Tuesday March 27, 2018 8:32 am PDT by Mitchel Broussard
Apple today announced an all-new 9.7-inch iPad, describing the tablet as its "most affordable iPad" yet and confirming it will work with the Apple Pencil. Apple said that the device was designed for powerful AR apps.
The tablet has a 9.7-inch Retina display that features a higher-resolution touch sensor to enable support for Apple Pencil, previously only compatible with iPad Pro. Apple Pencil provides a "fluid and natural" drawing experience with sensors that measure pressure and tilt so that users can take notes or illustrate in various apps.
The new iPad has an A10 Fusion chip with 64-bit desktop-class architecture, providing 40 percent faster CPU and 50 percent faster graphics performance when compared to the previous generation 9.7-inch iPad. Apple said that both front and rear cameras provide HD video recording for everything from document scanning to FaceTime calls.
One of the main applications aimed at the new iPad is augmented reality, fueled by the device's Retina display, powerful chip, enhanced cameras, and advanced sensors with a gyroscope and accelerometer. The tablet was built for mobility and durability for students, sporting an aluminum unibody construction.
The 32GB iPad with Wi-Fi is priced at $329 in the U.S. and $459 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model, and Apple Pencil can be purchased separately for $99. Schools will be able to buy iPad for $299 and Apple Pencil for $89. The new iPad is available to order beginning today and will arrive in stores later this week in more than 25 countries, listed below:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK, the US, India, Russia, Thailand, and Turkey. More countries and regions will follow in April, with South Korea and others coming in May.
Tuesday March 27, 2018 8:30 am PDT by Mitchel Broussard
Apple during its education-focused event in Chicago today announced that its existing iOS "Classroom" app will be making the move to Mac, beginning with a beta this June.
Classroom is a "teaching assistant" that helps teachers manage their students' iPads, as well as guide kids through lessons, keep them on track, and share their work. Using the app, teachers can launch apps, books, and websites on all student devices simultaneously, and send or receive documents. Classroom also allows teachers to view their students' screens so that they "stay focused," and other administrative options like password resets.
At the same time, the company revealed a new cloud-based app called "Schoolwork" that lets teachers assign handouts and track the progress of their students. Apple said that Schoolwork "builds on the success" of the Classroom app and both apps will be combined to help educators "get the most out of integrating Apple technology into schools."
“Creativity sparks a deeper level of engagement in students, and we’re excited to help teachers bring out that creativity in the classroom,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.
“When you combine the power of iPad, the creativity of Apple Pencil, over a million iPad apps in the App Store, the rich curriculum in Everyone Can Code and Everyone Can Create, and unique Classroom and Schoolwork apps that support students and help schools manage technology in the classroom, we believe we can amplify learning and creativity in a way that only Apple can.”
Using Schoolwork, teachers will be able to make handouts that include PDFs, links, and other documents, as well as check in on the progress of every student for a specific assignment. Schoolwork will integrate with third-party apps using Apple's ClassKit API, acting as a hub of sorts for a classroom's projects and assignments. Schoolwork will be available for teachers in June.
There will also be a new "Apple Teacher" professional learning program available online, aimed at helping teachers build skills, chart their progress, and get inspired to launch new lesson plans. The program will allow teachers to earn badges shaped like gold stars, encouraging them to continue using the program and evolve their classroom.
The new Acer Chromebook Tab 10 is the first tablet to run Chrome OS, which has previously been available on laptops, desktops, and tablet/PC hybrids.
According to Google, the Acer Chromebook Tab 10 is designed to give schools the "easy management and shareability of Chromebook laptops" in a lightweight device that offers touch and stylus functionality along with Google Expeditions AR integration.
It features a 9.7-inch 2048 x 1536 display in a 9 inch by 6.6 inch body that weighs just over 1.2 pounds. Like other Chrome OS devices, it supports Google Play, giving students and teachers access to millions of Android apps, and it can be managed by IT professionals right alongside other Chromebook devices a school might already have in use.
There's a built-in 2-megapixel HD webcam at the front of the tablet, along with two speakers and a microphone. A 5-megapixel rear camera is designed to allow children to capture photos and videos, and it features a 9-hour battery for all-day usage.
Inside, the Chromebook Tab 10 is powered by a 6-core 3399 RockChip processor and it includes 4GB of RAM and 32GB integrated memory. It charges via an included USB-C port that can also power other devices.
Each Chromebook tablet comes equipped with a low-cost Chromebook Wacom EMR stylus that doesn't require charging or pairing. It uses advanced machine learning to "predict student writing for a natural writing experience" with zero-latency digital input for drawing, taking notes, and more.
