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Posts tagged ‘iPad Mini’

11
Nov

Three New iPads Said to Launch in March, Including Bezel-Free 10.9-Inch Model


Apple will launch a trio of new iPad Pro models in March, including refreshed 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch versions and an all-new bezel-free 10.9-inch model, according to Barclays Research analysts Blayne Curtis, Christopher Hemmelgarn, Thomas O’Malley, and Jerry Zhang, citing sources within the company’s Asian supply chain.

In a research note obtained by MacRumors, the analysts said the 10.9-inch model’s borderless design will allow for it to be the same physical size as the current-generation 9.7-inch iPad Pro. That means the display itself will need to have an edge-to-edge design, possibly signaling the removal of the Home button.

Multiple rumors have claimed Apple is developing a new iPad in the 10-inch range, but the exact screen size has varied in each report. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro will launch in 2017, while Japanese website Mac Otakara said a new 10.1-inch iPad Pro will launch in early 2017.

Barclays, like Kuo, expects the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro to be a “low-cost” model alongside the 7.9-inch iPad mini, which the analysts do not believe will be refreshed alongside the larger tablets. Instead, the research note said Apple will continue to produce and sell the iPad mini 4, released in September 2015.

Mac Otakara previously said the 12.9-inch iPad Pro will feature a True Tone display like its current 9.7-inch counterpart, using advanced four-channel ambient light sensors to automatically adapt the color and intensity of the display to match the light in the surrounding environment.

That report said all three new iPad Pro models will gain quad microphones, compared to the current dual setup, and retain 3.5mm headphone jacks.

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro is also said to gain the 9.7-inch model’s same 12-megapixel rear-facing iSight camera and True Tone flash.

More “revolutionary” changes to iPads, including a switch to OLED displays, are expected in 2018, according to Kuo’s earlier report.

Related Roundups: iPad mini 4 (2015), iPad Pro
Tag: Barclays
Buyer’s Guide: iPad Mini (Caution), 12.9″ iPad Pro (Caution)
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31
Oct

iPad Pro Accounted for Less Than One-Third of Apple’s Tablet Sales Last Quarter


While the iPad Pro lineup has increased Apple’s tablet revenue based on higher price points, helping offset a lengthy slide in units sold, the latest data from market research firm IDC claims the iPad Air and iPad mini lines accounted for more than two-thirds of Apple’s tablet shipments in the fourth fiscal quarter.

Apple officially reported 9.26 million iPads sold in the quarter, representing late June to late September, but it does not break down its tablet sales by individual model. IDC did not share its methodology behind calculating iPad Pro sales specifically, but vaguely notes that it uses proprietary tools and research processes.

Despite selling some 600,000 fewer iPads compared to the year-ago quarter, Apple’s tablet revenue remained flat at just over $4.2 billion in the quarter. The reason: iPad Pros cost more. The higher ASP is important for Apple as the worldwide tablet market continued its slump last quarter.

idc-tablets-q3-calendar-2016
IDC estimates tablet shipments dropped to an estimated 43 million units in the quarter, marking a 14.7% year-over-year decline. Apple led all vendors with 21.5% market share, up slightly from 19.6% in the year-ago quarter, while Samsung trailed in second with an estimated 6.5 million shipments and 15.1% market share.

Amazon and Chinese competitors Lenovo and Huawei rounded off the top five with an estimated 3.1 million, 2.7 million, and 2.4 million tablet shipments respectively in the quarter. Amazon saw explosive 319.9% growth due to its Amazon Prime Day sale in early July that led to a huge surge in shipments of its Fire tablets.

During its recent earnings call, Apple financial chief Luca Maestri said the company is “highly successful” in the tablet market, with 82% market share of premium tablets priced above $200. Meanwhile, IDC said other vendors are “racing to the bottom” with low-cost, sub-$200 traditional and detachable 2-in-1 tablets.

“The race to the bottom is something we have already experienced with slates and it may prove detrimental to the market in the long run as detachables could easily be seen as disposable devices rather than potential PC replacements,” said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst with IDC.

Related Roundups: iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4 (2015), iPad Pro
Tag: IDC
Buyer’s Guide: 9.7″ iPad Pro (Caution), iPad Mini (Caution), 12.9″ iPad Pro (Caution)
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3
Oct

Apple to Launch Trio of iPad Pros in Spring 2017, Including 7.9-Inch Mini Model


Apple will ship three new iPad Pro models around Spring 2017, including 7.9-inch, 9.7-inch, and 10.1-inch models, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara.

The report, citing “reliable sources,” said the 12.9-inch model will feature a True Tone display like its current 9.7-inch counterpart, using advanced four-channel ambient light sensors to automatically adapt the color and intensity of the display to match the light in the surrounding environment.

