The Tech News Blog

March 18, 2014

Apple Ditches iPad 2, Drops iPad 4 to $399

4th-generation Apple iPad

Say farewell to the iPad 2. Apple today announced that it is discontinuing its aging tablet and will drop the price on its iPad 4 to make the device its lowest-priced iPad.

The iPad 4 (referred to formally as the iPad with Retina display) is now on sale starting at $399 for the 16GB Wi-Fi version; Wi-Fi plus cellular will set you back $529. A 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB version is not currently on sale. For that, you'll have to swing for the iPad Air, which starts at $599 for the 32GB Wi-Fi version.

The move means that all of Apple's larger iPads now include a Retina display; the original iPad mini still has a lower-resolution screen.

"Now for $399 customers can get iPad with a stunning 9.7-inch Retina display, fast A6X chip, and 5MP iSight camera, offering a dramatic upgrade in power, performance and value compared to the iPad 2 it replaces," Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, said in a statement. "The iPad line sets the gold-standard in mobile computing and all iPads have access to the largest and best ecosystem of more than 500,000 iPad optimized apps from the App Store."

March 3, 2014

Android Tablet Sales Overtake Apple’s iPad in 2013

10 Best Tablets

Apple's multi-year reign at the top of the consumer tablet heap ended in 2013 as slates running Google's Android operating system outsold iOS-based iPads for the year, according to Gartner.

Sales of Android tablets accounted for 61.9 percent of the global market last year, or nearly 121 million units sold in 2013, Gartner said Monday. Overall, tablet vendors sold just over 195.4 million tablets with various operating systems for the year, up 68 percent from 116.3 million units sold to end users in 2012.

Apple effectively created the market for consumer tablets in April 2010 with the release of the first-generation iPad. Cupertino remained the market leader for three years, but tablets running Android had gained considerable ground by 2012, when iOS held 52.8 percent of the global market, followed by Android at 45.8 percent.

Last year, Apple's iOS-based tablets came in at 36.0 percent of the market with 70.4 million units sold, according to Gartner. That actually represented a nice increase from the 61.5 million iPads sold in 2012, but Android's major gains—particularly with first-time tablet buyers and in the "low-end smaller screen tablet market" —wound up reducing Cupertino's overall market share by 16.8 percentage points anyway.

February 12, 2014

Surface Tablets Used at Work More Than iPads

Surface Pro 2 Alt

Microsoft thinks its Surface devices are better for work activities than the iPad and Android alternatives, but does corporate America agree?

Based on North American usage data, the answer is yes – Surface tablets are actually being used in work settings more than competing gadgets, according to new data from advertising and Web analytics firm Chitika.

"Surface users generate a slightly greater share of their total Web traffic during working hours as compared to iPad or Android tablet users," the firm said in a new report Wednesday. "However, in terms of raw traffic volume, iPad and Android tablet users lead the pack at all hours of the day, and usage patterns among all tablets remain relatively similar overall."

January 13, 2014

Apple Uses ‘Dead Poets’ Speech in New iPad Ad

iPad Air Dead Poets Society Commercial

Apple has seized the day—and a riveting Dead Poets Society quote—in its newest iPad Air commercial.

Titled "Your Verse Anthem," the 1:30 video (see below) is a beautifully shot showcase of the tablet's capabilities in varying cultural situations, as narrated by a very inspiring Robin Williams.

If it feels like you've heard that speech before, it's because you probably have: Williams first recited it 25 years ago as a means to inspire a classroom full of prep-school students. Now, a quarter of a century later, Apple has recycled the Dead Poets Society dialogue to convince consumers that with an iPad Air in hand, they too can make a difference in the world.

The commercial, which aired during primetime Sunday night to football fans and Golden Globe viewers, received a mixed reaction from those online.

December 24, 2013

Rumor: Apple Planning 13-Inch iPad for 2014

Apple logo

Apple has already gone smaller than its flagship 10-inch iPad and next year, the company is supposedly planning to release a much bigger tablet to take on rivals like Samsung.

The 7.9-inch iPad mini debuted in November 2012, surprising some who believed Cupertino was perfectly content with the shape and size of its original iPad.

Now Apple is rumored to be preparing a 12.9-inch version of the iPad, according to DigiTimes.

The rumored 12.9-inch iPad would be released in October 2014 and target "North America's educational market," the tech site reported this week, citing unnamed sources. DigiTimes speculated that Apple's rumored large-size tablet and similar 12- and 13-inch devices being planned by Samsung "will greatly impact ultrabook demand" next year.

The tech site reported that Apple manufacturing partner Quanta Computer will be tapped to supply the touch screen panels for the rumored large-size iPad. Quana "was originally expected to adopt either 12.9- or 13.3-inch panels, with recent rumors indicating that 12.9-inch has a better chance to be picked," DigiTimes cited its sources as saying.

