iPad Rumor of the Day: New iPad Release as Soon as April

iPad 5 render

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?

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First iPad 5 Rumor of the Year: Announcement Event in March/April

iPad 5 Render

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?

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Lovely iPad Rumor of the Day: Apple Moving to 2 iPad Releases Per Year

iPad 5 Mockup

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.

[click to continue reading…]

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Latest iPad Mini Rumor: Invites to Special Event October 10, Launch by Early November

iPad-Mini-Rendering

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.

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Unhappy with iOS 6 Maps? Good News: Looks Like Google Maps App Already Submitted to Apple

iOS 6 Maps Jokes

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?

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New York Times Adds Fuel to the iPad Mini Fire

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 […]

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iPad Mini Rumors Gaining Strength Again

The iPad rumor that just won’t die – the one that says Apple will release a smaller iPad or an iPad Mini as it’s often called – has gained strength again this week. Reports from both Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal say the iPad Mini is coming this fall. Here’s a key slice of […]

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