Boy, the rumors about whether or not we’ll see an iPad mini with Retina display in 2013 have been flying round all year long. One minute it’s a sure thing we will see the Retina iPad min this year; the next it’s a definite no-go due to supply chain issues or the complexity of the manufacturing process for it.
This week’s latest reports on the subject, like this one from Reuters, cite ‘people who work in the company’s (Apple’s) supply chain’ and sum things up like so:
Apple’s supply chain is only now gearing up to make retina displays for the iPad Mini, which means the gadgets could be available in only limited quantities this year, if at all, and the company may miss the chance to cash in on the year-end holiday shopping season …
This is one iPad rumor I’m not fond of, of course. I hope it’s inaccurate because I’d hate to see Apple miss out on the 2013 holiday season with the new Retina iPad mini – which is bound to be a big hit. I also hope this report is wrong for purely personal reasons. My iPad usage now skews something like 80-20 in favor of the iPad mini. My iPad 3 is still a powerful and beautiful device, but the lightness and the form factor of the iPad mini have made it the tablet I use the most since the first week I owned it.
So here’s hoping this latest Retina iPad mini report is not on the money, and that Apple announces its iPad event very soon so we can get the real answers on new iPads.
The latest iPad mini rumors suggest that we should expect to see a new iPad mini with retina display in the 3rd quarter of this year, and another new model with retina display and an ‘updated processor’ in the first quarter of 2014.
These are based on claims by the NPD DisplaySearch analysts, as reported by CNET.
We see two refreshes coming. One in the second half of this year, then one in Q1 [first quarter] of 2014,” analyst Richard Shim told CNET late Sunday night.
“The Q1  device will have a Retina display plus an updated processor,” Shim added.
Apple Insider also has a report up today noting that mass production of the screens for the retina display iPad mini could start as early as next month – again citing Shim as the source.
It feels like about time we heard at least some early rumors on the next iPad mini, or any iPd release on the horizon. I’d certainly love to see the first part of these rumors, the 3rd quarter release for a new iPad mini with retina display, prove true.
I think we’ve already seen that the iPad mini has quickly become the most popular model in the iPad lineup. When I did a review of the iPad mini I talked about the trade-off of its wonderful lightness more than making up for the lack of retina display. That still holds true, but I also mentioned that adding a retina display to the iPad mini would make it just about a perfect device – and I still feel the same on that point too.
In other words, come on Apple – just tell me when I can line up.
Image Source: Martin Hajek
So today we’ve got a promising sounding iPad rumor that says Apple may be gearing up for a new iPad release as soon as April. This comes via Rene Ritchie at iMore, who has a very solid recent track record on predicting new Apple product launch and release dates.
Here’s the gist of what iMore has heard:
We’ve also been told an April-ish launch is getting serious consideration for the next-generation iPads, but we’re really not sure what to make of that yet. iPad 5 casings have already begun to leak — the only big redesign in the line — so that could make sense. Retina for the iPad mini, however, still doesn’t sound imminent.
I’ve said before and still think that a twice a year refresh pattern for the iPad sounds right to me. They did it last year and it would make a lot of sense to me if the iPad 5th gen gets a Spring release and then the iPad mini sees a late Fall release. That should allow for substantial upgrades to the ‘standard’ iPad and hopefully enough time for Apple to work out a way to add a retina display to the iPad mini.
My only other quick thought is that while an iPad mini with retina display should be a monster hit right away, the iPad 5 will need some major new features to create anything like as much excitement.
What are your thoughts on the new iPads we’ll see this year?
iPad 5 Render courtesy of Martin Hajek
It’s taken a little longer than I expected for iPad 5 (or whatever a 5th gen standard iPad ends up being called) to get going in 2013. I think this is at least partly due to the surprise release of the iPad 4th gen last November. That has left a lot of room for doubt as to whether Apple will skip their usual Spring release cycle for the iPad, or continue with a twice-a-year refresh pattern.
Todays rumor comes via Piper Jaffray’s analyst Gene Munster, as reported by Apple Insider. Jaffray believes we’ll see an iPad event in the March/April timeframe. As in, pretty much when we have come to expect them since 2010.
He also speculates that since the 4th gen iPad brought only relatively minor updates last fall alongside the launch of the iPad mini, this event should see the unveiling of substantially redesigned iPad.
