AAPL goes into the Black for 2013 on Black Friday as it hits $550

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We mentioned a couple of days ago that AAPL stock was approaching a high for the year, and it has now broken the $549.02 at which it began the year.

The company has experienced a roller-coaster ride in its stock price, almost entirely divorced from any product-based reality. The value placed on the company by the market at any given time has more to do with the gap between rumors and product launches, and of course short-term speculation …  Read more

DisplayMate tablet shootout puts Retina iPad Mini in last place, with ‘out-dated technology’

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DisplayMate, a company specializing in scientific display testing and calibration, gave the Retina iPad Mini third place in detailed lab tests of three leading 7-inch tablets, criticising Apple for “really bad planning” for what it considers to be out-dated display technology.

And finally… the iPad mini with Retina Display unfortunately comes in with a distant 3rd place finish behind the innovative displays on the Kindle Fire HDX 7 and new Nexus 7 […]

All of this reliance on IGZO is really bad planning… Right now there is a readily available display technology that has much higher performance than IGZO. It’s Low Temperature Poly Silicon LTPS, and it is used in all of the iPhones and in all of Samsung OLEDs (so it’s available in large quantities). Two innovative tablet manufacturers, Amazon and Google, have significantly leapfrogged Apple by introducing Tablet displays using LTPS (in the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 and the new Nexus 7), and they are significantly outperforming the IGZO and a-Si displays in the current iPads. Apple is now lagging in displays, an area where it was once the leader…  Read more

Apple Stores start selling Retina iPad mini to walk-in customers as regional carriers launch cellular models

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Regional carriers are starting to announce availability for cellular models of Apple’s new Retina iPad mini just as the company today started offering the device to walk-in customers.

Bluegrass Cellular announced today that it is now offering the iPad mini Wi-Fi Cellular models in-store and online. Available on the carrier’s website now starting at the usual $530 for the 16GB model, the carrier is also offering all three models (16GB, 32GB, and 64GB) on its no-contract “Freedom, Expanded” plan. That allows customers to make 12 monthly payments to get the device they want with the ability to trade-in and upgrade to a new device after a year. That plan will run $26.50/month for the 16GB model on Bluegrass, $31.50/month for the $630 32GB model, or $36.50/month for the $730 64GB model. The carrier appears to only have Space Gray models of the device available, at least online, and the Freedom Expanded plans are only available in-store. Another regional carrier, C Spire Wireless, will begin selling the Retina iPad mini over the next week. UpdateU.S. Cellular has also begun cellular iPad mini with Retina Display sales today on its website.

In other Retina iPad mini news, we’ve just received word Apple has just started selling the device to walk-in customers in its retail stores following an initial launch for Personal Pickup orders only.

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Review roundup: The Retina iPad mini verdict is ‘pricey but best small tablet ever’

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A Retina display may have been some time coming on the iPad mini, but the general verdict appears to be that it was worth the wait.

Many are querying the price, especially now that the full-size iPad Air is so much smaller and lighter than its predecessors, and costs just $100 more. But if portability is key, reviewers seem every bit as impressed by the iPad mini as I was by the Air.

Read on for the conclusions from five early reviews …  Read more

Initial Retina iPad mini Apple Store rollout to be exclusive to Personal Pickup, Apple issues press release

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Due to “limited supply” and “high demand,” the new iPad mini with Retina display will be available at Apple Stores exclusively through the Personal Pickup service for the time-being. Personal Pickup allows a customer to purchase a Retina iPad mini via the Apple Online Store, then pick it up at an Apple Retail location of their choosing. This also means that a customer who wants a Retina iPad mini cannot simply walk-in to an Apple Store and buy one (yet). It’s likely that Apple will allow walk-in purchases when demand meets supply. Apple notified its retail employees of the current sales exclusivity to Personal Pickup customers, and Apple’s own retail website seems to imply similar…

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Best Buy & Walmart Black Friday ads bring the year’s best Apple deals

From 9to5Toys.com:

Yesterday it was Target. Today the Best Buy and Walmart Black Friday / Thanksgiving deal advertisements are now official. Both ads feature heavy discounting on iPads, iTunes cards, iPods, Macs, and more. The most impressive deals at Walmart include an iPad mini for $299 with a free $100 gift card, and free gift card offers with the purchase of an iPhone 5c/5c. Best Buy offers up to $200 off a new Mac laptop, 15% off iTunes cards, and an Apple TV for $85.

While we haven’t seen Apple’s Black Friday deals for this year, it’s pretty safe to assume they won’t stray too far from the ‘education pricing for all’ strategy implemented at preceding Black Friday promotions.

Head over to 9to5toys for complete coverage of these ads and all others that have leaked thus far as well as best deals as they happen. Read more

Report: GlobalFoundries Apple tie-in not as big a deal as it sounds, might be overflow supply line

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Suggestions that Apple is looking to chipmaker GlobalFoundries to reduce its reliance on Samsung chips are rather wide of the mark, according to sources cited by AllThingsD. The rumors followed a story in the Albany Times Union that Apple might be looking to the Malta, New York, chipmaker to make iPhone and iPad chips.

In the most likely scenario, Samsung will still be the primary manufacturer of Apple’s chips for the iPhone and iPad, they said, continuing the role it has played since the earliest days of the iPhone: Building the chips that Apple designs under contract […]

Samsung will use GlobalFoundries for what is known as “flex capacity.” This is a long-standing industry practice under which a chip manufacturer pays to occasionally use another company’s factories when demand on their own factory is running higher than they would like, and they need a little help …  Read more

Another report claims short supply of Retina iPad mini due to display shortages from Sharp

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Following several reports this month and hints from Tim Cook that Retina iPad mini stock could be in short supply when the device launches next month, the hit and miss DigiTimes reports today that the shortages are due to limited supply of displays from Apple’s supplier Sharp. Specifically, the report claims that Sharp’s “Oxide TFT process is seeing low yield rates” leading to a less than ideal supply of  7.9-inch Retina panels. Sharp accounts for around 40% of the displays for iPad mini with Retina display production, while LG Display is providing the other approximately 60%, according to the report: Read more

New Space Gray iPad mini quietly begins hitting Apple Store shelves

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Silently announced alongside the new iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display, Apple has begun selling a Space Gray version of the first-generation, non-Retina display iPad mini at its physical retail stores.

Sources say that the model is now available via several Apple Stores, but not every store. Interested customers should call their store to ensure availability…

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