Archive of iPad Mini Rumors

After tearing down the iPad Air 2 earlier this week, iFixit has now moved on to the iPad mini 3, which also received a minor update during Apple's October 16 iPad event. Unlike the iPad Air 2, the iPad mini 3 saw few internal improvements, gaining a new gold color option and a Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

As expected, iFixit's teardown reveals many of the same parts that were used in first Retina iPad mini, now called the iPad mini 2. It continues to use the same 7.9-inch display, A7 processor with M7 coprocessor, 5-megapixel camera, and 802.11n Wi-Fi.

There is one new addition, which is directly related to Touch ID and the iPad mini 3's ability to support in-app Apple Pay payments. Like the iPad Air 2, the iPad mini 3 includes a 65V10 NFC controller manufactured by NXP.

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NFC Controller in blue

There is no accompanying NFC antenna to allow the tablet to make NFC-based payments within stores, but there has been strong speculation suggesting the NFC chip is where Apple Pay's "Secure Element" is located. According to Apple, the Secure Element is a dedicated chip that stores encrypted Device Account Numbers, which replace credit card numbers for security reasons.

Though the iPad mini 3 and the iPad Air 2 are not able to make payments within stores, they can make Apple Pay payments within participating apps and thus utilize both the Secure Element and Device Account Numbers.

NXP's own site details the use of a specific integrated circuit designed for handling and storing secure data on its website, stating the technology has been integrated into its NFC controller chips. While the 65V10 is not mentioned by name, its appearance in both the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3 suggests that it is indeed being used for its security function rather than its NFC function.

Aside from the inclusion of the 65V10 NFC chip, which is located in a spot on the logic board that was previously left blank, there are few other notable features about the iPad mini 3. iFixit did find that the tablet has new home button cabling to support Touch ID and home button brackets that are securely affixed by hot glue, which makes removing the home button a much more difficult task.

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Like the Touch ID cable in the iPhone 5s, the location of the Touch ID cable in the iPad mini 3 makes screen repairs very difficult, as the cable is easy to sever when opening up the display. Due to the glue and the precarious position of the Touch ID cable, the iPad mini 3 earned a repairability score of 2 out of 10 from iFixit.

Apple's iPad mini 3 is currently available in both retail stores and from Apple's online store, with prices that start at $399.
Apple's new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 have begun hitting retail stores, as we reported earlier, and the tablets are now available for in-store pickup for a limited number of retail locations that have received shipments. It appears that in-store availability is limited to Wi-Fi only tablets at this time.

Many stores on the east coast of the United States are showing wide availability of both tablets as stores receive shipments and unpack boxes. Availability on the west coast is still limited as it is earlier in the day and stores are not yet prepared to begin retail sales.

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Apple store employees appear to be unaware that stores are receiving stock today, as several phone calls placed by MacRumors resulted in responses suggesting the tablets would not arrive in stores until later in the week or early next week.

The iPad Air 2 is still showing shipping estimates of two to four days when ordered online, and some rumors have suggested that supplies are limited, which explains the tablet's quiet in-store release. At announcement, Apple declined to state when the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3 would be available in retail stores.

Apple's iPad mini 3, meanwhile, appears to be available in greater supply, displaying shipping estimates of 24 hours. iPad mini 3 pricing starts at $399 for the entry-level model, while iPad Air 2 pricing starts at $499.

While the iPad mini 3 received only Touch ID and a gold color option, the iPad Air 2 has seen significant updates including a thinner design, a new "gapless" display, an anti-reflective coating, 2GB of RAM, an A8X processor, and an upgraded 8-megapixel camera.
Following the launch of pre-orders last Friday, Apple's new iPad Air 2 and Retina iPad mini 3 models are now making their way into customers' hands and onto retail store shelves. According to The Inquirer and reports from MacRumors readers, pre-orders are now being delivered, and the tablets are now available for purchase online and in store.

