Thursday January 17, 2019 4:19 am PST by Tim Hardwick
Apple is said to be launching two new tablets in the first half of this year, including the rumored "iPad mini 5" as well as a likely replacement for its current entry-level iPad.
DigiTimes made the claim today in a report highlighting stable shipment expectations for Apple's touch panel suppliers, Taiwan-based General Interface Solution (GIS) and TPK Holding.
Apple reportedly plans to launch two entry-level tablets in the first half of 2019, including a fifth-generation iPad mini and another entry-level iPad model, said the sources.
The claim follows a rumor carried last month by the China Times that Apple is preparing to launch a new iPad mini in the first half of 2019, followed by a new entry-level iPad in two versions, with at least one featuring a 10-inch display within a narrower frame.
Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed in October that Apple is working on a new version of the iPad mini with an upgraded processor and a lower-cost display panel, with the device being launched in 2018 or 2019.
Ironically, Kuo's prediction came two months after DigiTimes said it did not believe Apple plans to introduce an updated iPad mini, and in fact has "no further plan" for the smaller tablet.
An alleged case for the next-generation iPad mini also surfaced in December that featured a vertical camera cutout, suggesting a camera arrangement similar to the iPad Pro with a rear flash, and a center microphone cutout.
Apple hasn't updated its smallest iPad since September 2015, but the device did receive a price cut in March 2017, with a 128GB capacity model costing $399.
As for the entry-level iPad, Apple was previously reported to be launching the two new low-priced versions in 2019 to boost the sales growth of its affordable tablet options. The 9.7-inch iPad was last updated in March 2018 and in the same month the year before that.
Today's DigiTimes report cites industry sources claiming GIS will supply over 40 percent of the touch panels for the new iPads, while TPK and China-based O-film Technology will provide the remaining 60 percent.
Tuesday January 8, 2019 8:16 am PST by Joe Rossignol
Photos of an unreleased iPad mini with hardware different than that of any previous generation of the tablet were shared on Twitter today by a person using the pseudonym Mr. White. The same user has shared many photos of what appear to be early prototypes of Apple products along with components in recent months.
The photos, spotted by 9to5Mac, depict a rose gold iPad mini with an antenna band that forms the shape of a rounded rectangle. The current iPad mini 4 has a similar antenna design, but the rounded rectangle is filled in with plastic to ensure proper transmission of signals from the wireless chip inside.
Apple later improved its antenna design and only required a narrow band for cellular connectivity on 2017 iPad Pro models. This suggests the iPad mini in the photos could be a new model in development.
Beyond that, the iPad mini in the photos looks identical to the iPad mini 4, with a headphone jack, side volume controls, Lightning connector, two speakers along the bottom, and so forth. The tablet also lacks a LED flash next to the rear camera, consistent with every previous iPad mini generation.
Last month, an alleged case for the so-called iPad mini 5 surfaced with a vertical cutout for the rear camera, suggesting the new model might have a rear camera, LED flash, and center microphone cutout. The case also had cutouts for four speakers, however, a feature that feels too premium for the lower-priced iPad mini. In other words, the case might not necessarily be for a future iPad mini.
The iPad mini 4 was released in September 2015 and remains available for purchase for $399 and up in the United States.
The anonymous Mr. White shared photos of an alleged iPad mini 5 logic board a few months ago along with a diagnostics report indicating that the tablet will have a TSMC-manufactured Apple A9 chip used in iPhone 6s models. The iPad mini 4 is powered by the Apple A8 chip found in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
All this said, the iPad mini shown in photos today could be an older prototype that may or may not ever be released. Apple prototypes all sorts of different devices and configurations internally that don't always see the light of day.
If a new iPad mini is on the horizon, though, March has been a common release month for iPads in recent years.
Monday December 31, 2018 6:00 am PST by Juli Clover
2019 promises to be a major year for Apple, with a number of exciting products on the horizon. Apple's promised modular Mac Pro for its professional user base is expected to come out in 2019, and there's a new TV service under development that's going to come out during the first half of the year.
Apple is working on a new iPad mini, a new lower-cost HomePod, over-the-ear headphones to go along with revamped AirPods, and, as always, there are new iPhones coming in 2019.
Below, we've rounded up all of the products we're expecting to see from Apple in 2019 based on both current rumors that we've heard so far and past release information.
Apple announced the AirPower, designed to charge the iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods all at once, in September 2017. At the time the AirPower debuted, Apple said it would launch sometime in 2018. Since then, we've heard little about the device, and no sign of it has materialized.
In fact, Apple has scrubbed most of the mentions of the AirPower from its website, but because the device was mentioned in the user guides for the latest iPhones, it appears it hasn't been scrapped and is still in development, with Apple perhaps aiming to launch it in 2019.
