WSJ corroborates iPad mini like design, touchscreen tech for iPad 5

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 12, 2013

Various sources have been mulling for months that Apple’s fifth-generation 9.7-inch iPad will adopt the overall appearance of the iPad mini, including its skinnier side bezels and thinner, lighter enclosure. And as if you ever needed more proof, now the credulous Wall Street Journal is finally out with its own report.

Corroborating the rumor-mill chatter, the story reaffirms the notion that the iPad 5 partially owns its slimmer and lighter form factor to a new touchscreen technology borrowed from its little brother. Read on for the full reveal… Read More


iPad mini MultiStand: hang it up or take it out

By Jim Gresham on Aug 5, 2013

I previously covered two ProClip USA dashboard accessories for iPhone 5 and iPad mini, a little more than a month back. These two mounts were excellent for my vehicle and I use the iPhone mount daily on my morning and evening commute. Consequently, my friends at ProClip sent over one of their newest devices.

There are many stands, docks, and cases in the iDownloadBlog review category, but none of them operate quite like the ProClip USA iPad mini MultiStand. Using the same production process, ProClip designed a stand for iPad mini that not only rests easily on a desktop, but also mounts on a wall, workbench, or elevated surface. The case versatility is optimal for users looking for a semi permanent and portable option with a ruggedized design…

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Purported next-gen iPad mini backplate shows no design change

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 2, 2013

Yesterday, we passed along a set of images depicting a backplate part the rumor-mill adamantly insists to be the rear case of Apple’s upcoming fifth-generation full-size iPad. The same publication which provided those high-quality shots is back at it again, having published on Friday another batch of photographs, this time around showing off a smaller backplate in silver and made from aluminum, ostensibly for the upcoming second-generation iPad miniRead More


Apple ordering Retina displays for new iPad mini, contemplating colored backs: WSJ

By Cody Lee on Aug 1, 2013

And the back and forth continues. Hot on the heels of a report this afternoon that iOS 7 contains references to an A6 iPad mini with a non-Retina display, comes a story from The Wall Street Journal that Apple has begun ordering hi-res screens from Samsung for the tablet.

Today’s clash is just the latest in a long line of conflicting reports regarding Apple’s next-gen 8-inch slate, which is set to debut this fall. Previous speculation has suggested that a Retina iPad mini would be nearly technically impossible, but tonight’s story says the contrary… Read More


Apple testing non-Retina iPad mini with A6 chip, iOS 7 SDK references suggest

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 31, 2013

Despite Google’s recently refreshed Nexus 7 now boasting a Retina-class 1,920-by-1,200 pixel resolution screen (check out Jeff’s awesome Nexus 7 vs. iPad mini video showdown), Apple’s seven-inch iPad mini by contrast remains stuck with the rather pedestrian 1,024-by-768 pixel screen.

And now, seemingly corroborating a flurry of rumors pointing to a Retina iPad mini upgrade in 2014, references a developer discovered in the iOS 7 SDK suggest Apple has been testing a new iPad mini with a faster A6 chip, but without a Retina display… Read More


Report claiming that Nexus 7 outsold iPad mini in Japan found misleading

By Cody Lee on Jul 30, 2013

In January of this year, market research firm BCN posted a report claiming that the Nexus 7 outsold the iPad mini in Japan during the holidays. Google’s tablet accounted for 44.4% of all tablets sold in the study’s 2,400 stores during the period, besting Apple (40.1% ) for the first time.

Fast forward to last week, when Google unveiled the new Nexus 7. Google’s SVP, and leader of the Android team, Sundar Pichai, took the stage and began rattling off statistics about the platform. And of course he referred to the BCN report, which we have since learned is very misleading… Read More


New Nexus 7 vs iPad mini comparison [Video]

By Jeff Benjamin on Jul 26, 2013

The new Nexus 7 has touched down in stores, and it’s a pretty compelling little device at $229 for the base 16GB Wi-Fi unit. It’s much improved over its predecessor in nearly every facet, and will likely become a thorn in Apple’s side as time goes on without a significant iPad mini (Retina) refresh.

With that all said, the iPad mini still has a few distinct advantages over Google’s latest offering. Its main advantage is readily apparent, as its screen size completely dwarfs the smaller screen of the Nexus 7. Interestingly enough, the bezel on the older iPad mini is still smaller on all four sides when compared to the Nexus 7. Lastly, the iPad mini is still thinner than the Nexus 7. By themselves, all of these advantages may not amount to much in the eyes of consumers, but when compared side by side, they all add up for a pretty intense debate regarding which is superior.