We believe Apple could update the full-sized iPad to a body style similar to the iPad Mini. Additionally, we believe that the iPad Mini could get a Retina display, although that may happen later in the year given the supply constraints Apple faced on the Mini in the December quarter.
I feel like this rumor is almost in the obvious category. I find it hard to imagine that Apple will do nothing to refresh the iPad lineup until the final quarter of the year – especially since Tim Cook talked about how Apple was ‘just getting started’ and said “We’re not taking our foot off the gas” at last year’s iPad mini / iPad 4th gen announcement event. It makes perfect sense for the iPad update to come first, presumably becoming lighter and borrowing from the iPad mini design – with an update for the smaller iPad coming in the Fall / Winter that hopefully adds a retina display.
What do you all think? iPad 5 event in the next couple months?
Image Source: Martin Hajek
I know, I know – new iPad rumors already – when we just saw the release of two new iPads a couple of months ago. Crazy, right? Well, maybe not so much. Today MacRumors and others are reporting on Wall Street analyst Brian White’s prediction that we’ll see 2 more new iPads released in March:
Our checks at CES indicate Apple will release the iPad 5 and the second-generation iPad mini this March. The iPad 5 is expected to be lighter and thinner than the iPad 4 that was released in October, while the form factor of the iPad mini should be similar to the first generation iPad mini that debuted in October.
Even more interesting is that over recent weeks Horace Dediu of Asymco discussed the possibility of Apple switching to a twice a year release schedule for at least some of its star products – and put forward some solid reasons why this is plausible. Then Graham Spencer at MacStories did some further research and analysis around Dediu’s case and posted his thoughts this week. He weighs up a number of factors to do with release schedules, international rollouts timing, spreading out demand peaks and troughs better over the course of the year and ends up saying his guess is that Apple will move to a twice a year release schedule for the iPad and iPhone in 2013, while pointing out that it’s a tough call and a very tough thing to pull off for Apple.
Image Source: 9to5Mac
It’s been a little while, while the iPhone took center stage, but the iPad Mini rumors are beginning to flow again. Today there’s a major new iPad Mini rumor courtesy of Philip Elmer-DeWitt at Fortune Tech.
It offers up some specific dates during this month and next in the iPad Mini launch timeline – including press invites for an expected unveiling event going out next week, on October 10. Their source is described as a ‘major Apple investor’ who in turn has heard these dates from ‘multiple sources’. Here’s the details on the rumored dates:
What our source adds is the specificity of a date: The press, he says, can expect invitations to go out on Oct. 10.
If the rumor is true, and if Apple follows its usual scheduling protocol, that would suggest a special event to unveil the product on Wednesday, Oct. 17, with a launch day of Friday Nov. 2 — plenty of time to capture holiday sales.
So that’s invites to an Apple event going out middle of next week, the event itself to be held a week later on October 17 and a launch day of Friday November 2. I haven’t seen a Yep or Nope from The Man Who Knows as yet on this one – so for now I’m going to continue hoping that the timeline for the iPad Mini might be a bit faster. I was thinking over this past weekend that I hope to see Apple’s event invite go out this weekend, then an unveiling event next week (say the 10th), and then a launch by around the 19th.
Then again, if the Fortune Tech source is correct then the iPad Mini launch will be the Friday that falls two days after Halloween. Now that could make for some fun late night / early morning lines.
Image Source: Android Authority on Google+
If you’re unhappy with Apple’s own new maps in the iPad Maps app, you’re far from alone. Lots of users and tech reviewers are slamming the poor quality of the new Maps app, after Apple decided to ditch Google Maps in iOS 6.
There’s even a Tumblr site devoted to showing off some of the worst examples of the new Maps app getting things badly wrong. And Android fans are certainly having their share of fun with this subject – as you can see in the image at the top of this post.
Well, it looks like there may soon be some good news for anyone who would like to be able to use Google Maps again on the iPad. The Guardian reports hearing from their sources that Google has developed a maps app for iOS 6.
9to5Mac says they have also heard this, and more:
Separately, we heard Google has had a separate version of its iOS Maps app for quite a while that goes back years. Additionally, we learned an updated iOS 6 version has been submitted to Apple. It is awaiting approval, however, and that could take some time.
I’m nowhere near a heavy enough user of the Maps app to weigh in with any strong opinion on how good / terrible / mediocre the new iOS 6 Maps app is, but it sure seems as if there are some huge flaws being pointed out already. I do hope that if Google has submitted a separate maps app that Apple does the right thing and approves it without delay.
