Archive of iPad Rumors

Apple has registered new tablets with the Eurasian Economic Commission this week, suggesting that an iPad refresh is likely on the horizon. The filings, uncovered by French website Consomac, are legally required for any devices with encryption sold in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia.


Two of the tablets have model numbers A1893 and A1954, which don't correspond with any current iPad mini, iPad, or iPad Pro. There are also a handful of "sample" tablet and smartphone products listed that have model numbers starting with AA and CC, which is uncharacteristic, so it's unclear what those listings may pertain to.

Recent rumors and logical guesswork suggest Apple could be planning an annual refresh of its lower-cost 9.7-inch iPad, introduced last March for $329 in the United States, while the iPad mini has also gone a few years without an update.

Eurasian Economic Commission listings via Consomac

A few months ago, supply chain informant DigiTimes claimed Apple is planning to release an even cheaper 9.7-inch iPad for around $259 this year. The website also said Apple's first new products of 2018 would be released in March, so next month is shaping up to see the arrival of at least one new budget iPad.

It's unclear what changes the new 9.7-inch iPad would have, but given its price point, it will likely retain a classic design with top and bottom bezels and a home button with Touch ID, rather than Face ID. Any refresh is likely to be a relatively minor one, with a focus on performance improvements.

The current 9.7-inch iPad is powered by an Apple A9 chip, and features an 8-megapixel rear camera, 1.2-megapixel front camera, two speakers, Lightning connector, 3.5mm headphone jack, Touch ID, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.2. Unlike the iPad Pro, it lacks Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard support.

Given the 9.7-inch iPad is a niche product, a refresh could be announced via press release like last year. But with rumors swirling about a new iPhone SE, originally unveiled at a March 2016 event, perhaps Apple will have enough announcements on its docket to host a special event at Steve Jobs Theater.

Apple's rumored iPad Pro with Face ID is more likely to be unveiled at WWDC 2018 in June, but the discontinued 9.7-inch iPad Pro debuted in March 2016, so there's some precedence for an earlier introduction.

In the past, similar filings with the Eurasian Economic Commission have been submitted for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, Apple Watch Series 2, AirPods, and MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models, all within one to two weeks before each product was released.

All in all, the listings suggest Apple will introduce new products of some kind in March for the fourth consecutive year.
iPad remains the world's most popular tablet by a significant margin, having outsold competing devices from rivals Samsung and Amazon combined last year, according to data shared by research firm IDC today.


Apple sold a total of 43.8 million iPad units in 2017, as confirmed by its quarterly earnings results, while IDC estimates that Samsung and Amazon shipped 24.9 million and 16.7 million tablets respectively on the year. The combined Samsung-Amazon total of 41.6 million tablets is 2.2 million lower than iPad sales.

Apple captured a 26.8 percent share of the tablet market in 2017, meaning that roughly one in every four tablets sold last year was an iPad. Apple's tablet market share rose 2.5 percentage points year-on-year.


Last week, Apple reported revenue of $5.8 billion from iPad sales in the fourth quarter of 2017, representing growth of six percent compared to the year-ago quarter. Apple's average selling price of an iPad was $445, up slightly from $423 in year-ago quarter, suggesting more higher-priced iPad Pro sales.

Apple's growth in iPad sales, albeit relatively flat, contrasted with the overall tablet market's 6.5 percent decline in shipments in 2017 compared to 2016. iPad has been the world's most popular tablet since shortly after it launched.

Shifting focus to this year, Apple is rumored to launch at least one new iPad Pro model with slimmer bezels, no home button, and Face ID. We haven't heard much about the lower-cost 9.7-inch iPad and iPad mini, but each could certainly receive a routine speed bump this year among other upgrades as well.
Like 2017, 2018 promises to be a major year for Apple, with many new products on the horizon. We'll get Apple's first smart speaker -- the HomePod -- this year, along with a second-generation version of the iPhone X accompanied by a larger-screened version for those who want to go even bigger.

