Well, right about the time we’d expect, we’ve got rumors of a date for this year’s iPad announcement event. And that date is Thursday October 16, at least according to rumors reported by 9to5Mac and others yesterday. Now of course official invites have not yet gone out from Apple and we have also not seen the damn-near-official ‘Yep’ from Jim Dalrymple at The Loop – so take the 10/16 date with as many grains of salt as you fancy for now.
One thing that seems to be the strong consensus view at the moment is that expectations are low for the new iPad announcements this year. The iPad event is said to be held on Apple’s own campus, rather than a bigger external venue like they had last month for the new iPhones launch. It also looks like the focus of the event will be split between new iPads, the new version of Mac OS X (Yosemite), and new Retina iMacs.
9to5Mac outlines the low expectations for the iPad announcements:
the iPad update is expected to be minor — likely adding a gold option, Touch ID and an anti-reflective coating on the screen. We also haven’t heard much about the split-screen multitasking since it was left off the initial iOS 8 release.
A ‘big’ wild card would be the 12.9-inch iPad Pro which has long been rumored for early 2015 but as we know from the Apple Watch, Tim Cook isn’t shy about announcing new categories early.
Obviously, I’m hopeful that Apple will exceed the low expectations in some way. Maybe by unveiling that bigger iPad Pro, or even with some unexpected new upgrades and features for the iPad Air and iPad mini.
The iPad rumor mill is finally starting to churn a little more over the last couple of weeks – and it’s about time since October has become the new standard timeframe for new iPad launches. This week’s iPad rumors are in keeping with the general theme of low expectations for October iPad announcements.
The gist of what I’ve seen this week is something like this:
— Expect a new iPad Air next month – with not a huge amount of change to it, but adding the TouchID feature, likely a little slimmer, and possibly 2GB of RAM.
— Either a Retina iPad mini with very little changed or no new Retina iPad mini until Q1 of 2015.
— Then the long-rumored iPad Pro – at a whopping 12 or 13 inches – but the middle of 2015.
I’m a Retina iPad mini user and enjoy the smaller form factor, so of course I’m hoping that these latest rumors are wrong about the lack of a new mini until early next year. I am looking forward to seeing Touch ID on the iPad though, and the iPad Pro has always sounded like a natural addition to the iPad line.
It shouldn’t be too long now before at least some of these rumors become actual announcements from Apple.
Next Tuesday, September 9, Apple is holding one of their special (announcement events. This has been expected to feature the unveiling of two new iPhones and possibly the mythical iWatch that’s been rumored seemingly forever.
Now, according to one Wall Street analyst, there may also be a new iPad Air unveiling at Tuesday’s event – as Apple Insider reports:
At a media event already expected to be packed with the unveiling of two new iPhone models and a so-called “iWatch,” the company may also showcase its next full-size iPad Air with Touch ID fingerprint sensor and a new gold color option, according to well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Further speculation from Kuo suggests that the 2nd-gen iPad Air will see some substantial upgrades, while the Retina iPad mini may not see much change at all:
Specifically, he believes the next iPad Air will have an anti-reflective screen coating, a full-lamination touch panel, a new gold-colored casing, and a next-generation A8 processor. He also expects the device to adopt the Touch ID fingerprint sensor that debuted last year in the iPhone 5s.
Kuo said that the iPad mini “may” be updated this year with a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, but expressed less confidence about the company’s diminutive 7.9-inch tablet.
As a fan of the smaller form factor iPad mini, I’m certainly hoping that last point is proved inaccurate. I also wouldn’t be surprised at all if this particular rumor proves false and all new iPad announcements are held off until a separate Apple event in October.
What do you all think? Would you bet on seeing new iPad details at next Tuesday’s event?
This week’s big iPad rumor is all about a much bigger iPad. It’s a rumor that was around for months back in 2013 and has now surfaced again via a report by Bloomberg, which says production of the much larger new iPad is set to get started in the first quarter of 2015.
The report states that the new larger iPad’s screen will measure 12.9 inches – a big step up form the current largest iPad Air model at 9.7 inches.
There would be a number of potentially ripe markets for a jumbo-sized iPad. One that was frequently mentioned when the 12 inch iPad rumors first started was the education market, with the large iPad replacing textbooks. Ironically, I’ve also read a report this morning on how the momentum of the iPad in the education market is on the wane. Maybe this rumored larger model would help address that.
What do you all think about a nearly 13 inch iPad? Would you use one?
This week’s big iPad rumor is all about an important predicted spec upgrade for the next-gen iPad Air – a bump up to 2GB of RAM, as 9to5Mac reports:
A new report from Asian site TechNews.tw claims information from the Apply supply chain points to the next generation iPad Air doubling up on RAM from 1GB to 2GB
If this rumor is accurate that would be good news, though not great news I’d say. Great news would be 3GB of RAM or more for the top-end of the iPad line.
RAM has been the weakest spec detail on the iPad for years now, and it lags well behind some rivals. Heck, it even lags way behind the LG G3 phone that I carry – which has triple the amount of RAM of the current iPad Air. And a number of other leading smartphones offer double and triple the amount of RAM of the iPad.
I’ve been complaining about this ‘feature’ of the iPad for years, and I really wish Apple would give some serious new love to this memory spec of the iPad lineup.
If this latest rumor is right though, it doesn’t sound promising in this area, since it also speculates that the next-gen iPad mini will still offer just 1GB of RAM.