Could represent attempt to keep fifth-gen iPad sales higher
Mass production of a fifth-generation iPad should start in July or August -- ahead of a launch in the same quarter -- but production of a second-gen iPad mini has been delayed a month to November, say DigiTimes sources. The reason for the delay is unknown, but it's speculated that Apple may be staggering the launch of the Mini so it has less of an impact on full-sized iPad sales. Alternately, suppliers may simply be unable to cope with starting Mini production in October.
Thunderbolt, LED Cinema Displays reach $799
Apple has instituted price cuts on three categories of refurbished products at its online store. In the case of the iPad mini, 16, 32, and 64GB Wi-Fi models have been reduced from $299, $389, and $489 to $279, $359, and $439, respectively. 16, 32, and 64GB cellular models have dipped from $429, $519, and $619 to $389, $469, and $549.
Zagg rolls out new Cover and Folio Bluetooth keyboards for iPad mini
Zagg has debuted a pair of new iPad mini Bluetooth keyboard accessories at CTIA Las Vegas. The ZaggKeys Cover for the iPad mini (pictured below) is the latest in its iPad line of popular keyboard covers. According to the company, it is the thinnest Bluetooth keyboard accessory for the iPad mini available, measuring just 6.3mm (0.25-inch) thick. It also incorporates backlit keys with seven color options and three lighting levels.
Discounts on iPad mini, Lightning cables, TB drives, more
Currently, Walmart.com has the 16GB iPad mini with Wi-Fi for the rollback price of $299. That's $30 less than the MSRP and the lowest price available on this iPad brand new anywhere. In fact, it costs the same as a refurbished model from Apple's online store. The iPad mini features 16GB of storage space, Wi-Fi, an A5 chip, FaceTime camera with 1080p HD video recording, and it comes with iOS 6 pre-installed. A one-year warranty on parts and labor is included from Apple.
Supplier reportedly boosting staff by 40 percent
Pegatron CEO Jason Cheng is denying making comments to Bloomberg linking the company's performance to weaker iPad mini demand, according to Fortune. Cheng says that after a Pegatron Institution Investors conference, a Bloomberg reporter came to him "trying to dig out detail numbers about some specific product." But, he claims, "I clearly refused to comment on specific products, nor customers, even though he continued with other questions. I did say those words that he quotes me in the article… but I did not say anything associated with any specific products."
Biggest quarterly drop for supplier since 2011
Asian supplier Pegatron is blaming an anticipated second-quarter revenue drop on falling iPad mini demand, Bloomberg reports. The company is predicting a 25 to 30 percent sequential dip in revenue, the worst the company has seen since a 37 percent slide in the fourth quarter of 2011. CEO Jason Cheng elaborates that the Mini represents over half of Pegatron's consumer electronics revenue, although devices like e-book readers, game consoles, and other tablets have seen declines as well.
Claims new Minis in Q3 2013, Q1 2014
Production of Retina displays for a new iPad mini should start in June or July, says NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim. Elaborating, Shim claims that LG Display will be the parts' major producer, and that Samsung will continue to be omitted from the Mini display chain. "Samsung is currently not in the iPad mini and they won't be in the next generation. LGD is becoming a much bigger supplier than before," he says.
Current-gen refurbished iPods from $129
At Apple's online store this week, take advantage of price cuts on refurbished iPods and iPad minis. The refurbished, current-generation 16GB iPod nano has been reduced by $20 to $129, and is available in yellow, silver, slate, green, purple, blue and pink. Also available now are refurbished current-generation iPod touch models. The 32GB Touch is priced at $249 after a $50 discount, and comes in white, blue, pink, black, or yellow. The 64GB touch is priced at $349 in blue, pink, black, yellow or white.