So what's the reason for the delay? Rumors suggest Apple was overly ambitious with the AirPower and has been having trouble with overheating, multi-device charging circuitry, and software bugs, all of which has led to a pushed back launch date.
We don't know when the AirPower might be coming, but it doesn't look like the product has been abandoned just yet, and it's possible we'll be hearing an update in the near future.
Apple is going to continue with its three iPhone lineup in 2019, offering three iPhones that will be similar in size and design to the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR.
It sounds like Apple will continue to use an LCD/OLED split for the displays, and all of the iPhones are likely to feature A13 chips from Apple supplier TSMC. Chip upgrades typically bring improved performance and efficiency, and the A13 will be no different.
At least some of the iPhones expected in 2019 could use a triple-lens rear-facing camera setup for improved images, and a revamped TrueDepth camera system with a smaller notch is a possibility.
Apple Pencil support could finally come to the iPhone in 2019, and we've heard some mixed rumors suggesting the entire 2019 iPhone lineup will do away with 3D Touch, with all iPhones instead adopting the Haptic Touch feature of the XR.
We'll hear a lot more about the 2019 iPhones as the year progresses, but it's sounding like the upcoming devices will have some exciting improvements to look forward to.
There's no new set-top box coming in 2019 that we know of, but Apple is said to be "considering" a smaller Apple TV device that would be an Apple TV dongle similar to the Amazon Fire Stick or the Google Chromecast.
Such a device would make the Apple TV interface and any Apple content available at a lower price point. Right now, Apple charges $179 for the Apple TV 4K and $149 for the non-4K version.
Amazon's Fire Stick
Competing dongle-style devices from Amazon and Google are priced at $25 to $35, so an entry-level Apple TV dongle could allow Apple to significantly expand its audience and it could provide more people with access to Apple's rumored streaming TV service.
Apple has more than a dozen original television shows and movies in development after starting to work on creating original TV content in earnest in 2017 and 2018.
Many of the TV shows Apple is working on feature high-profile directors, producers, and actors, with rumors suggesting the first TV shows will debut in 2019 as part of an upcoming TV streaming service.
Apple could bundle its service with an Apple Music subscription and an upcoming digital magazine and news subscription, offering all-in-one access to paid news, magazines, original TV shows, movies, and Apple Music content, but standalone subscriptions are also likely to be available.
Apple is said to be planning to launch the TV service in more than 100 countries in 2019, starting with the United States in early 2019 and then expanding to additional locations.
At least some of Apple's original television content could be made available for free through the TV app, and Apple's own original offerings may be offered alongside subscription channels from companies like HBO and Starz.
We expected to get an AirPods update with "Hey Siri" hands-free Siri support and a new wireless charging case, but that case was meant to come out alongside the AirPower, and with no AirPower, we saw no AirPods update in 2018.
For that reason, if the AirPower comes out in 2019, we could get the aforementioned wireless charging case and the "Hey Siri" update for the AirPods at some point during the year.
With a "Hey Siri" feature, AirPods users will be able to activate Siri without needing to double tap on the AirPods with a finger.
There's been some disagreement on when these higher-end AirPods might come out. Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says not to expect redesigned, upgraded AirPods until 2020, while Bloomberg has said some of these features could come in 2019.
Given the delay of the AirPower, it's not quite clear what Apple's plans are, and whether we're still getting distinct second-generation and third-generation AirPods with different features. We can count on seeing some kind of AirPods upgrade in 2019, but whether it's a minor update or a more significant redesign remains to be seen.
To accompany the AirPods and the HomePod, Apple is rumored to be developing a set of high-end over-ear headphones that will be Apple branded rather than Beats branded.
Apple's Beats Studio over-ear headphones
The headphones are said to be "as convenient as AirPods" but with superior sound quality, and active noise cancellation features could be included. Apple's new headphones are rumored to be coming in 2019, so we could see them alongside a HomePod or AirPods refresh at some point during the year.
Though the Mac Pro hasn't been updated since 2013, Apple is working on an entirely revamped high-end high-throughput modular version that will facilitate regular upgrades to meet the needs of Apple's pro user base.
Apple announced the revamp in 2017, but said that it wouldn't be finished until 2019. Apple is committed to making the upcoming Mac Pro the highest-end Apple desktop system available, allowing it to accommodate VR and high-end cinema production.
Modular Mac Pro concept from Curved.de
A "Pro Workflow Team" has been established to tailor the new Mac Pro and other Apple products to the professional user base.