Chromebooks are popular, easy-to-use low-cost options that many schools have already adopted, which is what Apple has to compete with through its rumored low-cost iPad. Acer plans to sell the Chromebook Tab 10 for $329 starting in April, and that's a price point Apple may be planning to beat.
Rumors have suggested Apple's new low-cost iPad will have a price tag as low as $259, and to match some of the features available with Chrome OS devices, Apple may be planning to include support for the Apple Pencil.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said last week that Apple Pencil support is "likely" for the new low-cost iPad. It's not clear if Apple will introduce a lower-cost Apple Pencil to go along with the tablet, though, as the Apple Pencil is currently priced at $99.
Aside from Apple Pencil support and a possible price tag, we don't know much about the tablet that Apple plans to introduce tomorrow, but we don't have long to wait to find out details. Apple won't be live streaming its event, but we'll have coverage here at MacRumors.com and on our MacRumorsLive Twitter account.
Apple plans to introduce a new gold iPhone X color option in an effort to boost sales of the Face ID equipped smartphone, while a new revamped 9.7-inch iPad is set to drop in the third quarter of 2018, according to tech blog Mac Otakara.
Apple offered the iPhone X only in Silver and Space Gray at launch, so the prevailing rationale behind a new color is that it could perhaps lure new upgraders during a typically sluggish mid-season.
As for the 9.7-inch iPad refresh, the Japanese-language tech blog reckons the sixth-generation device will go on sale in the third quarter.
Mac Otakara doesn't provide any clues as to the sources of its information, but the iPhone X rumor tallies with another one that emerged just last week, courtesy of Benjamin Geskin. Responding to online chat about a possible new colorway, the parts leaker shared pictures of an alleged "Blush Gold" iPhone X.
With regards to the 9.7-inch iPad claim, it's unclear if Mac Otakara is referring to an imminent low-cost 9.7-inch iPad refresh, which may include support for the Apple Pencil, or another model entirely. In December, for example, DigiTimes claimed Apple was planning to release its most affordable 9.7-inch iPad yet in late 2018.
However, Bloomberg claims the low-cost iPad refresh device will be announced at Apple's first event of the year on Tuesday, March 27, which the company has indicated will have an educational focus. Given the theme, the launch of new iPhone colors at this event seems unlikely, though not impossible.
In March of last year, Apple introduced a (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, and it's possible the company could be planning to do the same thing this year, with a (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and perhaps X.
Click here for the MacRumors roundup of everything to expect at Apple's "Let's Take a Field Trip" educational event on March 27.
Apple is holding its first event of 2018 on Tuesday, March 27 at the Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago. According to invites sent out to members of the media last week, the event will focus on "creative new ideas for teachers and students."
This is Apple's first education-centric event since 2012, hence the unusual location. With most events, we tend to have concrete rumors on what to expect, but things are a little more up in the air with the educational event.
Still, rumors have hinted at several products that could see a refresh at the event, and while some of them may primarily be of interest to schools and educators, there are some products on the horizon all of us have been eagerly anticipating. Announcement possibilities are listed below:
New Lower-Cost iPad
In 2017, Apple released a fifth-generation 9.7-inch iPad that was designed to be a low-cost but powerful alternative to the iPad Pro. The tablet is priced at $329, and in 2018, rumors have suggested Apple could release an iPad with an even lower price point, which would be enticing to schools.
Along with a lower-cost iPad, Apple may perhaps be planning to introduce some kind of notebook that has a lower price tag, but again, the exact form that this will take is unclear.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who often has insight into Apple's plans, believes Apple is working on a "more affordable MacBook Air," which would perhaps be ideal for an educational market to compete with Google Chromebooks.
Kuo didn't mention whether or not this cheaper MacBook Air would be a price drop on the current MacBook Air or a new machine, nor did he mention potential specs. The MacBook Air is highly outdated, so if changes are indeed planned, updated processors and other internals could be on the horizon.
Other rumors suggest the lower-cost MacBook Air could be priced at $799 to $899, and that price tag would likely be even lower for schools able to make bulk purchases.
The rumors have been confused by a report from DigiTimes suggesting Apple is working on an "entry-level 13.3-inch MacBook." DigiTimes calls the notebook a MacBook, but lists the size of the MacBook Air, and goes on to say that it will feature a Retina display.
Updating the MacBook Air with a Retina display would make it difficult to keep costs low, and it would be a curious choice given the existence of the slimmer 12-inch MacBook line, which does come equipped with Retina displays. For that reason, it's not entirely clear if DigiTimes is talking about an update to the MacBook Air line or the MacBook line. DigiTimes' report says the new notebook would be priced at around $999, which is more expensive than other low-cost MacBook Air rumors.
