Published on March 29 2017

Back in mid-March, mobile marketing company Fiksu spotted four new iPad identifiers in its device data, hinting at the imminent release of new hardware. 

We did indeed see a new low-cost 9.7-inch iPad introduced via press release on Tuesday, March 21, but as it turns out, the identifiers for the new 9.7-inch iPad don't match up with the iPads Fiksu saw, suggesting there could still be additional iPad models set to be released in the not-so-distant future. 
 

Low-Cost iPad Not Among the New iPad Models Spotted in Device Logs Earlier This Month

The new iPad's identifier is "iPad6,11" and "iPad6,12," with one number each for for Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular models. Fiksu, meanwhile, saw the following identifiers in its device logs: 

- iPad7,1 
- iPad7,2 
- iPad7,3 
- iPad7,4 

These numbers could perhaps refer to new iPad Pro models in two sizes, 12.9-inch and either 9.7-inches or perhaps the new rumored 10.5-inch model. The identifiers Fiksu saw are similar to the existing identifiers for the current 9.7 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models. 

- 12.9-inch iPad Pro (Wi-Fi) - iPad 6,7 
- 12.9 inch iPad Pro (Cellular) - iPad 6,8 
- 9.7-inch iPad Pro (Wi-Fi) - iPad 6,3 
- 9.7-inch iPad Pro (Cellular) - iPad 6,4 

In the original report, Fiksu said the number of new iPad models in its data was steadily ramping up, and that in its experience, those increasing numbers indicate an "imminent" release. Fiksu suggested the new iPad models could launch within a month, which would put a release somewhere around mid-April. 

There has been a lot of confusion around iPad Pro launch timelines. Rumors originally suggested a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro model, and perhaps a new 12.9-inch model would launch in the spring alongside the low-cost 9.7-inch model, but we only got the latter. 

It is now unclear when we will see new iPad Pro models. The release of a low-cost 9.7-inch iPad (and a new iPhone color and new Apple Watch bands) via press release seems to suggest we aren't going to see a spring event and thus no spring launch of new iPads, but it's not an impossibility. 

If a spring debut doesn't happen, we could potentially see a launch at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June or Apple could hold off on a launch until the fall, introducing iPads alongside new iPhones in September. At this point, Apple's iPad plans are murky at best, and we'll need to wait for more information to narrow down a release timeline.

Article Source: Low-Cost iPad Not Among the New iPad Models Spotted in Device Logs Earlier This Month

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Published on March 27 2017

Apple yesterday announced the newest addition to its iPad lineup, somewhat confusingly called the "iPad" and known officially as the "5th-generation iPad," following in the footsteps of the fourth-generation model that was released before the iPad Air. 

Designed to replace the iPad Air, the iPad comes with a tantalizingly low price tag: $329. It is Apple's most affordable tablet to date and it's a competitive price point that will allow the iPad to better compete with lower-priced Android offerings. 

What do you get for $329? As it turns out, quite a lot. The iPad is a little bit iPhone 6s, a little bit iPad Air, and a little bit iPad Air 2. 

The New iPad vs. 9.7-inch iPad Pro and iPad Air 2

In a nutshell, compared to the iPad Air 2, the iPad has a brighter display and a faster A9 processor (first introduced in the iPhone 6s). Other internal hardware seems to be very similar to what's included in the iPad Air 2, with the exception of the display and the casing. Camera, battery life, Wi-Fi, LTE, and other sensors are all nearly the same. 

The iPad does not include a laminated display, and is thus thicker, much like the original iPad Air. It measures in at 7.5mm thick, compared to the 6.1mm iPad Air 2. The thickness and accompanying weight discrepancy is noticeable and the one downside between the new iPad and its predecessor. 

Compared to the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, the new iPad is, of course, significantly inferior, which is why it's priced at $329 and not $599. It does not support the Apple Pencil or the Smart Keyboard (no Smart Connector), and it lacks many of the display improvements, including True Tone color shifting and wide color gamut. 

The iPad has a slower processor than the iPad Pro, an inferior camera (8-megapixel vs. 12-megapixel rear and 1.2-megapixel vs. 5-megapixel front), two speakers instead of four, a slower LTE modem, and of course, since the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is the same size as the iPad Air 2, the iPad is noticeably thicker and heavier. 

If you're looking for top of the line hardware and accessory support, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is the tablet to buy, but if you don't need the bells and whistles, the iPad is a steal at its price point. 

Performance wise, it's going to run all the latest games and apps, it'll take decent pictures, it still has a high-quality Retina display, and it features a 10 hour battery life, so it will hold up for several years, especially when doing basic tasks like web browsing and emailing. 

