Wednesday September 9, 2015 10:20 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple today announced the iPad mini 4 at its "Hey Siri" media event in San Francisco. The tablet is virtually a 7.9-inch version of the iPad Air 2 and is 6.1mm in thickness, which is 18% thinner than the previous generation. The tablet also weighs just 0.65 pounds with a 30% faster CPU and 60% faster graphics than the iPad Mini 3.
The new tablet also has all of the expected improvements in its camera, with advanced optics, an improved sensor, and an Apple‑designed image signal processor. The iPad Mini 4 includes Touch ID and uses new iOS 9 features like Slide Over, Split View, and Picture in Picture to provide users with a more robust and economical mobile experience.
iPad Mini 4 is available in Space Gray, Gold, and Silver for $399 (16GB), $499 (64GB), and $599 (128GB), including cellular options. Apple has dropped the iPad mini 3 from its lineup, while the iPad mini 2 is available for $269.
MacRumors will be providing live blog and Twitter coverage of the "Hey Siri" media event, which commences at 10 AM Pacific on Wednesday. Below is a roundup that previews what to expect at the keynote based on previous reports from MacRumors, 9to5Mac, TechCrunch, Re/code, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and other sources.
iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus
The ninth-generation iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will look virtually the same as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, retaining 4.7" and 5.5" ion-strengthened glass displays respectively with similar exterior designs.
It has been rumored for a few years that iPhones will eventually switch to sapphire crystal displays, but well-informed KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently claimed the material has yet to pass Apple's internal drop tests.
The rear shell will still have a layer of anodization to protect against corrosion and allow for different color options, including space gray, silver, gold and a new rose gold color. The new color should look similar to the rose gold Apple Watch Edition. ➜ Click here to read rest of article...
Monday August 17, 2015 10:45 am PDT by Juli Clover
Even as we await the public launch of iOS 9 in September, Apple is already looking ahead to iOS 9.1. During a two week span in July, Apple engineers appear to have focused their attention on developing the first major update to iOS 9, as seen in the MacRumors visitor logs from Apple IPs.
Beginning on July 21, we started seeing a small number of hits from devices running iOS 9.1. Visits picked up on July 22 and peaked in the dozens on July 28, before dying down as August approached. The majority of hits we received came from an iPad or iPad mini-sized device, while the rest came from a device the same size as the iPhone 6 Plus. It is not clear if the visits came from existing iOS devices or from new devices that are in testing, including the iPhone 6s Plus and the iPad mini 3.
Visits to MacRumors.com via Apple's networks from devices running iOS 9.1
Visits from iOS 9.1 devices have since tapered off, suggesting Apple's iOS team is once again working on getting iOS 9 ready for launch. It is not known why a two week period was spent on iOS 9.1, but it's possibly related to testing on the iPad Pro or iPad mini 4, both of which may already be in production or entering production soon.
We don't know what features will be introduced in iOS 9.1, but logic dictates it may be an update that's designed to launch alongside the larger-screened 12.9-inch "iPad Pro," which has been rumored to be coming in October or November. We did not, however, see visits from a device that corresponds to the rumored 2732 x 2048 display size of the iPad Pro.
For the past several years, Apple's iPads have debuted during the fall, launching in October or November at an event separate from the annual iPhone event. This year, there's been a rumor suggesting the next-generation iPads, namely the iPad mini 4, could debut in September alongside the iPhones, but it is not yet clear if this is Apple's plan.
BuzzFeed's John Paczkowski, who shared the event date for the 2015 iPhone 6 launch, believes new iPads are a possibility, but called the iPad Pro a "wildcard" for the event. Given how little we've heard about the device in recent weeks and the lack of part leaks, it seems unlikely the iPad Pro is ready for a September debut.
A standalone October or November launch date for the device seems more likely, and that launch could correspond to the iOS 9.1 update that is in the works. The iPad Pro may include several new features that will require a dedicated update, such as a pressure sensitive Force Touch display, a stylus, and a USB-C port that could support peripheral devices.
Tuesday August 11, 2015 5:10 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Files within OS X El Capitan indicate the upcoming iPad mini 4 will support full Split View multitasking, suggesting its internal specs will be on par with the iPad Air 2. An OS X El Capitan resource file first located by developer Hamza Sood and 9to5Mac from the Safari 9 browser depicts an iPad mini with two apps side-by-side, which is how the Split View feature works.
