According to an article at DigiTimes, the next model of the full-size iPad will begin production in July or August. It is almost certain that the design of the iPad will be brought in line with the iPad mini. That is, it is likely to be thinner and to have a much smaller bezel surrounding the screen.
Personally, I had expected this 5th model of iPad to be released a bit sooner. Production starting in July/August will put the expected release a couple of months later in Sept/Oct. The full-size iPad has seen a bit of a strange cycle though after the current model was released somewhat soon after the iPad 3, which I believe was done primarily so that all current iOS devices had the same connection.
There have been numerous rumors today about the upcoming Apple TV after a Topeka Capital Markets analyst claimed that Apple is planning to release a 60″ TV that is controlled by a small ring-like device. The analyst claimed:
Apple will release a miniature device called “iRing” that will be placed on a user’s finger and act as a navigation pointer for “iTV”‘, enhancing the motion detection experience and negating some of the functionality found in a remote.
I am always somewhat sceptical about analyst predications, and I have to say that to me this one sounds way off. I just don’t believe Apple are interested in motion detection that requires a user to wear anything at all. I can’t think of any other Apple device that has required anything remotely similar in the past, and it just doesn’t seem in Apple’s makeup to design something that effectively interferes with the user’s normal behavior by requiring they put something on and take off as they interact and move away from the target device.
The analyst, Brian White, has some more claims:
“iTV” will come with a “mini iTV” screen that will seamlessly allow users to view content on this smaller, 9.7-inch screen, while also opening up use cases around home security, phone calls, video conferencing and other areas. As part of this experience, Siri and FaceTime will be important. Essentially, we believe the “mini iTV” screens will be able to capture content from the 60-inch “iTV” across a distance of up to 200 meters, allowing a user to view “iTV” content in the kitchen, washroom, garage, bedroom, backyard, etc.
Again, I’m not confident this is the setup Apple is planning. Personally, I’m still not even sure Apple will make an integrated TV device, I’m more expecting an update to the standalone Apple TV box as it is today.
The WSJ reports that Apple is starting production of the next iPhone this quarter. This places a likely launch of the iPhone5S in the summer, slightly earlier in the year than the iPhone5, which was released in September.
The article also states that Apple is working on a cheaper model of iPhone, which it claims will be made of a different outer material. I assume this means plastic. I’m still a bit skeptical as to whether Apple is actually doing this or not. In the US an iPhone 4S is $99, and the 4 is free, which seems cheap enough to me, so it’s not like Apple doesn’t already have an offering for the lower end of the market.
Apple has released the first preview of 10.8.4 to developers. The notes with the update list three focus areas:
- Graphics Drivers
Many retina MacBook users have reported sluggish performance when using Safari, particularly when zooming on a page, so it is likely that the graphics and Safari changes are to address this issue.
Wi-Fi has also been a problem for many users since the initial version of 10.8, and Apple have listed Wi-Fi as a focus area in all previous updates. Hopefully, with this update, they will be ironing out the final bugs in their Wi-Fi stack.
PocketGamer reports that Apple is planning on launching a dedicated game controller. It claimed that during the GDC (Game Developers Conference) Apple attended secretly and spoke to numerous developers to ensure they would support the new controller.
Whilst the controller will work with the iPad and iPhone, I believe when the controller is released Apple will also take the opportunity to open up the Apple TV to third party developers. This would allow games on the Apple TV to be controlled via the new game controller.
Although Apple are already an extremely strong contender in the game market, and have taken substantial profit from Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony consoles, this is a bold move to further embed themselves in the space.
Facebook has invited the press to an event on the 4th April. The invite asks the recipient to ‘Come see our new home on Android’, and it is widely expected that Facebook will launch a customized Android phone at the event.
According to DigiTimes, Apple has cut shipments of iPad minis. According to DigiTimes’ sources:
The decrease may be as high as 20% on month during April, the sources noted, and may continue to slightly decrease throughout the quarter to bring total shipments of the iPad mini to as low as 10 million units during the quarter.
The cut in shipments is most likely due to preparation for an upcoming refresh of the mini, as Apple attempts to lower the numbers of the old model in the channel before the new model becomes available. I now expect a retina iPad mini to appear some time in the summer months.
Apple has recently started making substantial moves to get into the retail market in India. A report in the Economic Times lends weight to this fact by stating that Apple is planning to triple its retail presence in the country before 2015, aiming to have 200 exclusive stores by then.
I don’t think Apple have made any serious attempts to get into the Indian market in the past. However, there is clear movement now, and with rumors of a lower-cost iPhone that would fit in to the Indian and Chinese markets I am starting to feel that this type of market is becoming increasingly important to Apple. I would expect Apple stock to rise on this news, as the profits from Apple activity in India would be substantial. It has risen slightly in the last hour, which could be because of this news, but its down overall for the day so far.
A serious flaw in Apple security has been highlighted by The Verge. Anyone who knows the email address and date of birth for an Apple ID can reset the password to whatever they like, and then access the account.
Apple made two-step verification available for Apple accounts available recently, and accounts that have enabled it can not be hacked using this method. However, enabling two-step verification can take up to three days, so is not an instant fix for those who have not yet done so.
As this security flaw is so serious, I would expect Apple to fix it immediately, certainly by the end of the day.
Apple has implemented optional two-step verification for Apple IDs. Two-step verification requires you to both login with your password and identify yourself using one of your Apple devices through a verification code that is sent to it. This process reduces the chance that someone can hack your account by logging in from any random machine using your username and password.
The optional two-step verification for Apple IDs can be enabled by following the steps Apple has posted on this page.