Just this morning, Bloombergalso said Apple is working on a new MacBook that would cost under $1,000 and would replace the existing MacBook Air, but even that report didn't specify whether this machine would be in the current MacBook Air family or part of the 12-inch MacBook line. What Bloomberg did say, though, is that this machine is not ready, and therefore we may or may not hear about it at the event. It's possible Apple will make an announcement with a launch date to follow, but we also might not see any Mac-related news until WWDC in June.
The AirPower isn't an accessory that's likely to be marketed to educational institutions, but rumors have been suggesting a March launch for the device, so it's possible Apple will also use its March event to debut some products of interest to the general public.
First announced in September alongside the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus, the AirPower is an inductive charging mat that's designed to charge Qi-based iPhones, the Apple Watch Series 3, and the AirPods all at the same time using one accessory.
Alongside the AirPower, Apple will also introduce a new AirPods Charging Case that includes new wireless charging capabilities. This revamped charging case will be necessary for AirPods to charge through the AirPower mat.
Existing AirPods owners will be able to purchase the new Charging Case as a standalone accessory, while new AirPods purchases will likely include it.
We don't know what the AirPower will be priced at, but rumors have suggested it could cost somewhere around $199.
There's no real indication that Apple is working on a new Apple Pencil to debut at its education-focused event, but the design of the event invitation sent out to members of the media does appear to have been drawn with an Apple Pencil, and it could be a hint.
It's possible Apple is planning to introduce a lower-cost Apple Pencil that could be used in tandem with the new low-cost iPad, which would indeed be appealing to schools.
Just this morning, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple Pencil support is likely for the new low-cost iPad, but it's not yet clear if that means Apple plans to add support for the existing Apple Pencil or introduce a new, more affordable model.
If some kind of Apple Pencil announcement doesn't happen at this event, we can perhaps expect to see a new model when Apple debuts new iPad Pros, something we believe will happen either in June at the Worldwide Developers Conference or September alongside new iPhones.
On the chance that Apple is working on an Apple Pencil for its low-cost tablet, it's possible a lower-cost Smart Keyboard could also be included. Adding a keyboard and an input device like the Apple Pencil to the low-cost iPad would add a lot of utility for students.
If Apple is indeed going to use its March event to focus on products unrelated to education, we could see the iPhone X and perhaps the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus in new colors.
There have been rumors of a "Blush Gold" iPhone X floating around, and just this week, new images of the rumored device surfaced. Apple offered the iPhone X only in Silver and Space Gray at launch, and a new color could perhaps lure new upgraders mid-season.
In March of last year, Apple introduced a (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, and it's possible the company could be planning to do the same thing this year, with a (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and perhaps X.
Apple already announced a new collection of spring Apple Watch bands in new colors, which could go on sale following the educational event. When announced on March 21, Apple said they would be coming later in the month.
Though not announced at the same time, Apple could also launch new iPhone and iPad cases in refreshed colors at the same time.
Apple promised to release iOS 11.3 in the spring, and well, it's spring. iOS 11.3 is also near the end of its beta testing period, and thus far we've seen six betas. We haven't had the GM version of iOS 11.3 yet, so it's possible we'll get that instead of an official release on Tuesday. A launch will come shortly after, though.
Though it's received little coverage, iOS 11.3 includes a new Classroom 2.2 app, which is designed to turn the iPad into a powerful teaching assistant to help teachers guide students through lessons.
It also includes a ClassKit framework aimed at helping developers create educational apps that teachers can use with the Classroom app to deliver assignments to students and track their progress.
Classroom 2.2 and ClassKit haven't been announced or covered heavily by Apple, so expect this to be a focal point of the event.
iOS 11.3, of course, brings a whole slew of other updates and features, like iCloud Messages, ARKit 1.5, new Animoji, and a Battery Health feature that will allow customers to better monitor their batteries and battery health as it relates to device performance.
As this is an educational event, expect other educational announcements. Apple is likely to give us an update on its Everyone Can Code curriculum for students. Apple has coding lessons for high schools and elementary schools, along with a dedicated App Development With Swift curriculum for community colleges, which is a full-year coding course.
The high school where Apple plans to hold its event, Lane Tech College Prep, was featured in a December announcement of the expansion of the Everyone Can Code program to 500,000 students in Chicago. Students at Lane Tech have been learning to build apps with Apple's Swift programming language.
There's no guarantee that all of these products will be introduced at Apple's educational event, but it's likely we'll see at least some of them.