Responsive design mode, which gives developers a way to test different layouts in Safari 9, also allows developers to simulate a Split View layout on an iPad mini 3. The iPad mini 3 does not support Split View, offering further proof that the iPad mini 4 is likely to be the tablet that uses Split View multitasking.
iOS 9 introduces multitasking for the iPad, and while two of the features, Picture-in-Picture and Slide Over, are available on the iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 2, and iPad mini 3, the true Split View multitasking feature is only available on the iPad Air 2 because it has 2GB of RAM and a robust A8X processor.
To support Split View, the upcoming iPad mini 4 will need to have internal specs that match or exceed those of the iPad Air 2. It's likely the device will include Apple's A8X processor or the A9 processor that's being used in its 2015 iOS devices, with 2GB of RAM also being a strong possibility.
Multitasking on the iPad in iOS 9
Specs for the iPad mini 4 have not yet been confirmed, as rumors have focused primarily on the external design of the device. It's expected to look like a smaller version of the iPad Air 2, with a much slimmer 6.1mm body and iPad Air 2-style design features.
Monday August 10, 2015 5:13 am PDT by Mitchel Broussard
The upcoming iPad mini 4 will be the smallest the line-up has seen, equivalent to a miniaturized version of the iPad Air 2, according to a new design render video shared by uSwitch and Nowhereelse.fr's OnLeaks channel. The render gives the iPad mini 4 a thickness of 6.1mm, the same as the iPad Air 2, and less than the current 7.5mm thickness of the iPad mini 3.
The design render video backs up a part of a previous rumor that claimed the next iPad mini would adopt the slimmer form factor of the current line-up of iPad Air models, alongside the Air's 8-megapixel rear-facing iSight camera and a fully laminated display with anti-reflective coating. Today's report gives no news on the iPad mini 4's internal upgrades, nor its camera or display changes, but Apple will undoubtedly aim to make the new generation of mini a bit more substantial than the simple addition of Touch ID that was introduced with last year's model.
Apple is expected to reveal the new line-up of iPads at the next major company keynote, rumored as of now to be taking place on September 9. Alongside the iPad mini and iPad Air, the company is likely to showcase the so-called "iPhone 6s" and "iPhone 6s Plus" at the event, and possibly even finally reveal the next-generation Apple TV set-top box.
Apple's fourth-generation iPad mini could be a miniaturized version of the iPad Air 2, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. The report claims that the iPad mini 4 will adopt some of the same features and specifications as the iPad Air 2, including an 8-megapixel rear-facing iSight camera, ultra-thin 6.1mm design and possibly a fully laminated display with anti-reflective coating.
Mac Otakara claims that Apple may release the new iPad mini alongside an A9-based iPad Air 3, contrary to a sketchy report last week from Taiwan's Economic Daily News that said no new iPad Air will be released in 2015 and that the iPad mini 4 could be Apple's last 7.9-inch tablet as the company focuses on its larger-sized iPad Air and much-rumored "iPad Pro" in the future.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a respectable track record at reporting on Apple's upcoming product plans, recently issued a note to investors that also claimed the iPad mini 4 will essentially be a smaller version of the iPad Air 2. Kuo did not make any predictions about the iPad Air 3 or the "iPad Pro" in his note, but he has mentioned the latter 12.9-inch tablet in previous notes to investors.
Apple releasing a trio of new iPads later this year -- the iPad Air 3, iPad mini 4 and "iPad Pro" -- could help the company rebound from five consecutive quarters of declining iPad sales. Moreover, while Mac Otakara has a respectable track record reporting about Apple, there is not enough substantive evidence at this time to firmly suggest that all three tablets will actually be unveiled this autumn.
In a new research note outlining his predictions for Apple's recently completed financial quarter and beyond, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo shares his thinking about some of Apple's upcoming product plans that will provide sales momentum in the latter portion of the year.
- Apple Watch: Kuo remains conservative about the Apple Watch, pegging Apple's second quarter shipments at roughly 3.9 million and growing to 5.5 million in the current quarter as supply shortages ease and availability expands to more countries. As a result, he believes it will be difficult for Apple to reach Wall Street consensus estimates for 15 million units total through the end of the year, though analyst estimates have seen wide variations and Apple is indicated it will not be reporting Apple Watch unit sales in its financial results.