Apple plans to design the new Mac Pro to allow for future upgrades and higher-end hardware. According to Apple execs, the current Mac Pro restricted the company's ability to upgrade it because it was designed for dual GPUs rather than larger single GPUs.
The Mac Pro will be accompanied by an Apple-branded pro display, which is likely to be at least 27 inches with a 5K resolution. We don't know much about the display or specific details on the new Mac Pro, but we will hear more in 2019.
Neither the iMac nor the iMac Pro got updated in 2018, which means 2019 updates could happen. We've heard few rumors on what to expect in updated iMac and iMac Pro machines, but faster processors are always a guarantee and there's been some vague detail on display improvements.
Check out our iMac and iMac Pro roundups for more details on Apple's desktop machines and upcoming rumors.
The MacBook didn't get a 2018 update, and now that it's so similar in design and specs to the MacBook Air, which now has a Retina Display and a slimmer body, it's not clear what Apple has planned for the MacBook.
It could get a 2019 update with new processors and there has been some speculation that the MacBook will be the first of Apple's Macs to get an Apple-designed ARM processor in the future, but we'll have to wait and see.
Right now, the MacBook is slower and more expensive than the MacBook Air, but it still has the benefit of being Apple's most compact machine.
There are no rumors, but we could see refreshed and upgraded MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models in 2019, and perhaps a new Mac mini if Apple is going to adopt a more regular upgrade cycle for that machine.
iPad Pro models were just updated in October so there are no real rumors on features that might come to a refreshed version in 2019 if a refresh is planned, but rumors have suggested Apple's next-generation version of iOS, iOS 13, will include some iPad-centric features that could improve the overall iPad experience not just on the iPad Pro, but on all iPads.
As for other iPads, Apple is said to be working on a refreshed version of the 7.9-inch iPad mini, which has gone so long without a refresh that before a few recent rumors, we were sure it had been abandoned.
An alleged iPad mini 5 case leak suggests the upcoming tablet could perhaps feature some iPad Pro-style elements, like four speakers, a Smart Connector, Apple Pencil support, and more, while rumors have said we can expect an improved processor and a lower-cost display, which indicates a lower overall price tag.
Apple is supposedly planning to boost flagging iPad sales with the smaller model, and the company is also rumored to be working on an upgraded version of the low-cost 9.7-inch iPad. The new affordable replacement could be somewhat bigger in size -- 10 inches instead of 9.7-inches -- and a redesign with slimmer bezels and perhaps Face ID is a possibility.
There are no rumors about a refreshed Apple Watch just yet, but because the Apple Watch is updated on a yearly basis right alongside the iPhone, we can expect an Apple Watch Series 5 in 2019.
What might be included in the update is anyone's guess at this point, but there have been rumors of additional health sensors for years, and Apple has proven its willingness to get involved with the FDA with the launch of the ECG feature in the Apple Watch Series 4.
For that reason, more advanced health tracking features could be coming, but we'll need to wait until later in the year to get an idea of what's coming.
Each year in June, Apple debuts new versions of iOS, watchOS, macOS, and tvOS, so we're expected to see new software again this year. We've already heard a bit of detail on what we can expect from iOS 13 and macOS 10.15.
Apple last year pushed several features planned for iOS 12 to iOS 13 in order to focus on under-the-hood performance improvements and bug fixes, so we can expect features rumored for iOS 12 to show up in iOS 13.
The iOS 13 update is said to include several new features aimed at iPad owners, such as a revamped Files app, in-app tabs for opening multiple windows of the same app, support for using the same app side-by-side in Split View multitasking mode, Apple Pencil improvements, and new features for business users.
Features pushed back from iOS 12 include a revamped Home screen app grid for the iPhone and iPad, expanded photo management features, and more.
We don't know a lot about what to expect in the next-generation version of macOS, but we do know that it will feature an extension of Apple's project to bring iOS apps to the Mac.
With macOS Mojave, Apple ported several iOS apps like Home, Stocks, Apple News, and Voice Memos over to the Mac, and in macOS 10.15, this functionality will be extended to third-party developers, making it easier for developers to create apps that are functional on both macOS and iOS.
This is an initiative that will include tweaks to both macOS 10.15 and iOS 13 to further introduce common frameworks between the two operating systems. Expect to see more iOS-style apps made available for the Mac following the launch of macOS 10.15.
What's Not Likely in 2019
iPhone users who prefer smaller devices have been hoping for an updated version of the 4-inch iPhone SE, but it doesn't look like Apple is working on a new 4-inch iPhone.
In 2018, there were some leaks and hints of a 4-inch iPhone under development, but a lot of this information was a combination of wishful thinking and leaked iPhone XR details.
