Rumors

iPad Pro Could be First iOS Device with USB Support

Production of the iPad Pro has been pushed back until September, according to reports from both Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal. This means the 12-inch slate will most likely not make an appearance at Apple's upcoming Spring Forward event on Monday, March 9th. An unnamed source told Bloomberg that "delays involving the supply of display panels" have forced Apple to start production later than they had hoped.

USB 3.0

People familiar with the iPad Pro’s design told the Wall Street Journal that the tablet may ship with USB 3.0 support. If true, this would make the iPad Pro the first iOS device to include a port for USB connected devices. The unnamed sources also claim that Apple is considering adding ports for a mouse and keyboard and that the company is working on faster charging technology.

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HBO In Talks to Launch New Streaming Service to Apple TV and More

HBO is preparing to put another nail in the cable television coffin by partnering with Apple and other companies such as Roku to launch its new subscription based streaming service in April, according to the International Business Times. HBO wants to launch the standalone service called "HBO Now" in "conjunction with the the premiere of the fifth season of Game of Thrones".

HBO Now

The new service will allow customers to subscribe to HBO directly instead of paying high fees for bundled channels from cable or satellite providers such as Comcast or Verizon. The cost of an HBO Now subscription will be around $15 a month when purchased directly from HBO. The company hopes to offer an HBO Now app on third-party distribution services such as Apple TV, Roku, PlayStation and more, just like it does now with its HBO Go service for current customers.

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Is Apple Developing a Stylus for the iPad Pro?

If Apple Insider's favorite analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities is to be believed, the company is once again ignoring a famous Steve Jobs' quote by developing a stylus to use with its rumored 12.9-inch iPad. In case you forgot, Jobs famously proclaimed, "if you see a stylus, they blew it" when introducing the iPad in 2010.

Apple Stylus Patent

Ming-Chi Kuo believes that Apple will launch a stylus in the second quarter of this year because "it's more precise than a person's fingers" and "will improve the user experience of 12.9-inch iPad." Kuo based his report on several stylus patents Apple has recently filed.

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iPad Pro Resurfaces in Alleged 3D Rendering

Like Bigfoot, the "iPad Pro" or "iPad Air Plus" has once again made an unconfirmed appearance, this time in a blurry image originally posted on the French blog Nowhereelse. The picture was allegedly taken by a "reliable" Foxconn factory worker who also leaked some of the first iPhone 6 images in 2014. The image shows a 3D rendering of the rumored large iPad model with holes for stereo speakers.

iPad Pro Prototype

The tipster also said that the iPad Pro will be will be between 6.9 and 7.5mm thick and that it will feature a screen size between 12.2 and 12.9 inches. The alleged image of the iPad prototype aligns with previous rumors that claim Apple is developing a larger iPad for a possible 2015 release.

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Rumor: Apple May Discontinue the iPad Mini After Christmas

The future of the iPad mini was heavily being questioned before Apple's 2014 iPad keynote in October. Some people believed that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) would discontinue the 7-inch tablet since the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus already offered a phablet-sized option. However, rumors of the iPad mini's demise turned out not to be true and Apple did launch a third-generation model.

iPad mini 3

Today, rumors of the imminent end of iPad mini have resurfaced. According to Taiwan’s Economic Daily News (via iDownloadblog) the iPad mini 3 will be the last of Apple's 7-inch tablets. Apple is expected to stop production on the iPad mini to focus on its upcoming rumored 12-inch iPad Pro. This isn't entirely shocking news since Apple paid very little attention to the smaller tablet during its iPad Air 2 event in October. There also seemed to be a lack of interest in the 7-inch iPad leading up to the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 release. The iPad Air 2 was leaked way more than the iPad mini 3, and Apple fans were way more focused on the upcoming iPhone 6 launch and Apple watch than anything else.

