Retina iPad mini reviews notice stagnant color gamut compared to iPad Air, Nexus 7, and others

(via Apple.com)

(via Apple.com)

Although initial reviews of Apple’s new Retina iPad mini bemoaned its cost but praised its display, a slew of more hands-on reviews have realized a notably narrower color gamut (same as the non-Retina iPad mini) compared to other popular tablets including the iPad Air and Nexus 7.

While it may not be immediately noticeable to many consumers, it’s certainly a fine, in-depth critique when investing in what you expect to be the best tablet on the market.

Is the Retina iPad mini sharper? Obviously. But don’t expect to see its colors pop in the same way that the iPhone 5 display delivered after the iPhone 4S. Check out the detailed comments below:

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Report claims iPad 5 with iPad mini-like design set for October release, offers new details on upcoming iPhones

iPad5-mockup-render-03new report from Jeremy Horwitz of iLounge provided us with what he claimed is a few details on the upcoming fifth-generation iPad based on hands-on time with a “supposedly accurate” physical model. He also claimed to have details on upcoming iPhone releases.

Horwitz noted he has inspected what he believed are casings for the iPad 5, and he described a completely redesigned device with “virtually no left or right bezels, and only enough space above and below the screen to accommodate the mandatory camera and Home Button elements.” As previously rumored, Horwitz claimed the fifth-gen iPad as iPad mini-like in its physical design with similar “chamfered edges and curves” along with the slimmed down bezel.

He also speculated that Apple could go with an IGZO display to achieve what he said is a much thinner design compared to previous generations:

Beyond that, it’s noticeably thinner, as well, which is to say the the fifth-generation iPad will be smaller in every dimension than its predecessors. As it will have the same chamfered edges and curves, calling it a “stretched iPad mini” is very close to entirely accurate… The changes are so considerable that a new screen technology, such as IGZO, seems like a given. Going Retina for the third-generation iPad forced Apple to make that tablet a little thicker than the iPad 2, in part to seriously beef up the battery.

The report also said that Apple is now targeting an October release for the iPad 5, “give or take a couple of weeks,” after originally planning for a March launch.

Horwitz, who has been accurate with details of unreleased Apple products in the past, also claimed to have new details on the upcoming iPhone releases:

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Apple holding MFi conference November 7 -9 to discuss Lightning guidelines, here’s the event’s program

Earlier this month, iLounge and Macotakara reported that Apple made several changes to its MFi (Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod) policy that tightens control over manufacturers producing accessories. In its report, iLounge included word about a seminar in China where Apple plans discuss its policy change with manufacturers—talking specifically about Apple’s new Lightning technology. Today, thanks to a report by TechCrunch and a picture of the seminar’s program provided to us by a tipster (as seen above), we have learned more about the seminar. The conference will be held in Shenzhen, China from Nov. 7 to Nov. 9 to talk about the new standards.

With the new standards, Apple will have a strict control over the supply of Lightning pins that help power the Lightning connectors that MFi partners could build. Apple will only supply the pins to partners that the company has vetted to make sure its standards are met. Previous teardowns have already shown that what Apple has with its Lightning cables is not ordinary dumb cable technology.

As you can see in the program, Apple has a lot on the docket for those who attend. It will give manufacturers an insight into Apple Retail, how to design Lightning accessories, and the changes within the MFi program. Apple’s engineers will also assist with Wi-Fi, AirPlay, and Bluetooth. Once Apple has approved a company, it will sell them the Lightning pins in volume. According to TechCrunch, the pricing is “very fair when you consider the advance technology.”

Last year, at its MFi program that took place Dec. 7 to Dec. 9, Apple told developers to get busy building next-generation iOS accessories compatible with Airplay and support Bluetooth 4.0. As we now know, Apple has rolled out Bluetooth 4.0 to most of its devices and wants to make Airplay a standard for audio and video consumption.

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Third-party Lightning connector products surface as manufacturers report cracking Apple’s authentication chip

A new iPhone 5 dock being sold through China-based iPhone5mod.com could be the first third-party product to ship with Apple’s new Lightning connector. Earlier reports indicated that accessory manufacturers would have trouble producing Lightning-compatible products due to a unique authentication chip Apple is using in the new standard. According to reports from M.I.C Gadget and MacRumors, which spoke with representatives of the company, the dock and cable from iPhone5mod are actually using chips obtained from Apple’s suppliers. They also provide all the same functionality. However, the company hinted cracked authentication chips are available and working:

