The Tech News Blog

March 14, 2012

Apple: New iPad Hits Stores at 8am Friday

New iPad

Apple on Wednesday confirmed that its new iPad will hit stores at 8am local time on Friday.

The updated tablet will be available on March 16 in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland and the U.K., along with Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Apple said.

Apple promised a personal setup service for those who purchase the new iPad at Apple Stores, which will help buyers set up email, load apps, and more.

In addition to Apple Stores, the new iPad will also be available at Best Buy, Radio Shack, Sam's Club, Target, and Walmart, as well as via wireless carriers AT&T and Verizon. Those retailers will likely have a limited number of new iPads, so it's best to check with your local store before heading over.

March 11, 2012

Ship Date for New iPad Slips to March 19

Not surprisingly, demand for the new iPad has pushed ship dates for newly ordered tablets several days.

Apple fans pre-ordering their new iPad will see their new devices arrive at March 19 rather than March 16, according to Apple's website. That applies to all versions of the iPad, in both colors. Those who don't want to wait can brave the crowds at Apple Stores this coming Friday.

Verizon and AT&T are also offering the new iPad with 4G LTE connectivity, but at this point, both companies are just asking for user email addresses and say they will email customers when the device is available. If you're not sure which carrier to select, check out the data plans each company is offering.

Best Buy, meanwhile, is currently taking pre-orders for in-store pickup.

March 9, 2012

New iPad vs. Top Android Tablets Available Today: Specs Compared

New iPad, Asus Transformer Prime, or Samsung Galaxy Note: Which Tablet To Buy This time around, the Apple iPad rumor mill was mostly right on. With the Apple's third-generation tablet, we got a super-high-res 2,048-by-1,536-pixel Retina Display powered by a beefed-up A5X CPU, a better camera, and fast 4G LTE on AT&T or Verizon. This all brings up the eternal tablet question again: iPad or Android?

Though the battle might seem a bit lopsided, we felt it was important to compare Apple's latest tablet with the best Android tablets available right now. A slew of promising quad-core Android slates like the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and the Toshiba AT270 were announced at Mobile World Congress, but specs and release dates aren't solid. Of what we've seen coming down the pike, the forthcoming Asus Transformer Infinity matches the new iPad closest on specs, but with no release date announced, who knows when we'll see it? If you're considering the new iPad when it's released next Friday, the tablets in the chart below are some of the best large-screen Androids we've tested—and they're available now.

As it stands, the closest match is the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime, which packs Nvidia's latest quad-core Tegra 3 processor. The Transformer Prime has one distinct advantage over any iPad, and that is its ability to dock into a slick keyboard accessory that turns the tablet into a veritable laptop. It also adds battery life and a full-sized USB port. Sure you could get a keyboard case for your iPad, but it's not going to emulate that laptop form factor nearly as well as the Transformer Prime. So if productivity is your main priority, the Transformer Prime could make a viable option over the iPad, despite its shortcomings elsewhere.

March 8, 2012

Apple Unveils 4G LTE Data Pricing for New iPad

One of the big additions to Apple's new iPad is 4G LTE capability via AT&T and Verizon, and today Apple unveiled how much it will cost you to tap into the providers' networks from your brand-new tablet.

Each carrier is offering three data plans that range in price from $14.99 per month to $50 per month.

On the AT&T iPad, you can get 250MB for $14.99 per month, 3GB for $30, or 5GB for $50.

With Verizon, you can get 1GB for $20, 2GB for $30, or 5GB for $50.

All the plans are offered without a contract. If you run out of data, just buy some more, or sign up for a plan that automatically renews each month. AT&T provides email notifications when users reach 65 percent, 90 percent, and 100 percent of their allotted data. Verizon provides warnings when users have 50MB and 25MB of data remaining.

March 8, 2012

Analyst Trims Android Tablet Forecast After iPad Launch

Congratulations, Apple. One analyst firm was so enamored with the launch of the new iPad that it claims Apple will be the dominant tablet supplier through 2014, in part due to confusion among Android suppliers.

During the fourth quarter of 2011, Apple held a 57 percent market share in the tablet market, analyst firm IHS said on Wednesday. IHS did not report a quarter-by-quarter prediction for 2012, but said that Apple should now control 61 percent of the tablet market in 2012.

Apple announced a new 1080p Apple TV at an event in San Francisco on Wednesday, alongside the new iPad with LTE support and a Retina Display. That's the first shot in the between Apple's iPad and Microsoft's Windows on ARM tablet coterie.

IHS said Apple's tablet share was 62 percent in 2011, reflective of a smaller market with fewer Android rivals. However, IHS also added that Apple continues to maintain a dominant slice of the tablet revenue pie, convincing buyers to pay more for premium products. Apple retained 74 percent of the revenue share of the tablet market in the fourth quarter of 2011, even as its unit share declined to 57 percent, down from 64 percent in the third quarter, IHS said.

March 7, 2012

Apple Unveils New iPad With 4G LTE, Retina Display

Apple on Wednesday unveiled a new iPad complete with a Retina Display, quad-core processor, 4G LTE, and an improved camera.

