The Tech News Blog

March 1, 2012

Report: 7.85-inch iPad Prototypes Delivered To Apple

Protoypes of a new iPad with a smaller screen have been delivered to Apple, and volume production of the devices could begin as early as the third quarter of this year.

According to a DigiTimes report citing unnamed industry sources, the device will feature a 7.85-inch display. In comparison, the iPad 2 comes with a 9.7-inch screen.

The scaled-down tablet is currently being assembled by Apple’s manufacturing partners, DigiTimes reported. It is likely to be priced between $249 and $299 to compete with Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which sells for $199, and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet.

Rumors of a smaller iPad first surfaced months ago. Back in December, there were reportsthat Apple had purchased 7.85-inch panels from LG Display and AU Optronics. Then last month, the Wall Street Journal claimed to have a source who confirmed that Apple was testing the new, smaller screen line of tablets. The late Steve Jobs is, however, well-known for his statements deriding the notion of a smaller tablet.

February 29, 2012

New Asus Tablets May Preview iPad 3 Screen

Asus Transformer Prime

BARCELONA—Want to see how much better the iPad 3's screen will be than the iPad 2's? We can't see an iPad 3 yet—Apple's new tablet is probably coming next Wednesday, March 7—but today at Mobile World Congress I got to hold an Asus Transformer TF700 side-by-side with an Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime. Together they show the kind of improvement you're likely to see with an iPad 3 over an iPad 2.

(Yes, I know the iPad 3 may not be called the 'iPad 3.' I just don't have anything else to call it.)

The Asus TF700 is Asus' next-generation Android 4.0 tablet, with a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor and 4G LTE. Most importantly, though, it has a 1920-by-1200, 10-inch screen. The older Transformer Prime has a 1280-by-800 screen of the same size.

The current iPad 2 has a 1024-by-768 screen, while the new iPad is rumored to have a screen that doubles the resolution in every direction to 2048-by-1536. So take note: the change is going to be even more dramatic than it is between the two Asus tablets.

February 28, 2012

Apple Sends Out Invites For March 7 iPad Event

ipad event march 7

Apple has sent out media invites for a March 7 media event in San Francisco where it will likely unveil the next iPad.

"We have something you really have to see. And touch," the invitation reads.

The event will be held at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts next Wednesday at 10 am. The venue has been used by Apple for several major product launches in the past few years.

This almost certainly confirms the latest reports of a March 7 unveiling of the so-called iPad 3.

Now that Apple has announced the event, speculation is bound to go wild. Among the pervasive rumors about the third-generation tablet are that it will feature an ultra-high resolution "retina" display, 4G LTE connectivity, better cameras, a thinner form factor, and new ARM chipsets, possibly Apple's first quad-core System-on-a-Chip to power an iOS-based device.

February 27, 2012

Best Buy Slashes iPad 2 Price by $50 as iPad 3 Launch Nears

ipad 2 275

Retailer Best Buy slashed $50 off the price of the iPad 2, as new evidence suggests that the third generation of the coveted tablet is about to be shipped to the United States.

With the iPad 3 expected to be unveiled next week, Best Buy on Sunday cut the price of all current iPad models by $50. Retailers are thought to be cutting iPad prices in order to make room for the iPad 3, which Apple is rumored to be revealing on March 7.

Amidst the new price cuts, a purported shipping manifest published by the website seems to reveal that Apple supplier Foxconn is gearing up to ship the forthcoming iPad 3 to the United States. The delivery form, originally posted on a Chinese microblogging site, is said to be from a major international cargo charter flight departing from the airport in Chengdu International Airport in China.

The shipments, which are said to be under high security, are scheduled to be delivered to Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles by March 9. The timing of the shipments indicates that Apple may be preparing to make the iPad 3 available nearly immediately after its expected unveiling next week.

February 27, 2012

Rumor: iPad 3 to Cost $70-$80 More Than iPad 2

With the release of the iPad 3 rumored to be just over a week away, rumors about the next-gen device continue to run rampant.

The latest round of rumors indicates that the coveted tablet could be $70 to $80 pricier than the iPad 2. MacRumors on Monday posted an image of a purported pricing sheet that made its way onto the popular Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo. The unverified document appears to lay out a price comparison between the iPad 2 and iPad 3.

If the list is true, the iPad 3 will start at $579, for the 16GB Wi-Fi only model, up from $499 for the iPad 2. Other versions of the Wi-Fi only iPad 3 will purportedly be priced at $679 and $779, for the 32GB and 64GB models, respectively, according to the pricing sheet. iPad 3 Models with 3G wireless connectivity will be priced at $699, $799 and $899 for models with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB of storage capacity, respectively.

February 20, 2012

Latest iPad 3 Rumor Tips ‘A5X’ Chipset

iPad 3 A5X

The iPad rumors are in full swing, and the latest report suggests a chipset known as the A5X.