Of course you can still access Google Maps via the Safari browser on the iPad – at maps.google.com – but it lacks many of the native app’s features.
What do you all think of the new iOS 6 maps on the iPad? Would you use a Google maps app if and when they release one for iOS 6?
The latest rumors reported by Apple Insider suggest that production for the iPad Mini (or iPad Air or whatever Apple decides to name it) is set to ramp up next month, in preparation for a launch of the new smaller iPad in October:
… fresh rumors say supply volume of the device are estimated to reach four million units per month beginning in September, giving the company enough time to prepare for the lucrative holiday season.
The report is based on sources at DigiTimes, which has a very spotty record when it comes to Apple rumors – but it does sound a lot like similar reports we heard from them about ramped up production for the new iPad at the tail end of 2011 and early this year, which seem to have proved accurate.
October seems quite a viable time for the release of the new smaller iPad too. One thing I know for sure – the more speculation I read on the size of the iPad Mini and how screen resolution and apps will work on it and how light it will be, and the more lovely mockups I see at iMore, the more ready I feel to buy it yesterday. As In, I really can’t wait to get my hands on this new smaller iPad now.
After a brief lull on the iPad Mini rumors front, things have kicked back in to a very high gear this week. In the last few days several of the leading ‘in the know’ sort of writers and sites have weighed in with new thoughts on and even lovely mockups of the much-anticipated new smaller iPad.
Here are a handful of things that have excited me the most on this front:
– John Gruber at Daring Fireball offered a fascinating post titled ‘Thinking This iPad Mini Thing Even Througher’ – where he offers his latest thoughts, analysis, and some slick math relating to the iPad Mini. One of the key points if that the device’s most notable feature may well be its lightness – with it weighing in somewhere around 250-300 grams. This would be a major selling point for the new smaller iPad:
Weight is a huge factor, maybe the factor, in one-handed use, and its too-heavy-to-hold-in-one-hand weight has always been one of the biggest knocks against the iPad-as-we-know-it. I’m thinking the iPad Mini will be not just thinner and lighter than the iPad-as-we-know-it, but remarkably thinner and lighter than its competitors in the small tablet market.3 Yet it will have a bigger display.
Lately it has seemed that iPad Mini rumors had reached the boiling point where all that was missing was a date for an Apple announcement event. And now, according to the trusted sources of iMore’s Rene Ritchie, we’ve got one: Wednesday September 12th.
Ritchie’s report says the iPad Mini (or whatever name Apple decides to give it) will be announced alongside the next new iPhone and probably a new iPod Touch as well. The iPhone 5 (or whatever name the next iPhone is given) is said to be set for release on September 21.
According to Ritchie and others like iLounge, the iPad Mini could be released as soon as September 21 or as late as sometime in November.
Ritchie and his sources have a pretty good record when it comes to Apple event and release dates. My feeling, again, is that the iPad Mini release is virtually a lock now – and it looks like a release in just the next few months is on the cards now.
I’m definitely going to continue to save up for an iPad Mini purchase within the next three months. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on and purchasing plans (or lack thereof) for the iPad Mini in the comments.
As if there weren’t already enough compelling indicators that Apple is looking to release an iPad Mini over the next half year or so, now The New York Times has weighed in and said their sources confirm the same sort of information we’ve been hearing from Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal and others over recent weeks.
In a report yesterday the NYT mentioned that the iPad may be facing stiffer competition soon as Google has released their Nexus 7 (which is getting some quite strong reviews), Microsoft has announced their upcoming Surface tablets / hybrid devices and Amazon is said to be planning updates for their Kindle Fire.
But Apple is hardly about to cede ground.
The company is developing a new tablet with a 7.85-inch screen that is likely to sell for significantly less than the latest $499 iPad, with its 9.7-inch display, according to several people with knowledge of the project who declined to be named discussing confidential plans. The product is expected to be announced this year.
As with many new Apple products over the last few years, all the iPad Mini rumor stars are aligning now. Gruber’s little birdies are chirping the same sort of things as the NYT’s people with knowledge of the project. Jim Dalrymple at The Loop is using the word when rather than if when talking about a smaller iPad.
By now it will be a bit of a shocker if we don’t see Apple release a smaller iPad, and I expect over the next couple months we may well start seeing more and more leaks of iPad Mini spec details and perhaps even one of those lovely Apple event invites. Maybe they’ll announce it alongside the next-gen iPhone.