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro is also said to gain the 9.7-inch model’s same 12-megapixel rear-facing iSight camera and True Tone flash.

The smaller 7.9-inch model, which will succeed the iPad mini 4, will likewise include a Smart Connector, True Tone display, four speakers, and a 12-megapixel rear-facing iSight camera with True Tone flash, as Apple works to standardize features across its tablet lineup, according to the report.

All three new iPad Pro models will reportedly gain quad microphones, compared to the current dual setup, and retain 3.5mm headphone jacks.

Today’s report mostly corroborates KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who in August said Apple is planning to release three new iPads in 2017. However, his research note claimed the trio of models would include a 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2, 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and a low-cost 9.7-inch iPad.

Kuo made no mention of a refreshed 7.9-inch model. It has been speculated the iPad mini could be nearing the end of its line due to Apple’s focus on its larger tablet lineup, and the belief that recent 5.5-inch iPhone “Plus” models have helped lessen demand for Apple’s smallest tablet, but today’s report suggests otherwise.

Mac Otakara does not have a perfect track record with Apple rumors, but its sources have proven accurate on multiple occasions in the past. The blog was the first to report about Apple’s controversial plans to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack and add new Black and Jet Black colors on iPhone 7 models.

The website also accurately leaked the iPhone 7’s naming scheme, pressure-sensitive Home button, and larger earpiece cutout. It also said the new models would ship with a Lightning-to-3.5mm audio adapter, although 3.5mm EarPods proved wrong, and quashed rumors about the inclusion of a Smart Connector.

On the flip side, the timing proved to be wrong on its report claiming new MacBook Air models with USB-C ports would be unveiled by the end of June. The latest word is a MacBook Air refresh will occur “as early as October.”

Related Roundups: iPad mini 4 (2015), iPad Pro
Tag: macotakara.jp
Buyer’s Guide: iPad Mini (Caution), 12.9″ iPad Pro (Caution)
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8
Sep

iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4 and iPad mini 2 Updated With Improved Storage, iPad Pro Price Reduced


Apple today quietly updated its lineup of older iPads, increasing the minimum storage on the iPad Air 2, the iPad mini 4, and the iPad mini 2 and lowering the prices of the maximum storage tier. The iPad Pro has also been updated with new pricing options, with Apple making storage increases more affordable.

The iPad Air 2 is now available in 32 and 128GB configurations, priced at $399 and $499, respectively, for the WiFi only models. Previously, Apple offered a 16GB model for $399 and a 64GB model for $499. Cellular models continue to be priced at $130 more than WiFi models.

The iPad mini 4 is now available in 32GB and 128GB configurations at the same price point as the iPad Air 2, $399 and $499. Apple previously sold a 16GB iPad mini 4 for $399, a 64GB model for $499, and a 128GB model for $599.

The iPad mini 2 is now only available in a 32GB capacity, priced at $269. Apple has done away with the 16GB model and has dropped the price of the new 32GB model to the price the 16GB model used to be sold at.

As for the iPad Pro, Apple has dropped the prices on higher storage tiers by up to $100. Pricing on the iPad Pro is as follows:

12.9-inch
32GB – $799
128GB – $899 (was $949)
256GB – $999 (was $1099)
128GB Cellular – $1029 (was $1079)
256GB Cellular – $1129 (was $1229)

9.7-inch
32GB – $599
128GB – $699 (was $749)
256GB – $799 (was $899)
32GB Cellular – $729
128GB Cellular – $829 (was $879)
256GB Cellular – $929 (was $1029)

The new iPad pricing is available immediately on iPads purchased from the online Apple Store, the Apple Store app, and Apple’s retail locations.

Related Roundups: iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4 (2015), iPad Pro
Buyer’s Guide: 9.7″ iPad Pro (Neutral), iPad Mini (Don’t Buy), 12.9″ iPad Pro (Neutral)
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8
Sep

Apple Releases iPhone 7 and iPad Cases in New Colors


Alongside the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, Apple has released a selection of new iPhone cases that come in new fall colors. Designed to fit the iPhone 7 with its larger camera and the iPhone 7 Plus with its dual camera setup, the cases are available in the standard leather and silicone materials for each device.

Silicone cases, priced at $35 for the iPhone 7 and $39 for the larger iPhone 7 Plus, come in nine colors: Pink Sand, Sea Blue, Ocean Blue, Stone, Cocoa, White, Black, Midnight Blue, and (PRODUCT) Red.