Notably, Kuo believes Apple could launch the Apple Watch Sport in new color options to match iPhone 6s colors later this year, anodizing the watch's aluminum casing with yellow and rose gold. Kuo and other sources have previously pointed to a new iPhone color (reportedly rose gold) and Kuo indicated months ago that Apple could use new casing options for the Apple Watch later this year.
- iPhone: Kuo believes Apple shipped roughly 54.2 million iPhones during the second calendar quarter, and he predicts that number will fall to 40.1 million in the current quarter as sales slow ahead of the "iPhone 6s" launch and shipments of the new device may get off to a somewhat slow start due to "low yield of Force Touch."
- iPad: Apple's iPad sales continue to slide, with Kuo predicting the company shipped just 8.8 million in the current quarter. He believes a thinner and lighter iPad mini that is essentially a smaller version of the iPad Air 2 could begin shipping at the tail end of the quarter, helping boost overall shipments to 11 million units during the third calendar quarter. Apple's iPad launches typically come in October, however, so shipments may not begin until the fourth quarter. In line with a recent report claiming Apple may not introduce a new iPad Air this year, Kuo does not mention any pending updates to that device. He also does not address the even larger "iPad Pro" that has been rumored to launch later this year.
- Mac: Kuo predicts strong Mac shipments of 5.3 million units for the second quarter, rising to over 5.8 million in the current quarter, which is traditionally Apple's best quarter on the strength of back to school sales. He sees Apple releasing new iMacs late in the third quarter or early in the fourth quarter, helping to sustain Mac demand.
Kuo has a solid track record based on information from Apple's supply chain, but he does occasionally make incorrect predictions. As a result, some caution should be taken with these predictions.
While the iPad Air 2 may not see a refresh, the iPad mini 4 and iPad Pro will see introductions. Liaoxian Li, investment advisor at Fubon Hardware, tells Economic Daily News that Apple may want the attention on the new iPad Pro and thus will let its main assembly plant for iPads, Foxconn, focus on the Pro to maximize deployment capacity. Li believes a new iPad Air might not be released until 2016. Economic Daily News has a mixed track record on rumors and the accuracy of this particular analyst isn't known.
Additionally, the report claims that the new iPad mini might be the last one as the Apple wants to focus on the two larger iPads in the future. Many people were disappointed with the iPad mini update in 2014, which essentially added Touch ID to the existing iPad mini 2. The next iPad mini will likely be more of an upgrade, with a rumored rear shell featuring iPad Air 2 design elements already making the rounds.
While it's possible Apple won't upgrade the iPad Air 2 this year, the company has been constraining supplies of the iPad Air to third-party retailers, suggesting the iPad Air 2 would become the lower-cost option as an iPad Air 3 slots into Apple's tablet lineup. However, it's possible Apple introduces an iPad Air 3 with minimal additions, as it did with the iPad mini 3.
Insider inventory constraint information from major retailer Target hints at some possible end of life timelines for various products like the iPod, iPad mini 2, and iPad Air, many of which may be discontinued in the near future following the launch of new products.
According to a screenshot of an internal inventory system shared by a Target employee, all models of the iPod are currently constrained by Apple ahead of a rumored update that could come as soon as tomorrow.
Images of unreleased iPod touches, nanos, and shuffles were first discovered hidden within iTunes 12.2, and a rumor has suggested the iPod touch could receive a processor upgrade and new color options while the nano and the shuffle might be available in new colorways.
As for the iPad mini 2 and the iPad Air, replenishment of existing stock is currently constrained, with Target aiming to have 1 color in stock at each of its stores. Dwindling in-store stock suggests Apple could be planning to discontinue the iPad mini 2 and the iPad Air following the release of new models, which is expected to happen in the fall.
The iPad mini 2 and the iPad Air may be replaced by the iPad mini 3 and the iPad Air 2 as lower-cost older-generation models following the launch of a third-generation iPad Air and a fourth-generation iPad mini. We haven't heard much on what a third-generation iPad Air might offer, but an A9 processor and Force Touch are solid guesses.
A fourth-generation iPad mini has been rumored to be in the works, with an iPad Air-style redesign that eliminates the mute switch and introduces larger speaker holes. An updated iPad mini would also likely incorporate a much-improved processor, more RAM, and possibly Force Touch.