A new iPad Pro with Face ID is said to be in the works, and this is also the year when Apple's AirPower wireless charging mat will debut. Beyond that, we can expect Mac refreshes, new software, a new Apple Watch, and maybe that new modular Mac Pro.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

Below, we've rounded up all of the products we're expecting to see from Apple in 2018 based on both current rumors that we've heard so far and past release information.

HomePod - Early 2018


HomePod is Apple's first Wi-Fi connected smart speaker, designed to compete with existing smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and the Google Home. It was originally meant to debut in December, but Apple delayed its launch to an unspecified date in "early 2018."

With HomePod, Apple focused on sound quality, with a 7 tweeter array, each with its own driver, and a 4-inch upward-facing woofer for crisp, distortion free sound. An A8 chip powers spatial awareness features, allowing the HomePod to analyze a room and then adjust the sound accordingly.


Siri is built into HomePod, and there's integration with Apple Music for Apple Music subscribers. Using a six-microphone array, HomePod can detect Siri commands from anywhere in a room, so Siri can be used to play music, answer queries, and more.

We don't know exactly when HomePod will be released, but it should come out in the first few months of 2018. Apple plans to charge $349 for the speaker.

Read more about HomePod in our HomePod roundup.

Three New iPhones - September 2018


Apple introduced three iPhones in 2017 -- the iPhone X, the iPhone 8, and the iPhone 8 Plus -- and current rumors suggest we'll also see three new models in 2018.

The first iPhone we're expecting will be a followup to the iPhone X with the same 5.8-inch OLED display. Rumors suggest it will be accompanied by a second OLED iPhone, this one measuring in at 6.5 inches, which means it can be thought of as an "iPhone X Plus."

Alongside these two OLED iPhones, Apple is also said to be planning to introduce a 6.1-inch iPhone with an LCD display, positioned as a more affordable device targeting the low-end and midrange markets with a starting price of $649 to $749 in the United States.

Apple's planned 2018 iPhone lineup, via Ming-Chi Kuo

According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, all three of these iPhones will feature edge-to-edge displays, Face ID, and TrueDepth camera systems, which means the end of both the Home button and the Touch ID fingerprint sensor in new iPhone models for the time being.

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2017 was a big year for Apple, with the launch of the entirely revamped iPhone X, the iMac Pro, the first cellular-enabled Apple Watch, an iPad Pro with an amazing display, the Apple TV 4K, and new Macs, software, and other products.

In the video below, we highlighted some of the most well-received and notable Apple products of the year, and below that, you'll find a quick overview of every major product Apple debuted or announced in 2017.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

Fifth-Generation iPad (March)


March saw the launch of Apple's most affordable iPad to date, the 5th-generation iPad, which Apple refers to as "iPad." iPad is priced starting at $329 for the entry-level 32GB Wi-Fi only version, and despite its low price, the tablet is equipped with a speedy A9 processor, an 8-megapixel rear camera, Touch ID, and Apple Pay support.


It's thicker than the 9.7-inch iPad Pro that came before it, but not by much, and while it doesn't support Apple Pencil or have some of the impressive display features available in the iPad Pro, it's an incredibly capable tablet that's going hold up for years to come.

Read more about the iPad in our iPad roundup.

iPad Pro


Following the launch of the new low-cost "iPad," Apple introduced two new iPad Pro models in June: an updated 12.9-inch model and an all-new 10.5-inch model that replaces the previous 9.7-inch iPad Pro. The 10.5-inch iPad Pro isn't much bigger than the 9.7-inch model, but it has a much larger display thanks to thinner side bezels.

Both the 10.5 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro are amazingly powerful and can serve as PC replacements with A10X Fusion chips and 4GB RAM. New displays offer ProMotion display technology with a 120Hz refresh rate, and these are without a doubt the nicest displays we've seen in an iPad.


Unlike the fifth-generation iPad, the iPad Pro models support the Smart Keyboard and the Apple Pencil, but all of these features don't come cheap - the 64GB 10.5-inch iPad Pro starts at $649, and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at $799. Luckily, sales are common, so you can often get these two tablets at lower prices.

Read more about the iPad Pro in our iPad Pro roundup.