Customers allegedly waiting for next-gen Mini
iPad mini shipments are expected to decline about 20 to 30 percent in the current quarter, say supply chain sources for DigiTimes. Apple is already believed to be cutting its Mini reserves, from roughly 15 million in the previous quarter to between 10 and 12 million. The shipment forecast is being blamed on people waiting for the release of a second-generation Mini, even though the first-gen tablet shipped in November.
iMac, iPod and iPad at discounted prices
Apple's online store currently offers a wide selection of refurbished iMacs, iPods and iPads. The 21.5-inch iMac with a 2.7GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive has been reduced by $200 to $1,099. For $1,269 is the 21.5-inch iMac with a 2.9GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive.
win an Acase Arachne, or Acase F1 for iPad
Carry around an iPad long enough, and chances are pretty good that something will happen to it unless it is in some sort of protective case. The folks at Acase have been designing practical and stylish cases for iPads for years, and currently they have a selection that covers all of the modern iPad models. MacNN has two of these cases to give away to our readers. One is the Acase Arachne for the iPad mini, and the other is the Acase F1 Folio for the current (and previous) Retina iPad and iPad 2. Read on to learn more about these cases, and how you can enter to win.
Agency pulls objections without requiring new specimens
The US Patent and Trademark Office has withdrawn the main objections to Apple's trademark application for the iPad mini, reports say. The examiner initially rejected the application because the name was seen as descriptive, and due to the official iPad mini page, used as evidence that the product is on sale. The USPTO actually pulled the objection last Wednesday, but has only just made the news public.
Best Buy, Walmart clearing out iPads, iPad mini
Two recent sales on full-size and smaller iPad models by major US retailers may be laying the groundwork for a new model to emerge soon, Fortune's Philip Elmer-DeWitt believes. As of today, both the latest fourth-gen iPad and the iPad mini are only 163 days old, just shy of six months. However, on Wednesday both Walmart and Best Buy offered "clearance sale" type specials, taking as much as 30 percent off the retail price of the few remaining third-generation iPads but also offering deals on the current iPad mini -- leading to speculation that a revision is on the way.
Walmart iPad mini drops to $299
US retailers Best Buy and Walmart have begun new online sales on iPads. The former is selling third-generation iPads at up to 30 percent off, for instance putting a 32GB Wi-Fi model at $384, $165 off retail. A 16GB 4G iPad, meanwhile, is going for $406.
USPTO says Apple can't trademark 'merely discriptive' terms
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has rejected Apple's application for a trademark on the term "iPad mini," it was revealed recently. In a letter sent to Apple on January 24 — but only recently made public — the USPTO said that the addition of "mini" to "iPad" was not significantly distinct from Apple's already-held iPad trademark to merit its own filing. iPad mini, the rejection letter notes, "merely describes a feature or characteristic of applicant's good."
Several suppliers speculated as handling Mini tech
Apple is taking on Innolux and Century Display as panel suppliers for the next-generation iPad mini, claims David Hsieh, NPD DisplaySearch's VP for the greater China region. "Innolux and China's Century Display will receive certificates for product qualification [from Apple] to supply [touch panels] for the iPad mini," he says. Innolux is already supplying touch panels for the 9.7-inch iPad, and earlier this week the head of the company's touch panel division, Yang Chiu-lien, said that his firm is focusing on smartphones and tablets in 2013, and hoping to ship 7-inch screens before 2014. It's expected that any panels Innolux produces will use the supplier's touch-on-display technology, which should avoid issues linked to the in-cell touch technology found in the iPhone 5.
Next-gen Mini, Android competition blamed
Apple is cutting iPad mini shipments down to between 10 to 12 million units in the second quarter, claims DigiTimes. The information is said to come from several industry sources involved in supplying parts for the tablet. Shipments could dip as much as 20 percent on month in April, the people say, and a 10 million figure for the quarter could be reached if May and June see declines as well.
iPhone 5, iPad mini boost Apple's ranking
Samsung remained the world leader in "smart connected" devices during 2012, but Apple gained some ground, according to new IDC data. In all the market grew 29.1 percent year-over-year to reach over 1 billion units, and a value of $576.9 billion. Samsung grabbed 21.2 percent of unit shipments, but Apple came in second with 20.3 percent.
Logitech intros two new integrated Keyboard Folios for iPad, iPad min
Logitech has taken the wraps off its new Keyboard Folio for iPad and Keyboard Folio for iPad mini. The new products are the latest in Logitech’s popular line of keyboard accessories for Apple’s iPads. According to Logitech, the new Folios offer an additional layer of protection over its Ultrathin Keyboard Covers.
Claims 2013 estimates for full-sized iPads almost cut in half
Apple is preparing to launch a second-generation iPad mini in the third quarter of the year, and is also at work on the fifth-generation 9.7-inch iPad, claims CNYes. The site doesn't mention many other details about the tablets, except that the new Mini is expected to have a Retina display, and that the fifth-gen iPad should have a redesigned aluminum alloy chassis similar to the Mini's, with a thinner bezel and lighter weight.
