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Leaked iPad Air 3 case images hint at Smart Connector support, rear camera flash, and more

Apple CEO TIm Cook iPad Pro

A new leak spotted by Macoatakara that first appeared on an Alibaba site appears to hint at some potential changes coming with the iPad Air 3. Earlier this month, Mark Gurman reported that Apple announce a new version of the iPad Air at a March press event alongside new Apple Watch models. Now, a leaked case design suggests some of the potential new design changes that the iPad Air 3 could feature when it launches to the public.

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.

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Industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported last month that the iPad Air 3 would not feature support for 3D Touch due to a production error. Of course, the iPad Pro doesn’t have support for 3D Touch either.

Case leaks are something that should also be taken with a hint of skepticism, as sometimes case makers build designs off of rumored features without any confirmation from Apple itself. Nevertheless, it’s interesting to see another source potentially corroborating otherwise sketchy reports.

The iPad Air 3 should launch in March alongside the iPhone 5se and new Apple Watch variants.

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Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: Apple, case, iPad Air 3, leak, rumor

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Chance Miller

January 31st

Apple

Mac

Report: Apple testing iPhone 7 models with USB-C, multi-touch 3D Touch, dual cameras, more

iphone6s

The iPhone 6s launched just two months ago, but rumors surrounding its successor are already circulating. Earlier rumors have claimed that the device will feature a waterproof and dustproof design, as well as a new casing material. Now, G For Games reports that Apple is currently in the process of testing five different iPhone 7 models, all with distinct differences.

While the report should be taken with grain of salt, it claims that one model Apple is testing ditching the Lightning connector in favor of a USB-C port. The report also claims Apple is testing various models with wireless charging technology, multi-touch Force Touch, dual cameras, and in-display fingerprint recognition.

Wireless charging has been a feature users have requested often over recent years, but Apple has yet to implement. Our own Ben Lovejoy argued, however, that wireless charging is not on his iPhone 7 wish list due primarily the idea of “charging mats” being too cumbersome. At this point, however, it’s unclear as to how Apple is testing wireless charging.

Presumably multi-touch Force Touch/3D Touch would mean that you could press harder with two fingers to bring up different options than what appears when you press harder with one finger.

In-display fingerprint recognition would presumably allow for Apple to eliminate the home button entirely, something that has been tossed around for a long time now. Apple has been criticized for having too large of top and bottom bezels and removing the home button would allow for the company to finally shrink those.

This report should be taken with a decent amount of skepticism, however. While it’s possible, or even likely, Apple is experimenting with these technologies, it’s hard to say which will actually make it into the final product. Last week, it was reported that the company was looking to ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack, while earlier this month it was reported that the iPhone wouldn’t adopt AMOLED displays around 2018.


Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: Apple, iPhone, iPhone 7, report, rumor

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Chance Miller

December 1st

Apple

Mac

Google May Start Making Its Own Smartphone Chips

Google wants to make a better Android for the future. That means building a smartphone that can handle the technical challenges of augmented reality, virtual reality, and whatever else smartphones will become. And that means tying Android more tightly together with hardware.

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Darren Orf

November 6th

Apple

Google May Start Making Its Own Smartphone Chips

Google wants to make a better Android for the future. That means building a smartphone that can handle the technical challenges of augmented reality, virtual reality, and whatever else smartphones will become. And that means tying Android more tightly together with hardware.

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Darren Orf

November 6th

Apple

KGI: Apple releasing a new 4-inch iPhone early next year, iPhone 7 w/ A10 chip on track for Q3

iphone6splussizecompare

Generally reliable KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has today shared an investment note in which he breaks down what Apple will do in terms of its smartphones come 2016. In the note, Kuo claims that Apple is still working on a refreshed 4-inch iPhone model…

Kuo says that the 4-inch iPhone “resembles an upgraded iPhone 5s” and features an A9 processor. The design of the device is somewhat unclear from Kuo’s report, but he hints that it will feature a metal casing as opposed to the plastic design featured on the iPhone 5c.

Furthermore, Kuo anticipates that Apple’s 4-inch iPhone will not feature 3D Touch in an effort on the company’s part to clearly differentiate it from the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Kuo believes there is still a healthy market for a 4-inch iPhone and that Apple will launch the device in the first half of 2016 and ship between 20 million and 30 million units by the end of the year.

Regarding the next major iPhone refresh, Kuo says Apple will keep on track with its normal third-quarter unveil and subsequent release of the device. Kuo anticipates that both the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models of the iPhone 7 will feature Apple’s A10 chip. The two variants of the device will differ, Kuo believes, when it comes to RAM. The analyst expects the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 to feature 2GB of RAM, like the current-gen devices, while the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus will feature 3GB of RAM.

Kuo believes that Foxconn will be the sole manufacturer of the 4-inch iPhone and TSMC will produce both the A9 chip for it. TSMC will also be the sole provider of the A10 chip for the iPhone 7, he anticipates.