The New iPad vs. 9.7-inch iPad Pro and iPad Air 2

For those looking for a bit more, Apple is rumored to be planning to introduce an updated ~10-inch iPad Pro model that's going to replace the existing 9.7-inch iPad Pro. The ~10-inch model is said to have smaller bezels and perhaps an edge-to-edge display, allowing it to feature a bigger screen in a 9.7-inch-sized body. 

That tablet was originally rumored to be coming in the spring, but now it's looking like we won't see it until later in the year. Based on rumors, it may be worth the wait for those willing to shell out more money for the best technology. 

Apple plans to start selling the new iPad on Friday, March 24. The entry-level 32GB Wi-Fi only model will be priced at $329, and a 128GB model is available for $429. Wi-Fi + Cellular models are available at a $130 premium, so $459 for 32GB and $559 for 128GB

Article Source: The New iPad vs. 9.7-inch iPad Pro and iPad Air 2

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Published on March 27 2017

Apple's widely rumored high-end iPhone with a 5.8-inch edge-to-edge OLED display will launch in September, although the majority of stock may not be available until later in the fourth quarter, according to the latest research from Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis, Christopher Hemmelgarn, Thomas O'Malley, and Jerry Zhang. 

'iPhone 8' Still Expected to Launch in September in Limited Quantities

The prediction suggests that Apple's tenth-anniversary iPhone, which has been variously dubbed the iPhone 8, iPhone X, iPhone Pro, or iPhone Edition, will still be available in limited quantities in September. However, shipping estimates could slip to several weeks out just minutes after pre-orders begin. 

An excerpt from the Barclays research note obtained by MacRumors:

Suppliers generally had good things to say about the upcoming iPhone 8 launch (for our purposes iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus, and iPhone Pro) as new features drive a more complicated manufacturing process and higher ASPs. We now believe that all three devices will feature wireless charging and will all be launched in the normal September timeframe, although the majority of iPhone Pro volumes may not be available until Q4.

Barclays contradicts a recent report that claimed the 5.8-inch iPhone will be announced alongside updated 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models, or the so-called iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, but might not go on sale until much later. 

By the sounds of it, availability of Apple's first iPhone with an OLED display could be similar to the iPhone 7 Plus in Jet Black, which was virtually nowhere to be found through the holiday shopping season last year. When an Apple Store or reseller happened to get a few Jet Black models in stock, they sold out almost instantly. 

The analysts, citing information from Apple's supply chain following a trip to Asia earlier this month, also reiterated their expectations for the 5.8-inch iPhone. Many of its predictions echo those already made by KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a respectable track record at revealing Apple's plans. 

Barclays said the phone will feature a 5.8-inch display with 5.15 inches of usable screen, as Kuo said. It expects Touch ID to be embedded in the display, and the remaining space could be for virtual buttons. It believes the device will have wireless charging, but wireless charging accessories will be sold separately. 

It said the 5.8-inch iPhone's stacked logic board design will provide more space for a larger battery and other components, as Kuo previously said. Other features Barclays expects include a front-facing 3D sensor module, the same dual camera setup as the iPhone 7 Plus, and a film-based Force Touch solution.

Article Source: 'iPhone 8' Still Expected to Launch in September in Limited Quantities

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Published on March 27 2017

Apple has just begun accepting orders for the new 9.7-inch iPad and (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and 7 Plus on its online store in the United States and dozens of other countries and regions around the world. (PRODUCT)RED iPhones are also available for in-store pickup at select Apple Stores starting today. 

New 9.7-Inch iPad and Red iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Now Available to Order


The new 9.7-inch iPad is equipped with a faster Apple A9 chip and brighter Retina display compared to the iPad Air 2, which has been discontinued. It is also somewhat thicker and heavier than the iPad Air 2 since it lacks a fully laminated display with anti-reflective coating in order to keep costs down. 

The tablet's tech specs are otherwise identical to the iPad Air 2, including a display resolution of 2,048‑by‑1,536 at 264 PPI, 8-megapixel rear iSight camera, 1.2-megapixel front FaceTime camera, two speakers, Lightning connector, 3.5mm headphone jack,Touch ID with Apple Pay, and Bluetooth 4.2. 

The new 9.7-inch iPad starts at $329 for a 32GB model with Wi-Fi, making it the cheapest new tablet that Apple has ever sold. Apple also offers a 128GB model with Wi-Fi for $429, while cellular-capable 32GB and 128GB models are available for $459 and $559 respectively in Silver, Gold, and Space Gray. 

The new 9.7-inch iPad is now available to order on Apple's website in dozens of countries around the world. The first online orders are estimated for delivery between March 31 and April 5 in the United States. 