May mark later phases of tablets' lifecycles
Apple has started selling refurbished models of the iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad at its online store. Selection is currently still limited, however; for the Mini, only 32GB Wi-Fi and 16 and 32GB cellular options are available. Fourth-gen iPad shoppers have access to 16GB Wi-Fi and 16 and 32GB cellular models.
One in three TechBargains customers say they will buy the next one
Just as happened with the original release of the iPad, more conservative tech buyers (who don't fit the "early adopter" profile) had only moderate interest in an iPad mini -- but unlike most electronics, interest in the scaled-down version of the iPad has increased significantly since its introduction, according to a report from deal site TechBargains. When it did a survey just prior to the iPad Mini's release, only 18 percent planned to buy it -- now, interest has nearly doubled to 33 percent. Customers also reported on what they'd like to see in future iPad models.
Scosche releases iPhone 5 bike mountable case
Scosche has launched a new iPhone 5 case that can be secured to a bike's handlebars or frame. The reqKASE is made from silicone and uses an adjustable strap that can be mounted vertically or horizontally. An integrated notch system also helps to ensure that the device doesn't spin or move while riding. Full back and side protection is provided by the case, but the headphone jack, speakers, mute switch, volume controls, and forward facing camera all remain accessible.
New LaFerrari builds iPad mini into passenger seats
Apple and Ferrari are in talks about expanding a partnership on in-car entertainment systems, says Ferrari chairman Luca Cordero Di Montezemolo. Bloomberg reports that the executive made the comments at today's Geneva motor show. Ferrari has just introduced a new hybrid car, the LaFerrari, which builds iPad minis into the passenger seats.
April 'getting serious consideration' for fifth-gen iPad launch
Apple is aiming to ship the iPhone 5S this summer, and new iPads possibly as soon as this April, according to iMore sources. The 5S is said to have the same essential design as the iPhone 5, but with a better processor and an upgraded camera, much in the same way the 4S was an improvement over the 4. Apple is allegedly aiming at an August launch, although that would fall outside the June/July window the company once used, and the fall timetable the 4S and 5 went by.
Now predicting Apple will sell 33M iPads, 55M iPad minis in 2013
Although Apple was sure enough that the iPad mini would be a popular seller that it made the diminutive model the centerpiece of its holiday campaigns, even the prognosticators at Apple might have been surprised by the model's enduring demand -- and may have adjusted inventories and supplies to accommodate more iPad minis and fewer full-size iPads in their future mix, claims a new study by industry analyst NPD. The company has looked at display orders from Apple suppliers and believes the company changed its plans.
January drop, if true, is steep even for traditional slow period
According to a report from the mixed-accuracy Taiwanese trade paper DigiTimes, one of Apple's suppliers for 9.7-inch iPad displays saw a 90 percent drop in production from December to January. Orders for full-size displays went from six million units to 600,000, a figure that is seen as exceptionally low even for the traditionally slower calendar second quarter. Blame for the dramatic drop is attributed by the paper to ongoing and growing popularity of the iPad mini, which accounted for the majority of the five million displays LG shipped to Apple.
Tablet could be slightly thicker than its predecessor
New photos posted at a Chinese site, WeiPhone, show what is supposedly the rear shell for a second-generation iPad mini. In most respects the shell appears to be similar to the one for the current iPad mini, except thicker; that may, however, be because the part has yet to be given chamfered edges. A thicker back could alternately support views that the next Mini will get a Retina display; when the third-generation iPad gained Retina support, it also became slightly bigger.
UK store still stuck at 1-3 business days
The iPad mini is now officially "in stock" at Apple's online store in many countries. Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, and the US have all made the change. Some notable exceptions include places like the UK, Germany, and France, where the tablet is listed as shipping in one to three business days.
Uses number of iPad-native apps as a competitive differentiator
Apple has rolled out an extensive new campaign for its iPad lineup that calls attention to the high number of iPad-native programs available, a point of advantage compared to its competition. The new push, which is highlighted with both billboards and TV commercials, also notes that apps designed to run on the full-sized iPad work exactly the same on the smaller (and by some accounts more popular) iPad mini. Currently there are over 300,000 iPad-native apps.
