple's iPad lineup, predicting three new iPads ranging from 9.7 inches to 12.9 inches to be released in 2017.

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According to Kuo, Apple is aiming to introduce a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro model next year to go along with a 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2 and a "low-cost" 9.7-inch iPad model. Kuo makes no mention about the fate of the current 7.9-inch iPad mini, although many have assumed that model may be phased out as the recent 5.5-inch iPhone "Plus" models have helped lessen demand for Apple's smallest tablet.
We expect three new iPads (12.9” iPad Pro 2, new size 10.5” iPad Pro & low-cost 9.7” iPad) to be launched in 2017, though this may not drive shipment growth amid structural headwinds; 2017F shipments to fall 10-20% YoY. If the iPad comes in a larger size, such as a 10.5” model, we believe it will be helpful to bid for tenders within the commercial and education markets. As a result, we expect Apple to launch a 10.5” iPad Pro in 2017. In addition, we estimate the 12.9” iPad Pro 2 and 10.5” iPad Pro will adopt the A10X processor, with TSMC (2330 TT, NT$177.5, N) being the sole supplier using 10nm process technology. The low-cost 9.7” model may adopt the A9X processor, which is also exclusively supplied by TSMC.
Looking even further ahead, Kuo predicts "revolutionary" changes for the iPad lineup for 2018 "at the earliest," with Apple making "radical" changes to the iPad's design and shifting to an AMOLED display.
Revolutionary iPad model likely to be introduced in 2018F at the earliest, with radical changes in form factor design & user behavior on adoption of flexible AMOLED panel. We believe iPad will follow in the footsteps of the iPhone by adopting AMOLED panel in 2018F at the earliest. If Apple can truly tap the potential of a flexible AMOLED panel, we believe the new iPad model will offer new selling points through radical form factor design and user behavior changes, which could benefit shipments.
Kuo remains conservative in his predictions of iPad shipments, cutting his total 2016 shipment forecast from 45–50 million to 35–40 million due in large part to a lack of new models before the end of the year. Even with updated models in 2017, however, Kuo predicts shipments will continue to decline as part of general trends in the tablet market.
Crashes, and subsequent fatalities, of small private planes have "fallen to the lowest levels in decades" thanks to mobile devices that give pilots "much better weather information" than a few years ago, along with other benefits. These devices mainly include Apple's iPad lineup and, in 2015, helped contribute to the lowest rate of fatal crashes ever recorded by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration: 1.03 fatal accidents per 100,000 flight hours (via Bloomberg).

iPad-Pro-Trio
As pointed out by John Hansman, an astronautics and aeronautics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the data should be "approached with care," due to the fact that there is far less information and data available on general aviation as opposed to commercial flights. Private airplane flights per year have also decreased, which would help lessen the overall chance for accidents in the first place. Still, the new data collected "jibes with broad new efforts to improve safety in that arena," according to Hansman.
“It’s encouraging,” said Hansman, who has studied private-aircraft safety data. “There are reasons to think it might be accurate. There’s a lot of things happening in the system that are slowly making it better.”
In reaction to these accidents, the FAA and the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board moved to bolster each private aircraft pilot's safety levels, leading to the official approval of "weather and other programs for mobile devices." To improve the regulation of these aircrafts, the two administrations also approved ways to make it easier to add safety equipment to planes, including devices that warn of engine failure and the impending loss of control of the plane.
iPad-Pro-9-7-inchApple today released a new version of iOS 9.3.2 that's specific to the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, presumably resolving an issue that caused some iPad Pro devices to become bricked after installing the original iOS 9.3.2 update.

The new version of iOS 9.3.2, build 13F72, can be downloaded over-the-air on any 9.7-inch iPad Pro that has not previously been updated to the latest version of iOS 9.

iOS 9.3.2 was originally released to the public on Monday, May 16, but shortly after it came out, we began receiving complaints that the update was bricking some 9.7-inch iPad Pro devices with an "error 56" message.

Later in the week, Apple pulled the iOS 9.3.2 update for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro and advised customers who had been affected by the error to contact Apple support. No simple fix was available, and some users who were impacted by the bug had their iPad Pro devices replaced by Apple.

Alongside the removal of the iOS 9.3.2 update, Apple said it was working on a fix and would release a new version of iOS 9.3.2 "as quickly as possible."

The launch of a new version of iOS 9.3.2 suggests the issue is now resolved, and with a fix in place, the next version of the iOS 9.3.3 beta may also be seeded to 9.7-inch iPad Pro users. Released earlier last week, the first iOS 9.3.3 beta was not available for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, presumably because the bug had not yet been fixed.