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More 12-Inch iPad Rumors Surface

Apple will launch its 12-inch iPad Pro sometime in early 2015, according to Macotakara. The larger-sized tablet will be 6.9mm thin and come equipped with stereo speakers. The Japanese blog also claims that the iPad Pro is being modeled after the iPad Air 2 and has provided a rough sketch of the rumored device, which you can see below.

iPad Pro Sketch

Several reliable outlets, such as Bloomberg, have claimed that Apple is working on a 12.9-inch iPad, but Macotakara says the iPad Pro will only sport a 12.2-inch display. If the rumors are true, it is probably safe to assume that the iPad Pro will feature Touch ID and Apple's A8X chip, like the iPad Air 2. Other iPad Pro specs, besides having a microphone on the top and bottom, are unknown at this time.

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Leaked Photo Shows A8X Chip in New iPad Air

Several weeks ago, rumors emerged that a beefed up A8 processor, the A8X, would power the iPad Pro, a 12.9" Retina display tablet expected to debut sometime in early 2015. Now a leaked photo has surfaced of a purported logic board for the next generation iPad Air sporting an A8X, suggesting we may see the new chip sooner than expected.

iPad Air 2 may have A8X chip

The photo, which was leaked by Apple.club.tw on Monday, not only shows an A8X processor, but what appears to be a 2GB Elpida RAM module as well. There has been speculation about the RAM upgrade, as there have been rumors that the new tablet will have split-screen multitasking functionality, which would require some extra horsepower. We'll know soon enough, as Apple is expected to unveil the new iPad Air at a media event this Thursday, October 16th.

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iPad Air 2 Rumor Roundup: What to Expect From Apple's New Tablet

Lets look at the rumored specs of the next-generation iPad Air now that Apple has officially announced its final keynote for 2014.

iPad Air 2

Design:

The second-generation iPad Air 2 is not expected to get a drastic redesign like the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, but various leaks have shown that it will be slightly thinner (7mm thick) than its predecessor, and that it will feature recessed volume buttons, a Touch ID fingerprint sensor like the iPhone 5s, and redesigned speakers / microphone. The new iPad will also be available in gold for the first time, according to Bloomberg.

You can see alleged leaked images of the iPad Air 2 here, here and here.

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Rumored 12.9-Inch iPad May Run Both iOS and OS X

Apple is working on two 12.9-inch iPad prototypes, a 2-in-1 device that would run a "Mac OS / iOS-integrated operating system" and its long rumored, basic "iPad Pro" tablet, according to the DigiTimes. Citing "sources in the supply chain," the DigiTimes points to iOS-like features being added to Mac OS 10.10 Yosemite and Apple's recently applied patents to bring a Siri-like voice assistance function to its Mac computers, as evidence that the rumor could be true. However, as 9to5Mac points out, supply chain sources are not known for making the best Apple predictions and that Tim Cook has publicly voiced his displeasure with merging tablet and laptop products.

iPad Pro OS XRumored 12.9-Inch iPad May Run Both iOS and OS X

In a 2012 earnings call Cook explained why Apple would never copy Microsoft and converge an iPad with a laptop.

When asked if Apple was planning to merge its tablet and laptop products, much as Microsoft is proceeding with Windows 8, Cook responded with a quip: “You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those aren't going to be pleasing to the user.”

Cook elaborated that converging the iPad with a laptop would result in tradeoffs, ones Apple isn't willing to make. “We are not going to that party, but others might from a defensive point of view.”

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Bloomberg: Apple to Announce Gold iPad in October

Apple will announce a gold iPad model in October to boost slumping sales of its 9.7-inch tablet, according to Bloomberg. People familiar with Apple's plans told Bloomberg that the next-generation iPad will be available in silver, gray and now gold, just like the iPhone 6 model pictured below. This will be the first time Apple has offered the iPad in anything but silver or gray, since it first introduced new colors with the release of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.

Gold iPhone 6

The anonymous source said Apple hopes the new color will regain people's sagging interest in tablets due to availability of larger mobile phones on the market. Bloomberg also cites a note written by RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanani, which claims iOS users have been losing interest in the iPad after "shifting to iPhones with larger screens". Daryanani's research corroborates with other rumors that Apple will discontinue the iPad mini due to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus being more phablet-like.

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