We spoke with representatives of iPhone5mod, who informed us that they are currently using original Lightning controller chips from Apple’s supplier, ensuring proper functionality… iPhone5mod did, however, inform us that they have also obtained cracked chips that bypass Apple’s authentication functions and that the cracked chips are working just as well as the original chips

The company is currently selling the product in two pieces: the iPhone 5 dock and Lightning cable for $19,90 each, or you can buy both as a package for $39.90: Read more

Poll: Should Apple build an iOS high-end, point-and-shoot/prosumer DSLR?

iLounge reported in May that Apple is allegedly working on a “standalone digital camera, specifically a point-and-shoot model.” The website further said the device would deliver an image quality far beyond what the iPhone and iPad could deliver and attributed its information to sources, camera-related job openings at Apple, a re-trademarked iSight filing, and Walter Isaacson’s biography on Apple’s late cofounder. According to Isaacson, Steve Jobs named photography as one of three industries that he wanted to transform.

With that said, a camera would be a decidedly high-end market that Apple is seen exiting post haste (see Mac Pro, etc.). A REAL CAMERA with iOS camera apps would seem cool, but Apple does not take this type of high-volume market seriously. Most people are perfectly content with the amazing iPhone camera…and the new iPhone’s camera can only get better.

Nevertheless, perhaps Apple needs another hobby. Alternatively, maybe Apple can stave off the upcoming Android camera invasion by partnering with Canon or other makers to provide a hardware development kit that would tie into an iPod touch or iPhone for the user-interface. Imagine automatically uploading pictures from anywhere and using the power of apps to edit and manipulate while on the go. That dream may arrive first in Android format:

NikonRumors just posted leaked press shots of the Android-based Coolpix “s800c” camera, and it begs the question: Would Apple ever build an iOS-powered, point-and-shoot camera?

The leaked s800c pictures reveal a touchscreen menu on the backside, apparently running a Gingerbread flavor, with apps for a camera, email, browser, music, etc. Additional specs labeled on the front of the camera detail a “12X Wide Optical Zoom ED VR” in HD and a 4.5-54.0mm stock lens. NikonRumors, which has a decent track record in scooping Nikon, first discovered the s800c in a filling with the Indonesian Communication Agency. It originally noted the camera would tout a 3.5-inch OLED screen, Android 2.3 with Google Play apps, and built-in GPS and Wi-Fi.

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iOS 6 points to new 9-pin connector: is this the new, smaller dock port?

At this point, it seems highly likely that the next-generation of Apple’s iOS devices will carry smaller dock connectors. That new hardware feature has been reported by multiple sources. However, the exact size and amount of pins has been up in the air. TechCrunch said that they confirmed the new connector to be 19 pins, while iLounge recently reported that the connector will be only 8 pins.

However, today, we discovered a possible reference to a 9-pin dock connector in the iOS 6 beta. The reference comes as a new iOS hardware feature called “9Pin,” so we’re assuming this has to do with the dock connector. Obviously, there is no way to be 100% about this.

In fact, it appears that the reference has been present since beta 1. This reference comes in a part of the operating system that details general hardware features in iOS devices. That mean this new 9-pin connector may not only be implemented into the iPhone. This lines up with iMore‘s report that Apple will update all of its iOS devices in September to support the new connector.

The new connector will make an impact on the cases and accessory industry, but it will allow Apple to squeeze in new technologies into its future devices. Of course, this is only a single iOS-based reference, and Apple’s plans for pin-formations could change at any time. Thanks, Hamza!

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iLounge: New iPhone will have 8-pin dock connector, Bluetooth 4.0 link to possible future iPod nano

Two new rumors from the folks at iLounge this morning (which follow an earlier report):

  1. The 19 or 16 pin connector that has been widely rumored for the new iPhone?  Nope, just 8 pin says editor Jeremy Horwitz. He continues: “One source claims that the new connector will feature other design innovations, potentially including the ability to be connected to docks and cables in either orientation (like MagSafe), but the other source could not confirm this or additional changes we’ve heard about; consequently, we consider other changes “quite possible” but uncertain. Given the possibility of grumbling from users regarding accessory incompatibility, it’s safe to say that Apple will attempt to pitch the new connector as superior to its predecessor in a variety of ways, and the smaller size will only be one of them.” Interesting.
  2. There will be a “iOS 6 + Bluetooth 4 Link” which they go on to speculate relates to iPod nano receiving a Bluetooth 4 update. That would allow it to act like Sony’s SmartWatch except implemented better obviously. The feature would enable, say, a future iPod nano to display iMessages received by an iPhone, record voice memos that could be shared via the iPhone, and even initiate phone calls through its own headphones. It could also conceivably let you make iPhone calls from your iPad (or possibly even recent Macs), assuming the iPhone was paired with the computer over Bluetooth.

