I really thought the iPad Mini was dead but when the rumours started coming in about a newer model, I kept my fingers crossed for Apple adopting the Liquid Retina display from the new iPad Pros, along with a similarly designed case. I had two Minis in my iPad history and I loved them both. They were most excellent for thumb-typing and fantastic reading tablets, especially for RSS, the web, Twitter, and even ebooks. The screen was a bit small for comic books and magazines but I blame my ageing eyes on that. While a new Mini is always welcome — it really is a great little tablet — things have changed in the last few years. I really expect more from the “most innovative” company in the world, than just a speed bump, a slightly better screen, and the same 7-year-old design.
The “new” 10.5-inch iPad Air is really just a 10.5-inch iPad Pro without ProMotion and the quad-speaker system. While most people won’t notice the loss of the former, they really could have retained the latter, since a lot of people like to use iPads for watching video. The good news is that the price is down slightly.
Apple is currently planning to introduce a new 4-inch iPhone dubbed the “iPhone 5se” and a new iPad Air at an event on Tuesday, March 15th, then put the products up for sale online and in retail stores as early as Friday, March 18th, according to sources. Apple is unlikely to offer pre-orders for the new devices, according to sources who cautioned that the plans could still change.
I would love for the products to be available for purchase on the day of their announcement. Basically I want Tim Cook, Phil Schiller, or whoever is up on stage at the time to say: ‘Available… today.’
By the way, for those asking: I’m not buying the new iPhone 5SE nor the iPad Air 3 — my 6S Plus and iPad Pro are doing fine.
The first thing you’ll notice in the image below is that there appears to be a cutout for the Smart Connector. Apple first introduced this connection with the iPad Pro, using it for a more stable and reliable connection for things like keyboards. This case leak suggests that Apple plans to add the Smart Connector to the iPad Air lineup with the March revision.
Another change is that the camera cutout on the back of the case appears to extend further down, perhaps hinting that the iPad Air 3 will gain support for rear camera flash, a feature the iPad Pro does not have. Finally, the leaked images appear to show holes for four speakers, a change that was first reported earlier this month.
With more power efficient internals, Apple could go with a smaller battery to make room for the speakers. If I recall correctly, I already got more than 12-13 hours of battery life from my iPad Air 2, hence they should have room to manoeuvre.
Siu Han & Alex Wolfgram for Digitimes:
The new 9.7-inch device will reportedly come equipped with a 4K resolution panel and up to 4GB in RAM, in addition to improved battery life.
I’m betting on no change in the display’s resolution — there is no reason to go 4K apart from watching 4K movies, and that’s hardly a compelling reason. First of all, battery life would take an enormous hit. So would GPU performance. I don’t see them doing this — there are just too many downsides.
Still on the fence regarding RAM — it could go either way.