Apple said the new 9.7-inch iPad will be available to purchase at select Apple Stores, authorized resellers, and carrier stores starting next week in more than 20 countries, such as the United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK. 

New 9.7-Inch iPad and Red iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Now Available to Order

Apple's special edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models are also now available to order on Apple's website in 128GB and 256GB storage capacities for $749/$849 and $869/$969 respectively. Initial orders are slated for delivery on Tuesday, March 28 in the United States. 

(PRODUCT)RED iPhones have a vibrant red finish complemented by a silver Apple logo and white front bezels. Apple said the models are in recognition of more than 10 years of partnership between Apple and (RED), which gives customers a way to contribute to the Global Fund in support of HIV/AIDS programs in Africa. 

The special edition iPhone joins the current (PRODUCT)RED lineup, which is available to purchase year-round, including the full iPod line of products, Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones, Beats Pill+ Portable Speaker, the iPhone 7 Smart Battery Case, and a range of accessories for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. 

(PRODUCT)RED iPhones are available starting today at many Apple Stores, authorized resellers, and carrier stores in the United States and dozens of other countries. Apple said the new models will begin shipping to customers by the end of March in the United States and more than 40 countries and regions.

Article Source: New 9.7-Inch iPad and Red iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Now Available to Order

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Published on March 24 2017

Would you like a dock for your iPhone that turns it into a laptop? That’s one idea that Apple is exploring that keeps the iPhone at the heart of Cupertino’s mobile empire while continuing to manage the decline of macOS powered options.

 

Published today, the patent describes a dock for a smartphone that replicates the look and feel of a traditional laptop. As always with patents, they are not necessarily guaranteed to lead to public releases. But they do offer a look into Apple’s research labs and the avenues they are exploring.

Apple's Predictable iPhone Mission To Replace The MacBook

The patent details an enclosure that looks remarkably like the MacBook placeholder in previous submissions to the USPTO.  Your iPhone would slot into the equivalent space of the trackpad and connect through the lightning port. The iPhone would drive the experience, interfacing with the keyboard and touchscreen in the unit, which potentially could have a secondary battery or processing power.

As with many ideas in the mobile world, this is not a new principle. HP provided a laptop-style dock for its Elite x3 Windows 10 powered smartphone leveraging Continuum. The Continuum system on Windows 10 handsets allows a smartphone to drive a desktop-like setup of keyboard, mouse and monitor and would allow any manufacturer to easily put together a dock. Go back further and you’ll find devices like the Motorola’s Lapdock from 2011.

 

if you’re looking for a device with extra battery power and increased graphical processing in a keyboard-focused base, have a look at the Surface Book - even though that’s more ‘tablet plus keyboard and screen’ rather than this ‘iPhone plus keyboard and screen’ design.

Apple's Predictable iPhone Mission To Replace The MacBook

No doubt the dock’s screen would scale up iOS from a phone UI to a tablet UI, with the user interface reacting much like the larger screened iPad Pro tablets when fitted with the smart keyboard cover. From a UI point of view much of the hard work has already been done in iOS.

 

More importantly to me it suggests where Apple sees its future of mobile computing. Apple is showing less and less love for the MacBook range as the months go buy. From little more than a specifications increase in October 2016 to updating all of its mobile hardware this week but ignoring the MacBook, Tim Cook and his team are giving every indication that it is managing macOS quietly into obscurity and focusing all its efforts on iOS powered devices.

 

Because once you have a MacBook-like doc for the iPhone, once you have all the apps you need to create a laptop like environment, why would you continue developing and promoting macOS on your MacBooks? The dock patent shows a future where iOS is in the lead in terms of mobile devices.

 

Presumably the macOS devices will remain available in smaller numbers (primarily for developers needing Xcode) but this is one more indicator pointing towards an iOS focused future with the iPhone at the heart of everything and the heady days of the macBook fading into the history books.

 

Article Source: Apple's Predictable iPhone Mission To Replace The MacBook

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Published on March 24 2017

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Specs Revealed In Schematics Leak?

Early details about the Galaxy Note 8 and beginning to trickle in and a recent leak give an idea of what design the upcoming Samsung device might take. The source, CNbeta, shared Thursday, a sketch mockup of a possible Galaxy S8 design in addition to some specifications details.

According to the source, the Galaxy Note 8 may feature a 6.4-inch 4K (3840 × 2160) resolution display with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio. This would mean that like the Galaxy S8, the Galaxy Note 8 may not have a home button and may have very thin bezels. The leaked schematics show as much.

