A concept video of a 13-inch “iPad Pro” running a full version of OS X has been posted by Italian consulting company SET Solution (via Funky Space Monkey). The iPad in the video is depicted as having a large form factor with very thin bezels, and is shown displaying OS X Mountain Lion with touch controls. The video also shows off the ability to easily connect an Apple Wireless Keyboard and Magic Mouse to the iPad, enabling a full desktop-like environment.
The possibility of Apple combining OS X and iOS into one unified platform has been a popular topic of discussion recently, as both have begun to share a common sense of design principles. However, an interview with Apple executives Phil Schiller and Craig Federighi inMacworld
last month revealed that the company sees the combination iOS and OS X as a “non-goal”, with the former saying that the effort would be a “waste of energy” and the latter saying that Apple is focused on building the best products for unique purposes.
Despite this public dismissal, J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz predicted earlier this month that Apple is indeed working on a platform that combines OS X and iOS, which is termed as “iAnywhere.” Specifically, the analyst states that the combo operating system would work in tandem with an iOS device docked to a secondary display, running as a full-blown computer. Various other companies have experimented with dual operating systems and other hybrid solutions in the past, but mostly to no acclaim from the general public.
Overall, it is unlikely that Apple will debut a tablet running a full version of OS X as seen in the video or a combo operating system anytime soon. However, recent reports do point to Apple releasing a 12.9-inch iPad running a next-generation version of iOS sometime in the future, with a launch projected for late this year or early next year.
Apple is winding down production of the iPad 2 as customer interest in the legacy device dwindles, according to a report from AppleInsider. First introduced in early 2011, the iPad 2 has remained in Apple’s product lineup as a lower-price option even as newer iPad models have been discontinued.
According to people familiar with Apple’s plans, the company has made the decision to ramp down iPad 2 production given that customers are resoundingly shifting purchases towards its more modern and capable iPads, namely the iPad mini and iPad Air.
Apple continues to sell 16 GB iPad 2 models priced at $399 for Wi-Fi only and $529 for Wi-Fi + Cellular for the time being, coming in $100 lower than corresponding iPad Air models. There is no word yet, however, on just when Apple plans to stop selling the iPad 2 as its stocks wind down.
The iPad 2 remained popular even up until the launch of the iPad Air, with educational institutions and other specialized markets preferring the device for a combination of its lower price and its compatibility with numerous accessories through the legacy 30-pin dock connector. But with the introduction of the dramatically thinner iPad Air and Retina display-equipped iPad mini late last year, sales of the iPad 2 dropped dramatically and the company has apparently decided that continued production is not worthwhile.
As Apple continues its quest to make its iOS devices thinner and lighter, the company will take advantage of advancements in LED backlighting technology to shift to thinner components for the iPhone 6 and upcoming iPad models, according to a report fromLEDinside, a division of research firm TrendForce.
The report notes that a thinner design will see Apple shifting from 0.6 mm thick side-view LED backlights to 0.4 mm thick modules, but also questionably claims that the iPhone 6 will arrive in June. The iPhone 6 is generally expected to arrive in the same September-October timeframe seen in recent years.
According to sources from Apple supply chain, the iPhone 6 is likely to be released in June 2014, and will have larger monitor size of 4.7”. Industry insiders also projected the iPhone 6 will have a much lighter frame, which will lead to upgrades in LED backlight specs. In the previous generation, the iPhone used 0.6t side-view type LED, in contrast the new iPhone will probably be adopting 0.4t side-view type LED.
Apple has been rumored to be increasing display size for the iPhone 6, and whileLEDinside‘s report only mentions a 4.7-inch model, a number of other claims have included an even larger model at 5.5-5.7 inches. Larger displays will undoubtedly lead to larger device bodies, but that extra height and width could give Apple more room to spread out components and reduce device thickness from the current 7.6 mm of the iPhone 5s, and thinner backlights could aid that goal in an industry where fractions of a millimeter count.
LEDinside claims that similar changes are coming for the iPad, particularly with a rumored12-inch model. According to the report, new iPads will see their backlights shift to 0.6 mm thick modules from the current 0.8 mm components.