We've heard no further word of a 4-inch iPhone, and with Apple's iPhone lineup now featuring devices ranging in starting price from $449 (iPhone 7) to $1099 (iPhone XS Max), there's not a lot of room for a smaller iPhone.
The 4.7-inch iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 are currently the smallest iPhones that Apple offers for sale, and the original iPhone SE has been discontinued altogether.
AR Smart Glasses
We've heard multiple rumors suggesting Apple is prototyping augmented reality smart glasses and virtual reality headsets, but while these products are in development, a release is not expected just yet.
According to rumors, Apple is working on an augmented reality headset with a dedicated display, built-in processor, and a new "rOS" operating system based on iOS, with the "r" standing for reality. Apple is said to be aiming to finish work on an augmented reality headset by 2019 ahead of a launch it hopes will come in 2020.
There are some exciting products in the works from Apple in 2019, and we'll certainly see some unexpected surprises as well, as we do every year. Make sure to follow MacRumors.com and the MacRumors roundups over the course of 2019 to keep up with all of the rumors about the upcoming products that Apple has in development.
Wednesday December 26, 2018 9:17 am PST by Juli Clover
An alleged case for the next-generation iPad mini surfaced on Slashleaks over the holidays, providing a look at what we can perhaps expect from the next-generation iPad mini.
There's a vertical camera cutout, suggesting the iPad mini 5 might have a camera arrangement similar to the iPad Pro with a rear flash, and a center microphone cutout.
Speaker cutouts at the top and the bottom hint at a possible four-speaker arrangement, and there appears to be a cutout for a headphone jack at the top.
There is also a cutout at the side, which could mean the iPad mini will get a Smart Connector to support a Smart Keyboard, much like the iPad Pro.
Aside from these details, not much can be gleaned from the case, and we have no way to verify if it's actually a case designed for a fifth-generation iPad mini.
While we have heard rumors suggesting Apple is indeed working on an iPad mini 5, none of these rumors have included much detail on what new features might be added to the 7.9-inch tablet.
It makes sense that Apple would add a feature set that would bring its smallest tablet in line with the sixth-generation iPad at the very least, however, and it could also adopt a few features from the iPad Pro. We can expect an upgraded processor and a lower-cost display panel, according to reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
We don't know when the new iPad mini will debut, but recent rumors have suggested Apple will release it in the first half of 2019 to revitalize flagging iPad sales.
Friday December 21, 2018 3:41 am PST by Tim Hardwick
Apple is preparing to launch a new fifth-generation iPad mini in the first half of 2019, according to sources in the Apple supply chain cited by the China Times, followed by a new entry-level iPad in two versions.
The report, first spotted by Japanese blog Mac Otakara, claims that Apple is preparing to launch a low-priced so-called iPad mini 5 in the first half of next year in an attempt to halt a general decline in iPad sales, with mass production expected to start by the end of December.
Apple hasn't updated its smallest iPad since September 2015, but the device did receive a price cut in March 2017, with a 128GB capacity model costing $399.
Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed in October that Apple is working on a new version of the iPad mini with an upgraded processor and a lower-cost display panel, with the device being launched in 2018 or early next year.
Notably, Kuo's prediction came two months after DigiTimes said it did not believe Apple plans to introduce an updated iPad mini, and in fact has "no further plan" for the smaller tablet.
As for Apple's entry-level iPad, today's report claims that next year Apple will replace its sixth-generation 9.7-inch iPad with a similarly priced model that features a 10-inch display within a narrower frame.
Following strong sales of the 2017 model, Apple is said to be launching two low-priced versions of the iPad in 2019 to boost sales growth. A more exact timeframe for launch was not given beyond the "second half" of 2019. Apple's 9.7-inch iPad was last updated in March 2018 and in the same month the year before that.
Apple's 9.7-inch iPad is thicker, heavier, and has fewer features than iPad Pro models, but it does support Apple Pencil and is also Apple's most affordable tablet, starting at $329.
Today's report goes on to say Apple plans to reduce production costs of the two iPads by reducing the amount to LED procurement in Japan and switching to Korean-made LED displays.
Tuesday October 30, 2018 7:06 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple held a second hardware-centric fall event this morning in New York City, where the company launched updated iPad Pro models, a refreshed version of the MacBook Air, and a new Mac mini.
Prior to the event, though, there were rumors suggesting we'd also see some other products that didn't end up making an appearance.
Rumors suggested Apple was working on updated iMac models with new processors, but it doesn't look like the iMac lineup is going to get a 2018 refresh at this point.
There wasn't a lot of detail on what to expect from a new iMac, but Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo did say Apple was working on a version with an upgraded processor and a "significant display performance upgrade."