Leather cases, priced at $45 for the iPhone 7 and $49 for the iPhone 7 Plus, come in 7 colors: Sea Blue, Storm Gray, Tan, Saddle Brown, Midnight Blue, Black, and (PRODUCT) Red.

leatheriphone7case
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus cases are not yet available for purchase, but should become available for pre-order on Friday, September 9 when pre-orders begin for the two new smartphones.

To match the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus cases, Apple has also updated its line of Smart Covers and Cases for the iPad, offering them in the same silicone colors.

smartcovernewcolors
iPad Smart Covers and cases for the iPad mini 4 and 9.7-inch iPad Pro are now available in 16 different colors as some of the older shades have also stuck around. The new iPad accessories are available for order today and will deliver by September 10.

Related Roundups: iPad mini 4 (2015), iPad Pro, iPhone 7
Buyer’s Guide: iPad Mini (Don’t Buy), 12.9″ iPad Pro (Neutral)
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12
Aug

iPad and Aviation Apps Helping to Decrease Private Plane Crash Fatalities


Crashes, and subsequent fatalities, of small private planes have “fallen to the lowest levels in decades” thanks to mobile devices that give pilots “much better weather information” than a few years ago, along with other benefits. These devices mainly include Apple’s iPad lineup and, in 2015, helped contribute to the lowest rate of fatal crashes ever recorded by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration: 1.03 fatal accidents per 100,000 flight hours (via Bloomberg).

As pointed out by John Hansman, an astronautics and aeronautics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the data should be “approached with care,” due to the fact that there is far less information and data available on general aviation as opposed to commercial flights. Private airplane flights per year have also decreased, which would help lessen the overall chance for accidents in the first place. Still, the new data collected “jibes with broad new efforts to improve safety in that arena,” according to Hansman.

“It’s encouraging,” said Hansman, who has studied private-aircraft safety data. “There are reasons to think it might be accurate. There’s a lot of things happening in the system that are slowly making it better.”

In reaction to these accidents, the FAA and the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board moved to bolster each private aircraft pilot’s safety levels, leading to the official approval of “weather and other programs for mobile devices.” To improve the regulation of these aircrafts, the two administrations also approved ways to make it easier to add safety equipment to planes, including devices that warn of engine failure and the impending loss of control of the plane.

Related Roundups: iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4 (2015), iPad Pro
Buyer’s Guide: 9.7″ iPad Pro (Neutral), iPad Mini (Don’t Buy), 12.9″ iPad Pro (Neutral)
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17
Nov

DisplayMate iPad Shoot-out: iPad Mini 4 Has Best Display, But iPad Pro and iPad Air 2 Also Perform Well


In its latest display shoot-out, DisplayMate Technologies compared the displays of Apple’s current iPad lineup: the 2015 iPad mini 4, the 2015 iPad Pro, and the 2014 iPad Air 2 to see how the three tablets measure up against each other. The iPad mini 4 came out on top in most of DisplayMate’s tests, which used a variety of calibrated lab measurements and image/photo viewing tests to compare display quality.

DisplayMate called the iPad mini “unquestionably the best and most accurate LCD tablet display we’ve ever tested,” giving it higher marks than the 2732 x 2048 resolution iPad Pro. The iPad Pro also scored well, earning all “very good” to “excellent” marks on tests, and while the iPad Air 2 did well enough to rank as a top tier display, its performance was somewhat behind the iPad mini 4 and the iPad Pro, unsurprising as it was last updated in the fall of 2014 while the mini and the Pro were both released in the fall of 2015.

appletabletlineup

All three tablets use the same IPS LCDs, but the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Pro have photo aligned LCDs with higher contrast ratios while the iPad mini 4 uses standard mechanical alignment. The iPad Pro also uses a metal oxide TFT backplane for better light throughput and power efficiency, a must for such a large and power hungry display.

Each of the iPads has a similar max brightness, measuring in at 415 cd/m2 (nits) for the iPad Air 2, 424 nits for the iPad Pro, and 450 nits for the iPad mini 4. On maximum contrast ratio, the difference between peak white brightness and the darkest black, all of the iPads had high True Contrast Ratios, but the iPad Pro won at this test. The iPad mini 4 had a True Contrast Ratio of 967, while the iPad Air 2 ranked at 1,064 and the iPad Pro measured in at 1,631, the highest DisplayMate has measured for an LCD tablet display.

ipadbrightnessandambientlight

On color gamut, the iPad mini had the most accurate score at 101 percent (100 percent is best). The iPad Air 2 had a 105 percent color gamut, while the iPad Pro had a 107 percent color gamut, with the larger two tablets displaying oversaturated blues. On color accuracy, the iPad mini also won, but the iPad Pro was a relatively close second. The iPad Air 2 earned much lower Absolute Color Accuracy marks.