As outlined in our feature highlighting Apple’s possible product plans for 2014, a number of rumors have suggested Apple may be working on a 12.9-inch iPad model that could launch later this year. The company is allegedly accelerating development on this device in response to Samsung’s introduction of two competing 12.2-inch tablet models, with market sources cited by Digitimes claiming that Apple is now prepping the so-called “iPad Pro” for a late Q3 2014 launch at the earliest.
The claim that Apple’s timeline is motivated by a perceived need to match Samsung’s recent introductions seems doubtful given that Apple has routinely taken its time coming to market even in the face of competitors rushing to beat Apple to its own rumored products, but at a minimum the claimed launch target offers one more data point for those trying to predict a release. Some sources have predicted a launch as soon as early this year but such a timeline seems very unlikely given the absence of part leaks and other substantiating evidence.
Earlier reports suggested the 12.9-inch iPad Pro could be a hybrid device that would appeal to enterprise customers looking for a machine that bridges the gap between tablet and notebook. Based on display panels currently under development in the supply chain, research firm DisplaySearch believes that the iPad Pro could ship with a 12.9-inch Retina display with a resolution of 2732 x 2048 and 265 ppi.
Besides the iPad Pro, Digitimes‘ sources unsurprisingly also claim Apple is working on new 7.9-inch and 9.7-inch models to replace the current Retina iPad mini and iPad Air. These models will likely debut in Q3 2014, keeping with Apple’s current late fall release schedule for the iPad. Demand for the iPad is expected to be strong again in 2014 with the company selling between 80 and 90 million units over the course of the year.
Multiple Apple Stores in the United States have started price matching the iPhone 5c and the iPad Air, reports 9to5Mac. On those particular devices, some Apple Stores will match the prices of brick and mortar retailers that have been selling the products below retail price.
Walmart, for example, sells the entry-level 16 GB iPad Air for $479, a $20 discount off of the standard retail price Apple offers. MacRumorsheard conflicting reports of Apple Stores price matching discounts over Black Friday, but following the major shopping holiday, it appears retail employees may have been given more flexibility when it comes to price matching options.
Released in September and October respectively, both the iPhone 5c and the iPad Air have been widely available since the launch, while supplies of the iPhone 5s and the Retina iPad mini have been far more constrained, which explains why Apple is not offering price matching on those particular products at this time.
Apple’s price matching policies vary from store to store, and some stores may opt out of price matching all together. Price matching only applies to physical stores and is limited to a 10 percent total discount, which means customers can still find a better deal elsewhere in some cases, especially when it comes to the deep discounts offered on the iPhone 5c.
Update: According to a retail employee, Apple now has an official policy on price matching, which allows specialists to price match iPhones, iPads, and Macs, giving up to 10 percent off on products without authorization. Specialists are also allowed to give business customers up to 20% off a non-Apple accessory when purchased with an Apple product via special order.
Currently, the iPhone 5s and the Retina iPad mini are excluded from price matching.
Accessory maker Moshi today debuted a new origami-style keyboard case designed for Apple’s iPad Air. The VersaKeyboard is a slim folding stand case that comes equipped with an ultrathin detachable Bluetooth keyboard.
The case is designed to add full protection and minimal bulk to Apple’s thin and light iPad Air, weighing just 12.5 ounces and measuring 0.6 inches thick. It features a polycarbonate shell that includes a keyboard storage slot and a VersaCover that can be folded into several different viewing positions for both landscape and portrait use.
Don’t bother bringing your laptop — VersaKeyboard combines an ultra-thin keyboard with our popular VersaCover to give you the ultimate in iPad productivity. The detachable Bluetooth keyboard can be positioned anywhere within 30 feet of your iPad for maximum typing flexibility. Optimized scissor keys ensure tactile responsiveness and swift iOS keyboard shortcuts. When not in use, the keyboard slides snugly into the rear polycarbonate case for easy storage.
Like most cases, the VersaKeyboard supports automatic sleep/wake functionality, and the included Bluetooth keyboard offers 130 hours of battery life between charges. The keyboard is approximately 80 percent of the size of a standard keyboard.