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

Retina iPad Mini supplies expected to remain tight through the holidays

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If you’re planning to give anyone a Retina iPad Mini as a holiday gift, it might be advisable to buy it sooner rather than later. Retina iPad Mini supplies are expected to remain constrained for the rest of the year, with two analysts both estimating production at around two million units. This is a very small number in what is likely to be a quarter with high demand.

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KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo and IHS iSuppli’s Rhoda Alexander had both previously said they expected supply to be very tight, but this is the first time we’ve had sight of KGI’s estimates of the numbers.

We maintain our iPad mini R shipments forecast of around 2.2mn units for 4Q13. Considering production yield improvement at the supply chain, we forecast shipments will grow 102% QoQ in 1Q14 to 4.5mn units.

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Bloomberg: Apple to introduce larger, curved screen iPhones in Q3 2014, enhanced pressure sensors for later models

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Concept render by Federico Ciccarese

Bloomberg is reporting that “sources familiar with the plans” say Apple is planning to release two new iPhone models next year with curved displays. The two phones would have 4.7 inch and 5.5 inch displays respectively, both substantially bigger than the 4 inch Retina Display currently offered in the iPhone 5s and more in line with Samsung’s S4 and Note 3.

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T-Mobile CEO says free 200MB of iPad data has ‘no exceptions/strings attached’ unless already being a T-Mobile customer is considered a string

Update: In a back and forth with a reporter over Twitter last night (below), Legere confirmed what many of us had found out through the website and online: You need to be a T-Mobile customer to get the 200mb of free data.

Back on the announcement date of the new iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display, many potential iPad with Cellular users were excited to see that “un-carrier” T-Mobile USA would be offering 200MB of data per month at no charge.

However, several readers and tipsters today noted that when trying to purchase a T-Mobile-optimized iPad Air, the carrier would actually charge $10 per month for that 200MB of data. The exception was apparently for subscribers to voice smartphone plans on T-Mobile; these customers would be credited back the $10 of data each month.

Now, T-Mobile CEO John Legere has responded to this mixup by noting that there are “no strings attached.” He calls the charges an “executional mistake” and notes that the situation will be corrected…

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Cook tells employees Apple ‘has never been stronger,’ plans to address company tomorrow

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Following Apple’s earnings results for Q4 2013, which includes a record iPhone sales number for the September quarter, Apple CEO Tim Cook has emailed employees to congratulate them on the results. Cook says that Apple “has never been stronger,” and highlights the products being released this fall. “I am happy to report that Apple’s business has never been stronger, and we are heading into the holidays within amazing lineup led by the new iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, the stunning iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display,” Cook says in the memo…

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Apple to start offering Personal Pickup for iPad Air on Nov. 1 launch date

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In contrast to the supply constrained launch of the iPhone 5s, Apple will offer Personal Pickup for the iPad Air beginning on the November 1st launch date, we’re hearing from sources. MacRumors is reporting the same. When the Apple Online Store goes live on November 1st at midnight Pacific Time (3 AM EST), customers will be able to order iPad Airs to be shipped to their addresses…

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Regional U.S. carriers begin announcing iPad Air availability in ‘coming weeks’

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Ahead of next week’s iPad Air launch, dozens of countries across the world, regional carriers within the United States have begun announcing their plans for carrying the LTE-capable version of the tablet. While major carriers AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, and Sprint will begin selling the iPad Air on Friday, November 1st, these smaller, region-specific networks say that they will start selling the device in the “coming weeks.”

So far, Bluegrass Cellular and C Spire are the two regional carriers to announce iPad Air plans, and other carriers will likely share their own announcements in the coming days and weeks. Bluegrass Cellular operates in Kentucky while C Spire is based in Mississippi. Both of these carriers began carrying the new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c earlier this month alongside several other regional providers…

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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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Retina iPad mini could be the new gold iPhone 5s, with ‘ridiculously tight’ supplies

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A second analyst has warned that supplies of the Retina iPad mini are likely to be “ridiculously tight”, after KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo previously predicted they would be “highly constrained.” The comment comes from Rhoda Alexander, director of tablet research at IHS electronis and media, quoted in the Telegraph.

Apple could face supply issues for the iPad mini 2 with Retina, as its supply is one third the size of its shipments from this time last year, an analyst said.

Rhoda Alexander, director of tablet research at IHS electronis and media, said: “The supply of the Retina Mini is going to be ridiculously tight in the fourth quarter …  Read more

T-Mobile to initially offer new iPads starting at $0 down, $26/month for Air, $22/month for Retina Mini

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T-Mobile has formally announced its new “un-carrier” strategy for the just-introduced Apple iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display. While the Cellular-capable iPads normally cost an extra $130 over the upfront WiFi-model purchase price, T-Mobile will be offering the new tablets at $0 down. T-Mobile says that this is introductory pricing, and it is unclear when the price points will raise for T-Mobile customers…

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Tune in Oct. 22 for new iPads, Mac Pro details, MacBook Pros, and Mavericks

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Apple’s next event is upon us, and it’s likely to be action-packed. As Apple says: it has “a lot to cover.” So besides the speculation that rings in from the word cover (new Smart Covers, anyone?), Apple has some new tablets, computers, and software to discuss. Read our full roundup of what to expect (and not expect) on Tuesday, October 22nd, from Apple:

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Report: New MacBook Pros on sale Oct 24/25, iPads Oct 30/31, Mac Pro Nov 15

Image: techbeat.com

Image: techbeat.com

French site MacG, which has an imperfect track-record, claims to have been given the dates on which the new MacBook Pros, iPads and Mac Pro will go on sale. The claimed dates are:

With Apple’s media event scheduled for 22nd October, this would put the MacBook Pros on sale very quickly indeed, just two or three days later.

However, the iPad and Mac Pro dates do not make as much sense. Apple has typically launched its new iPad models on Fridays (or Saturday for the original version), making it unlikely that the new tablets would hit store shelves on a Wednesday or Thursday (as the MacGeneration report claims).

As for the Mac Pro, that machine is a built-to-order computer, so perhaps it would be difficult to pinpoint an actual launch date for that product. MacG also happened to have claimed that Apple’s event would occur today, so that does not add much credibility to these new claims.

Below is what we’re expecting to see for each product …  Read more