Update:Apple has published a support document outlining the steps to take if the error 56 message shows up when attempting to update a 9.7-inch iPad Pro from iOS 9.3 or iOS 9.3.1 to iOS 9.3.2 or later. Error 56 will require restoring through iTunes.

9.7-inch iPad Pro users may run into a related issue asking them to disconnect or turn off the iPad Pro during the update, which Apple also covers in the document.
After discovering that a handful of iPhone SE components are interchangeable with those of the iPhone 5 in a teardown last week, iFixit today shifted its sights to the other major release from Apple's "Let Us Loop You In" media event - the 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

iFixit surmised that the new iPad Pro is essentially the offspring of the iPad Air 2 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, acquiring the looks of the former and specs of the latter. The site found, however, that the 9.7-inch iPad Pro acquired the "ugly genes" of the family when it comes to its internals as Apple continues to cram ever more features into its devices at the cost of repair accessibility.

iFixit iPad Pro
Unlike the larger-screened iPad Pro, which houses its display cables in the center of the device, the 9.7-inch device has its display cables nestled into the bottom right edge of the case.

After disassembling the EMI shield covering the logic board, removing the battery, and moving onto the upper speakers, which connect to the logic board with spring contacts, iFixit discovered that most of the 9.7-inch iPad Pro's components are held together by "gobs of adhesive" that will make it difficult for everyday repairs.

The site also examined the protruding camera, which it notes is the same 12 MP camera found in the iPhone 6s Plus and an upgrade from the 12.9-inch version's 8 MP rear-facing camera. iFixit suggests the iPad Pro's camera is optically stabilized like the one in the iPhone 6s Plus, but Apple has not marketed the iPad Pro with support for optical image stabilization. Regardless, the beefed-up specs of the 9.7-inch iPad Pro's camera require the bump on the rear housing, which is not present on the 12.9-inch device.

iFixit iPad Pro 2
One of the wild cards of the teardown centered around a group of antenna interconnect boards, which iFixit determined to "serve no actual purpose." Upon closer inspection, the site hypothesized that the sturdy, flat tops of the boards perhaps provide extra support for the iPad's display, which could come in handy since users with Apple Pencils are bound to rest their palms on the display repeatedly.

After inspecting a similar A9X 64-bit processor, iFixit compared the battery capacities of the recent line of iPads to the new iPad Pro. The 9.7-inch iPad Pro's 7,306 mAh is expectedly less than the 12.9-inch iPad Pro's score of 10,307 mAh, but largely in line with the 7,340 mAh of the iPad Air 2. Despite their varying capacities, iFixit noted that all three of the iPads have "roughly the same estimated battery life" of about 10 hours.

iFixit gave the 9.7-inch iPad Pro a repairability score of 2 out of 10, with a 10 being the easiest to repair. The disassemblers noted that with the removal of the pull tabs found under the battery in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, a "virtually impossible to replace" Smart Connector, the fused-together LCD and front panel glass, and a more-than-average amount of adhesive holding everything together, the smaller iPad Pro is even more difficult to repair than its larger counterpart, which scored a 3 out of 10 in the same test.
Apple's newest iPad Pro, the 9.7-inch model, made its way into the hands of customers on March 31, and now that a day has passed, many people who purchased the powerful little tablet have shared their thoughts on the device on our forums.

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Reviews and impressions from media sites came out earlier this month, but there are always new details and small tidbits of information that come out when products see a wide release. First impressions from actual Apple consumers can also be valuable for those considering a purchase, so we've gathered up some of the details MacRumors readers have shared about the 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

A thread querying users about their happiness level with the new iPad Pro suggests opinions on the device are largely positive. More than half of respondents said the device is "amazing" or a "great upgrade." While some are upgrading from an iPad Air 2 or earlier, there are buyers who traded their 12.9-inch iPad Pros for the smaller models. MacRumors reader Traverse outlined a long list of positives about his iPad Pro, highlighting the speed improvements over the iPad Air 2.

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Noticeably faster performance than my Air 2. I loved the Air 2 and never thought of it as slow and expected the A9X to yield no real world benefit in day to day use. I think a combination of that and the NAND flash improvements are huge. Apps install faster, many app launches are noticeably faster. The Music app is nearly instant open whereas the Air 2 took 2-3 seconds. I set up my iPad as new and launched Sky Guide for the first time by accident when I was putting it's widget in NC and by the time NC swiped up the app was already loaded and waiting :eek:. It's noticeable more zippy.
The True Tone display, unique to the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, is getting some rave reviews, but not all iPad Pro owners are fans of the yellowing of the display. Patriot24 says it's "insanely great," but BitSlap says he prefers bright and crisp whites. On the whole, most readers seem to like the feature quite a bit.

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