MacBook Pro


Apple introduced the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar in October of 2016, so we weren't expecting new MacBook Pro models until late 2017, but Apple surprised us with new MacBook Pro models equipped with Kaby Lake processors in June of 2017.

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With the year quickly drawing to a close, now is an opportune time to reflect on the biggest Apple rumors and leaks of 2017.


Many new products released by Apple this year were widely rumored in the months leading up to their introductions, including the iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, Apple Watch Series 3, Apple TV 4K, HomePod, and new iPads. We even had an advanced look at software features like Animoji.

2017 was a particularly interesting year for Apple rumors given leaked or prematurely released versions of iOS 11 and HomePod firmware contained references to several products that had yet to be announced. While not every rumor proved true, much of Apple's roadmap this year was revealed ahead of time.

We've rounded up some of the most notable rumors and leaks of the year, primarily focusing on information that proved to be accurate.

2017 in Rumors


iPhone X


iPhone X is so radically different that rumors about the device began to surface all the way back in early 2016, so we'll start with a primer.

The first report about Apple's plans to release a high-end iPhone with an OLED display this year came from Japan's Nikkei Asian Review in March 2016, roughly a year and a half before the iPhone X was unveiled.

In the same month, DigiTimes revealed the device would have a 5.8-inch display, and KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said it would have glass on both the front and back sides, a metal frame, wireless charging, and facial or iris recognition.

By April 2016, the device was being called the iPhone 8. Barclays analyst Mark Moskowitz said it wouldn't have a home button.

iPhone X renders from June 2017 via iDrop News

In May 2016, Daring Fireball's John Gruber heard early scuttlebutt suggesting the device would have an edge-to-edge display, with the front-facing camera, Touch ID, and other sensors hidden under the display.

The information provided to Gruber wasn't entirely accurate, but he was on the right track. Rumors continued to surface about Apple removing the home button and adopting facial or iris recognition in lieu of Touch ID.

In September 2016, Kuo said stainless steel would likely be Apple's metal of choice for the iPhone X's frame, with slightly curved 2.5D cover glass on top of the display, as used since the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

Rumors also began picking up about the iPhone X having a vertically-aligned dual-lens camera with dual optical image stabilization.

iPhone X part leak in June 2017 reveals vertically-aligned dual-lens camera

By the end of 2016, several reports had claimed Apple would release a trio of new iPhones in 2017, including the all-new 5.8-inch model and updated 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models to replace the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

The first iPhone X rumors of 2017 lent credence to the device having a stainless steel frame, facial recognition, and support for inductive charging, rather than RF-based over-the-air wireless charging from Energous.

February was a busy month for iPhone X rumors, with the device said to have 64GB and 256GB storage options, 3GB of RAM, no Touch ID, a higher-capacity two-cell L-shaped battery pack, and a "revolutionary" front camera with 3D facial recognition that we now know as the TrueDepth system.

Around that time, we also learned the device would have a starting price of at least $1,000 in the United States.

In March, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo dismissed a rumor about the iPhone X having a USB-C connector, noting that it would still have a Lightning connector with support for fast charging via USB-C Power Delivery.


In late March, analysts at Barclays said the iPhone X would have a True Tone display that shifts colors based on ambient lighting.

In April, we saw the first schematic of the iPhone X's sensor housing, more commonly known as the notch. The notch houses the front camera, an infrared camera, a flood illuminator, a dot projector, a microphone, an ambient light sensor, a proximity sensor, and an earpiece that doubles as a speaker.

Rumors about Apple placing Touch ID on the back of the iPhone X persisted into May, but they ultimately proved to be inaccurate. Also in May, we learned the device would have louder stereo speakers.

June was filled with the first iPhone X part leaks, mockups, screen protectors, and dummy units that all pointed towards the device having an all-screen design except for the notch. MacRumors also saw hints of the iPhone 8 showing up in web analytics, suggesting Apple was testing the device internally.

July saw both KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg confirm that Face ID would fully replace Touch ID on the iPhone X.

