Apple Store goes down for updates in run-up to launch event (Update: iWork on iCloud goes down as well)

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As always in the run up to a launch event, the Apple Store has been taken offline for updates ahead of today’s iPad-focused event. Apple has also taken down iWork for iCloud, promising that it will be back in a few hours with “great new features.”

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Additionally, Apple has updated its homepage with a promo for the event …  Read more

Apple will be live-streaming today’s launch event on web & Apple TV

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Apple will be live streaming today’s launch event, first revealed by the Apple Events channel returning to Apple TV, the icon displaying the theme for the event and a message saying “tune in at 10 am for the live stream.”

The event will also be streamed on the web when it begins at 10am Pacific/1pm Eastern. As usual, live streaming requires Safari 4 or later on OS X v10.6 or later; Safari on iOS 4.2 or later. Streaming via Apple TV requires second- or third-generation Apple TV with software 5.0.2 or later.

Details below of what we’re expecting to see …  Read more

Apple announces October 22nd iPad event: ‘We still have a lot to cover’

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Apple has announced that it will be holding its next media event on October 22nd, which is in line with expectations. The event will take place at 10 AM Pacific/1 PM Eastern Time at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California.

The event will likely showcase new versions of the iPad, including a redesigned full-sized model that looks like a larger iPad mini and a new iPad mini that boasts a Retina display.

Also in Apple’s pipeline are new iWork suites, a new version of the Apple TV, new MacBook Pros with faster chipsets, OS X Mavericks, and the new Mac Pro. It’s unclear which of the aforementioned products will actually get stage time this time around, but the new Mac Pro, MacBook Pros, and OS X Mavericks are the most likely to appear in addition to the tablets…

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iPhone’s Touch ID metal ring fits in iPad 5 part, but likely isn’t evidence for fingerprint-scanning iPads

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With the announcement of the new iPads approaching later this month, rumors surrounding the new full-sized iPad have centered around a thinner, lighter design, but it’s been unclear if the new tablet will sport the Touch ID fingerprint authentication system from the iPhone 5s. I’ve heard that Apple’s most recent internal next-generation iPad prototypes have lacked Touch ID sensors, so it’s unclear if it will make the cut for this year. There are a few reasons why Touch ID wouldn’t make sense on an iPad this year:

  • Exclusivity to iPhone 5s could help with sales for Apple’s flagship phone. Notice the iPhone 5c doesn’t have it.
  • Supplies for Sapphire Crystal are obviously tight.
  • Touch ID would be better suited for an iPad capable of multiple users; is the OS even ready for that?

On the other hand, bringing Touch ID to the iPad this year would create consistency for Apple’s fall 2013 iOS Device line. Apple’s iPhone 5s internal test units did not gain Touch ID until late into testing, so there isn’t conclusive evidence right now for either direction…

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Report claims iPad 5 & Retina iPad mini will sport 8MP rear cameras w/ larger aperture

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With Apple’s rumored next-generation iPads expected to be launching as early as this month, often reliable KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is sharing some new details on the expected iPad 5 and second generation iPad mini. Kuo is still expecting both products to launch later this year sometime in 4Q13, but in his latest report claims that Apple is prepping a camera upgrade for the new iPads that would include a bump up from the current 5 megapixel iSight camera to 8 megapixels along with other improvements:

Apple could upgrade the camera as a selling point for the new iPad in a bid to increase competitiveness.

We expect the upgrade will include 8MP rear camera, up from 5MP, and larger aperture. Lens module ASP will rise 10-20% on this optics spec upgrade.

As a reminder, the new iPhone 5s includes a new five-element lens designed by Apple that also includes a larger a F2.2 aperture with an 8 megapixel sensor. The device also brings a sensor with a 15 percent larger active area, auto stabilization, and bigger 1.5 micron pixels.

That would indeed be a nice camera to put on iPads. Read more

Chinese site shows two photos of claimed gold iPad Mini 2 with Touch ID

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Chinese site DoNews has posted two photos of what it claims is a champagne-colored iPad Mini 2 with Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

Concept photos and outright hoaxes are commonplace in the run-up to an anticipated product launch (we debunked one of these just yesterday), so there is no telling whether or not these are the real deal, but it’s obviously logical to expect Apple to release both the iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 in the same colour schemes as the iPhone 5s. It’s also pretty likely that both will be fitted with the Touch ID fingerprint sensor (shown below the fold), though we have heard some whispers that it doesn’t …  Read more

Space Gray coming to an iPad Mini 2 near you? (Champagne too?)

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French site NWE has a photo of what it believes to be a Space Gray casing for the iPad Mini expected to be announced next month – on 15th October, according to another French site.

NWE has a decent track-record in leaked parts, and it seems likely that Apple would adopt the same colors for the new iPads as for the iPhone 5s. If you were wondering what the iPad Mini might look like in Apple’s new champagne color, Martin Hajek has created some renders. I’m not taken with the look myself – let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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More photos below …  Read more

KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo provides details on new iPads coming in Q4

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An analyst note from a usually reliable Ming-Chi Kuo (郭明錤) seemingly confirms our expectation that Apple will not announce new iPads on September 10th, but at a separate event later in the year.

The note makes supply chain forecasts suggesting that assembly production of the iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 will start with low-volume production this month, and enter mass-production in the final quarter. If the tablets were to be announced on September 10th, we would expect them to be much further along the production cycle by now.

As expected, both iPad models are said to use the A7X processor, which should see be a particularly noticeable improvement on the existing A5-based Mini.

There were a couple of surprises in the note …  Read more

High-res photos claim to show iPad 5 front panel

Sonny Dickson has posted decent-sized photos of what is claimed to be the front panel of the iPad 5.

The photos are consistent with what we’re all expecting: essentially a scaled-up iPad Mini, with thinner bezels on the sides. The refresh is also expected to use the same film-based touch panel as the Mini, replacing the glass layer in previous full-size iPads, reducing both thickness and weight. We posted photos of what is believed to be the rear casing back in January and the display panel earlier this month. Read more