Apple has finally commercially launched the Retina display iPad Mini yesterday, causing quite a bit of surprise, as we were expecting iPad Air’s smaller sibling to be launched later during the month. The iPad Mini 2 has just been launched, but we already have some early benchmarks to assess its power.
As we know, Apple's new Retina iPad mini comes with the same 64-bit A7 chip used in the iPad Air and the iPhone 5s, which, thanks to the new architecture, offers significantly better performance than the A5 chip that the original iPad mini had inside.
According to some new Geekbench 3 benchmarks spotted by TechCrunch, the Retina iPad mini is running at a 1.3Ghz frequency, much like the iPhone 5s. This is slightly below iPad Air’s 1.4GHz clocked frequency. The Retina iPad mini obtained a score of 1390 on the single-core test and a 2512 on the multi-core test, slightly lower than the iPad Air at 1466/2856. But when compared to the 261/493 score of the first-generation iPad Mini, we realize that the Retina iPad is more than five times faster, which is an incredible boost in performance speeds.
At the moment, we don’t know why the second-generation iPad Mini is clocked at 1.3Ghz instead of 1.4Ghz like the iPad Air, a few guesses being that Apple had to lower clock speed to improve overall battery life or to reduce heat.
While Target has just recently posted its deals for Black Friday this year, Best Buy has done the same, soon to be followed by other big-box stores. This year's Best Buy deal includes a few Apple-related products, such as the iPad Air 16GB model for only $449, assuming you can snag one between November 28th and 30th.
Other Apple products in the mix include $50 off a 32GB iPod Touch, $150 off a 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro, and $200 off the price of a 21.5-inch iMac. While these deals are pretty neat, we recommend holding off until other stores post deals to make your decision. Remember, Target is offering the iPad Air for $479 along with a free $100 Target gift card.
Check out the Best Buy ad and see if you might be interested in any of the products offered on Black Friday.
Folks looking to purchase an iPad Air should probably hold off until Black Friday if they have waited this long. Target has just posted its pre-Black Friday ad on its website, an man, some of these deals are pretty sweet.
Target is basically discounting all new, and new-ish, Apple devices and adding on a Target gift card to sweeten the deal. The ad calls for a 16GB iPad Air for $479 plus a $100 Target gift card, basically making the price $379 if you're a frequent Target shopper. Other deals include the iPad Mini (non-Retina) for $299 with a $75 gift card, iPod Touch 5th generation 16GB with a $50 one, and an iPhone 5S plus a $30 gift card.
While the iPad Air and iPad Mini deal are probably the only ones worthwhile, missing out on a nice turkey dinner in a warm home instead of sitting out in the cold might be the better choice. Don't forget, there will be plenty of deals online for Cyber Monday after the weekend.
According to a Monday report from the Albany Times Union publication, Apple will add a second U.S. chip fabrication plant to its supply chain in Malta, upstate New York. The launch of the new facility is said to cost $6 billion and Apple will have as partner for the deal the California-based GlobalFoundries supplier.
Thew new plant will take care of the production of A-series processors, which are used in the building of iPhones and iPads. At the moment, Samsung is the sole supplier of A-series processors for Apple, making the chips at its plant in Austin, Texas. Allegedly, Samsung will also be part of the deal, helping GlobalFoundries in the manufacturing process.
Larry Rulison with Times Union said the following:
Referring to the “troubled” relationship between Apple and Samsung, he also added:
Samsung Electronics, which currently makes the logic microprocessors used in Apple’s popular iPhone and iPad devices at its Austin, Texas fab, will help with the start-up of the Apple program, ensuring that Apple will have a second U.S. source for chips for the popular smart phones and tablets. Logic chips are the workhorse chips that are essentially the brains of a smartphone.
Recently, Apple disclosed its plans of building a new sapphire plant in Arizona, which will create 2000 new jobs. Apple is trying to move a part of its products manufacturing process from oversea to within the country, which will create more jobs for the American company and increase the power of its brand.
Although Samsung and Apple are director competitors in the smartphone and tablet market, the two companies have a symbiotic relationship. Apple doesn’t make its own chips, it needs to outsource them. However, Apple likes to use Samsung because it not only has a domestic factory, but it also provides Apple with memory chips in addition to the logic chips. Its cheaper for Apple to buy both types of chips from the same company. Samsung has also developed new technologies to make logic and memory chips connect better, eliminating tiny bottlenecks in the flow of information and power
More images with Apple’s upcoming ‘spaceship’ campus have been recently provided by the City of Cupertino and first collected by the Wired publication. The new architectural renderings provide a closer look at the environment inside the main building which follows the same design language as Apple retail stores, with light-colored stone lining the walls and glass railings that feature no visible metal supports.
The three-level cafeteria has massive steel columns and floor-to-ceiling windows and comes with tables and benches just like those used to display products in Apple’s retail spaces. The outdoor dining area seems to be filled with cedar or redwood furniture.
Apple’s new Campus 2 building will be built on a 176-acre plot in the South Bay city. Kyle Vanhemert with Wired said the following:
The Wired has more images, actually 24 of them, so head out to their website if you’re curious to see them all.
If you’re an Apple employee who drives to work, you’ll enter the campus at a freshly constructed security point at North Wolfe Road, on the west edge of the site. The lucky ones will quickly be diverted into a discrete, futuristic tunnel, where a subterranean service road will give them access to a two-level, 2,000-space parking garage underneath the mothership itself. Otherwise, you’ll have to wind your way to the south edge of the campus to the above-ground parking garage — a pair of emory board-shaped structures, clad with solar panels and foliage. If you take advantage of Apple’s shuttle buses from elsewhere in the Bay Area, you’ll be dropped off at the “Corporate Transit Center” on the eastern edge of the site. From there a walkway, flanked by two Apple Store-white staircases, will lead into the mothership itself.