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Customers in launch countries of the UK and Australia started receiving their tablets today and have already posted unboxing videos. Unlike the iPhone 6 which featured a plain white box, customers report the box for the iPad Air 2 is similar to the original iPad Air with a color representation of the iPad on the cover.


Apple's online store also is still accepting orders with delivery dates of 2 to 4 days for most iPad Air 2 models. In-store pickup for the Air 2 is not available yet for online shoppers, but we have heard from multiple sources that Wi-Fi models are arriving at at least some of Apple's own retail stores for sale beginning today. Based on online ordering, iPad mini 3 supplies are more abundant, with most Wi-Fi models currently available within 24 hours and cellular models shipping in 1-3 days.

Apple announced the iPad Air 2 last week, highlighting the device's new A8X processor, Touch ID sensor and improved camera. Early benchmarks suggest the iPad Air 2 is up to 55 percent faster than the iPhone 6 and 68 percent faster than last year's iPad Air. The first round of reviews of the Air 2 point out benefits such as a thinner profile and vibrant display, while also noting a slight decrease in battery life compared to the previous generation.

While the Air 2 has received fairly strong reviews, the iPad mini 3 has been less well received with most reviews noting the device's similarity to the iPad mini 2. The iPad mini 3 ships with the same processor and camera options as its predecessor, with the only notable improvements being a Touch ID fingerprint sensor and a new gold option.

The iPad Air 2 is available with a starting price of $499 for the 16GB Wi-Fi-only model, with equivalent cellular models available for $130 more. The iPad mini 3 starts at $399 and is available in Wi-Fi-only and cellular configurations.
Apple's iPad sales are down for the third straight quarter according to the company's earnings for its fourth fiscal quarter of 2014, selling a total of 12.3 iPads which is down from 14.1 million units in the year-ago quarter. The company has sold 68 million iPads in 2014 and has sold 237.5 million iPads total. The news comes after the company announced its new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 last week at its special media event.

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Earlier this year, Apple CEO Tim Cook commented that the drop in iPad sales over the past two quarters was just a "speed bump" for Apple. In the company's third-quarter earnings call, Cook highlighted overall sales of more than 225 million iPads since the device launched in 2010 and suggested the tablet market as a whole was still "in its infancy." The CEO also stated at the time that "significant innovation could be brought to the iPad" ahead of this year's new iPad releases.

The new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 will go on sale this week, although the company focused primarily on the former at its event. The iPad Air features a faster A8X processor, a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, a profile that is just 6.1 mm thick, and a new gapless laminated display that produces sharper images. Meanwhile, the iPad Mini 3 includes a few changes aside from the Touch ID home button and a new gold color option.

Apple is also said to be preparing to launch a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro early next year, although some reports have claimed that mass production of the larger tablet has been put on hold to shift resources towards iPhone 6 plus production. The display of the larger tablet will reportedly near ultra high-definition quality and will likely ship with the faster A8X processor.
Apple has begun accepting online pre-orders for the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3 in the United States and several other countries around the world. Rumors have suggested that initial supplies of the iPad Air 2 might be somewhat constrained, so prospective buyers should make their purchases as soon as possible. All models are currently showing shipping estimates of 2-4 business days in the U.S. store.

AT&T is also accepting pre-orders on cellular models of the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 with shipping estimates of 6-10 business days.

Announced on October 16, Apple’s second-generation iPad Air offers several significant improvements over the original iPad Air, including a thinner design, an A8X chip, Touch ID, 802.11ac, support for LTE Advanced, an improved 8-megapixel camera with an f/2.4 aperture, and an anti-reflective screen coating that cuts down on glare.

The iPad mini 3 offers the same internals as the iPad mini 2 (aka the iPad mini with Retina display), but it does come with Touch ID and a new gold color option.

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Available in white/silver, white/gold, and black/space gray, the iPad Air 2 is available in 16, 64, and 128GB configurations, with the Wi-Fi only models priced at $499, $599, and $699, respectively. Wi-Fi + Cellular models carry a $130 premium over Wi-Fi models and are priced at $629/$729/$829 for 16/64/128GB capacities.