Perhaps the biggest iPhone X leak to date came in late July courtesy of Apple itself. Shortly after the company accidentally released an internal version of firmware for its upcoming HomePod speaker, developers uncovered a glyph of an iPhone with an all-screen design except for a notch at the top.

iPhone X glyph from leaked iOS 11 golden master

The HomePod firmware proved to be a gold mine for iPhone X leaks, revealing the device's infrared face detection, tap to wake function, split-up status bar, 4K video recording at up to 60 FPS, Face ID compatibility with Apple Pay, suppressed notification sounds when looking at the screen, and much more.

Despite so much of the iPhone X being revealed in the HomePod firmware, August still saw some fresh leaks, including a photo of the device's A11 Bionic chip. Japanese website Mac Otakara also reported that the iPhone X's inductive charging ability would support transmission of up to 7.5 watts of power.

As if the HomePod firmware leaks weren't bad enough for Apple, MacRumors was anonymously provided with download links to a final version of iOS 11 in early September. The software update contained several unredacted references to unannounced iPhone X hardware and software features.

MacRumors uncovered iPhone X screenshots within the iOS 11 filesystem that showed off the new gesture-based home screen indicator. There were also hints that the elongated side button, previously known as the sleep-wake button, could be held to activate Siri or double tapped to bring up the Apple Pay wallet.


The golden master of iOS 11 also referenced the Face ID name for Apple's facial recognition system, True Tone support, a collection of new iPhone X wallpapers, and Apple's new Portrait Lighting feature, including the Contour Light, Natural Light, Stage Light, Stage Light Mono, and Studio Light options.

Within the iOS 11 filesystem, we also found a video file showing four different Animoji characters, including a monkey, cat, dog, and robot. The discovery made it clear that Apple had been working on animated emoji that could presumably be controlled with the iPhone X's then-rumored facial recognition system.


The iOS 11 golden master soon made its way into the hands of some developers, who continued to make discoveries, including technical details about the A11 Bionic being a six-core chip with two high power cores and four low power cores.

The golden master also contained a device tree that confirmed the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus names of Apple's latest smartphones.
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Apple is "considering" releasing an updated low-cost 9.7-inch iPad next year with a starting price that's $70 cheaper than its existing equivalent, according to sources from upstream suppliers.

In March 2017, Apple released its most affordable iPad, a $329 entry-level 9.7-inch device with internal specs similar to the iPad Air 2, but with a thicker and heavier enclosure. According to DigiTimes, Apple's 2018 version of the 9.7-inch iPad could cost even less at around $259, in a bid to attract more demand from price-oriented consumers and maintain its current tablet shipments of 10 million units a quarter.

With the new device, the sources expect the tablet market to witness a new wave of price competition among first-tier players including Samsung Electronics, Amazon, Huawei and Lenovo.

The sources pointed out that Apple's new iPad may arrive in the second quarter of 2018 and in addition to regular consumers Apple is also looking to expand the inexpensive iPad into the industrial and service sectors.
In its November earnings call, Apple reported double-digit unit growth in iPad sales for the second consecutive quarter, but did not provide a breakdown of sales across tablet models. Prior to that, in June, the company reported sales of 11.4 million iPads, an increase of 15 percent compared to the year-ago quarter. iPad revenue was also up, but only 2 percent year over year, suggesting Apple was selling a lot of new lower-priced 9.7-inch iPads in particular.

The worldwide tablet market declined for a tenth straight quarter on a year-over-year basis during the first months of 2017. When the news broke in May, Apple reported that it sold 8.9 million iPads in the quarter, down from 10.2 million iPads in the same period the year previous, marking the 13th consecutive quarter that it had sold fewer iPads on a year-over-year unit basis.

According to the sources cited today, Apple's aggressive pricing strategy with the next 9.7-inch iPad aims to offset the continuing overall decline, which has seen most second- and third-tier brand vendors already step out of the market.