With no new iMac making an appearance at today's event, we don't know when we'll see an updated version.
Prior to today's event, there was a lot of confusion over a rumored lower-cost notebook, which turned out to be a MacBook Air. It wasn't clear if the device would be in the MacBook Air or the MacBook family for good reason - it was rumored to be a 13-inch machine with a MacBook Air style design, a lower price tag, and a Retina display.
Those options turned out to be true, and the new MacBook Air is slimmer with thinner bezels, a faster processor, built-in Touch ID, and a Retina display, the feature previously differentiating the MacBook Air from the 12-inch MacBook.
Now that this new $1,199 MacBook Air with 8th-Gen Intel processors, Touch ID, T2 chip, and a slimmer chassis exists, it's not entirely clear what Apple plans to do with the 12-inch MacBook lineup, which starts at just $100 more.
There were rumors the 12-inch MacBook lineup would also be updated at today's event, but it wasn't refreshed.
Is this the end of the MacBook? It's not clear what Apple has in store for its thinnest, lightest machine, nor when it might see an update. With faster 8th-Gen processors and a Retina display in the new MacBook Air, the only real distinguishing feature between the MacBook and the MacBook Air is the MacBook's smaller size.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said just ahead of Apple's event that a new iPad mini is in the works, but he wasn't sure if it would be included in the October 30th product unveilings. As it turns out, it wasn't, and if a new iPad mini is in development, there's no word on when we'll see it launch.
AirPower and AirPods
There was some speculation that Apple could still debut the AirPower charging mat and compatible AirPods at its October event, but that didn't happen.
We have no idea when we might expect to see the AirPower launch, if it is indeed still in the works, nor when Apple will launch updated AirPods. At this point, it looks like we may not see these products until sometime in 2019.
We were hoping to get a little peek at Apple's work on its promised high-end high-throughput modular Mac Pro that Apple is developing for release in 2019, but it looks like we're going to have a longer wait to get our first glimpse at Apple's pro-focused machine.
Missing iPhone XR Cases and iPad Smart Covers
It's still not clear why Apple hasn't introduced cases for the iPhone XR, especially after mentioning special clear cases for the device in the iPhone XR press release in some countries, but following today's event, there's still no sign of Apple-designed iPhone XR cases.
Apple also did not introduce new Smart Covers for its updated 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, but there are new Smart Folio options and the new Smart Keyboard Folio.
Friday October 26, 2018 2:41 pm PDT by Juli Clover
While Apple introduced iPhones back in September, there are still a number of products that the company is planning to refresh before the end of the year, necessitating a second fall 2018 event, set to be held on Tuesday, October 30 in New York City.
Apple's October event will focus on the iPad and the Mac, and below, we've rounded up everything we expect to see along with a few other products that might possibly make an appearance at the keynote.
Apple is working on updated iPad Pro models that adopt an iPhone XS-style design with slimmer bezels and no Home button, with the iPads instead set to gain a TrueDepth camera system that will replace Touch ID with Face ID for biometric authentication purposes. The design of the iPad Pro has been confirmed by Apple in several leaked icons discovered in iOS 12.
Though the iPhone XS uses a notch for the TrueDepth camera, the upcoming iPad Pro models are expected to feature slim top, bottom, and side bezels all around the display. Apple is not planning to use an OLED display for the new iPads due to cost and production issues.
2018 iPad Pro mockup via iDropNews
Recent CAD drawings sourced from a case maker along with additional leaks have given us some insight into the dimensions of the new iPad Pro models. The smaller iPad Pro is expected to be 7 inches wide (178.52mm) and 9.7 inches tall (247.64mm), while the larger model will be 8.5 inches wide (215mm) and 11 inches tall (280.66mm).
The smaller of the two iPad Pro models may be as thin as 5.86mm, and it's not clear how thick the larger iPad Pro model will be. It could be as thin, or somewhat thicker like the current 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Bezels for both iPad Pro models could measure in at around 6mm at the top, bottom, and sides.
Based on multiple leaks, Apple is apparently relocating the magnetic Smart Connector on the new iPad Pro models from the side to the bottom near the Lightning port, which could perhaps require a new vertically oriented Smart Keyboard. It's not clear why Apple is making this change, and it's not known if Apple is indeed releasing a new Smart Keyboard that connects differently.
Originally, it was thought that Apple was relocating the connector because Face ID would be limited to portrait orientation since that's the way it works on the iPhone, but code in iOS 12.1 suggests that after being set up vertically, Face ID will work on the iPad in both portrait and landscape modes.
Design wise, the new iPad Pro models are said to feature a "diamond cut" at both the front and the back, which suggests the tablets could have a design similar to the iPhone SE with beveled edges. Antenna lines on the device may also be located at the top and bottom, similar to the iPhone 7, rather than in a block at the top.