The updated iPad will hit stores on March 16.

With 4G LTE, the new tablet will provide up to 73 Mbps download speeds, Apple said. Partners include Verizon, Rogers, Bell, Telus, and AT&T, and optional software can turn your tablet into a personal hotspot for up to five devices.

The iSight camera includes a 5-megapixel camera, advanced optics with an IR filter, autofocus and white balance, and face detection. It has the optic system included in the iPhone 4S and will support 1080p video recording.

The new iPad will run the rumored A5X processor, which will provide quad-core graphics. Apple claimed this chip will provide four times the performance of the Tegra 3.

The revamped tablet will also include a 2048-by-1536 display, which Apple said is the most ever in a mobile device.

March 7, 2012

iPad 3 Announcement: Live From the Apple Keynote Event

Whether it'll be called the iPad 3, the iPad HD, or something else altogether, Apple is set to debut its third-generation tablet today. Since Apple almost never provides video broadcasts of its keynote addresses, PCMag, one of our content partners, is live at at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco to bring you minute-to-minute coverage of the event as it unfolds.

As has become commonplace with any Apple product launch, the rumor mill is churning overtime leading up to the announcement. Of the less-outlandish guesses on prominent new iPad features, an insanely sharp 2,048-by-1,536 Retina Display seems to lead the pack in popularity. And, of course, to push all of those additional pixels, the new iPad would need a processor upgrade to quad core. A version with a 4G LTE radio, a better camera, a revamped iOS, and Siri integration are also big bets. Personally, we'd like to see a lower price.

Speaking of what we want, here are the top 10 iPad features we're hoping for, along with what we expect to be announced at the keynote. What do you want to see in a new tablet? What else do you think will be unveiled San Francisco? A smaller-screen iPad? A new Apple TV? An Apple-branded rocket ship?

March 5, 2012

iPad 3 More Tapered, But iPad 2 Smart Cover Still Fits

Can't wait until Wednesday for the big debut of Apple's iPad whatever-its-called? The jury might still be out on whether Apple's officially going with the "iPad 3" or "iPad HD" moniker, but at least we now know what the iPad 3 will look like come Wednesday.

At least, that's if the pictures provided by the China-based gadget blog M.I.C Gadget prove accurate. The site allegedly got its hands on the front glass, front case, and rear shell of Apple's next iPad. And before you ask the $64,000 question, here's the answer: According to M.I.C Gadget, Apple has not removed the home button from its yet-to-be-released iPad. It's still every bit as physical and centered on the bottom of Apple's tablet as the home button found on preceding models.


So, what can we learn from M.I.C Gadget's pics? Apple's pre-existing Smart Covers for the iPad 2 still fit the iPad 3, but additional tapering of the edges on the newer iPads allegedly means that some iPad 2 covers might no longer fit the newer tablet. The iPad 3 is also allegedly going to be a little thicker than the iPad 2 – hence the additional tapering, which gives the illusion that the new tablet is actually thinner.

March 3, 2012

Pricing Leaked for Apple’s New iPad: Same Costs as iPad 2

Only a scant few days before Apple's big reveal of the iPad 3 – or the iPad HD, or whatever it plans to call its retina-display tablet. And while you won't be able to physically pick up a new tablet on announcement day, the general rumor community is hopeful that Apple's going to have the new iPad ready to go anywhere from a week to two weeks from Wednesday's big reveal.

While there's been some talk that Apple might jump the price of its new iPad anywhere from $70 to $80 over the launch price of the iPad 2, new leaked information making its way over to 9to5mac refutes last week's pricing rumors. According to 9to5mac's Mark Gurman, the prices of the various iterations of the next iPad are going to be identical to the price tags you'll find on today's non-discounted iPad 2 tablets.

In other words, nothing's changing.

According to the price matrix, Apple's next iPad will come in six different versions, split between Wi-Fi-only tablets and tablets enriched with data connectivity via AT&T or Verizon (currently expected to be 4G LTE on both). Tablets will come in three total capacities: 16, 32, or 64 gigabytes.

March 2, 2012

iPads With Retina Display, iOS 6 Uncovered in Server Logs

Is the crew in Cupertino already testing out the next generation of the iPad, expected to be unveiled on Wednesday? Well, yes, of course they are.

New evidence, however, appears to prove it — along with the existence of a new version of Apple's iOS mobile operating system. A Friday report from Ars Technica suggests that Apple employees are already browsing the Web with the yet-to-be-released iPad 3, running iOS 6.

Upon checking their server logs while preparing a browser stat report, employees at the tech website discovered hundreds of visits from a device with a rare screen resolution of 2048-by-1536. For those who haven't been keeping up with the rampant rumors about the iPad 3, that's the exact resolution of the new Retina Display expected to be included in the next-gen tablet.

And, beyond seeming to confirm that Apple employees are testing the new iPad, which should really be obvious by now, the logs showed something even more interesting — the log entries in question show references to an iPad running "OS 6_0," likely indicating that Apple employees are also testing iOS 6.