The next-generation iPad mini will be a smaller version of the iPad Air 2, according to the Japanese blog Macotakara. If true, the iPad mini will see a bump from a 5MP iSight camera to an 8MP camera, and it will be powered by Apple's faster A8 processor. The fourth-generation iPad mini will also retain its 7.9-inch display, while adopting the thinner (6.1mm thick) body of the iPad Air 2, according to the report.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has made a few last minute predictions ahead of Apple’s June quarter earnings report. In his note to investors, obatined my AppleInsider, Ming-Chi Kuo estimated that Apple " shipped 54.2 million iPhones, 8.8 million iPads, 5.4 million Macs and 3.9 million Apple Watches over the three-month period ending in June." According to Ming-Chi Kuo's estimate, iPad sales have hit another slump and are down 33.5 percent from last year.
The initial shipment of iPad Pro models will be "much lower than most market watchers' expectations," according to the DigiTimes. Supply chain sources told the Taiwanese trade publication that Apple is being rather "cautious" about placing iPad Pro component orders, which means there will be limited quantities of the 12.9-inch iPad when it begins shipping later this year. The supply chain will begin manufacturing the iPad Pro in "late-September and the device is expected to become available in the market after mid-November," according to industry sources.
All next-generation Apple devices, including the rumored iPhone 6s, will have Force Touch technology by the end of this year, according to 9to5Mac. Sources have confirmed that Apple has "designed iOS 9 to be Force Touch-ready" and the iPhone 6s will ship with a Force Touch display with haptic feedback.
The rumored 12-inch iPad, dubbed the "iPad Pro," will allegedly ship with NFC, Force Touch, a USB-C connector and a pressure-sensitive Bluetooth stylus, according to Apple Insider.
The addition of an NFC radio in the iPad will not be for Apple Pay like the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, because it would be silly to wave your 12-inch tablet at an Apple Pay terminal. Instead the NFC will be available to easily pair wireless accessories to the iPad.
Sonny Dickson has published several images of an alleged iPad Pro case that reveal more details about the rumored tablet's design. The iPad Pro is expected to look a lot like the iPad Air, except it will measure somewhere around 12.2 to 12.9 inches, and feature a few tweaks such as stereo speakers.
The case acquired by Sonny Dickson features cutouts for two ports, but it is unknown if they are for a Lightning connector or USB-C. One port is located at the bottom of the device and the other is on its side. The stereo speakers will be located at the top and bottom of the slate, and the camera will remain in the same place as the current iPad design.
Some Apple fans were not very impressed with Apple's third-generation iPad mini which wasn't much of an upgrade from the iPad mini 2. The current model only received Touch ID while keeping the the same specs as the second-generation model. Luckily early rumors have suggested that Apple is planning to give the fourth-generation iPad mini a bigger upgrade whenever it is released, and today the first alleged images of that model popped up on Twitter.
OnLeaks posted a video of an iPad 4 chassis on the French website Nowehereelse. As you can see from the video posted below the lock/mute switch has been replaced with a microphone hole, just like the current iPad Air 2 model. The chassis also features cutouts for stereo speakers, a space for the LTE modem and place for a Lightning connector at the bottom.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.