The iPad mini 4 has a very impressive Absolute Color Accuracy with Average/Maximum Color Errors of 1.9 and 4.2 JNCD – tied for first place in Absolute Color Accuracy with the Microsoft Surface Pro 4. The iPad Pro is somewhat less accurate, but still (just barely) Very Good, with Average/Maximum Color Errors of 2.6 and 6.6 JNCD. The iPad Air 2 has noticeably lower Absolute Color Accuracy with Average/Maximum Color Errors of 3.9 and 8.8 JNCD, which are visually noticeable and could be unacceptable for some color critical applications (like medical imaging, high-end digital photography, product sales demonstrations, and advertising proofs, for example).

When it comes to screen reflectance, DisplayMate called all three iPads “unrivaled record holders” for performance in ambient light. The iPad mini had a 2.0 percent Reflectance, while the iPad Air 2 had 2.5 percent and the iPad Pro had 2.6 percent. A test measuring contrast in high ambient light saw the iPad mini perform best, with a Contrast Rating for High Ambient Light of 225. Comparatively, the iPad Air 2 scored 166 and the iPad Pro scored 163.

ipadlineupreflectance

Due to the inclusion of the metal oxide backplane in the iPad Pro, it earned the award for most power efficient. The backplane increases light throughput and the iPad Pro’s display uses a lower refresh rate when there are static images on the screen.

While the iPad mini 4 is the best iPad display based on DisplayMate’s test, the site calls all of the iPads in Apple’s current lineup “unrivaled” when it comes to screen Reflectance, giving them an edge over competing tablets. Due to their low Reflectance, the iPads have “by far” the highest image Contrast in ambient light and the highest Contrast Rating for High Ambient Light of all current tablets.

The full results of the display shoot-out, available from DisplayMate, are well worth checking out for those interested in getting an in-depth look at how the displays of the iPad mini 4, iPad Pro, and iPad Air 2 compare.

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31
Oct

Walmart Selling 16GB iPad Mini 2 for $199 Starting Tomorrow


Beginning tomorrow, November 1, Walmart will begin offering Apple’s 16GB Wi-Fi only iPad mini 2 at a significant discount, selling it for $199 instead of $268. $199 is a solid deal and one of the lowest prices we’ve seen on the iPad mini 2, which was the first of Apple’s iPad mini line to ship with a Retina display.

retina_ipad_mini_colors_front_back

Compared to the current-generation iPad mini 4, the iPad mini 2 has a slower processor, less RAM, and it lacks Touch ID, but it’s still a very capable device with an A7 processor, a 5-megapixel rear camera, and 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera. It’s also thicker and heavier than the newest iPad mini.

We’ll likely see similar deals on the iPad mini 2 during the month of November due to Black Friday, but for now, Walmart’s discount is one of the best deals to be had. Walmart will be selling the 16GB iPad mini 2 for $199 for approximately 90 days, the standard amount of time Walmart price rollbacks generally last.

Related Roundup: iPad mini 4 (2015)
Tags: deals, discounts
Buyer’s Guide: iPad Mini (Buy Now)

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15
Sep

iPad Mini 4 Uses Speed-Bumped 1.5 GHz A8 Chip With 2 GB of RAM


Apple last week introduced the iPad mini 4, advertising the device as essentially a scaled down version of the iPad Air 2, although the device uses a A8 chip rather than the A8X found in the iPad Air 2. Ars Technica has now taken an early look at the iPad mini 4, finding that the A8 runs at 1.5 GHz, slightly faster than the 1.4 GHz A8 used in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Like the iPad Air 2, the iPad mini 4 also carries 2 GB of RAM.

ipad_mini_4_geekbench

Having a whole extra CPU core makes the 1.5GHz A8X in the iPad Air 2 about 50% faster than the Mini 4, but we’re still looking at a 20-or-so percent improvement over the old Mini 2 and Mini 3. That extra RAM will be good for more than just Split View multitasking, too—2GB iDevices need to eject things from memory less often, cutting down on the amount of tab reloading that Safari does and generally reducing wait times when switching between different tabs and apps.

With the iPad mini 4 using a slower chip than the iPad Air 2 while still driving the same display resolution and similar other internals, performance won’t be quite as good on the smaller tablet, as the smaller body likely has some heat-related impacts that drove Apple to include the less-powerful chip. Still, users should see substantial performance upgrades over earlier iPad mini models, as well as support for all of the latest iOS 9 features like Split View multitasking.


12
Aug

iPad Mini 4 Likely to Support Split View Multitasking


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.

ipad_mini_half
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.

ipad_mini_half_safari
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.


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