Make no mistake though, in terms of sheer power and screen prowess, this is no competition. After comparing the two, running benchmarks, playing games, etc, it’s evident that Apple has a legitimate competitor on its hands when it comes to the low end of the tablet market. Check inside as I compare both the new Nexus 7 and the iPad mini in our hands-on video walkthrough. Read More


iPad to keep losing ground until new models arrive

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 25, 2013

During the June quarter, sales of Apple’s iPads declined fourteen percent from a year earlier. And as Mac and iPod shipments dropped, too, the iPhone stood out as Apple’s lone booming product – the company sold twenty percent more handsets than a year earlier.

Analysts and suppliers now speculate iPad shipments will keep on falling due to stiff competition in the table sector and the aging lineup – at least until Apple’s blockbuster Fall brings us an iPad 5, a cheaper iPad mini and maybe even a Retina iPad miniRead More


Google unveils new Nexus 7, Google Play Games and Chromecast TV dongle

By Cody Lee on Jul 24, 2013

As expected, Google unveiled a new version of its 7-inch Nexus 7 tablet this morning at a press conference in San Francisco. The tablet is both thinner and lighter than its predecessor, and has a gorgeous new display with an impressive resolution of 1,920 x 1,200.

But the new slate wasn’t the only thing on the docket for this morning’s event. Google also showed off its Android 4.3 update, which features a new Google Play Games app (similar to Apple’s Game Center), as well as a new device for your TV called Chromecast… Read More


Apple updates touch tech in upcoming iPads

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 24, 2013

DigiTimes in January wrote Apple’s fifth-generation iPad could adopt the iPad mini’s thin-film touchscreen technology called GF Ditto, also better known as GF2. NPD DisplaySearch is well-versed in all things concerning mobile screens and yesterday they corroborated the rumor.

Specifically, DisplaySearch notes Apple’s shift toward in-cell display tech for the iPhone 5 and GF2 for the upcoming iPads has resulted in major shifts in the touch-panel industry supply chain. Basically a double-sided ITO film, GF2 has allowed Apple to make the iPad mini much thinner and significantly lighter compared to the bulkier G/G touchscreen tech driving the iPad 3.

As the iPad 5 is widely expected to adopt the iPad mini’s thin and light appearance, obviously a major part of that will be Apple’s adoption of the advanced GF2 technology… Read More


Foxconn to exclusively manufacture Apple’s iPad mini 2, rumor has it

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 23, 2013

As we sift through Apple’s June quarter numbers and decipher vague hints suggesting a blockbuster Fall, rumors of a next-generation iPad mini continue to swirl. And where DigiTimes sees a Retina iPad mini in October, KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo sees a launch in March or April of 2014 given the battery and performance challenges stemming from driving a much smaller, thinner and lighter Retina display.

A pair of recent supply chain reports points to Apple commissioning Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (aka Foxcon) with assembly of the second-generation iPad mini. The company is additionally said to have included new suppliers in the iPad supply chain… Read More


Ongoing challenges forcing Apple to buy Retina iPad mini screens from Samsung?

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 23, 2013

Run for years by the then op-chief Tim Cook, Apple’s supply chain has become the stuff of the legend. Would-be watchers naively believe deciphering Apple’s next move is as easy as keeping tabs on the chatter coming out of Asia’s supply chain. Tim Cook, of course, begs to differ: on one of conference calls, Apple’s boss cautioned investors against drawing conclusion from any one data point as the company’s supply chain is a very complex beast.

So here’s something for investors and fans to chew on: ET News reported Tuesday that Apple is considering tapping Samsung Display to produce low-power Retina screens for the upcoming second-generation iPad mini because AU Optronics (AUO) was unable to deliver. Samsung would presumably make the screens alongside LG Display, Sharp and perhaps Japan Display, according to a previous February 2013 reportRead More


Bluelounge unlocks portable charging with Kii

By Jim Gresham on Jul 20, 2013

In a recent turn of events, two companies released a keychain Lightning charger. You may remember, last week we ran a giveaway for an extremely similar product. However, if you read through the previous post, there were a few things the competition could do better.