As reported by MacRumors, the forum for Chinese website WeiPhone includes a post with a photo of the next-gen iPad's logic board. The system-on-a-chip is labeled "A5X" and appears to have been produced in November 2011.

Apple watchers were under the impression that the chip in the company's next iPad would be dubbed the A6 since the first iPad had the A4 and the iPad 2 had the A5.

Earlier this year, 9to5Mac reported that the iPad 3 would include a quad-core chip since Apple's iOS 5.1 beta code included references to core management capabilities for quad-core processors.

So who is right? As is usually the case with these things, it's best to take leaked photos and other Apple rumors with a grain of salt until Cupertino actually unveils its products. Apple is rumored to be holding its press event for the next iPad during the first week in March in San Francisco, so stay tuned.

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February 18, 2012

Evidence Points to Retina Display on the iPad 3

iPad 3 Retina Display

Want more proof that the iPad 3 will have a super-slick, high-resolution "Retina" display that blows the screen on Apple's current-generation tablet out of the water? MacRumors reported Friday that it's got an iPad 3 display and published microscope-enlarged images that purportedly show a screen with precisely double the linear resolution of the iPad 2's.

The iPad 3, which other reports suggest could be released in early March, may also be thicker than its predecessor, sport the first quad-core processor in an Apple tablet, and finally add 4G LTE connectivity to an iOS device.

Apple was supposedly struggling with technical issues with its Retina Display last fall, but the MacRumors report offers pretty convincing evidence that any such troubles are now in the rear view mirror.

"Since we only had a raw iPad 3 display with no method to power it, taking high quality photos of the pixels was difficult," MacRumors writer Eric Slivka wrote. "Still, even with the relatively poor lighting, you can easily make out the pixels on each display (made up of red, green and blue elements). We highlighted a cluster of 4 pixels (2x2) from the iPad 2 to compare it to the same area on the iPad 3. On the iPad 3, the same cluster was occupied by 16 pixels (4x4) —exactly twice the resolution in each direction.

February 14, 2012

Report: Apple Testing Smaller, 8-Inch iPad With 4G LTE

ipd evn smllr

The first rumors surfaced months ago, and now a new report adds fuel to the speculation that Apple is planning to release a new tablet with a significantly smaller screen.

With just weeks to go before the supposed March 7 announcement of a new iPad, the Wall Street Journal claims to have a source who confirms that Apple has been testing a new, smaller screen for its line of tablets.

A separate Journal story, meanwhile, suggests that the next iPad will have 4G LTE capabilities.

Citing "people familiar with the situation," the report claims that in addition to testing out smaller tablet screens with Asian suppliers, Apple has actually shown off the overall design of the smaller, 8-inch tablet to a several of its manufacturing parters. Back in December there were reports that Apple had purchased 7.85-inch panels from LG Display and AU Optronics.

The late Steve Jobs is well-known for his statements deriding the notion of a smaller tablet. Has the successful launch of Amazon's 7-inch Kindle Fire caused Apple to rethink this position?

February 14, 2012

Rumor: Big iPad 3 Reveal to Happen on March 7

Apple fans may get their first look at the third-generation iPad on March 7. That's the date that the company reportedly has circled on the calendar for its next big product unveiling, widely expected to be the coming-out party for the iPad 3.

Naturally, this hasn't been confirmed officially—Apple hasn't even said publicly that it's got a follow-up to its hugely successful tablet in the works—but the March 7 date was reported Monday by the iMore blog, citing "sources who have been reliable in the past."

Possibly corroborating the rumor is an All Things D report from last week that tipped an early March announcement of the new iPad. There's also the fact that Apple chose Wednesdays for the past two iPad reveals, so if that pattern holds and the "early March" rumor is true, the company's pretty much stuck with March 7 or nothing.

The iMore post also states confidently that the iPad 3 will have a 2048-by-1536 Retina display and pack a new quad-core processor, the A6, a step up from the dual-core part in the iPad 2. The next-gen tablet may or may not have 4G LTE, according to the blog.

February 13, 2012

Rumors Indicate Thicker iPad 3 With Better Camera

The third generation of Apple's iPad, rumored to be making its debut this March, may be slightly thicker than the latest model but is likely to include a better camera.

Asian parts reseller iLab Factory posted on its website images of what it says may be some of the components of the iPad 3, including a high-resolution LCD screen manufactured by Sharp, a back plate with an Apple logo and a 30-pin dock connector.

The site notes that the purported back plate for the iPad 3 is a tad thicker than the one used on the iPad 2, meaning the next-generation tablet may grow about one millimeter in profile, but will remain the same length and width.

The back plate also indicates that a different, likely better camera will be used in the iPad 3. The camera hole in the alleged iPad 3 case is almost the same size in diameter as that on the iPad 2. But, design differences on the inside suggest that the iPad 3 may include an improved camera lens and senor, similar to what is found on the iPhone 4S.