Renderings of 12.9-inch iPad Pro based on alleged CAD drawings
There are other major changes in store for the iPad Pro. Apple is said to be planning to eliminate the headphone jack from the iPad lineup like it did in the iPhone starting with the iPhone 7, and it's rumored to use a USB-C port instead of a Lightning port.
A USB-C port would allow for faster charging and new functionality not possible via Lightning such as the ability to drive a 4K monitor.
Inside, the new iPad Pro models are said to be equipped with an A12X Bionic processor that's even faster than the A12 chip in the new iPhone lineup.
Renderings of 12.9-inch iPad Pro based on alleged CAD drawings
Alongside new iPad Pro models, Apple is said to be planning to introduce a second-generation Apple Pencil with a new design.
Little detail is known about the new Apple Pencil, but it could feature an AirPods-like pairing experience with the ability to switch the Apple Pencil between devices without the need to plug it into a Lightning port.
It will attach magnetically to the side of the new iPad Pro models, and it is said to feature a new charging method, though there are no details on what that charging method might be. It's possible the accessory will charge wirelessly when docked to the iPad Pro, with Apple eliminating the Lightning port.
Rumors have also suggested new Apple Pencil will support tap and swipe gestures, which would allow iPad Pro users to do things like change the size or color of a brush within a sketching app using the sides of the Apple Pencil.
Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple is working on an upgraded iPad mini that features an upgraded processor and a lower-cost display panel, which suggests it will be more affordable than the current version.
Kuo wasn't entirely sure if Apple plans to release the iPad mini at its October event or at a later date in 2018 or early 2019, but there's a possibility it will be unveiled alongside new iPad Pro models.
We don't have any other information about the new iPad mini at this point in time, but it sounds like it's not going to get the same design refinements that are coming to Apple's iPad Pro lineup.
Apple has a 13-inch MacBook Air replacement in the works, which has been the subject of rumors for more than a year now. It's still not clear whether Apple plans to label the machine as MacBook Air or a MacBook, but some concrete details about the upcoming notebook can be gleaned from everything we've heard.
Positioned as an entry-level low-cost machine in Apple's product lineup, the notebook will be 13 inches in size and it will feature a Retina display. It is said to be similar in design to the current 13-inch MacBook Air, but with slimmer bezels.
It's not entirely clear how Apple will distinguish this machine from the 12-inch MacBook if it's going to be a MacBook Air with a Retina display, but if the design is similar to the current MacBook Air, the 12-inch MacBook will still be Apple's lightest machine, justifying its higher price tag.
Various pricing rumors have suggested that it could be available for anywhere from $799 to $1,200, but the most reliable source, Bloomberg, believes it will cost under $1,000.
Whiskey Lake chips appropriate for a MacBook Air-like machine were announced by Intel in August, and so Apple could potentially be planning to use these chips in the device.
Regardless of whether the rumored lower-cost 13-inch notebook is positioned as a MacBook Air or a MacBook, rumors suggest Apple is planning to maintain the 12-inch MacBook lineup and a MacBook refresh is said to be in the works.
Upgraded 12-inch MacBooks are likely to feature Intel's 8th-generation Amber Lake Y-series processors, announced in August. These chips bring processor and battery improvements, so new MacBooks could offer both faster performance and longer battery life.
Aside from upgraded Intel chips, there's been little information on what else Apple might add to a refreshed MacBook lineup.
Apple refreshes its iMac lineup on a regular basis, and reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently said that an updated model is in the works and set to launch at Apple's October 30th event.
We're expecting new iMacs that feature upgraded 8th-generation Intel processors, improved GPUs, and perhaps the adoption of the T2 chip that was introduced in the iMac Pro and has since been added to the MacBook Pro.
Apple is working on a refreshed version of the Mac mini that's focused on the pro user base. The upgraded device will feature new storage and processor options, and because Apple is aiming it at pro users, some models could be more expensive than previous Mac mini products.
We don't have a lot of additional information available on what to expect from the Mac mini, but one rumor suggested the higher-end model "won't be so mini anymore," hinting at one configuration with a larger size to accommodate higher-end components.
Given that the new Mac mini is going to be a pro-focused machine, it's not clear what chips it will adopt, but Intel this year has announced 8th-generation processors appropriate for both desktop and notebook machines. Past Mac mini models have used the same chips as the 13-inch MacBook Pro, but Apple may be planning to opt for more powerful chips for a pro Mac mini model.
Apple last year announced work on a high-end high-throughput modular Mac Pro that will facilitate regular upgrades to meet the needs of Apple's pro user base.
