New Details On Apple’s Next iPhone, iPods, iPad mini, iPad (4th-Gen) + Cases | iLounge Backstage

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New Details On Apple’s Next iPhone, iPods, iPad mini, iPad (4th-Gen) + Cases

Good morning! We spent part of the weekend gathering new details on the upcoming iPhone, iPod, and iPad releases to share with you today, and have some interesting new information about all of the upcoming models from a highly reliable source—the first one to nail the new iPhone’s unusual body design. According to our source:

1. New iPhone. Apple will be ready to ship the new iPhone starting in mid-September, pointing to a launch date around the third week of September, maybe a little later if it waits to build additional inventory. But just before October is looking increasingly likely.

2. New iPhone Cases. Apple is working on at least two cases for the new iPhone. One is very similar to the Bumper released for the iPhone 4, and is a lock for release. The other is a different design that our source says will have a major impact on the accessory market if released, yet is not hugely surprising. Something with a stand, perhaps?

3. New iPod touch. The new iPod touch will likely be announced at the same event as the new iPhone, and as we’ve previously noted, it will grow in screen size and performance relative to its 3.5”-screened, A4 CPU-based predecessor. Note that if it is released into stores alongside the new iPhone, this will be the first time that Apple offers consumers a choice of bona-fide new iPhone and iPod touch designs at the same time.

4. New iPod nano. As interesting as the new form factor rumors have been, there is too little evidence at this point to suggest that a new iPod nano is actually about to be announced or released. It appears more likely that Apple will focus on other devices this holiday season.

5. iPad mini + Cases. The iPad mini will apparently not be ready to ship at the same time as the new iPhone, and might* have its own debut event. Our source says that it could ship by November, which we noted would be really close to year’s end, during a month that typically doesn’t see new hardware releases from Apple; our source stood firm on the target date. On the accessory front, Apple is working on smaller versions of the iPad Smart Cover and iPad Smart Case for the iPad mini.

6. Fourth-Generation iPad. Apple’s current plan for the fourth-generation iPad is to release another relatively modest body tweak, which would keep the shape basically the same while introducing the new small Dock Connector, a rear-side microphone, and spec-improving/heat-reducing changes to the hardware inside. The rear-side mic might aid in noise cancellation or improve audio quality during rear video recording, and is apparently just like one found on the iPhone 5, between the camera and flash; prototype iPad minis apparently have a mic on the back in the same place.

7. iPad mini + iPad (4th-Gen) Event? The next iPad’s release date is a big question mark right now. As noted with the * above for the iPad mini, Apple could hold a special event just to announce the sub-8” tablet, and our source suggests that Apple might be ready to refresh the iPad at the same time. We and our source both feel that a late 2012 iPad refresh is unlikely given Apple’s track record, particularly the bad press/consumer anger that would follow if something replaced “the new iPad” so soon after its launch. This is purely speculation, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see the iPad announced at a low-key event at Apple’s Town Hall, with the fourth-generation iPad launching around the one-year anniversary of its predecessor.

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Comments

1

The part that irks me, if rumors are to be believed, is they’re staggering the update to the touch and debut of the mini-iPad as those are the products that actually are competing. It’s nice to see they’ve finally realized the iPhone and touch aren’t competing, but then we get these sort of shenanigans.

The 4G touch is a very good portable A/V media consumption device. Unfortunately, it’s mediocre on a good day for the majority of high profile entertainment apps that have appeared over the past year+, so the update to the touch is going to be driven primarily by its app competence. And that’s why this irks me, if gaming is a priority, you’re not going to want to commit to either the touch or the mini-iPad until you see their specs, but that’s not going to be possible with this rumored release schedule. You either risk having to double dip if the mini-iPad turns out to be particularly attractive compared to the updated touch, or you hold off updating your rusty and creaking 4G touch for another 2-3 months to avoid making the wrong commitment.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on July 30, 2012 at 9:25 AM (CDT)

2

A new Touch using some of the same hardware of the next gen iPhone (maybe with a leftover A5 or neutered A6 processor) may not be terribly profitable for Apple, but I don’t think they’d care all that much. Filling this niche with a capable device in this form factor is probably more value to Apple than the per-device profit.  Even if the hardware doesn’t make that much money, such a device sells apps & media, and fills an important role in the overall portfolio of Apple mobile devices.

But doing that and an iPad mini (at perhaps similar price points) is going to be an interesting marketing tale to watch unfold.

How many 5G Touch buyers will prefer that size over an iPad mini?  Some may want a device they can slip in their pocket as opposed to a mini tablet form factor, but this is where the market sensitivity to size will unfold by this time next year when sales of both devices are well underway.

How many 5G Touch buyers will cry foul if an iPad mini is much more preferable, and introduced only a few months after a 5G Touch? For those people it may irk them as it irks Code Monkey, but these days if you don’t do your homework before springing for a tech device of this caliber to see what else is coming soon, then I have little pity for you. It might seem unfair to capitalize on the naiveté of some, but hey that’s business as usual (not just with Apple I might add).