Enter, Kii by Bluelounge. A clever pun, Kii is a keychain charger, which is produced both for Lightning and 30 pin options. This little guy is currently attached to my daily key ring and traveled with me for the past couple weeks. Offering a charge on a moment’s notice, the Kii is the perfect companion not only for travel, but also daily use… Read More


Best Buy offering $50 gift card with iPad purchase

By Cody Lee on Jul 20, 2013

Folks in the market for a new tablet will want to check out their local Best Buy this weekend. The retail giant has a limited-time promotion going on right now that gives customers a free gift card with the purchase of an iPad.

Those purchasing a late-model iPad with Retina display, or an iPad 2, will get a $50 gift card, while those purchasing an iPad mini will get a $25 card. Offer is valid on all iPad models, 16GB through 128GB, Wi-Fi and Cellular… Read More


DigiTimes: iPad mini with Retina display coming in October

By Cody Lee on Jul 19, 2013

The inexact DigiTimes is reporting this morning that the next-generation iPad mini will feature a Retina display, and is expected to be introduced in October. The report is in direct contradiction to the publication’s own scoop from earlier this week.

On Monday, the Taiwanese outlet added to speculation that Apple was delaying the launch of its Retina iPad mini until 2014 due to panel shortages. But apparently, LG has made significant progress with its production, and it’s back on track for the fall… Read More


Griffin’s multi-device charging station now shipping

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 16, 2013

The accessory maker Griffin at this year’s CES in January 2013 took the wraps off the PowerDock 5, an intriguing charging station capable of charging and syncing up to five devices at once. Each of its five bays features an individual 10-watt, 2.1-amp power supply.

This lets you charge any iOS device, including the power-hungry iPad 3 and iPad 4 (which can be docked even in their cases). Those eyeing this ultimate charging station should be pleased learning that Griffin today started shipping the PowerDock 5… Read More


DigiTimes: minor iPad mini refresh this year, ‘almost bezel-free’ Retina version in 2014

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 15, 2013

We’ve already heard from multiple sources that Apple is still ‘adjusting’  new iPad mini, with alleged panel shortages pushing a Retina iPad mini 2 into 2014 and prompting Apple to ready a minor update this year until the Retina version with a faster chip is ready next year. A new report out this morning from Taiwan adds more color to these rumors.

For starters, the Retina iPad mini is said to be “almost bezel-free,” which will allow for a bigger viewing area.

A slightly updated model should be expected in the fourth quarter of this year and is said to be “lighter, thinner and equipped with improved specifications,” which probably includes a faster chip than the A5 package found inside the current iPad mini model… Read More


Alleged Retina panel shortages could push back iPad mini 2 into early-2014

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 12, 2013

While supply chain sources appear to agree that a fifth-generation iPad is launching this Fall, pointing to Apple’s procurement of components ahead of trial production, there is no definite consensus on a successor to the 7.9-inch iPad mini.

A new report out from Taiwan on Friday asserted that Retina panel shortages may have forced Apple’s leadership to push back the device into early-2014.

Tim Cook & Co. have reportedly scrapped the original plan which called for launching the iPad mini 2 during the fourth quarter of 2013, in time for the holiday shopping season… Read More


DigiTimes: iPad 5 with optimized battery in September, Apple ‘still adjusting’ new iPad mini

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 8, 2013

According to the supply chain sources who spoke to DigiTimes, the Taiwanese trade publication infamous for its mixed track record, Apple will release a fifth-generation 9.7-inch iPad in September. As for the second-generation iPad mini, the company is “still adjusting” that device.

What this means is that iPad mini 2 specs have not been decided on yet. Its bigger brother may sport a longer battery life than the usual ten-hour rated performance iPads are known for due to an optimized battery design… Read More


Keep your Lightning cable handy with Nomad [review and giveaway]

By Jim Gresham on Jul 8, 2013

Running out of the house with an empty iPhone battery can be catastrophic. We have all been there, stuck in the office, out of town, on a long car ride, when the low battery indicator pops up begging for more juice. Despite many 21st century successes, smartphone batteries still weigh us down. Unfortunately, this causes me to keep a Lightning cable near my nightstand, at the iMac, around the office, and in my car.

To prevent such problems, Kero developed the Nomad cable. Cleverly designed as a keychain, Nomad is a 3″, fully Apple certified lifesaver. The seemingly simplistic resolution to an everyday problem prevents charging headaches…

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