Apple has said this new, redesigned Mac Pro will launch at some point in 2019, but in the past, the company has provided us with early previews and the work on the Mac Pro is no secret, so it's possible we'll get a little taste of what to expect at this fall Mac-focused event.
As should come as no surprise, Apple is working on a next-generation iMac Pro model, which Bloomberg confirmed this afternoon. There are no new chips available that would be appropriate for an upgraded iMac Pro right now, but it's possible Apple will give us some details on when we can expect a refreshed iMac Pro machine.
AirPower and AirPods
We're still waiting on the AirPower, the three-device charging mat that Apple introduced in September 2017. When it made its debut, Apple said it would launch at some point in 2018, and we've got a few months to go, so it could potentially make an appearance at the October event.
We're not counting on it though, as Apple made no mention of the AirPower at its September iPhone-focused event, where a launch would have made more sense.
The AirPower is designed to charge the Apple Watch (Series 3 and 4), glass-backed iPhones, and AirPods all at the same time, with a wireless charging case required to enable wireless charging for the AirPods.
Alongside the AirPower, Apple is supposed to be introducing a new AirPods Charging Case that adds wireless charging to the earbuds, so if we see the launch of the AirPower, AirPods are likely to launch alongside it.
In addition to wireless charging, refreshed AirPods could gain an upgraded wireless chip that supports hands-free "Hey Siri" functionality. With "Hey Siri" support, AirPod owners will be able to activate Siri without needing to double tap on the AirPods with a finger.
Existing AirPods Charging Case next to redesigned AirPods Charging Case with wireless charging capabilities
No other major changes are rumored for the AirPods this year, but there have been some hints that Apple is working on a set of Apple-branded high-end over-ear headphones that could launch in late 2018 at the earliest, so we may see a mention of them. Rumors on a launch date have been mixed, though, so Apple may not be ready to debut these until 2019.
Apple's event will kick off at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time, three hours earlier than events are normally held. This year's event is happening earlier because it's taking place on the East Coast instead of the West Coast.
Apple is planning to live stream the product unveilings on its event website and through the Events app on the Apple TV.
For those unable to watch, MacRumors will have live coverage both here on MacRumors.com and on our MacRumorsLive Twitter account, along with continuing coverage over the course of the next few weeks.
What are you most looking forward to seeing Apple introduce this year? Let us know in the comments.
Tuesday October 23, 2018 10:54 am PDT by Juli Clover
Ahead of Apple's October 30th event, respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo shared some details about what we can expect to see Apple to unveil during the event as well as information on other products that we might see from Apple in late 2018 or early 2019.
Kuo has several interesting predictions, including an updated iPad mini and details on the launch of the AirPower.
Kuo says that we can expect to see two new iPad Pro models that are equipped with USB-C, improved displays, and an Apple Pencil with a new design. Further details were not shared on what improvements to expect with the displays or what a redesigned Apple Pencil might look like.
All of these features have been previously rumored for Apple's upcoming iPad Pro models, which are also expected to feature Face ID, edge to edge screens, and no Home button.
Kuo says that Apple will launch a new version of the iPad mini, which has not seen an update in several years. Kuo says the device will feature an upgraded processor and a lower-cost panel.
Kuo does not know, however, if Apple will announce it during the media event or launch it sometime later in the year/early next year, but if an updated model is in the works, it makes sense for it to launch alongside the iPad Pro.
At Apple's event, we can expect to see several Mac updates with upgraded processors and other internal improvements. Kuo says we can count on a new low-cost notebook and updates to the MacBook, iMac, and Mac mini.
AirPower and AirPods
According to Kuo, Apple could launch new AirPods and the AirPower either late in the fourth quarter of 2018 or early in the first quarter of 2019, but he doesn't yet know the company's specific plans.
It's possible that if Apple is planning on debuting the AirPower before the end of 2018 as promised, it could be mentioned at the October event, but Kuo doesn't say either way. The AirPower, first unveiled in September 2017, is meant to charge three devices at once, including an iPhone, the AirPods, and the Apple Watch, but it's been delayed for several months now.
As for the AirPods, we can expect to see an upgraded wireless charging case that will work with the AirPower along with a new wireless chip that enables "Hey Siri" functionality.
Apple's October event is set to take place on Tuesday, October 30 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. This year's event is being held earlier in the day than normal because it is being hosted in New York City instead of Cupertino.
Apple will provide a live stream of the event on its event website and through the Events app on the Apple TV, but for those who can't watch, MacRumors will provide live coverage both here on MacRumors.com and through our MacRumorsLive Twitter account.