Borrows idea from CEO colleague at YouSendIt
Christmas came very early (or very late) for employees of business networking site LinkedIn: CEO Jeff Weiner on Wednesday gave all 3,500 employees of the company their own 32GB iPad mini during the usual biweekly "All Hands" meeting. The company said later the move was a "small gesture" to thank workers for their efforts and accomplishments in gratitude for their contributions. LinkedIn grew 81 percent year-over-year in 2012 and beat Wall Street estimates in the most recent quarter.
Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad mini set to ship February
Logitech has revealed its Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for the iPad mini. Although designed for the smaller iPad mini, Logitech says that it the keyboard uses full size keys. The cover keeps its weight down, but retains protective strength by utilizing an aluminum panel on its rear.
Would make Mini display Apple's second-sharpest
The next-generation iPad mini will get a display with 324 pixels per inch, says Chinese site My Drivers. The information stems from sources at Taiwanese Apple suppliers, who say that AU Optronics is piloting production of the new tablet. The hardware is expected to use a 2048x1536 display resolution, the same as the fourth-generation 9.7-inch iPad, despite having to compress that detail onto a 7.9-inch screen.
Shipping for iPad mini orders drops to 1-3 days
Roughly ten days after it last updated iPad mini ship times, Apple has dropped the wait again -- indicating that availability is improving. While still not achieving what CEO Tim Cook calls "supply/demand balance" (which generally translates into a shipping status of "in stock" or available for immediate shipping), the delay has now dropped to 1-3 business days in the US and Canadian stores, down from the 3-5 day delay recently advertised. The iPad mini has been heavily in-demand since release, and in-store supplies are still constrained.
Product still heavily constrained at retail, likely to continue
Shipping times for all the assorted iPad Mini models have shrunk to 3-5 days at Apple's US and Canadian online stores. Before today, Apple's website listed times between one and two weeks, depending on configuration. While still not same-day shipping, the reduction in shipping time points to a possible easing of supply constraints.
Second-gen Mini said to be getting Retina display
An iPhone 5S and the second-generation iPad mini are both relatively far away from launch, according to iLounge. Following up on earlier claims about Apple's device lineup, the site says it has learned from a source that the 5S is still "months away" from production, although July is believed to be a target date. Current prototypes are allegedly codenamed N51 and N53; the source speculates that the phone's main feature will be a better rear camera, including not just a previously-mentioned flash upgrade but a better sensor, one possibility being a 13-megapixel Sony model.
Company 'cannot meet demand' for iPad minis, iMacs
One surprising announcement coming out of today's conference call with financial analysts was Apple CEO Tim Cook's revelation that while iPhone 5 supply improved significantly from its initial launch and that sales of the unit were robust throughout the quarter -- contrary to some rumors -- the continuing demand for the iPhone 4 at its lower price has caused shortages of the two-year-old phone that occurred "throughout the quarter" and may continue for some time. The iMac and iPad mini will also remain very constrained.
iPad mini may be diverting demand
Sharp has "nearly halted" production of 9.7-inch screens for the iPad, Reuters reports. Two industry sources for the newswire agency say that on the iPad line at Sharp's Kameyama plant, production has dropped to the minimum level needed to keep it moving, after a gradual slowdown that started at the end of 2012. Apple is reportedly managing its inventory.
Arrives ahead of major shopping holiday, Chinese New Year
Although the Wi-Fi version of the fourth-generation iPad line has been available in China since early December, this Friday will see the retail debut of the LTE-capable version of the iPad and iPad mini, just three weeks ahead of Chinese New Year. The iPad mini, already a hit in the country, is prominently featured on the Apple Gift Guide for the celebration, a major shopping holiday for the region. China granted the license to sell the LTE versions last month.
May support talk of Apple switching to multiple device updates per year
In March, Apple is planning to launch both a fifth-generation full-sized iPad and a second-generation iPad mini, according to Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White. The claim is based on checks with industry sources at CES this week. White mentions few details about the new hardware, except that the fifth-gen iPad will be thinner and lighter than the fourth-gen model, and that he expects the next Mini to keep its form factor, just getting better internal components. There's no indication of whether this might mean a Retina display, as one recent rumor has suggested.