According to the same sources, Apple is likely to outsource the production of the new 9.7-inch iPad to Compal Electronics, while giving the device's PCB orders to Compeq and Unitech Printed Circuit Board. However, all the companies declined to comment on their orders or clients.
Later today Apple will debut iOS 11, the newest software update for iPhones and iPads that will bring changes like a new control center, improvements to Siri, an upgraded user interface on iPad, and the ability to interact with certain apps using advanced augmented reality capabilities. The only way to take advantage of these ARKit-powered apps is with an iPhone or iPad that has an A9, A10, or A11 processor.

Thankfully, a few A9-enabled iOS devices are marked down this week, allowing anyone on older iPhones and iPads the chance to upgrade and get a peek inside Apple's augmented reality future. The first deal is at Walmart, where you can get the 32GB iPhone SE (with an A9 chip) for $129.00 on the retailer's prepaid Straight Talk cellular service. There are only a few Space Gray in stock of the 4-inch iPhone as of writing.


At Staples, there are a variety of ARKit-compatible models of the new 2017 iPads to choose from, including the 9.7-inch iPad with 32GB of storage for $299.00, down from $329.00. The iPad is available in Silver, Space Gray, and Gold. If you're looking for more storage, there's also the 128GB version of the same iPad on sale for $399.00, down from $429.00. The Staples discounts will continue until Saturday, September 23, while supplies last. Each of these iPads include Apple's A9 chip with 64-bit architecture necessary to run ARKit apps.

In other deals, Walmart has a slight discount on the Apple Pencil at $89.00, down from Apple's retail price of $99.99. Note that Apple Pencil is only compatible on iPad Pro devices, and won't work on the 2017 9.7-inch iPad. Check out our Deals Roundup for even more sales going on this week, which includes Bluetooth speakers from Anker and Jawbone, 12 percent off Apple Watch accessories from Twelve South, and $10 off orders of $50 or more at Pad & Quill.
Apple recently reported sales of 11.4 million iPads in the June quarter, an increase of 15 percent compared to the year-ago quarter. iPad revenue was also up, but only 2 percent year over year, suggesting Apple was selling a lot of new lower-priced 9.7-inch iPads, which start at just $329 in the United States.


A new report by research firm Strategy Analytics, however, argues that isn't entirely the case. Apple's average selling price for iPads remained steady at $435 in the June quarter, down only one dollar from the March quarter.

That doesn't mean the new 9.7-inch iPad, introduced in late March, isn't popular. With a faster A9 chip and brighter Retina display than the iPad Air 2 it replaced, and for less money than even an iPad mini 4, the tablet provides good value with few compromises for customers at the low end.

What it does mean is that more expensive iPad Pro models likely sold well enough to offset the addition of a lower-priced iPad in Apple's tablet lineup. Apple launched new 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models at its Worldwide Developers Conference, a few weeks before the end of its June quarter.

"It's undeniable that lower pricing on the new iPad helped drive sales throughout the June quarter, but the ASPs tell a slightly different story," said Eric Smith, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, speaking with MacRumors.

"ASPs were steady from last quarter, showing that higher priced iPad Pro models also sold well, even though the new 12.9-inch and 10.5-inch models were out for less than a month in the June quarter," he added.

For historical perspective, the average selling price of iPads has typically been between roughly $415 and $450 since 2015, although it briefly rose to $490 in the year-ago quarter following the launch of the original 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

Wall Street Beat


Apple's sales of 11.4 million iPads far exceeded analyst expectations. The average Wall Street prediction was approximately 9 million iPads sold, according to Wells Fargo, with some analysts predicting as low as 7 million.

Strategy Analytics estimates that Apple took a 26 percent share of the global tablet market in the June quarter, up from 21 percent in the year-ago quarter. iPad remained the world's best selling tablet, ahead of Samsung tablets, which maintained an estimated 13 percent market share in the quarter.


Chinese company Huawei also saw explosive 42 percent growth in the quarter, with an estimated 3.2 million tablet shipments, according to Strategy Analytics. Apple, Huawei, and Amazon were the only tablet makers to experience growth in the quarter, with Samsung, Lenovo, and all other vendors facing declines.

It's worth noting that Apple doesn't disclose iPad sales on a model-by-model basis in its quarterly earnings results.

