Opinion: What approach will Apple take to deliver a larger-screen iPhone 6?

Concept image: Nikola Cirkovic

Concept image: Nikola Cirkovic

I wrote in an earlier opinion piece that 2014 is the year when I expect Apple to finally give in and opt for a larger iPhone display. Assuming I’m right, the question then becomes: what approach will Apple take?

There are two ways of increasing the size of a display. First, you can keep the resolution the same and simply use larger pixels. That’s what happens when a manufacturer makes a 1080P HD TV in both 40- and 50-inch sizes, for example. Both have 1920×1080 pixel displays, it’s just that the 50-inch display has larger pixels.

That would be by far the simplest approach for Apple to take. Provided it keeps the aspect ratio the same as the iPhone 5/c/s, then it can continue to use an 1136×640 display. All existing apps continue to work as-is, developers don’t have to do any work to support the larger display and everyone is happy . Or are they…  Read more

Apple to begin in-store iPhone 5c screen repairs next week

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We’ve gotten word from multiple sources that Apple will begin repairing/replacing broken iPhone 5c displays in its retail stores next week. The current plan is to begin offering replacements on Monday, January 20th. As we noted in November of last year, this initiative has been in the works for several months as Apple needs to source individual screens for replacement and supply each of its stores within special calibration machines…

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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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Apple Store comes back online with Retina iPad mini, exclusive holiday offers

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The iPad mini with Retina display went on sale through the Apple Online Store early Tuesday morning in an uncharacteristically soft launch. The news was prefaced by an internal memo that leaked from Apple’s GSX tool. The device is available in the United States, Australia, China (no LTE models yet), Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, and Singapore.

The release comes at an unexpected time. Apple didn’t officially announce the release date ahead of time, saying only that the device would be available sometime this month. In fact, aside from a memo that was released to employees only hours before the tablet went live on the Apple Online Store, there was no indication that it would be released this week at all.

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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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Apple says fix incoming for 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro trackpad & keyboard issues, offers interim solution

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Apple has published a new support article detailing an issue with some new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros that debuted alongside the iPad Air earlier this month. The issue can lead to the computer’s keyboard or trackpad becoming unresponsive.

There have been numerous reports of the issue in a 67-page thread on the Apple support forums. Apple’s statement:

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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

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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Like iPad 3, new iPad mini could be technically thicker to fit Retina Display

Space Gray iPad mini 2 casing (via Sonny Dickson)

Space Gray iPad mini 2 casing (via Sonny Dickson)

One of the most exciting new features of the upcoming iPad mini successor is perhaps the long-rumored Retina display. Apple has been developing a Retina-version (Apple’s term for the crisper display found on iPhones, the larger iPads, and some MacBook Pros), but the company has been reluctant to ship it due to cost, hardware size, and battery-life concerns. Though for October 22nd, it sounds like Apple has an iPad mini with Retina display ready to go.

But, it could potentially have a very minor trade-off: some extra thickness and width that will likely not be noticeable to the human eye. Just like the the full-sized iPad went thicker (and heavier in that case) to accommodate the much higher-resolution Retina display, the iPad mini could slightly bulk up to fit the new display, according to Macotakara. At a conference in China, the website went hands-on with some purported cases for the next-generation iPad mini. These cases fit a device with a thickness of 7.5mm and width of of about 0.2mm wider than the current iPad mini…

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Coming from Apple in 2014: 12-inch Retina MacBook, sharper iPad, cheaper iMac?

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According to typically-reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, Apple has a slew of new products in the works for 2014. The analyst has summarized his expectations for these new products in a new research note, and has also reaffirmed some of his previous claims for products in Apple’s pipeline for the rest of Fall 2013…

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Can Apple announce the rest of 2013’s products in just one event?

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Last fall, Apple had a lot of products to introduce: a new iPhone, two new iPads, three new iPods, and a few new Macs. Apple ended up dividing those new devices into two events: an iPhone + iPod event and an iPad + Mac event.

Without much occurring during the first half of this year, and even with the new iPhones launching this month, Apple still has a significant amount of products to still announce this year. Let’s take a look at what’s coming:

Could Apple announce all of this in one sitting?…

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