I have long held that the iPod nano was waiting for a connection to Bluetooth 4.0. This opens up many possibilities for the wrist set. For instance, you could make a call on your iPad or Mac through the iPod nano watch as mentioned. You would no longer need to bring your iOS device to your workouts, so long as you were within Bluetooth range (~33 feet).

Also, Apple has pushed Bluetooth 4.0 pretty hard lately. It features a super low power and the ability to pair quickly (instant vs. BT3 and under taking six seconds), meaning these things will be able to go nearly a week on a charge. It is also much thinner than Bluetooth 2 or 3 devices (if the rumor is true, obviously).

(iWatch Q series pictured.)

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Rumor: Apple working on standalone iSight camera?

The New iPad Buyers’ Guide published by iLounge this week included a piece that speculated Apple might be working on a standalone camera product. While the story discussed the possibility of Apple working on a point-and-shoot iSight camera, iLounge clearly labeled it as speculation and simultaneously noted it received a tip claiming Apple is working on the project.

Take special note of pages 152 and 153—“Making the case for a standalone iSight Camera.” I’ll share more on this topic shortly, but for now, I’ll say that this two-page spread very nearly had a different title. We were tipped that this project is actually happening at Apple right now, but we didn’t feel confident enough in our source to call it a certainty; it’s therefore billed as speculation. Still, there’s enough smoke to make us think there’s a fire.

It did not feel strongly enough in the source to run the story, but Jeremy Horwitz of iLounge sent out a tweet today noting once again that Apple is working on a standalone camera:


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Report: New thinner iPhone will have longer 4 inch screen, metallic backside and small round dock connector

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Earlier this year, leading up to the new iPad launch, iLounge editor Jeremy Horwitz claimed to have held the new device, and then he reported a few of the features that would ultimately launch with the third-gen iPad in March (and some that would not). Today, Horwitz claimed to have new details on the next-generation iPhone. He reported the device would sport a longer 4-inch screen, metallic backside, and smaller and rounded dock connector.

The majority of Horwitz’s specs mirror our report from March 2011 about the iPhone 5 prototypes spotted with metal backs, larger displays, and the overall iPhone 4 design.

The first of his claims: As rumored, the new iPhone will be “longer and thinner” than iPhone 4 and 4S, and it will sport the following changes to its physical design:

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Rumor wrap-up: Apple’s new iPad and 1080P Apple TV media event

In the weeks and months before Apple’s media events, the newswires are stormed by tons of reports about Apple’s upcoming announcements. Due to the frenzy, it is hard to keep track of who said what and when. Therefore, we are putting together the more notable calls and how those reports turned out:

We did this for the iPhone 4S in October 2011, and this is our Apple iPad and Apple TV media event rumor wrap-up:

What came true?

March 7 keynote: In early FebruaryAllThingsD called for an Apple iPad media event during the first week of March. At that time, we speculated a March 7 keynote due to the availability at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center (the location where Apple likes to hold these events) and Apple’s recent fondness for Wednesday events. iMore later outright reported on a March 7 third-generation iPad announcement.

Pre-orders and availability: The first clue at when Apple would publicly release the new iPad was when we broke the news that Apple would open a new store in London’s Harrods on March 16. In the days leading up to the event, our sources confirmed a March 16 launch in the United States and other countries, and these sources also pinpointed more international launches for the following Friday. In terms of pre-orders, we pinpointed a March 7 pre-order date for the new iPad.

The design: iLounge, which typically offers accurate Apple design information, perhaps because of its close relations with case manufacturers, was first to pinpoint an iPad 2-like design for the new iPad. It also said that this new design would be roughly half a millimeter thicker than the iPad 2’s design–which it is. In the weeks running up to the iPad’s announcement, The New York Times chimed in and said the design would be very similar to the iPad 2’s design.

Apple TV announcement: We first noticed shortages in the Apple TV supply chain on Feb 12. While some called the launch of an Apple TV at the iPad event ludicrous (30:00), “because it would take the focus away from the main attraction,” we broke the news that Apple would launch a new Apple TV model at the third-generation iPad event. At the time, we said that the new iPad would launch with a 1080P video service, and we pinpointed the device’s new Bluetooth 4.0 capabilities and J33 codename in the months’ prior. We also found Apple TV 3,1 references several months ago.