May hint at advancement on iPhone deal
(Updated with cellular iPad mini launch info) As a part of his ongoing tour of China, Apple CEO Tim Cook has met with the chairman of China Mobile, Xi Guohua, Reuters reports. A Mobile spokesman will only say that the two talked about "matters of cooperation" at the carrier's headquarters earlier today, and that no further details can be given out because of a confidentiality agreement. Despite being the world's biggest phone carrier in terms of subscribers, China Mobile is the only national Chinese carrier without the iPhone.
Workers could lose time off in order to meet iPhone, iPad demand
Some Apple suppliers will keep manufacturing through the Chinese New Year to meet the company's demands, Taiwan's United Daily News reports. Hon Hai, better known as Foxconn, is said to be keeping a portion of production lines open to assemble the iPhone 5 and iPad mini. A circuit board supplier, Flexium Interconnect, will reportedly keep its Kunshan plant going through the Chinese New Year, using students it has trained for the work.
Tablet out of stock in many stores
Apple is experiencing "insatiable demand" for the iPad mini in Hong Kong and mainland China, says Topeka Capital Markets' Brian White. The analyst explains that based on checks with stores this week, virtually every model of the Mini appears to be selling out in Hong Kong. Similar sellouts have been taking place at mainland Apple Stores.
Factories may be unable to make 10-12M unit goal for Q4
While current iPad mini ship times are estimated to be no more than a week at the various worldwide online Apple Stores, industry sources indicate that shipments fell behind Apple's expectations, and that no more than eight million of the coveted mini-tablets actually shipped out, well below the 10-12 million Apple had wanted. The unconfirmed reports suggest that inventory management allowed countries that celebrate Christmas to have barely-sufficient quantity.
Stylus-enabled new Note tablet could take on iPad mini
Rumors that Samsung is preparing to roll out a 7.x-inch version of its line of Galaxy Note devices received a boost today, as a device with those specifications showed up in the logs of GLBenchmark. The benchmarking site's logs show a Samsung device with the codename GT-N5100. That device appears to run on a 1.6GHz Exynos 4412 processor, with a screen resolution of 1280x800.
Christmas-centric spot shows off family videoconferencing
On Friday, Apple launched a new TV ad promoting both the iPad and iPad mini by cleverly showing both products as they might be used in a FaceTime video conference, with a man's granddaughter playing the ukelele and singing "I'll Be Home for Christmas," a wistful 1943 hit for Bing Crosby written by Walter Kent and Kim Gannon (based on a poem by Buck Ram). The grandfather's iPad shows the young lady, while her iPad mini shows her grandfather's reaction.
Texas Instruments said to be more involved
Apple is speeding up production of a second-generation iPad mini, says RBC Capital Markets' Doug Freedman. The analyst is touring chip manufacturers in China, and makes the Mini claim in a recent investor memo. "iPad Mini Gen-2: Apple's gen-2 iPad mini is getting pulled-in, and is likely to have several new suppliers, with TXN gaining content," he writes.
Wi-Fi version went on sale December 7, modest sales reported
Chinese authorities have granted the clearances needed for Apple and its partners to begin selling the fourth-generation full-size iPad and the iPad mini, both with 3G and LTE capabilities, in China. The licenses are reported by China's Telecommunication Equipment Certification Center to permit sales from both China Unicom and China Telecom, the second and third-largest carriers in the region. Still missing from the list of Apple partners is industry leader China Mobile, the largest cellular carrier in the world.
Full-sized iPad may get more weight reduction
Upgrades in the next-generation iPad mini will revolve mainly around increasing screen resolution, say backlighting industry sources quoted by Digitimes. The people haven't said whether or not this means advancing to a Retina display, but that may be highly likely given that every other iOS device is Retina-equipped. One of common complaints about the Mini is that the pixellation on the device can be distracting; the tablet also has a lower resolution than rivals like the Nexus 7.
Supplier ask to ship over 12 million units for 2012
Initial orders of the iPad mini -- pegged at around six million units for 2012 -- may be only half of what will be required, according to a report from NPD DisplaySearch analyst David Hsieh, who told CNet that Apple is now asking its iPad mini display partners to double the initial order, expecting more than 12 million units to be sold by the end of the year. For a product who's size class was strongly resisted by Apple for years, the nearly 8-inch iPad mini is very likely to outsell its larger, recently-updated big brother, the 9.7-inch fourth-gen iPad.