According to the DigiTimes, Apple is revising the new iPad's battery and dual-LED bar to fix the overheating problem investigated by Consumer Reports in March. Various tests revealed that the iPad 3 runs hotter than the iPad 2, however, Apple claimed that the new iPad is operating within its requirements.
Unnamed supply chain sources revealed today that Apple is revamping the iPad’s battery in an effort to reduce the heat emission. If the reports are true, the tweaked iPad will be "slightly lighter and thinner than previously designed."
Both the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg claim that Apple is working on a smaller, cheaper iPad to compete with Google's $200 Galaxy Nexus tablet. Original iPad mini rumors stated that Apple was planning to launch a 7.85-inch iPad to compete with Amazon's Kindle Fire, but according to “people familiar with the matter” Apple has its sights set on both Google and Amazon.
According to reports, Apple has told component suppliers "to prepare for mass production of the smaller tablet." Bloomberg's unnamed sources said the tablet will probably cost around $200 and be launched this October, the same month Apple is expected to announce their new iPhone.
The DigiTimes has restarted the iPad rumor machine by claiming Apple plans to release an "updated 9.7-inch iPad" this summer. The Times cited the Chinese blog Apple Daily as saying the new, new iPad will feature a "indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) panel technology to allow the device to feature an even thinner design and longer battery life."
While a new revamped 9.7-inch iPad seems highly doubtful, Apple did quietly release an improved iPad 2 this year. There were also rumors that Sharp’s IGZO panels were going to be used for the iPad 3. Apple Daily said the panel supply for the new 9.7-inch iPad will be shifted from Samsung to Sharp.
Photos from a source in China have been sent to case maker ZooGue, purportedly of an upcoming iPad Nano body. The silver case looks familiar, except there are notable differences on the bottom of the design. According to these photos, the iPad Nano will feature the same mini-dock connector already seen on iPhone 5 part leaks.
Not only this, but the device features two speaker grills for stereo sound. It looks like something is missing from the top of the part, possibly black plastic which would cover cellular data antennas. This is assuming Apple uses a similar design for the iPad Nano as the current iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular model.
The iPad mini refuses to die as more and more credible sources are confirming its existence.
The Wall Street Journal claims that Apple is testing "a new tablet computer with a smaller screen."
"Officials at some of Apple's suppliers, who declined to be named, said the Cupertino, Calif., company has shown them screen designs for a new device with a screen size of around eight inches and said the company is qualifying suppliers for it. One person said the smaller device will have a similar-resolution screen as the iPad 2. Apple is working with screen makers including Taiwan-based AU Optronics and LG Display of South Korea to supply the test panels, the person said."
On Thursday, the Taiwan based The Liberty Times (via Makotakara) reported that both LG Display and AU Optronics have already passed certification tests for iPad mini LCD panel production, and are preparing to ship parts for over 6 million units.
Apple is expected to preview iOS 6 at the WWDC on June 11 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. It's pretty much confirmed that they will drop Google Maps in favor of the the 3-D mapping tech they gained from the acquisition of C3 Technologies.
While investigating the new Maps application rumor, TechCrunch‘s MG Siegler discovered that there are "whispers about Siri" coming to the iPad. Many had hoped that the new iPad would feature the voice assistant, but Apple did not include it with the third generation tablet. It's believed Siri was left out because the iPad is not always guaranteed to be connected to Wi-Fi or 4G.
Apple is looking to put a strangle hold on the tablet market by releasing the iPad mini for $200 to $250 in October, according to iMore. The tech blog cites a "proven reliable" source who claims that Apple wants to do what they did "with the MP3 market in 2004 with the expansion of the iPod product line." By releasing an affordable alternative to the new iPad and iPad 2, Apple will be able to compete with entry-level tablets like the Amazon Kindle Fire.
The source said that the 7-inch iPad will feature the same 2048x1536 resolution display as the new iPad.
"Our source has indicated, however, that the 7-inch iPad will be identical to the current 9.7-inch iPad, just scaled down. That seems to include a 2048x1536 resolution display, just like the new iPad. If accurate, that would put the pixel density at around 326 ppi, the same as the iPhone 4S (and higher than the 264 ppi new iPad) retina display."
The always dodgy DigiTimes is at it again, this time the publication claims Pegatron Technology is working on a 10-inch iPad to be released in Q4 of 2012. The DigiTimes is also sticking to its "iPad mini" story. Foxconn Electronics is allegedly manufacturing the 7-inch tablet for an August release. If the DigiTimes' sources are correct, then Apple will be releasing three different iPads in 2012.
According to John Gruber of Daring Fireball, Apple is experimenting with a 7.85-inch iPad prototype, but this does not mean it will necessarily see the light of day... Especially in 2012. This is also not the first time the DigiTimes has claimed Apple will release multiple iPads. Last year the publication claimed Apple would release a "complete iPad series targeting the entry-level, mid-range and high-end market" in 2012.
Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu told investors on Tuesday that it is a “question of when, not if” Apple would release the so-called iPad mini. Wu believes a 7.85-inch iPad would be "the competition's worst nightmare" since most companies can't compete with the higher priced new iPad and iPad 2.
Wu is not the only analyst who believes Apple will enter the smaller tablet market to compete with Amazon and other tablet manufacturers. Technology Business Research analyst Ezra Gottheil told Computer World that the 7-inch tablet is a "good form factor for some users," and that he believes it has always been in Apple's plan to "protect that price flank."
The iPad mini is not a figment of the our imaginations, according to John Gruber of Daring Fireball. Gruber reported that a 7.85-inch version of the iPad does exist in a Apple lab somewhere.
"What I do know is that they [Apple] have one in the lab…a 7.85-inch iPad that runs at 1024×768... it’s just like the regular iPad shrunk down a bit,” Gruber said on episode #86 of The Talk Show. “I’ve heard from multiple people that this is something that they’re kind of noodling with.”
While this confirms a lot of rumors coming from the supply chain, it doesn't mean that Apple is planning on releasing a smaller tablet anytime soon, if ever. There have been many leaked Apple prototypes in the past that have never seen the light of day. Apple is known for taking a long time to develop products, so the iPad mini could see many incarnations before it's even considered for a release.