Siri Dictation: One of the notable features of the new iPad is its Siri Dictation support. It is a feature that allows users to dictate what they would like to type instead of using Apple’s touch-screen keyboard. In January, we broke the news that Siri Dictation would make its way to the new iPad thanks to some leftover strings in the early iOS 5.1 beta.

LTE: One of the most important upgrades in the new iPad is the new wireless system. Besides the new Bluetooth 4.0 and HSPA+ capabilities, the new LTE integration will do wonders for attachment loading, web browsing, and video watching. In August 2010, way before the “iPad 3″ rumors started running at full-force, we reported that Apple was field-testing iOS 5 devices with LTE chips. We also said that the next-generation iPad was a very likely candidate to be a LTE device. In January, Bloomberg reported that the new iPad would sport LTE connectivity, then WSJ, iMore, and Reuters each followed up in the weeks after. The morning of the iPad event, Mr. X “confirmed” that 4G iPads would be sold worldwide.

The cameras: Alongside the third-generation iPad casing leaks came speculation surrounding the new iPad’s cameras. With the hole being bigger for the camera lens in the case leaks, many figured the new iPad would sport either the iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S camera. In the end, Apple merged the two ideas into what it is calling the “iSight” camera. As for the new iPad, this means the merging of the iPhone 4’s 5-megapixel shooter and the iPhone 4S’s advanced, custom optics system.

Retina Display: The Retina Display was perhaps the most rumored feature in the new iPad. After all, the 2,048-by-1, 536-resolution screen is the new iPad’s headline feature. Several news websites threw in their own sourcing for a Retina Display “iPad 3,” but it seems that the very first reports on a Retina Display iPad 3 (not iPad 2) came from analysts. The first major publication to confirm a Retina Display was the WSJ in August 2011, and MacRumors notably acquired a 2,048-by-1, 536 display in the weeks preceding Apple’s early March media event.

Pricing: We were able to report that new iPad prices would stay at the original iPad and iPad 2 price points ($499 to $829) a week before the event. We also said capacities would stay the same–which they did.

B82: We had all kinds of high-hopes for this $39 mystery accessory, but it turned out to be an updated Apple Digital AV Adapter (this)

Processor: The new iPad’s processor situation came to an atypical end. While reliable publications like Bloomberg and iMore claimed that the new iPad would include a quad-core processor, The Verge reported that it would stay dual core but would include better graphics performance. The result was actually a combination of the two: The new iPad sports an A5X processor with a dual-core processing unit, but it adds quad-core graphics. Confusion and situations involving “broken telephone” between sources and publications seems likely here, but do not worry… Apple is still working on that promised quad-core CPU.

What did not happen?

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It’s obvious now? The next iPhone is called…“the new iPhone”

So about two weeks ago we got a tip from a reliable source that Apple was going to call the iPhone 5 (or whatever)- the new “iPhone”.

That seemed a little nuts at the time but what a difference a Keynote makes. As Christian explained, Apple chopped the suffix off if the iPad as part of a branding makeover that will likely expand.  Just like iMac is not called iMac 1,2,3 it looks like Apple won’t be doing the numbering on iOS devices (though it never did with the iPod touch).

So that tip –That the next iPhone is simply the new “iPhone” – seems a lot more plausible now.

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iLounge editor claims to have held the next iPad, reports changes are mostly internal


The above image is used for illustrative purpose and does not represent iPad 3 case mockup.

iLounge editor Jeremy Horwitz, who at last year’s Consumer Electronics Show scooped an iPad 2-mockup case that eventually proved legit, is back with another exclusive. According to his article, yesterday he was shown what purports to be a next-generation iPad at the CES 2012 show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Even though he did not snap a photograph of it (the above image represents just a pair of iPad 2s), he published some interesting observations that largely support what iLounge heard in November. For starters, iPad 3 might in fact be a bit thicker than the current-generation tablet to make room for new parts:

The new iPad’s body is so slightly thicker than the iPad 2 that the change is unnoticeable on first inspection; a roughly 1mm increase will barely be perceptible to users. We’ve heard that the only accessories that might have issues are cases, and then, only cases that were precisely contoured to fit the iPad 2’s back. [...] Switch, button, speaker, and other elements located on the side edges are all the same, as are the headphone and Dock Connector ports. In other words, last year’s accessories should generally work properly with the new model, which is great.

The editor got the impression that what he saw “seemed to be more than half a year old” rather than just manufactured. It is conceivable Horwitz was holding in his hands a pre-production prototype. Looking at the back, Horwitz noticed visual changes that suggest an enhanced camera system…

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