Given the new 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models were released towards the end of the June quarter, the tablets should have even more of an impact on Apple's tablet sales in the fourth quarter. Apple's 15 percent increase in iPad sales marked the product category's first unit growth in nearly four years.

Also See
: IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker for June Quarter
Microsoft appears to be working on a Touch Cover smart keyboard for at least one iPad model, according to battery information for products containing lithium-ion batteries shared on its website earlier this year.

Microsoft's Surface RT with Touch Cover

The documents were published in April, but they were only discovered now by German blog WinFuture, which tipped its information to The Verge. The product is clearly listed: iPad Touch Cover (Model 1719).

Microsoft previously sold Touch Covers for its Surface tablets that doubled as pressure-sensitive keyboards and protective covers.


Those covers magnetically click into place and provide protection for the Surface's touchscreen. They have a standard keyboard layout, shortcut keys, and a two-button touchpad that supports gestures.

It's unknown if the iPad version would be similar. All that's known is that it presumably has a lithium-ion battery, suggesting it could connect over Bluetooth. It could also work with an iPad Pro's Smart Connector, but that seems less likely.

Of course, Microsoft could have scrapped plans to release an iPad keyboard between April and now, or perhaps even earlier. For now, the single document is all we have to go on. We'll provide an update if that changes.
The Microsoft Surface has been ranked the highest in overall consumer satisfaction, and six points above Apple's iPad in second place, according to J.D. Power's 2017 U.S. Tablet Satisfaction Study. This marks the first top spot win for Microsoft in all six years that J.D. Power has published the Tablet Satisfaction Study, with the company earning a total 855 satisfaction score out of a potential 1,000 points.

The J.D. Power U.S. Tablet Satisfaction Study measures customer satisfaction in the tablet market by looking at five areas: performance (28 percent); ease of operation (22 percent); features (22 percent); styling and design (17 percent); and cost (11 percent). The study accounts for 2,238 tablet owners who have owned their current device for less than one year, with participants being questioned between October and December 2016.

With these rankings, Microsoft has received the designation as "among the best" on the market, while Apple at 849 points is "better than most."


According to J.D. Power, Microsoft's win this year "is largely due to its top rankings in the features and styling & design factors." The company earned top marks in categories related to the variety of pre-loaded applications, internet connectivity, and availability of manufacturer-supported accessories. This last category highlights the Surface's versatility, according to consumers, who reportedly "have the highest incidences of accessory use" with Microsoft Surface when compared to competitors.

Specifically, the Microsoft Surface's stylus saw a 48 percent usage rate in comparison to 27 percent of the industry average, while the tablet's add-on keyboard had a 51 percent usage rate in comparison to just a 14 percent industry average. Rounding out the Surface's pros were its variety of input/output ports (like a microSD card slot, USB 3.0, and 3.5mm headphone jack) and amount of internal storage available.
“The Microsoft Surface platform has expanded what tablets can do, and it sets the bar for customer satisfaction,” said Jeff Conklin, vice president of service industries at J.D. Power. “These tablet devices are just as capable as many laptops, yet they can still function as standard tablets. This versatility is central to their appeal and success.”
Microsoft also beat Apple in areas like the size of the tablet, quality of materials used, and attractiveness of tablet design. Microsoft's customers who are using the Surface Pro line of tablets are said to largely be early adopters (51 percent), younger than the customers of its competitors, and "more likely to consider productivity features as important." Microsoft customers tend to list productivity-related tasks as "very important" in comparison to industry average, like emailing, word processing, and banking.


Overall, J.D. Power found that customer satisfaction with their tablets is rising, with the study average sitting at 841 and increasing 21 index points from the six-months-ago iteration of the study. Customers are also tending to choose large screens, with satisfaction at 869 points for customers with screens measuring 10 inches or more, 850 points for screens 8-10 inches or more, and 824 for screens less than 8 inches.

More key findings include:


  • Driving the selection process: Lower price and past experience are the most commonly cited reasons for tablet selection among customers (22% each). Reputation is next at 19%.
  • Data plans increase satisfaction: Nearly one-third (32%) of customers have a data plan with their tablet. Overall satisfaction among customers with a data plan is 863 vs. 834 among those without such a plan.

