Lightning iPad 4 could make its return tomorrow alongside 8GB iPhone 5c

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Update: March 18: Launched.

Indications from several sources (including our own) indicate that the iPhone 5c is set to see an expansion tomorrow with a less-expensive, lower-capacity 8GB model. But that might not be the only Apple iOS device announcement for tomorrow. According to a source, shipments of Apple’s fourth-generation iPad with Retina display have been arriving at Apple Stores with notices to not open until tomorrow (images below)…

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Reports: A8 won’t feature integrated LTE yet, low yield rates pushing Samsung out of the process?

Image via iFixit

Two new reports out today are offering a bit of early insight into what to expect from Apple’s next A-series SoC, or system on a chip, that powers its iPhone and iPad devices.

The first tidbit from Fudzilla says Apple will once again rely on Qualcomm for LTE chips in the next round of iOS devices rather than an A8 chip with LTE integrated. So what does this mean? It’s probably safe to assume Apple will save a SoC which includes the LTE modem in a future iteration.

Generally, the fewer chips required in a mobile device, the better optimized for battery life the device is. Apple, of course, must strive to engineer battery life parity, if not improvements, as our devices get more powerful each generation.

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Virgin Mobile cuts unsubsidized iPhone 5s to $440 or iPhone 5c for $360 shipped (Update)

From 9to5Toys.com:

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Virgin Mobile is knocking another 20% off their marked down iPhones yielding the lowest prices we’ve ever seen on the unsubsidized phones (that’s another 10% less than this weekend’s mention).

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Note Apple charges $650 for an unlocked iPhone 5s and $550 for an iPhone 5c so savings is around $200/iPhone. While the iPhones are unsubsidized, Virgin does offer extremely competitive plans on the Sprint 4G LTE network starting at $30/month for unlimited text/data. Read more

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

Verizon no longer the gold standard for mobile data?

Photo: Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Photo: Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Verizon Wireless, once the gold standard for LTE, has admitted that it is struggling to keep up with demand in the big cities – with some users being dropped down to slower 3G speeds. The carrier’s Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said yesterday:

There are certain pockets where we’re absolutely going to experience that down tick from the LTE network down to 3G because of capacity constraints …  Read more