Apple’s much awaited iPad mini with Retina display has finally gone live on the Apple online store, with prices starting from $399 for the 16GB WiFi only version, and $529 for the 16GB WiFi + 4G LTE model. The Retina iPad mini is available in two colors, the new Space Gray color and silver.
Despite the fact that Apple commercially released the iPad Mini 2 sooner than some of us might have expected, the supply constraints are still present, as the U.S. store is already showing a one to two day shipping estimate for 16GB and 32GB Wi-Fi models, while 64GB, 128GB and all Wi-Fi + Cellular versions ship in five to ten days. These shipping estimates are probably going to increase as more orders will be placed.
It’s also curious to observe that Apple has decided to launch the Retina display iPad Mini basically in the middle of the week, and not on Friday, as it usually does. Also, another reason that indicates supply levels are not on par with the expected influx of early buyers is the fact that Apple has quietly kicked off online sales, instead of announcing the launch publicly.
Besides Apple’s US online store, the iPad Mini with Retina display is available for online buying in countries like the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore and others.
Last month Apple had announce the iPad Mini with Retina display as well as the iPad Air. While the iPad Air received a release date of November 1st, which came and went, the Retina iPad Mini did not get the same pampering. At Apple's Fall keynote, Tim Cook announced that the iPad Mini with Retina display would be released "later in November", and that's it.
Early this morning we find out that the Retina iPad Mini is now available to order via Apple's online store. At the time of this posting, the 16 and 32GB models have a shipping time of 1-3 days, while the 64 and 128GB as well as all of the cellular models have a shipping time of 5-10 business days. Ouch! Folks who are looking to get the lower storage models should act fast if they would like to avoid lines at the physical Apple Store, those 1-3 day turnovers won't last very long for this hot holiday item.
According to British publication Daily Mail, last week, a demo iPad unit has suddenly burst into flames in a Vodafone store in Canberra. Apple’s tablet was on display for anyone to give it a test run, but luckily, at the time when the combustion has started, no one was near the iPad and no injuries were reported.
The explosion caused by the iPad was quite big, as the Vodafone’s mobile phone shop had to be evacuated and the fire fighters were called to put out the blaze started by the demonstration iPad model. According to a Vodafone spokesperson, a burst of flames appeared from the charging port of the iPad, completely destroying Apple’s tablet.
Initially, it was believed that an iPad Air has exploded but Vodafone Australia has reached out to Mashable saying the following:
An official explanation hasn’t yet been provided, but most likely the culprits are the faulty wiring and third party adapters.
It was an earlier generation iPad with Retina display model — not one of the more recently launched devices. Apple is investigating the cause
Source: Daily Mail, Mashable
Some of you are probably already enjoying their recently acquired iPad Airs, while others are still waiting for the day when the iPad Mini with Retina Display will finally go on sale. According to Korean language publication ETNews, the delay in iPad Mini 2’s release is reportedly caused by burn-in issues on Sharp-made LCD panels.
Moon Bo-gyeong with ETNews said the following, detailing the issue and the causes that lead to it:
The fact that the release date for the iPad mini with Retina display hasn’t yet been fixed points to the fact that Apple hasn’t yet managed to solve the bottlenecks in the Retina panels production. If the woes continue, then Apple will have to reach out to Samsung for help.
The burn-in problem was caused by the drastic reduction of the pixel size. The resolution of the 7.9-inch iPad mini with Retina display is 2048×1536, about four times clearer than the existing 1024×768 products. LG Display used the amorphous silicon (a-Si) for the substrate, whereas Sharp used IGZO. The pixel of the smartphone display is smaller than that of the iPad mini Retina panel, but as the Low Temperature Polycrystalline Silicon (LTPS) technology is used, it can be produced stably. The pixel of the iPad mini Retina is the smallest among those products using a-Si. Sharp failed to solve the chronic problem of IGZO, i.e. uniformity, and its yield went down.
ETNews also notes that the burn-in problem is not visible to the eyes of ordinary users, “but does not meet the particular technological standards of Apple”. Cited by Bo-gyeong, an industry expert said the following:
If Apple fails to launch the iPad Mini with Retina display before the end of this month, it will miss the opportunity to benefit from the lucrative holiday season. But let’s hope that Target’s leak from the end of October is correct and we will indeed see the iPad Mini launch before the beginning of December.
If the burn-in problem is not solved, Apple will be in a fix. If Apple relaxes the technological standards for the burn-in, consumers’ perception of Apple may deteriorate, and if not, it will have to change its supply chain and delay the launch of the new product.
During a Toyota-sponsored competition at the 2013 SEMA aftermarket parts trade show in Las Vegas, a fabricator from California has showcased a modified Toyota 4Runner model that can be controlled with five iPad units.
Herbst Smith Fabrication has unveiled the customized Toyota Oakley 4Runner that comes with five iPads that control the doors, entertainment, navigation and other interior features. USA Today says the following about what the iPad can do:
The iPad-controlled Toyota Oakley 4Runner also comes with a camouflage-patterned vehicle wrap and LED lights. Also, a metal roof rack electronically lowers and opens to store two sets of skis at the press of an iPad button. Even more, you’ll find inside of this car a coffeemaker, a dryer for each ski glove and boot and a mountable grill in the cargo area.
What really impresses is the enclosed ski storage unit atop the 4Runner. At the push of a button, the ski rack extended out from the unit then whirred some more as it lowered the skis down the side. To further carry through the theme, there were two other iPads inside, front and back, for. Or, for that matter, to roll down the windows.
Jon Tondro from the Herbst Smith Fabrication and the team leader of the iPAd project, called the above mentioned components "James Bond-like”. What do you think about this customized, iPad-controlled SUV?
Source: USA Today
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