Posted by rockmyplimsoul on July 30, 2012 at 7:19 PM (CDT)

3

@2: “How many 5G Touch buyers will prefer that size over an iPad mini?  Some may want a device they can slip in their pocket as opposed to a mini tablet form factor, but this is where the market sensitivity to size will unfold by this time next year when sales of both devices are well underway.”

At this point it’s all about specs and apps. For those, like me, who treat their iOS devices more like this era’s DS/PSP + media player, the iPad mini is, in theory, the better option. If all I wanted to do was keep on playing music in my car and while I wash the dishes I would have no reason to upgrade. I’m even prepared to just grab a nano if they put out a *proper* iPad mini for mowing the lawn.

However, the interesting part is what exactly Apple is going to do with that theoretically preferable mini, because the obvious reason to put out such a device is to compete with the Kindle Fire and other Android mini tablets, and those things are already cheaper than the cheapest iPod touch. It’s entirely possible in spite of the rumors that the iPad mini might become the redheaded stepchild in the iOS line up while the 5G touch goes onto become their “PSP killer”.

All of which is why I hope they don’t do something as annoying as stagger the releases. I was way past wanting to upgrade my touch last year when it was already dated.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on July 30, 2012 at 10:09 PM (CDT)

4

I will like a 4” iPhone if it is a little bit longer. NOT wider, please. Wide is not single-hand thumb-friendly.

Posted by Barthold Van Acker on July 31, 2012 at 7:45 AM (CDT)

5

iPad mini won;t be coming till next year. There is no way Apple would let their product cannibalize the sales of its predecessor which in itself was a great device.

Posted by Usama on July 31, 2012 at 8:48 AM (CDT)

6

@5: You cannot cannibalize your own sales, you realize that? right? This is why there are so many General Mills kids cereals on the shelves, regardless of what overly refined sugary cereal you wind up buying for junior, GM wins, same for Apple - whether you walk out of the store with a nearly $1000 64GB third gen iPad or a 6G nano, Apple profits. Yes, Apple has indeed seemingly behaved quite stupidly in the past with the touch from just that sort of Jobs induced paranoia, and that is why they are *losing* millions of potential customers to Amazon and others. When you compete with yourself, you always win, but when you choose to not compete with yourself while *dozens* of other corporations are competing with you, you nearly always lose. And Apple is losing in the big picture. iOS is way behind Android at this point, with the picture being even grimmer for iOS outside of the U.S., Apple cannot afford, literally, to leave the ‘affordable’ mini tablet niche alone in hopes of finding those few people looking for something “affordable” and dropping more than a quality desktop computer costs for a “toy”.

Just last week a good friend of mine, not overly tech savvy, went and took the $200 plunge for a Kindle Fire, her first toy of this ilk. Now, Apple will never see a dime of her money ever because there was no Apple product in that consumer niche.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on July 31, 2012 at 9:42 AM (CDT)

7

Can’t imagine a new 10” iPad this year honestly, even if that IGZO stuff works as promised and allows them to slim the iPad back to normal size again.  Doubt we’ll see this before next spring.

A 7-8” iPad Mini though I would *love* to see this Christmas and certainly would be a great gift.  A $500 iPad is just too expensive for that, while a $199-$299 iPad Mini (hopefully no more than $249) would be a great “over the top” gift in a lot of cases.  I’d certainly be getting one for my daughter, if not my father as well.

Apple really should do something with the Nano wrt making it into a a watch that is an iPhone companion—bluetooth connected, alerts on screen, etc.  Doesn’t sound like anything is coming there but I’ll keep my hopes up.

Posted by Fanfoot on August 1, 2012 at 12:32 AM (CDT)

8

iPad Mini may not have a Retina Display while presumably the next iPod Touch will have one, since the current one already has one as well.

It’s not going to have the same SOC as the iPhone, because Apple will want to maximize the supply of iPhone, meaning all the premium components will be used to make iPhones, not any iPod Touches.

They need to update the Nano since it’s been 2 years.  Really not have it ready for Xmas?

Posted by wco81 on August 2, 2012 at 1:01 PM (CDT)

9

@8: “... while presumably the next iPod Touch will have one, since the current one already has one as well.”

Really? You think Apple will downgrade on such a meaningful area? Specially when the hype is to go all Retina Display on every device?????

Posted by Coyote Pretty on August 10, 2012 at 3:08 PM (CDT)

10

I have 2 iPod touch devices and they’re great! I do so much with them. But I was hoping for something a little bigger like an iPad mini rather than buy another touch. I want a bigger screen for gaming and my photography apps. I just bought a Nexus 7 (16GB) and I love it! I’d like to see an iPad mini with 64GB but I won’t hold my breath.

Posted by Nan on August 12, 2012 at 10:46 PM (CDT)

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