Apple does not plan to live stream its educational event, but after it takes place, a video will be uploaded to Apple's event site and event app on the Apple TV. MacRumors will have full coverage of the event, however, along with detailed information on each announcement. Make sure to stay tuned to the website for coverage and follow our Twitter account, MacRumorsLive.
Apple's new low-cost 9.7-inch iPad may include support for the Apple Pencil, according to a new note to investors shared this morning by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Kuo says that he expects Apple Pencil shipments will rise to 9 to 10 million units in 2018 "given that the new low-cost iPad may support Apple Pencil." Kuo says Apple may add Apple Pencil support in order to differentiate the low-cost iPad from competing low-cost Android tablets.
Strong demand for low-price 9.7-inch iPad in 2017. iPad shipments hit 43.8mn units in 2017, well above the 35mn units forecast by the market at the beginning of the year. The primary driver was the low-price 9.7-inch model, whose selling points are competitive pricing and a significantly larger panel than those of six- to seven-inch smartphones (iPad mini was a flop because it was replaced by large-screen smartphones). In a bid to strengthen its selling points and to differentiate it more from low-price Android tablets, the new low-price 9.7-inch iPad (starting mass production in 2Q18) will likely support Apple Pencil.
There have been no previous rumors suggesting the low-cost iPad will include Apple Pencil support, but there was speculation that it could based on the design of the event invite that Apple sent out to members of the media.
The invitation includes an Apple logo that's clearly been drawn using the Apple Pencil, which led people to think that the low-cost education-focused iPad might support Apple Pencil. It's not clear if Apple will offer schools the existing Apple Pencil or introduce a new, more affordable version if the company is indeed planning to debut a lower-cost iPad that works with the accessory.
Adding Apple Pencil support to the low-cost iPad would allow Apple's tablet to better compete with the Chromebooks that are popular in schools, providing the ability for students to draw and write directly on the iPad's screen with a fast, reliable tool.
Though Kuo does not mention the possibility, if Apple is planning to add Apple Pencil support to the low-cost iPad, some kind of keyboard could also be included. With Apple Pencil support and an included keyboard accessory, iPads would be a far more appealing option for schools.
Rumors have suggested Apple is working on a more affordable iPad targeted at the educational market. The new device could perhaps be priced as low as $259, down from the current $329 price tag for the 5th-generation iPad.
Kuo believes 9.7-inch iPad shipments will account for more than 70 percent of all iPad shipments in 2018, which will have a positive impact on Apple Pencil shipments. He expects Apple will begin shipping new iPad Pro models with TrueDepth camera systems during the "around" the third quarter of 2018, which suggests a September debut.
In addition to the low-cost iPad, Kuo's note also mentions Apple Pencil support for future iPhones. He believes the likelihood of such a feature "may increase with future iPhone screen size being enlarged," but he does not believe the 2018 iPhone models will support Apple Pencil.
Earlier this month, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that Apple is expected to introduce a cheaper MacBook Air sometime during the second quarter of the year, and a few days later a second report backed up Kuo's claims with a claim of a price point starting at $799 or $899.
DigiTimes is now reporting that Apple is planning to launch a new 13.3-inch "entry-level MacBook" late in the second quarter of the year, which suggests an introduction at WWDC in June. While DigiTimes calls the notebook a "MacBook," it is unclear whether it would be part of the MacBook or MacBook Air line, but the entry-level nature of the machine and the MacBook's positioning at a similar 12-inch size suggests this new machine might be part of a refreshed MacBook Air family.
However the new entry-level machine is marketed, DigiTimes says the pricing will be the same as or slightly higher than the current MacBook Air, which starts at $999, and the machine will include a Retina display.
The 13.3-inch a-Si panels for the new notebook feature the same resolution as Apple's 13.3-inch MacBook Pro at 2,560 by 1,600.
LG Display will begin supplying the panel in April with the new MacBook scheduled to enter mass production at the end of May or the beginning of June.
The report claims that Apple is targeting shipments of six million units of the new notebook through the end of the year, although DigiTimes analysts believe four million is a more likely figure considering the estimated pricing.
In addition to the new MacBook Air or MacBook, DigiTimes says Apple is also preparing updated entry-level iPad models for release in the second quarter and new iPad Pro models for the second half of the year.
Wednesday February 21, 2018 5:27 am PST by Joe Rossignol
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.
Monday February 5, 2018 7:27 am PST by Joe Rossignol
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.
Friday December 29, 2017 11:13 am PST by Juli Clover
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.
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.
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.
Thursday December 28, 2017 7:05 am PST by Juli Clover
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wednesday December 27, 2017 12:00 am PST by Joe Rossignol
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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