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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Sharp’s bringing ‘highest pixel density’ IGZO displays yet, could end up in next round of Retina MacBooks

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MacBook-Pro-RetinaSharp, one of Apple’s display suppliers that is rumored to have just begun production on next-gen iPhone displays, this week announced it will soon begin producing notebook displays with the highest pixel density in the biz. With displays ranging from 11.6 inches to 15.6 inches, it’s entirely a possibility that one could end up in a next generation MacBook with Retina display.

IGZO technology enables smaller thin-film transistors and increased light transmittance. As a result, fine text can be rendered crisply and clearly, and images can be displayed with impressive realism. For example, the 14-inch panel boasts a pixel density of 262 ppi, which represents 1.67 times the number of pixels of full high definition*3. Increased light transmittance also means lower rates of energy consumption, with IGZO technology reducing the amount of power required to drive liquid crystals during the display of still images. These factors lead to greater energy efficiency and longer battery life on notebook PCs. IGZO technology is also compatible with stylus-input touchscreen functionality.

Sharp will start producing the displays, which boast a resolution up to 3,200 x 1,800 and pixel density of 262 ppi, in June and already has a 13.3-inch model being mass produced. Read more

Intel announces 2014 Thunderbolt update with 4K support; opens door for Retina iMacs?

Retina iMac mockup via MacSpoilers

Retina iMac mockup via MacSpoilers

Today, Intel announced a new version of its Thunderbolt technology that will ship with devices in 2014. The new Thunderbolt technology supports up to 20Gbps throughput, which is up from the 10 Gbps supported by the current version of Thunderbolt.

Notably, the new technology supports 4K resolutions, which could open the door for even higher-resolution Mac displays. Perhaps, this is the technology that Apple needs to work with in order to begin a Retina display rollout for its all-in-one desktop computer, the iMac, or even Mac Pro compatible Thunderbolt displays.

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Review: TwelveSouth’s BookBook case for the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro

We’ve reviewed and enjoyed a number of TwelveSouth products over the years. We were intrigued by the hollowed out book idea with the company’s original BookBook case for the MacBook Air and since it has brought out similar hand distressed leather BookBook cases for other Apple devices, like the iPhone and iPad mini. While maybe not the ideal option for Apple’s anti-skeuomorphic cheerleaders, I found the stark contrast to Apple’s sometimes cold industrial design a nice juxtaposition.

I tend to not use any skins, covers or cases when using my MacBook on a day to day basis. I slide my MacBook into a laptop pouch built-into my backpack or use a standard laptop case when on the go, and rarely do I actually leave the MacBook in the case when in use. A case was necessary for protection when traveling, but for me the average soft or hard plastic laptop case never quite does the pricey, Jony Ive designed Apple hardware inside justice. BookBook is different… Read more

MacBook Pro with Retina display: Problems in every dimension

MacBook-Problems-In-Every-Dimension

When Apple unveiled its first Retina MacBook Pro with the 15.4-inch model in June, it came with an all-new, slimmed down design, all-flash architecture, and its flagship Retina display with over 5 million pixels. Apple has built its reputation on quality, craftsmanship, and customer/user experience, but that hasn’t been the case with its latest lineup of MacBooks. What many consumers don’t know is that buying a new Retina MacBook means taking your chances with possibly receiving a unit that is subject to display defects, battery, graphics, and fan-related issues among other major stability problems. These widespread issues have received limited coverage in the press and many consumers claim Apple is failing to sufficiently address the problems by not informing consumers and employees.

Leading the reports of problems is one that causes burn-in or ghosting on the device’s display. The result is a support thread with over 364,769 views and, most recently, a class-action lawsuit in California that alleged Apple is failing to inform consumers of the issue. Users experiencing the problem eventually realized the source of the issue was with LG, one of Apple’s display suppliers for the new Retina MacBooks. Unfortunately, models with Samsung displays aren’t totally free from a myriad of other significant issues.

Apple described the image-retention problems on this user’s display as normal after two visits. The display was eventually replaced with a Samsung but continues to experience other display related problems. 

Problems at the Apple Store

Finally, after 4 LG screened rMBPs I give up!

The problems are severe enough that it’s affecting the buying experience for consumers, driving customers to opt for other devices, and forced me personally to stop recommending the machine. Not only is Apple not addressing the issues publicly, Apple retail employees and 9to5Mac readers confirmed Apple is failing to properly inform retail and repair staff of the problems… Read more

Report: Apple to launch 11- and 13-inch Retina MacBook Air in Q3

MacBook AirAccording to a translated report from Taiwanese publication Economic Daily (via Macotakara), Apple is apparently in the process of preparing suppliers for the launch of a Retina MacBook Air in Q3 2013. The report appears to claim that both 11- and 13-inch variants of the MacBook Air will launch with Retina displays in addition to an upgrade from Intel’s new Haswell platform. Apple supplier Quanta is expected to begin receiving shipments of the new components in the second quarter, according to Economic Daily.

Today’s report of course goes against recent claims from analysts predicting the next-gen MacBook Air would land in Q2 or Q3 without a Retina display. We heard last year that Apple was working on MacBook Airs with Retina displays, but sources indicated the power drawn from the Retina Displays combined with the thin and light form factor of the MacBook Air may pose challenges for Apple and its product manufacturers. Read more

Adobe launches revamped Creative Cloud service with Photoshop features, Creative Cloud for teams, desktop sync app, Cloud Training tutorials, and more

Adobe Creative Cloud eventYesterday, Adobe finally took the wraps off its Retina versions of Photoshop and Illustrator CS6, and now the company is continuing its announcements at the CreateNow event with the introduction of a major update to its Creative Cloud service. To kick things off, Adobe announced new features for Creative Cloud users with perhaps the most notable being “access to over a dozen exclusive new features for Adobe Photoshop.”

On top of the new features, Adobe is also unveiling a new “Creative Cloud for teams” service, showing off new Creative Cloud features of Adobe Muse, as well as launching Creative Cloud Connection to allow “desktop synching and collaborative sharing.” In its press release announcing the features, Adobe also shared some stats for the service that is now home to more than 1 million free and paid members—326,000, of which, are paying members.

Among the new Photoshop features available to Creative Cloud users:

· Immediate support for HiDPI (Retina) displays for Apple MacBook Pro. This feature was also made available to perpetual license customers as a free update.
· Smart Object support for Blur Gallery and Liquify.
· The ability to quickly export CSS code for text and objects, and import color swatches to easily design incredible websites.
· New workflow timesavers including Crop tool refinements.
· 3D enhancements including improved live (OpenGL) previews of shadow effects and additional control over illumination using 32-bit color picker to create glow effects.
· Conditional Actions that automatically select the appropriate Action based on user-defined rules, giving users enhanced image processing speed.

One of the bigger announcements, Creative Cloud for teams, will provide users with same Creative Cloud service plus the following team-oriented features: “easy management of virtual workgroups, 100GB of cloud storage per user (versus 20GB for the individual Creative Cloud offering), expert support services, centralized administration for the quick and easy deployment of new seats, and centralized billing and efficient license management.”

Adobe walked us through the new Creative Cloud Connection desktop sync app, updates to Adobe Muse, and Cloud Training tutorials:

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