The first noteworthy tidbit is that Apple Watch Series 4 models will be compatible with existing bands, as they are said to have a similar physical size as Series 3 models and earlier. Gurman already said as much earlier this year, but there were some lingering concerns from MacRumors readers in our discussion forums.
Apple Watch Series 4 models are still expected to have up to 15 percent larger displays, as a result of slimmer bezels around the screen. They're also expected to have slightly longer battery life, along with new health and fitness features.
The second tidbit worth singling out is that the iPad mini won't be updated this year, according to Gurman. That information corroborates DigiTimes, which recently reported that "Apple so far has no further plan for the iPad mini series," which hasn't been refreshed since the iPad mini 4 launched in September 2015.
Apple's focus on the lower-cost 9.7-inch iPad may result in the iPad mini line being discontinued eventually, although Gurman hasn't specified.
We're likely just a few weeks away from Apple's usual September event at Steve Jobs Theater, with invites to the media likely to be issued this week. In addition to the new iPhones and Apple Watch Series 4 models, Apple is expected to unveil two new iPad Pros with Face ID, new AirPods, and AirPower pricing and availability.
Friday August 17, 2018 4:05 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Apple will launch its much-rumored "entry-level" MacBook in September, according to a report by DigiTimes outlining Apple's upcoming product launches. The website says the new MacBook will be priced at $1200, according to industry sources, and will be powered by 14-nanometer Kaby Lake CPU architecture, following delays to Intel's 10-nm rollout.
Earlier this year, DigiTimes said that Apple will release the first MacBook Air with a Retina display in the second half of 2018, and claimed that it will be a 13-inch model in a separate report. It also recently said Quanta will assemble new "inexpensive notebooks" for Apple in the fourth quarter. However, the idea of a $1200 MacBook Air leaves the question of a sub-$1000 MacBook offering wide open.
TrendForce believes Apple will release a new MacBook Air in September or October, while both Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman expect Apple to release a new entry-level notebook later this year. Whether that's a MacBook or a MacBook Air remains unclear, but Gurman expects at least one of them to have a $999 starting price.
Today's DigiTimes report also claims Apple will use the September event to announce the "launch schedule" for its wireless AirPower charger, costing in the region of $160-$190. Apple previewed its multi-device AirPower charging mat at its iPhone X event last September, and confirmed that it will be released at some point in 2018, but it has yet to reveal how much it will cost. An earlier rumor citing "industry insiders" has suggested a price point of around $149.
Apple is expected to announce two new iPad Pro models this September measuring in at 11 and 12.9-inches, featuring slimmer bezels and a TrueDepth camera with support for Face ID. DigiTimes claims the two redesigned iPad Pros will sit alongside Apple's 9.7-inch iPad and iPad mini 4 to complete its tablet lineup, but notably the report also claims Apple has "no further plan" for the iPad mini.
Elsewhere in today's round-up, DigiTimes claims Apple's next-generation iPad Pro models will come with a newly designed 18-watt USB-C power adapter for faster charging. Apple is rumored to be including the more powerful charger with its new trio of iPhones coming this year, but this is the first time we've heard that it could also feature as part of Apple's iPad lineup. The adapter would presumably connect to the iPads with a Lightning to USB-C cable, also included in the box.
Apple's iPads have traditionally come with 10–12W adapters, so including the 18W USB-C power adapter would make sense as it would allow for faster charging without requiring users to purchase separate charging accessories at additional cost. Apple's current iPad Pro models already support fast charging using one of Apple's USB-C charge adapters paired with a Lightning cable. With this setup, a 2017 iPad Pro can be charged in half the time.
Lastly, today's DigiTimes report reiterates previous rumors surrounding Apple's new 2018 iPhone lineup, which is expected to include two OLED models measuring in at 5.8 and 6.5 inches, and a 6.1-inch lower-cost LCD model. All three will feature Face ID and edge-to-edge displays.
AppleCare+ was previously $99 for any iPad, but that price now applies to iPad Pro models only. The lower $69 price for the iPad and iPad mini has been offered by select Best Buy stores for the past several months.
AppleCare+ is an optional warranty plan that extends an iPad's or iPad mini's warranty period to two years from the original purchase date of the device, and adds up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage, each subject to a service fee of $49 plus applicable taxes in the United States.
AppleCare+ for iPad also provides 24/7 priority access to support advisors via online chat or phone for up to two years after the device's original purchase date. Without the plan, iPad owners are covered by Apple's limited one-year warranty and an initial 90 days of complimentary telephone support.
AppleCare+ pricing for 9.7-inch iPad and iPad mini models has also been reduced in other countries, including Australia, Canada, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. Prices vary based on local currencies.
Monday February 5, 2018 8:27 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.
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