It is not clear when Apple plans to introduce new iPad mini and iPad Air models, but Target's guess of fall 2015 is a safe bet. For the last several years, Apple has updated its iPad lineup in October or November, and that's when we're likely to see new iPads in 2015. This year's iPad update may include an all new model, the much-rumored larger-screened iPad Pro.
Apple has quietly pulled the original iPad mini from the Apple Online Store this week and removed other references of the tablet from its website, as noted by 9to5Mac. The nearly three-year-old iPad mini was announced in October 2012 as a smaller 7.9-inch version of the iPad, but the tablet has since been succeeded by the iPad mini 2 and iPad mini 3, the latter featuring a Retina display, Touch ID and 64-bit A7 processor.
Apple dropped the price of the first-gen A5-based iPad mini to $299 in October 2013 and further discounted the tablet to $249 in October 2014, but the device was a hard sell given the iPad mini 2 starts at $299 with newer features. The original iPad mini remains available in the refurbished section of the Apple Online Store for between $209 and $409 depending on the specific model and storage capacity.
The original iPad mini remains available in limited quantities through authorized third-party resellers such as Amazon, although likely only until leftover stock is depleted. Apple's remaining tablet lineup for sale includes the iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad mini 3 and iPad mini 2, and the company is widely rumored to introduce a larger 12.9-inch "iPad Pro" targeted at professional users later this year.
When Apple launched the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3 in late 2014, many people were disappointed with the iPad mini update, which essentially just added Touch ID to the existing iPad mini 2 with no other external design changes. Since then, there have been a few rumors suggesting Apple is working on an iPad mini 4 update that includes iPad Air 2 design elements like a thinner body.
French site Nowhereelse.fr [Google Translate] today shared a video and some images of what's said to be an early version of the rear casing for the upcoming iPad mini 4.
The aluminum shell closely resembles the shell of the existing iPad mini, but it does include several design elements introduced with the iPad Air 2. There's a single row of larger speaker holes alongside the Lightning port at the bottom of the device, rather than two smaller rows, and the mute switch on the device has been removed and replaced with a microphone hole.
Rumors have suggested the iPad mini 4 will be thinner than the iPad mini 2 and the iPad mini 3, giving it a thickness more akin to the iPad Air 2, but it is difficult to determine the device's possible thickness based on the images that were shared. Along with an iPad Air-style design, an updated iPad mini 4 would likely adopt one of Apple's more recent processors, possibly the A8X in the iPad Air 2 or an A9 processor coming later this year.
There's been little word on when an updated iPad mini might launch, but given Apple's historical fall release schedule for iPads, it's unlikely we will see the iPad mini 4 until the later months of 2015.
Thursday April 2, 2015 6:38 pm PDT by Husain Sumra
Samsung will provide Apple with A9 chips for its next-generation iPhone and other devices, reportsBloomberg, confirming a previous report in early February. Over the past couple of months there had been confusion and conflicting reports as to whether Samsung, Apple's longtime supplier and rival, or Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) would produce the chips.
Samsung will start making Apple A9 processor chips at its Giheung plant in South Korea, the people said, asking not to be identified because the contract hasn’t been discussed publicly. Additional orders will go to Samsung’s partner Globalfoundries Inc., according to another person familiar with the arrangement.
In 2013, Apple signed a chip production deal with TSMC in hopes of diversifying its supply chain resources and reducing its reliance on Samsung amid the two companies' ongoing legal disputes.
It appears that Samsung's investment in manufacturing technologies won Apple over, with TSMC Chairman Morris Chang recently telling investors that the company would lose ground to Samsung in producing the most advanced chip technology possible in 2015, though he also noted the company would regain that advantage in 2016.
Samsung is reportedly producing the chips with its advanced 14-nanometer process, which has outpaced TSMC's capabilities and results in smaller chips that consume less energy and provide more processing power. The Korean company is also said to be providing memory chips for Apple's next-generation devices.
Thus far, little is known about what the next-generation iPhones or iPads could include other than new A9 chips, but new reports indicate Apple could be bringing its new Force Touch technology to the devices. Other rumors also suggest the A9 may make its way into the "iPad Pro", which may debut in late 2015. It's likely the 2015 versions of the iPad Air and iPad mini will be outfitted with versions of the A9 as well.
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