They differentiate from leaked images and renders of the Galaxy S8 in that they include an internal S-Pen stylus for the Galaxy Note 8. It is likely the Note 8 will feature a curved edge display and a curved body altogether. Samsung began experimenting with this design on the Galaxy Note 7 and many leaks have shown the Galaxy S8 may have a similar look.

CNbeta also claims the Galaxy Note 8 may feature 6GB of RAM and internal storage options up to 256GB. Phone Arena noted that the RAM capacity is plausible, considering Samsung just released the Galaxy C9 Pro 6GB of RAM. However, the storage capacity rumors may be far fetched. Currently, Samsung flagships are expected to have a standard storage capacity of about 64GB with microSD expansion up to 256GB. But rumors for the Galaxy N

Other rumors suggest the Galaxy Note 8 may feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 or Exynos 8895 chip, USB-C and an iris scanner. The latter two features originated on the Galaxy Note 7 and are expected to be featured on the Galaxy S8. The Galaxy Note 8 could possibly introduce to Samsung’s devices a dual-lens camera and a 3D touch mechanism. Rumors suggest Samsung might bring back a virtual home button and an optical fingerprint sensor that is embedded underneath the device’s display.

At this time no rumors about the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 are confirmed.

Article Source: Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Specs Revealed In Schematics Leak?

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Published on March 23 2017

Apple’s iPhone 6s was most popular smartphone of 2016 — and it wasn’t close

Love your iPhone? You’re not alone. Far from it, in fact — you’re in the majority. According to the latest results from research firm IHS Markit, the iPhone was the most popular smartphone in the world last year when it came to global shipment numbers. In 2016, the iPhone 6s became the most-shipped smartphone in the world, followed by the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone 6s Plus. This puts the iEmpire’s hardware well ahead of the other 350 or so smartphone models IHS Markit tracked as part of its research.

While IHS Markit hasn’t released exact shipment numbers, it looks as though the iPhone 6s shipped around 60 million units, whereas most others in the top 10 averaged around 25 million. These results support previous findings from research firm Strategy Analytics, who also reported that the iPhone 6s was the world’s most popular phone throughout the first half of last year.

While overall may be more popular as an operating system than Apple overall, it’s clear that when it comes to individual phones, Steve Jobs’ legacy reigns supreme. The iPhone 6s shipped more than double the number of units than its closest non-Apple competitor — the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. That said, it looks like the battle dominance is really just playing out between Apple and Samsung — aside from the S7 Edge, the Samsung Galaxy J3, J5, S7, and J7 also made the top 10 list. The only non-Apple or Samsung device to join the mix was the Oppo A53.

This isn’t particularly surprising, given that Apple and Samsung are the two largest smartphone makers. Huawei, which currently claims about 10 percent market share, was notably absent from the list (as was the ill-fated Samsung Galaxy Note 7). The Oppo A53, however, managed to make its way to the No. 7 spot thanks to its popularity in China and India, two of the largest emerging smartphone markets. Indeed, a number of larger device makers are including the Asian countries in their broader business goals — Google, for example, is partnering with Indian cellphone service provider Jio to make an affordable 4G smartphone.

Article Source: Apple’s iPhone 6s was most popular smartphone of 2016 — and it wasn’t close

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Published on March 23 2017

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 leak shows the phone of your dreams

The iPhone 7 may have dominated sales in 2016 but Xiaomi’s Mi Mix stole its fair share of headlines thanks to its edge-to-edge-to-edge display that gave the device a really striking “glass phone” appearance. The company is said to be planning a successor, and newly leaked renders claim to show exactly what the Mi Mix 2 will look like. If it turns out to be legit, Xiaomi will have somehow made its insane phone design even more wild with a screen-to-bezel ratio fast approaching its limit.

The leak, spotted by Xiaomi Today, originated on the Weibo network which has produced plenty of both credible material and total bunk in the past. The renders show the purported Mi Mix 2 with a screen that eclipses three edges and nearly a fourth, leaving just a slim bezel at the bottom of the device. The phone will also reportedly be built primarily out of ceramic, like its predecessor, and AMOLED display technology.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 leak shows the phone of your dreams

The rumored device boasts a screen-to-bezel ratio even more impressive than the original Mi Mix, with 93% of the front of the phone taken up by the display, compared to the 91.3% of its predecessor.

Xiaomi said early on that the Mi Mix was essentially an experiment, and used that as justification for only producing a very limited run of the devices. Demand seemed to be fairly high for the phone, however, so if Xiaomi is indeed poised to unleash a second iteration on the world, it would be nice if they made enough to go around.

Article Source: Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 leak shows the phone of your dream

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Published on March 20 2017

Apple CEO Tim Cook gave a talk on Saturday to attendees of the China Development Forum 2017, where he offered commentary on a range of issues including globalization, economics, and data privacy. 

