It’s happening: Apple has just announced a keynote address for Thursday, October 16th to take place at the Town Hall auditorium on its Infinite Loop Campus in Cupertino, California. Invitations to select members of the media and special guests indicate that the event will, as always, begin at 10 AM Pacific time/1 PM Eastern Time. News of the October 16th date broke last week. We’ll be providing full, live coverage on 9to5Mac.com of the event’s proceedings. Here’s everything we’re expecting Apple to discuss at the event:
Apple is reportedly set to begin production of its next-generation iPad Air this month with display components going into mass production in the middle of this month and components such as the processor and camera sensors going into production next month. The design of the sixth-generation full sized iPad will mimic that of the current model and the display resolution will stay at 2048 x 1536, according to ETNews.
The new iPad Air will sport a more advanced A8 processor, which sources previously noted focuses on efficiency and battery performance for the iPhone (likely for the iPad too):
An Apple press release published today announced the impending availability of the iPad on Japan’s NTT DoCoMo carrier. According to the release, both the iPad Air and iPad mini will be available on the largest Japanese carrier on June 10th. The carrier has supported the iPhone since late 2013.
Both tablets will work with the DoCoMo LTE network. The company’s iPad LTE plans are already listed on its website, though you won’t actually be able to buy the device just yet. Both models will be available for pre-purchase on June 2nd, the same day Apple will be kicking off its Worldwide Developers Conference.
KGI research has published a new report that claims Apple will incorporate its Touch ID fingerprint sensor into all new iOS devices launched in 2014. This includes both new iPhone models, and the next versions of the full-size iPad an its ‘mini’ counterpart.
The note also states that Touch ID sensor shipments will increase by 233% this year, which would certainly make sense if the technology was going to be added to so many new devices. According to the report, these new sensors will be made more durable than the current version through the use of tin:
iOS 8 is likely to supercharge the functionality of Apple’s iPad with a new split-screen multitasking feature, according to sources with knowledge of the enhancement in development. These people say that the feature will allow iPad users to run and interact with two iPad applications at once. Up until now, each iPad application either developed by Apple or available on the App Store is only usable individually in a full-screen view.
KGI Research analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has released a timeline indicating that Apple is planning a massive rollout for multiple new products in Q3 2014. According to the Kuo, the only thing we can expect to see in the first half of the year is a small iMac update. Starting at the end of the third quarter and continuing into the beginning of the fourth, however, Apple will update most of its product lineup: iPad Air and mini, the Apple TV, and the MacBook family.
Two new products reportedly planned for this timeframe are the iWatch, which Kuo says will be available in two different sizes, and the long-rumored 4.7-inch iPhone. The 5.5-inch iPhone that was reportedly delayed due to manufacturing issues with the display is said to be coming near the end of Q4, making it the last release for this year. Read more
A forum poster with a reputable history on WeiPhone.com [Google translate] (via MacRumors) claims to have information about an upcoming MacBook/Air refresh. According to this source, the new model will sport a 12-inch design close to the current 11.6-inch model, but will feature significant internal differences.
The updated MacBook will reportedly not have a fan, will feature a Retina display, and redesigned trackpad. This new trackpad will ditch the mechanical button that has been in the multi-touch trackpads since they first debuted. Instead, the new Air will use only tap gestures for clicking but may feature some tactile feedback to simulate a click.
As we expected based on our intel leading up to the event, Apple just introduced refreshed MacBook Airs live on stage at it’s WWDC 2013 keynote address today. Apple announced that the new MacBook Airs will be arriving with the new Intel Haswell chips, as expected, and spent most of the time talking about increased battery life for the devices which now includes up to 12hrs battery. The 13-inch model now boasts battery life up to 12 hours (up from 7 on the previous generation), while the 11-inch model is expected to get 9-hour battery life (up from 5 on the previous generation).
Apple also announced that the new MacBook Airs would include the faster 802.11ac with “a maximum data rate of 1.3Gbps, almost three times faster than 802.11n.” Other specs that Apple mentioned: dual microphones, a FaceTime® HD camera, a high-speed Thunderbolt port and two USB 3.0 ports.
All models will be available with a 1.3 GHz processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.6 GHz and 4GB of RAM, but Apple will also make a BTO option available with a 1.7 GHz Intel Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.3 GHz, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD.
Apple said the new MacBook Airs include up to 40% faster graphics, 2x GPU execution units, and more energy efficient CPUs, while the machine itself now meets ENERGY STAR 5.2 and EPEAT gold environmental standards.
Apple will be shipping the new MacBook Airs starting today starting at $999 for a 128GB 11-inch model and $1099 for the 128GB 13-inch model. An extra $200 will bump you up to the 256GB models, but Apple didn’t provide any other details on any other upgraded internals.
Earlier this month we received SKUs indicating that Apple had some MacBook refreshes in the works for today’s event that would include an upgrade to Intel’s new Haswell chips and upgraded internals. At the time, the SKUs pointed to availability of the refreshed MacBooks this week, but it was unclear when the models would ship and if some would arrive before others.
Apple’s full press release below: Read more
We can’t say we didn’t know it was coming. T-Mobile already started accepting preorders for the iPhone 5 back on April 5, and today marks the first day of official availability for the iPhone on the carrier’s revamped “Un-carrier”, no-contract, unlimited voice and data plans.
To accompany the launch, T-Mobile is also kicking off its first iPhone ad campaign today that begins with the first TV spot above (via TMO News). Of course the ad not so surprisingly focuses on its new carrier approach more so than the device itself:
“It’s the phone that’s revolutionizing phones, make sure its running on the carrier that’s revolutionizing wireless… Only T-Mobile lets your iPhone 5 be as great as an iPhone 5.”
Earlier this month T-Mobile started rolling out a carrier update for existing unlocked iPhones on its network that brings LTE support, improved battery life, visual voicemail support and more. It also started a campaign offering users trade-in value for their old devices to make the switch to T-Mobile.
The iPhone 5 is available to purchase for $99 down with a $20 per month financing plan through T-Mobile’s website and brick-and-mortar stores. As noted by TMONews, the carrier has also started setting up its in-store displays and advertising for the iPhone (Gallery below): Read more
Ivy Bridge CPUs launching by April 29
We have heard reports in recent months that the launch of Intel’s Ivy Bridge processor lineup, which will likely find its way into next-generation Apple products, has been delayed. While an April/May launch was expected for some of the lineup initially, Intel confirmed in February that the launch would likely be pushed to June. Today, a report from CPU World that cited various sources claimed the Ivy Bridge CPUs, including both desktop and mobile chips, will launch between April 22 and April 28.
Rumors of a 15-inch MacBook Air have popped up for a while now. We told you last November that Apple actually had a 15-inch variant of the MacBook Air scheduled for release in late 2010 alongside 13-inch and 11-inch models. Apple ultimately put the launch of the 15-inch model on hold due to the larger MacBook requiring a redesigned hinge. Two new reports now claim that Apple is working on a new 15-inch MacBook Air again that could be launched as early as next month.