    Apple has moved up and down J.D. Power's Tablet Satisfaction Study throughout the years, earning the top spot on some iterations of the study, while falling back down a few months later in others. Previous first place holders include Amazon and its Fire Tablets, as well as Samsung. When it's on top, Apple has used J.D. Power's ratings in numerous web campaigns in the past.
  • The new 9.7-inch iPad is now available for purchase at select Apple Retail Stores in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Japan, according to the company's in-store pickup tool enabled today. A handful of stores may have had limited stock already, but supplies now appear ample for Apple to accept reservations.


    Apple has yet to activate Personal Pickup in other countries where it operates Apple Retail Stores, including Belgium, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Macao, Mexico, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.

    Nevertheless, in-store stock may be available as early as today in some of those countries as well. Apple said the new 9.7-inch iPad would be available to purchase at select Apple Retail Stores, authorized resellers, and carrier stores by the end of this week in more than 20 countries. Call ahead to check.

    Availability of new 9.7-inch iPad in Los Angeles area Apple Stores today

    Apple began accepting online orders for the new 9.7-inch iPad on its website last week, with initial orders estimated for delivery between March 31 and April 5 in the United States. Orders placed today are estimated to ship between April 6 and April 14 depending on the shipping method selected.

    Apple accepts iPad returns within 14 calendar days of receiving an online order, so some customers that still have a far out delivery date may elect to try their luck in stores, but your mileage may vary. Online orders can also be canceled on Apple's website if they have yet to be processed for shipment.

    Apple unveiled the new 9.7-inch iPad last week as a low-cost successor to the iPad Air 2, which has been discontinued. The tablet features a faster A9 chip and brighter Retina display than the iPad Air 2, but it is somewhat thicker and heavier than the iPad Air 2 since it lacks a fully laminated display.

    The tablet essentially packs an iPhone 6s chip with other iPad Air 2 components into an original iPad Air design. Read our new 9.7-inch iPad vs. iPad Air 2 article for a side-by-side comparison of complete tech specs.

    The new 9.7-inch iPad starts at $329 for a 32GB model with Wi-Fi, making it the cheapest new tablet that Apple has ever sold. Apple also offers a 128GB model with Wi-Fi for $429, while cellular-capable 32GB and 128GB models are available for $459 and $559 respectively in Silver, Gold, and Space Gray.
    iFixit has shared a brief teardown of Apple's new 9.7-inch iPad unveiled last week, and unsurprisingly, the tablet looks just as much like an original iPad Air on the inside as it does on the outside.


    In the side-by-side photo above, iFixit noted the original iPad Air on the left has a slightly larger Wi-Fi module compared to the new 9.7-inch iPad on the right, but otherwise the tablets look virtually identical.

    iFixit said the new 9.7-inch iPad remains difficult to repair due to the front panel being glued to the device and strong adhesive holding everything in place. One plus is that the battery is not soldered to the logic board.

    The new 9.7-inch iPad is all about price. It's the cheapest new tablet that Apple has ever sold, starting at $329, yet with a brighter display and a faster A9 processor compared to the now-discontinued iPad Air 2.

    The fifth-generation iPad, as it is officially known, is also somewhat thicker and heavier than the iPad Air 2 since it lacks a fully laminated display with anti-reflective coating in order to keep costs down.


    The tablet's tech specs are otherwise identical to the iPad Air 2, including a display resolution of 2,048‑by‑1,536 at 264 PPI, 8-megapixel rear iSight camera, 1.2-megapixel front FaceTime camera, two speakers, Lightning connector, 3.5mm headphone jack, Touch ID with Apple Pay, and Bluetooth 4.2.

    The new 9.7-inch iPad can be ordered now on Apple's website in the United States and dozens of other countries.

    Apple said the new 9.7-inch iPad is also available to purchase at select Apple Stores, authorized resellers, and carrier stores starting this week in more than 20 countries, including the U.S., Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.K.