The annual forum is a high-profile conference in which senior Chinese government officials, global corporation leaders, institutions, and scholars gather to discuss major issues including Chinese economic reform and the country's relationship with the wider world. Other tech CEOs at this year's event included IBM's Ginni Rometty and Siemens' Joe Kaeser. 

Apple CEO Tim Cook Touts Benefits of Globalization in China Speech

According to The Wall Street Journal, Cook chose to focus on the perceived merits of globalization during his speech, calling its impact on the world "great" in general, while noting the currently uneven distribution of its economic and cultural gains. Despite shortcomings – and amid calls from the Trump administration to direct investment inwardly – Cook encouraged China and other countries to bet on a future of more balanced development by opening themselves further to foreign investment. 

"I think the worst thing would be to — because it didn't help everyone — is to say it's bad and do less of that," said Cook. "I think the reality is you can see that countries in the world... that isolate themselves, it's not good for their people."

In general, Cook's comments largely avoided sensitive Chinese political issues. On the subject of data privacy and cybersecurity, for example, Cook reiterated previous statements made about the importance of encryption to protect user information from state hackers and other bad actors. "We think that an individual should own their data and should be able to control their data," said Cook, while avoiding any explicit criticism of Chinese cybersecurity policy, which in its current form only serves to tighten state control over information flows and technology equipment within the country. 

In contrast to outspoken political stands taken at home – such as last year's very public encryption battle with the FBI – the tone of Cook's comments reflected Apple's historically mindful approach to Sino relations, with the company having previously fallen foul of China's restrictive internet policies. Given Apple's ongoing efforts to crack China's booming smartphone market, combined with heavy investment in research and development facilities in the country, Cook's cautiousness aligns with Apple's strategy of sidestepping issues that could significantly damage future negotiations. 

As part of his China trip, Tim Cook is also scheduled to speak with Xu Lin, director of the Cyberspace Administration of China, in a private meeting on Monday. 

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Article Source: Apple CEO Tim Cook Touts Benefits of Globalization in China Speech

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Published on March 20 2017

2017 Apple iPad, iPad Pro: Specs, Release Date -- Rumor, Analyst Roundup

A new iPad Pro is expected soon. Here's what we could see based on input from an IHS Markit analyst as well as reports.

 

10.5-inch iPad Pro: Expect to see a new iPad Pro design with a 10.5-inch display, Rhoda Alexander, Director Tablets and PCs, at IHS Markit, told me in a phone interview last month. The 10.5-inch iPad is expected to stay the same size as the 9.7-inch iPad Pro because of a smaller bezel, according to Alexander.

 

"You end up with a unit that’s the same physical size as the 9.7 inch," Alexander said. That means accessories like the Smart Keyboard can be used with the 10.5-inch iPad Pro.

 

The display resolution will also increase, according to Alexander, to 2,224-by-1,668 from the current 2,048-by-1,536. That would maintain the same PPI or pixels per inch.

 

The aspect ratio (the ratio of the width to the height of the screen) would also likely change, according to Raymond Soneira, a display expert and president of DisplayMate Technologies. That would allow Apple keep the same outside dimensions, despite the smaller bezel.

 

A report about a new iPad Pro first appeared last year from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

 

Low-cost iPad: A new "value" 9.7-inch iPad may be priced as low as $299, according to Alexander. That would come in under the current iPad Air 2 that starts at $399.

 

Pricing on the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro is less clear. The current 9.7-inch iPad Pro starts at $599. Apple could lower the price on that model, pushing it down to $499 and then inserting the 10.5-inch iPad into the $599 slot, as one possibility.

 

It's not clear what will happen with 7.9-inch iPad Mini, though some reports claim an update is coming. Other reports also say that the 12.9-inch iPad Pro will get updated.

 

Timing/Event: MacRumors reported this past week that Apple is "most likely" to launch new products between March 20 and 24. But other reports point to April. If April, then invitations to an event could come later. There's also a chance that Apple would announce via a press release but that seems less likely if a redesign is in order.

 

Market contraction: "Apple's...hold on the tablet market is yet to be challenged although the company is not immune to overall market challenges," said market researcher IDC in its latest research note, released in February. Like most tablet suppliers, Apple saw year-to-year shipments decline in the fourth quarter.

 

"The iPad Pro lineup made up only a small portion of overall shipments as the iPad Air 2 and Mini tablets continued to account for the majority of the shipments for Apple," IDC said.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

 

Article Source: 2017 Apple iPad, iPad Pro: Specs, Release Date -- Rumor, A

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