Kuo makes no comments regarding earlier rumors stating the iPhone 7 will feature a new waterproof and dustproof design. The analyst also does not provide color on rumors that the device will move away from metal in favor of a new casing material.


Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: Apple, iPhone, iPhone 7, rumor

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Chance Miller

November 4th

Apple

Mac

Windows 10 Hardware Event Rumor Roundup: This Is Microsoft’s Next Generation

Think of all the hardware Microsoft makes that’s not a peripheral. What you’re thinking is probably getting some kind of update on Tuesday. That includes the wonderful Surface Pro laptop/tablet , but also the Microsoft Band and two new Lumias (finally). And maybe even a surprise or two, just to keep us guessing.

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Darren Orf

October 5th

Uncategorized

Rumor Roundup: iPhone 7 to feature new casing material, water and dustproof design

While the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus only just became available this past week, rumors surrounding next year’s flagship from Apple are already starting to surface. A pair of postings on Chinese social networking site Weibo first spotted by Macotakara claim that the iPhone 7, or whatever it may be called, will feature several […]

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Chance Miller

September 28th

Apple

Mac

Sketchy supply chain report claims ‘iPhone 6c’ coming in Q2 2016 with new 16nm chips

iPhone 6 Plus 6 5s 5c

Digitimes is reporting that manufacturers in the Apple supply chain are preparing for a successor to the 4-inch iPhone 5c, but it isn’t coming this year which matches current expectations from the rumor mill. Many have wondered if the iPhone 5c will be killed off entirely, but Digitimes believes that the product will actually go into production in the second quarter of 2016.

As usual, treat Digitimes reports with skepticism as their track record of accuracy is very muddy — especially when it comes to release dates — but they are usually on point with supply chain comments.

The report is giving some substance by the fact that the much-more-reliable Ming-Chi Kuo from from KGI said something similar in April. In that report, KGI ruled out a new 4-inch iPhone this year but said one was in the cards for 2016.

Digitimes claims that Apple is using FinFET chips for the new ‘cheap’ iPhone which will allow for 16 nanometer fabrication. Apple’s use of FinFET has been circling though Chinese media channels for several months.


Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS, iOS Devices Tagged: chinese media, iPhone 5C, iPhone 6, iPhone 6c, rumor

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Benjamin Mayo

August 4th

Apple

Mac

Could Apple be building a smaller battery for its next gen iPhone?

iphone-6c

According to a somewhat sketchy report out of NowhereElse.fr, the rumored iPhone 6c will feature a battery that is slightly larger than the iPhone 5, 5c, and 5s. The report claims that the iPhone 6c will feature a 1715mAh battery, while the iPhone 5c featured a 1507mAh battery. That number, however, is smaller than the 1810mAh battery found in the iPhone 6. For those keeping track, the iPhone 5 featured a 1440mAh batter, while the 5s had a 1560mAh battery.

Rumors of a smaller, more affordable iPhone 6c have been floating around for several months now, with reports claiming the device will feature a 4-inch display and retain the plastic shell that the iPhone 5c featured. We’ve also heard rumors, however, that Apple has no plans to launch anymore “C” model iPhones because of the release and subsequent success of the larger iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Reports have also circulated that Apple is looking to release both the 6s and 6c in new colors this year.

It would make sense for Apple to refresh its smaller iPhone line this year, however, with both the iPhone 5s and 5c having been released in 2013. That two year gap in release is certainly a big enough one for the age of the devices to show. With the battery size taken into consideration, it seems like Apple’s thinking here is to release a followup to the iPhone 5c, not the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus.

Earlier today, images of supposed iPhone 6s screen panels leaked and revealed support for Force Touch, as well as casing that is 0.2mm thicker. Of course, we shared detailed images of the iPhone 6s earlier this year, as well.

As usual, this report should be taken with a grain of salt. NowhereElse.fr doesn’t have the cleanest track record, although they have had several solid scoops in the past.


Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: Apple, iPhone, iPhone 6c, rumor

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Chance Miller

August 3rd

Apple

Mac

12.9 inch ‘iPad Pro’ reportedly set for release in mid-November

iPad-Pro-Air-Plus-Prototype

The always-doubted sometimes-accurate Digitimes is reporting that Apple will release the long-rumored iPad Pro in mid November this year. The ‘iPad Pro’ is expected to feature a large 12.9 inch screen with stereo speakers and targeted at business and education uses. Digitimes says that Apple has asked suppliers to ramp up in late September which should mean a November debut, with manufacturing by Foxconn.

November would not be unusual for an iPad refresh, with Apple typically holding announcement events in October for iPad updates. The company is reportedly ‘cautious’ in placing orders which seems to imply a low initial stock availability, perhaps if Apple is unsure about demand for the new product. The iPad Pro screen will seemingly feature a 2732×2048 resolution. The iOS 9 Simulator adds additional keyboard layouts when run at that resolution, such as the inclusion of a number row.


Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS, iOS Devices Tagged: 12" iPad, 12.9 inches, business, digitise, Education, iPad Pro, large ipad, MacBook, MacBook Air, rumor

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Benjamin Mayo

July 13th

Apple

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