DigiTimes also added some grist for the iPhone rumor mill. Sources are now saying that a larger iPhone powered by a 20-nanometer processor fabbed by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is due out in May, the tech site reported.

Keep in mind that rumors about Apple's plans rarely get all of the details right. Consider that back in July, the gossip was that Apple had been forced to push back the release of its second-generation iPad mini with a Retina display until 2014 due to supply shortages.

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December 3, 2013

iOS 7 Adoption Tops 70 Percent After 2 Months

iOS 7 Alt

Two months after its release, Apple's iOS 7 is now running on more than 70 percent of iOS devices in North America, according to new data from online ad network Chitika.

"This makes it very likely that iOS 7 will continue to substantially outpace iOS 6 adoption, which reached 83 percent close to six months following its release in September 2012," the company wrote in its report.

The quick pace of iOS 7 adoption has already broken records. Just 24 hours after it was publicly released on Sept. 18, the new mobile operating system was running on more than 18 percent of North American iOS devices, beating out iOS 6, which was installed on 14.8 percent of devices after its first day of availability. After its first week, iOS 7 made up more than half of all iOS-based Web traffic in North America.

November 25, 2013

Apple Reportedly Prepping 12.9-Inch iPad

Apple Unveils New iPad Air, Retina iPad Mini

Apple may be working on what is literally the "next big thing" —a 12.9-inch iPad. According to a report from The Korea Times, Cupertino plans to introduce the massive tablet early next year.

An unnamed official at a Korean Apple supplier told the Times that the tech giant's "first-tier display supplier is now producing a 12.9-inch Retina display to be used in the new iPad, which will be coming out sometime early next year."

And with great size, comes great picture quality: The colossal tablet will reportedly sport a crisp quality similar to that of ultra-high-definition (UHD) — currently relegated to big-screen TVs.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Rumors about larger-screen Apple gadgets are nothing new. Earlier this year, Reuters said that the company was "exploring" 4.7-inch and 5.7-inch iPhones. The rumor mill continued over the summer with talk of prototype smartphone screens larger than 4 inches and a tablet measuring slightly less than 13 inches.

November 12, 2013

Apple’s Retina iPad Mini Now on Sale

Hands On With the iPad Mini With Retina Display

Without much fanfare, Apple on Tuesday started taking orders for the new iPad mini with Retina display.

The device is now available on, with the 16GB and 32GB Wi-Fi model shipping in 1-3 business days and all other models shipping in 5-10 days, in both colors.

Apple unveiled its new iPad mini and iPad Air at a press event last month. The iPad Air went on sale on Nov. 1, but Apple would only say that the Retina iPad mini would land later in November.

Pricing for the newest small form factor iPad starts at $399 for the 16GB Wi-Fi version and goes up to $829 for the 128GB cellular plus Wi-Fi version. All four major U.S. wireless carriers now offer the iPad, with T-Mobile serving up 200MB of free monthly data to entice customers to the "un-carrier."

The original iPad mini is still on sale; the 16GB Wi-Fi version is $299 while the Wi-Fi plus cellular model is $429.

November 5, 2013

Target Offering $200 iPad Trade-In Deal

iPad Air Alt

Target is running a promotion that will provide those who trade in their old iPad with a gift card worth at least $200.

From now until Nov. 9, those who visit a Target Mobility store and trade in their iPad will get "at least $200" to use toward the purchase of a new iPad Air or other Target merchandise.

"Your device will be appraised in-store at the mobility kiosk," according to Target. "[The] $200 minimum promotional credit will be issued on a Target Trade-In Gift Card and is redeemable in any Target store."

To qualify, an iPad "must power on and screen must not be scratched," Target said.

Once the promotion ends, customers can still trade in their old iPads in stores and online for Target gift cards up to $300, but in some cases, it could be less than the $200 being offered during this week's deal. On, for example, a 16GB Wi-Fi iPad 2 is worth $125.

November 4, 2013

AT&T: iPad Activations Up 200 Percent Over Last Year

iPad Air Alt

Though lines for the iPad Air were not as long as those for the new iPhones, AT&T isn't complaining. The carrier said Monday that it saw a sharp increase in iPad activations over the weekend.

"iPad activations on AT&T increased more than 200 percent over the past three days compared to last year's launch weekend, driven by consumer excitement around the new iPad Air and the popularity of AT&T Mobile Share, which lets customers add an iPad to their existing data plan for just $10 a month," Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO of AT&T Mobility, said in a statement. "We also saw strong demand for AT&T Next, which offers customers an iPad for $0 down."

The iPad Air went on sale Friday in 42 countries, including the U.S., U.K., and Canada. Apple has yet to release official sales figures for the new tablet, but CEO Tim Cook said during a recent earnings call that he was confident that it would be an "iPad Christmas."