The iPad mini 3 is also available in white/silver, white/gold, and black/space gray, and it also comes in 16, 64, and 128GB configurations. The corresponding Wi-Fi only models are priced at $399, $499, and $599, while the Wi-Fi + Cellular models are priced at $529, $629, and $729 for 16, 64, and 128GB configurations.

Both models can be pre-ordered immediately from Apple's online store. The company has not yet provided information on when the iPad mini 3 and the iPad Air 2 will be available in stores, giving an availability date of "later next week."
Apple has taken its online store down to prepare for the launch of iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 pre-orders. When Apple announced the two new tablets, it said pre-orders would be available starting on October 17, although the company did not specify when exactly pre-orders would start.

Given the short amount of time between the announcement of the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3 and the start of pre-orders, it is unclear whether other retailers and carriers will be prepared to offer iPad pre-orders.

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Apple's iPad Air 2, which includes several upgrades like Touch ID, an A8X chip, an improved camera, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and an anti-reflective screen, is available in 16, 64, and 128GB capacities. Pricing in the United States starts at $499 for the entry-level 16GB Wi-Fi only model and goes as high as $849 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular 128GB model.

The iPad mini 3, which has been updated with Touch ID and a new gold color option, is also available in 16, 64, and 128GB configurations. Pricing for the iPad mini 3 begins at $399 for the Wi-Fi only 16GB model and goes as high as $729 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular 128GB model.

Apple has not announced when the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3 will be in stores or when the two tablets will begin shipping out to customers, giving only an availability date of "later next week."
Historically, users purchasing cellular versions of iPads have had to choose their carrier at the time of purchase, with Apple shipping a device specifically configured for use on that carrier. But with the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, Apple is launching a new "Apple SIM" included with devices purchased in the United States and United Kingdom.

For U.S. users in particular, the Apple SIM allows users to easily move among AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint by taking advantage of short-term data plans as needed. And with EE participating in the UK, even access while abroad is simplified. And of course the system should work equally well for UK customers traveling abroad to the United States.

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Apple outlines the Apple SIM on its iPad Air 2 wireless feature page:
One SIM. Many options.

The new Apple SIM is preinstalled on iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi + Cellular models. The Apple SIM gives you the flexibility to choose from a variety of short-term plans from select carriers in the U.S. and UK right on your iPad. So whenever you need it, you can choose the plan that works best for you — with no long-term commitments. And when you travel, you may also be able to choose a data plan from a local carrier for the duration of your trip.
Apple notes in an explanatory pop up on its iPad Air 2 store page that Verizon is not a participating carrier and Verizon customers will need to visit Verizon stores to activate cellular service on their devices.
Today at its media event in Cupertino, Apple announced the iPad mini 3 with Touch ID Home button and a new gold color option. These updates appear to be the only significant changes over the previous generation, with the new model continuing to use the A7 chip from the original Retina iPad mini.

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In addition to gold, the iPad mini 3 also comes in the previous space gray and silver color options. The pricing will start at $399 for 16 GB Wi-Fi version, with 64 GB and 128 GB variations priced at $499 and $599 respectively. As usual, Wi-Fi + Cellular models of the iPad mini 3 will be priced at a $130 premium over the Wi-Fi only models.

iPad mini 3 will be available for pre-order tomorrow, October 17, and will begin shipping next week.

Alongside the iPad mini 3, Apple is continuing to sell the iPad mini 2 in 16 GB ($299/$429) and 32 GB ($349/$479) variants. The original 16 GB non-Retina iPad mini is also still available for ($249/$379).
Apple appears to have mistakenly updated its iPad User Guide for iOS 8 [Direct Link] with screenshots that divulge details on the company's upcoming iPad updates. The screenshots, designed for Apple's iOS 8.1 update to the User Guide, suggest new iPads referred to as the "iPad mini 3" and the "iPad Air 2" are coming tomorrow.

