Feb 09

Apple's iPad 3

While we don’t know anything about the iPad 3, there’s a lot we think we know, and most observers don’t expect a lot of (if any) surprises.  So, the biggest question surrounding the new iPad has mostly been: when will it debut?

And we may now have an answer.

AllThingsD is reporting that Apple will announce the iPad 3 the first week of March.  Of course, this has not been confirmed, but we’d be surprised if it turns out not to be the case – and this is the timeframe that we’d be expecting (March or April).  Now the question is, how long after Apple announces the iPad 3 will the tablet ship?

In addition to a higher-resolution “Retina” display, the iPad 3 is expected to have a faster processor, a more powerful GPU, Bluetooth 4.0, and – possibly – LTE support.  Check out more information on the upcoming iPad 3 at our iPad 3 Information Center.

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Jan 29

iPad Retina DisplayWith regard to the iPad 3, which is expected to be announced in a month or two, the only thing “known” about the tablet is that it will have a higher-resolution display than its predecessors. That said, there’s always been some question as to how much higher its resolution would be.

Most have assumed that the iPad 3’s display would simply be double that of the iPad and iPad 2: 2048×1536 rather than 1024×768.  And this seems to have been confirmed by new images included in Apple’s recently updated iBooks app. iBooks 2.0, which was announced and released last week, contains image files perfectly suited for a display of 2048×1536.

If this turns out to be the case, the iPad 3 would have a PPI in the 260 range.  This is considerably less than the iPhone 4’s 326 PPI, but that should be okay because the iPad’s screen is so much larger and is meant to be viewed from farther away. 

Apple has, as is its SOP, remained mute on the next-gen iPad.  So, take this new information for what it’s worth.

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Jan 11

Will the iPad 2 Get Siri in iOS 5.1?

Siri, as we all know, is currently available only on the iPhone 4S, and is labeled – in very unusual Apple fashion – as a beta feature, or work in progress. But Siri’s sequestration won’t last forever. So the question is: when will we see Siri on other iOS devices?

Well, it looks like it’s at least possible that the day when Siri expands beyond the iPhone 4S may come sooner than we thought.  9to5Mac.com is reporting that there’s new language buried in the Settings menu in the iOS 5.1 beta 3 that suggests Siri, at least in part, may be included in iOS 5.1 for the iPad.

“Sonny Dickson was looking through the iOS 5.1 beta 3 settings application on the iPad and discovered a new section in the keyboard menu called “About Privacy and Dictation.” When opened … the iPad provides the user with the standard legal literature and feature information for Siri Dictation… On the iPhone 4S, Apple does not have a specific menu related to “Dictation and Privacy” in the keyboard settings panel, [which] may weaken concerns that this new iPad Dictation menu is simply carried over code from the iPhone 4S.”

Perhaps only the dictation aspect of Siri’s functionality – the ability to convert speech to text for emails, notes, etc. – will be included, or perhaps iPad 2 users will get full-featured Siri.  Or perhaps this is much ado about nothing. 

Why No Siri on the iPad Already?

Some have speculated that the more powerful A5 chip in the iPhone 4S is required for Siri to work well, which is why it wasn’t included in the iPhone 4’s iOS 5 upgrade; others say that’s ridiculous, that Apple kept Siri 4S-only because other than the improved camera, there wasn’t much reason for iPhone 4 users to upgrade unless Siri was limited to the new model.  We’ve got one foot and two hands in the latter camp, but if the former is true, there’s absolutely no technical reason Siri can’t come to the iPad 2 because it, too, has an A5 SoC with 512MB of RAM and a powerful GPU.

Siri on the iPad 3

Whether Siri is added to the iPad 2 or not, you can bet that it’ll be part of the iPad 3, which is widely expected to be announced later this quarter, likely March.  And, of course, the iPhone 5 will have Siri, as we imagine all iOS devices going forward will.

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Nov 27

iPhone 4 Display Panel

Few aspects of upcoming iOS devices are the subject of more speculation and rumor than the display sizes and technologies the products will employ.  Of course, we know nothing about the next iPhone or iPad – other than that they’ll be released in 2012 – but new information is shedding light on what we might expect, at least in terms of their touchscreen displays.

AppleInsider is reporting that Sony and Hitachi are already at work on 4-inch touchscreens for “an unspecified iOS device that will hit the market in 2012,” presumably the next-gen iPhone.  It has long been rumored that the iPhone 5 would feature a larger display, though this is as-yet unconfirmed. 

Due out next spring, the iPad 3 is expected to feature the same size touchscreen display, but with a much higher resolution than the current two models.  The Wall Street Journal reports:

“One of the people familiar with the matter said Apple’s next iPad is expected to launch next year, and Sharp’s Kameyama No. 2 plant in central Japan will manufacture LCD panels for the device.”

The iPad 3 is said to have double the resolution of the iPad and iPad 2, 2048 x 1536.

There are also rumblings that a new LCD technology known as IGZO may also be included in the iPhone 5 and/or future iPads.  IGZO offers "near-OLED power consumption while having a lower cost and thinness that is only 25% greater than OLED.” 

None of this information has been confirmed, but it at least gives us some idea of where Apple might be going with its displays in the coming years.

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Sep 16

iphone4When Apple announces the next-gen iPhone later this month, the current iPhone 4  (or a version of it) will continue to be sold as a more affordable alternative. This is a safe assumption as the iPhone 3G continued to be sold alongside the iPhone 3GS, and the 3GS is still available for purchase today – fifteen months after the iPhone 4’s release – as a budget option. 

Accepting that this model will continue, the question is: how will the iPhone 4 change when it shifts from Apple’s flagship product to a lower-priced alternative?

Of course, one option is status quo, minus the premium price.  Carriers could continue to sell the 16GB iPhone 4 as-is for, say, $99 on contract, to offer a more attractive entry price to would-be iPhone owners or legacy iPhone users who haven’t yet upgraded.  This is certainly possible, but given current market realities and Apple’s history of bold action, a more significant change seems warranted.

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