Some Apple fans have been waiting a long time for a 128GB iPad model, and it looks like they won't have to wait much longer. A well known US retailer shared a new iPad SKU with 9to5Mac. Here's what they discovered:
The P101 and P103 names are Apple’s internal nomenclature for the WiFi-only and Cellular-compatible fourth-generation iPads, respectively. Both of those models comes in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB configurations. These storage sizes are known as “GOOD,” “BETTER,” and “BEST,” respectively. As you can see in our table above, Apple is preparing to release the additional “ULTIMATE” model. “ULTIMATE” frequently refers to the most premium or highest capacity model available. The “A” points to a black configuration, and “B” stands for the white option.
If you believe analysts and the rumor mill, Apple will be releasing a record number of iOS devices this year. There is the iPhone 5S, iPhone mini or "low-cost" iPhone, iPhone Math, the iPad 5 and iPad mini 2. The iPhone Math rumor was based on a poorly translated Chinese news report, however, the original rumor stated Apple would be releasing three iPhones in 2013. While it's safe to assume Apple is only working on the iPhone 5S and a low-cost iPhone, it's possible that Tim Cook and team are gearing up to refresh the entire iPhone lineup with three new devices. That would make the iPhone Math rumor plausible, minus the goofy mistranslated name.
While there are a lot of wild iPhone rumors floating around, it's just the opposite for the iPad. The iPad mini is only expected to get an upgrade so it can catch up with its bigger brother. This means a 7.9-inch Retina display, an upgraded processor, and more RAM. It has been rumored that Apple is toying with the idea of releasing the new iPhone in an array of different colors, maybe they will do the same with the iPad mini too... But that's doubtful.
With a new year comes fresh reports of Apple's upcoming device releases, and the iPad is no exception. Initial leaks indicate the next generation iPad will have a slimmer width from side to side. This form factor would essentially mirror the iPad mini, except with a larger screen size. Gizmag explains that the bezel on each side will be over 8 mm thinner.
Not only this, but the iPad 5 could launch as early as March 2013 thanks to new competition in the tablet market. The Next Web has already received evidence from developers that Apple is indeed testing new hardware. The company has also moved to source A7 processors from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) instead of Samsung.
Tom Warren of The Verge has dusted off the old Xbox Surface rumor by claiming Microsoft is working on its own 7-inch gaming tablet to compete with the iPad mini and other portable gaming consoles. Warren said "multiple sources familiar with plans within Redmond" have confirmed earlier leaked specs were accurate, and the Xbox Surface will run a custom Windows kernel. The new device will also feature a custom ARM processor and high-bandwidth RAM suited for playing games.
According to Warren's sources, Microsoft will develop the Xbox Surface in-house while any future "Xbox 720" console will be handled by outside companies like Pegatron or Foxconn.
"We've learned that part of the Xbox Surface is being developed at Microsoft's offices in Silicon Valley. The software giant recently locked down several Xbox-related buildings, limiting employee access to the company's Interactive Entertainment Business division. The lock down is likely related to Microsoft's increased testing of the tablet, providing a way for other parts of the Xbox team to build games and software for the device. Providing the project doesn't get killed in favor of a full 7-inch Windows tablet, in the same way Microsoft axed Courier, expect to see the Xbox Surface debut ahead of Microsoft's future Xbox console."
Many Apple fans were shocked by the $329 iPad mini price tag. Mostly because analysts predicted Apple would price the new tablet around $250 to $300 in order to compete with the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7. Phil Schiller defended the $329 price claiming shoppers will pay a little more for quality.
"The iPad is far and away the most successful product in its category. The most affordable product we've made so far was $399 and people were choosing that over those devices," Schiller told Reuters
But why did Apple really price the iPad mini higher than all the other 7-inch Android tablets on the market? According to the DigiTimes, the markup had nothing to do with "quality", but had to do with problems manufacturing the touch screen.
Is it time to say goodbye to the iPad 2? Rob Cihra, analyst with Evercore Partners thinks so. Cihra told investors Apple will most likely discontinue the second-generation tablet after announcing the iPad mini on October 23.
According to Cihra, Apple's goal is to offer "clearer product tiers", meaning the iPad mini will replace the iPad 2 as the lower tier entry product of the iPad lineup. If true, Apple will be replacing the $400 iPad 2 with a more affordable $300 to $350 smaller tablet. This has most analysts calling the iPad mini the "competition’s worst nightmare.
An October iPad mini announcement is looking better and better. The reliable and well-connected Jim Dalrymple confirmed John Paczkowski's earlier rumor which claimed Apple will hold a second fall product event to be held on October 23.
On Saturday, Reuters became the first major news outlet to reaffirm the October 23rd rumor. In an article titled "Apple to host October 23 event, iPad mini expected", Reuters cites another "source familiar with the matter", who verified Apple will hold an event on October 23, but declined to specify what for.
Apple fans and tech bloggers are still wondering what happened to the iPad mini event invites Apple was rumored to be shipping out on October 10th. Low yield rates of the tablet’s black aluminum chassis, and stricter quality requirements for all new iOS devices are the rumored causes for the delay. However, the reliable John Paczkowski from All Things D claims Apple is still going forward with a second fall product event to be held on October 23.
"People familiar with Apple’s plans tell us that the company will unveil the so-called 'iPad mini' on Oct. 23 at an invitation-only event. That’s a Tuesday, not a Wednesday, so this is a bit of a break with recent tradition. It also happens to be just three days prior to the street date for Microsoft’s new Surface tablet. Sources declined to specify where the event is to be held, and I’ve not been able to confirm a location."
It's October 11th, and according to the Apple rumor mill, iPad mini event invites should've already been sent out and arrived on Wednesday. However, the mythical Apple tablet seems to be missing in action. Is the long rumored device just a rumor, or is something else holding up Apple's 7-inch tablet?
Apple’s upcoming iPad mini and 13-inch MacBook Pro are rumored to be held up by production delays. Foxconn and Pegatron are having a difficult time meeting Apple's large order for iPad mini chassis. According to SlashGear, the "rumored 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display is also said to be affected by the delay as well."
Sources in Apple’s supply chain in Taiwan are reporting slow iPad mini shipments due to the low yield rates of the tablet’s aluminum chassis. According to the Digitimes, the critical anodized finish process for the black aluminum chassis is slowing down progress.
"The iPad mini reportedly will come in native- and black-colored aluminum chassis, which are more vulnerable to scratching, said the sources, adding that the anodized finish process on the black cases is more critical, which often results in lower yield rates."
Purported iPad mini manufacturer Catcher Technology said "its capacity utilization rates as well as yield rates for various products all meet its product roadmap." Meaning if the iPad mini rumor is true, and Catcher is indeed manufacturing iPad chassis, then Apple's demand is being met.