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Both tablets are confirmed to have Touch ID support in the guide and the design of the two tablets appears to be largely the same as the existing versions. Rumors have suggested the second-generation iPad Air may be thinner than the original version due to new integrated display, but that is not clear from the screenshots.

The iPad Air 2 has also been rumored to include a design that does away with the mute switch, but a rear-facing screenshot is not available to confirm that particular design change. The new mini will, however, continue to have a mute switch. Information included within the guide suggests the iPad Air 2 will be receiving an improved camera with support for Burst Mode images.

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Apple will introduce the next-generation iPad Air and Retina iPad mini tomorrow, at an event held on its Cupertino campus. Along with Touch ID, the iPad Air is said to be gaining an A8X processor, a new anti-reflective display, and a gold color option. It is unclear if the iPad mini will receive updates beyond Touch ID support as rumors have suggested Apple is aiming to focus on its larger, more popular tablet.

Update 11:45 AM: Apple has reverted the screenshots on the listing to match the currently available iOS 8 version of the guide.
Just about a day before Apple's October 16 media event, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a new report, saying that he expects supplies of iPad Air 2s to be constrained. His report also suggests that the 27-inch Retina Display iMac will have shipments begin before the end of the year and reiterates that the new iPad minis won't be a significant upgrade.

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Of the new products, we think the market will be more interested in iPad Air 2. However, as the poor yield rate of anti-reflective coating cover lens has delayed mass production, we estimate 2014 shipments of iPad Air 2 of 7- 9mn units, lower than the 12mn units of the then-new iPad Air shipments in 2013. We thus expect iPad Air 2 to contribute less to the supply chain than iPad Air did last year. We also don’t expect the event to boost supply chain shares much.
Kuo goes on to once again suggest that a significant update to the iPad mini isn't likely due to the iPad Air's larger "contribution to Apple's sales and earnings" and that iPad mini is seeing limited development resources because Apple is working on a brand-new 12.9-inch iPad.

The 27-inch Retina Display iMac is likely to begin shipments before the end of 2014, with the 21-inch Retina Display arriving sometime in the second half of 2015. The delay between the two models, Kuo suggests, is because of how difficult it is to develop two different sized high resolution panels at the same time.

Finally, Kuo corroborates reports that new MacBook models will not make an appearance at the October 16 event as Apple is waiting on Intel's Broadwell chips before significantly upgrading its laptop line. This includes the rumored 12-inch MacBook Air.

Apple is holding its press event this Thursday, October 16 at 10:00 AM PT on its Cupertino campus. Besides new iPads and iMacs, Apple is also expected to announce the public launch date for OS X Yosemite. MacRumors will provide live coverage of the event.
With Apple's October media event coming up later this week, the company has reportedly already begun shipping mass quantities of new product into the U.S. and appears to be setting up for a Friday, October 24 availability date, according to a source that has provided accurate information to MacRumors in the past.

The specific product being shipped was not identified by the source, but it likely is Apple's rumored upcoming iPad, though it is not clear which model -- the iPad Air 2, the Retina iPad mini 2, or both -- is being transported.

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Physical mockup of iPad Air 2 with Touch ID

The timing would be consistent with Apple's usual strategy for such launches, coming just over a week after the product's introduction. With the exception of major new category products like the Apple Watch or those for which there are severe production constraints, Apple typically unveils a product and ships it within a short period of time if not on the same day. Last year, Apple announced the iPad Air and Retina iPad mini on October 22 and launched the iPad Air on November 1, with the Retina iPad mini landing a few weeks later due to short supplies.

Based on these shipping estimates, Apple likely will announce its new iPad Air 2 and possibly an updated Retina iPad mini on Thursday with a target launch date of October 24. There is no word yet on the possibility of pre-orders, but if Apple does offer a pre-order period, it will likely start very soon after the event in order to allow shipments to be positioned for delivery on launch day.