While most of the Apple-watching world has its sights focused on the next iPhone, Apple has put next-generation versions of the iPad into production. That’s according to Bloomberg News, which says that the new full-sized iPad Air model will be announced later this quarter or early next quarter and that the new 7.9-inch model will hit the market by the end of the year:
Apple is gearing up for its first major hardware and software launches of 2014. The Cupertino-based company is “tentatively” planning a keynote address in mid-September to announce the iPhone 6 and provide final details on iOS 8, according to sources briefed on the plans.
These people say that the second and third weeks of September are the mostly likely weeks for the event to be held, but they add that manufacturing uncertainties could alter the event’s timeframe. A decision has not been finalized, and sources made it clear that the plans are in flux.
The event will showcase at least the new iPhone 6 with a 4.7-inch screen, the sources say, but a final decision on debuting the larger, 5.5-inch “phablet” model at the event has not been made. The 4.7-inch variant of the new phone is farther along in both internal testing and manufacturing preparation, the sources added.
With Apple reporting lower-than-expected iPad sales for the second quarter in a row, it’s likely that Tim Cook will be once again be called on to reassure investors that the decline in year-on-year sales won’t continue indefinitely.
Cook has been very bullish on the iPad, despite the numbers, pointing especially to growing sales in the education sector and the opportunity for tablet growth in enterprise.
The penetration in business is low, it’s only 20 percent. If you looked at the penetration of notebooks in business it would be over 60 percent. We think there is a substantial upside in business.”
I think he’s right, especially with the IBM partnership. I mentioned in my opinion piece then that increasing penetration in enterprise could also help drive consumer migration from Android, as it gives people exposure to iOS devices. But the impact this has could well be offset by the iPhone 6 … Read more
One of our favorite designers of Apple concepts, Martin Hajek, has put together this visual showing how a new iPad mini design might compare with the existing one if it were based on the design of the iPhone 6.
The existing design, top, has the familiar flat front and tapered, chamfered edge. The bottom one, Hajek’s concept, has the rounded edge now familiar from countless iPhone 6 renders, mockups and purported leaked parts …
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):
If you’re eligible for education pricing, iGeneration noticed that the discounts available on Macs through the Apple Store for Education have now been extended to iPads. The discounts are modest, ranging from $20 to $30, but it all helps.
Education pricing is available to pretty much everyone working or studying in higher education: students, faculty, staff – even parents of students – as well as employees of K-12 schools.
Discounted iPad prices for the base spec 16GB wifi models are:
- iPad mini: $279 ($20 off)
- iPad mini with Retina display: $379 ($20 off)
- iPad Retina display (4th Gen): $379 ($20 off)
- iPad Air: $469 ($30 off)
The discounts appear to be rolling out internationally, already available in some countries but not yet all.
If your college belongs to the Apple on Campus program, the same modest discounts on iPads appear to be available, in contrast to the significantly better discounts offered on Macs.
As always, we recommend tuning into 9to5Toys to find the absolute best prices on iPads and all other Apple gear. For example, we recently featured a 16GB iPad Air for $400 ($100 off), 16GB Retina iPad mini with LTE for $355 ($174 off), and a 64GB iPad mini (1st gen) for $349 (orig. $599).
Lately, there has been a storm of rumored iPhone 6 images, renders, schematics, and videos. We’ve seen just about everything that the rumor mill has to offer at this point. All of the mockups that have been floating around may not match up with Apple’s official iPhone 6 design, but they are definitely convincing to an extent.
We recently put together a video comparing an iPhone 6 mockup to the iPhone 5s and fifth generation iPod touch, but what about Apple’s other iOS devices? In the video below, we compare this alleged iPhone 6 design to the iPad Air, iPad mini, iPhone 4/4s, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, and iPod touch. Hopefully this massive comparison will put an end to any other questions regarding the rumored iPhone 6 design, but based on the mockup units we’ve obtained the iPhone 6 is going to be a very large device and possibly feature a sharper 1704 x 960 resolution display.
Tim Cook may well be right that iPad sales didn’t really fall 16 percent year-on-year, and that the number was artificially deflated by reduced retail inventories. It’s also true that it’s been the fastest-growing product line in Apple’s history, and his argument that its success in education will drive future demand also has merit.
But this chart from Business Insider tells a story that can’t be denied: the overall trend is for flat iPad sales.
A new report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, via Fortune, sheds some light on customer behaviour of how quickly people get their iPad, iPhone or Macs upgraded or replaced. For instance, iPhones have approximate lifespans of two years, tied closely to when people’s contracts end. If the phone is in good condition, rather unsurprisingly, most people replace their phones alongside their new contract. Macs stay around for up to four years before being swapped out for newer equipment. The report argues that iPad life cycles more closely resemble Macs than iPhones.
However, in the case of loss or damage, people are much more compelled to replace their iPhones than Macs or iPads. Eighty percent of people replace iPhones within just two days. For Macs and iPads, this stretches out a week or even more. Over a quarter of buyers surveyed said they would replace an iPad immediately compared to approximately 37% for iPhones.
CarPlay is undoubtedly a big step in the right direction. Instead of car manufacturers using their own clunky user-interfaces to give you access to things like phone calls and music, there is now a standard, Apple-designed interface.
This makes perfect sense. Apple is the king of user-interface design, and most car manufacturers, well, aren’t. There was a time when I was driving a lot of rental cars and got to experience a whole bunch of different in-car screen systems, and they ranged in usability from halfway ok to downright dreadful. None offered anything close to the simplicity and clarity of CarPlay.
The question I have about CarPlay is: does it go far enough … ?
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi-Kuo, who has a strong Apple product prediction track record, is out with a new report today with his expectations for the iPad line in 2014: