You Can Now Preorder Apple’s New iPhone and iPad

Apple Introduces New Products
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

As promised, Apple’s new hardware is now available for preorder.

Customers looking to get their hands on the company’s iPhone SE or 9.7-inch iPad Pro can now preorder the devices on Apple’s website. When customers click on the iPhone SE or Apple’s latest iPad Pro on its website, they’ll be given the option to order their hardware. The devices will start shipping to customers on March 31.

Apple announced both the iPhone SE and 9.7-inch iPad Pro at its “Let us loop you in” press event Monday. The iPhone SE comes with a 4-inch screen, making it notably smaller than the 4.7- and 5.5-inch displays built into the flagship iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, respectively. In addition, the handset features Apple’s A9 processor and a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera. It’s designed to replace Apple’s iPhone 5s, a smartphone the company had been selling since 2013.

The 9.7-inch iPad Pro is a complement to the 12.9-inch version Apple had been selling since last year. The 9.7-inch screen is nearly identical to the 9.7-inch option built into the iPad Air 2, but comes with additional features to enhance picture quality. The iPad Pro runs on Apple’s A9X processor and has up to 256GB of storage.

There is some debate over just how well the devices will perform at retail. Apple’s iPad business has been in free fall for the last several quarters. Meanwhile, the tablet industry as a whole has been down, calling into question customer demand for slates. On the iPhone side, Apple says it sold 30 million 4-inch iPhones in 2015, suggesting they’re popular, but a study this week from Consumer Research Intelligence Partners (CIRP) argued that the iPhone SE might not sell so well in the U.S. That research firm believes Apple could ship as few as 4 million to 6 million iPhone SE units in its first year on store shelves.

For its part, Apple doesn’t typically announce initial sales figures, and lumps all of its device unit sales into its quarterly report. So it’s impossible to say for sure how well the iPhone SE and 9.7-inch iPad Pro are selling.

However, unlike some previous iPhone launches, like the iPhone 6 that saw initial stock run out soon after preorders went live, that doesn’t appear to be the case with the iPhone SE. As of this writing, the vast majority of iPhone SE models (there are several, depending on the color, storage size, and carrier choice) are still available to ship on March 31. A handful, including the Space Gray, 64GB version for AT&T, won’t ship until April 1 at the earliest, though it’s possible it won’t be shipped until April 5.

On the iPad Pro side, all versions are currently available and ready to ship on March 31.

In addition to online preorders, Apple plans to start selling its new hardware in store on March 31. And if things remain the same, it appears that just aboutanyone where the iPhone SE and 9.7-inch iPad Pro are available should be able to get their desired device on launch day.

Written by Don Reisinger of Fortune

(Source: Fortune)

New iPad Leak Reveals Smart Upgrades

ipadpro97_3dp_01
TechSmart/YouTube

As the excitement grows ahead of Apple’s March 21st event, the team at TechSmart has given us the best look yet at the upcoming 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

Taking inspiration from Sonny Dickson’s procurement of a leaked iPad case, Keaton Keller has powered up his 3D Printer to reverse engineer an iPad Pro design which would fit the case. It uses the information gleaned from the cut-outs and ergonomics of the case, and mixes in what we know about the next generation tablet from Apple.

Notable in the video are the increased prominence of the speakers thanks to the speaker cut-outs. This ties in with the use of improved audio components moving down from the 12.9 inch iPad Pro to this newer 9.7 inch device. It also means increasing the speaker count to four so the new iPad can provide an audio output at each corner of the tablet.

The smart connector on the long edge is also present, which will allow the third-party keyboard market to use a physical connection to the tablet as opposed to the use of BlueTooth. Apple will more than likely have a smart keyboard cover to ship with the new device but expect the peripheral manufacturers to make good use of this.

There’s also a smaller cut-out under the camera, and the natural assumption is that this will be for an LED flash. Curiously, a headphone jack cut-out is still present. Apple may be considering the removal of this port on the presumptively titled iPhone 7, but that courageous move is not happening just yet.

Taken as a whole, the design shows that Apple is still taking its now customary iterative approach to design, only changing major features when the technology demands it. The front of the iPad is going to look like pretty much every iPad that has come before it.

What’s not on show here is the potential screen that will be used in the iPad. Although the size is know, I’ll be interested to see if Apple has managed to address the challenge of fitting 3D Touch to a larger screened device. In a perfect world 3D Touch will be implemented and allow iOS to evolve new UI paradigms, but the technical barriers may be too high at this moment in time.

These details are still speculative and will be confirmed at the March 21st event, but I’m confident that the leaks and details are correct. In terms of design this ‘best guess’ puts all the bits in all the sensible places. But it also leaves me with one over-riding thought.

A red iPad looks really nice!

Written by Ewan Spence of Forbes

(Source: Forbes)

Apple has Another Problem: The iPad is Dying

Provided by American Airlines

When Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad six years ago, it was the biggest thing since, well, the iPhone. But Apple’s  latest news shows how far the shine has come off it.

Sales of iPads plunged by an astonishing 25% over Christmas, the company revealed in Tuesday’s quarterly earnings announcement. Holiday sales of iPads were down to their lowest levels in five years. Not since 2011, when the product was still relatively new, have they been so low.

In total, Apple sold 16.1 million iPads during the Christmas quarter, compared with a peak of 26 million two years ago. Yikes.

No wonder I was able to get a great deal on an iPad mini a couple of months ago. Nobody wanted them.

The fading of the iPad may be just a minor bump on Apple’s yellow brick road — or something more ominous.

The main culprit seems to be the growing trend toward oversized “phablets” like the iPhone 6s and 6s plus. They’re killing off the iPad. (Personally, I find them the worst of all possible worlds: too big for a phone and too small for a computer. They’re also overpriced: I’d rather pay a few hundred bucks for an iPad mini with a cellular connection than twice as much for an oversized iPhone. But, then, I’m hardly the typical Apple consumer. I do not have an iPhone, but I do have an Apple TV — since it first came out.)

Apple has never been afraid to cannibalize sales — the iPhone killed the iPod, if anyone can remember that far back — and it’s a habit of all successful, innovative companies. But it is nonetheless a cost, and detracts from growing sales in other areas.

 Whether the new iPad Pro, a giant 13-inch tablet costing nearly $1,000, becomes more than a niche product remains to be seen.

The fading of the iPad may be just a minor bump on Apple’s yellow brick road — or something more ominous. The great danger constantly facing Apple is saturation. At some point, smartphones may become as exciting as digital watches.

I admit I’ve been surprised at how many people still get excited by a new, very expensive smartphone that is only slightly better than the very expensive smartphone they already own. I am not alone. But sales of iPhones appear to have reached a plateau for now, and CEO Tim Cook is predicting a decline in sales in the second quarter. Apple has to launch a new revolution every year or two in order to keep sales rolling.

We still don’t have any official numbers for sales of the Apple Watch.

Meanwhile, there’s the small matter of Apple’s balance sheet.

Cook boasted during the conference call that followed the earnings announcement that Apple has “the mother of all balance sheets, with almost $216 billion in cash, which translates to nearly $39 per diluted share.”

Well, sort of. But if we want a true picture, we also need to count the $165 billion in liabilities that are sitting on the latest balance sheet, and another $40 billion or so of off-balance-sheet commitments, and an unbooked tax hit that would be at least $30 billion if Apple tried to bring its “mother of all cash” back to the motherland, rather than leaving it in tax havens such as Ireland.

When you net it all off, it’s hard to see how much, if anything, Apple actually has in real free-and-clear cash that investors could put in their back pockets. That won’t matter in the short term, but it is an issue that affects valuation. And when I wrote about it last year, I was astonished at how many people — some of them alleged financial “professionals” — didn’t get it.

Counting assets and ignoring liabilities is called single-entry bookkeeping. Not a good thing.

Written by Brett Arends of MarketWatch

(Source: MarketWatch)

 

Apple’s iPad Pro to Go On Sale Wednesday

REUTERS/BECK DIEFENBACH
REUTERS/BECK DIEFENBACH

Apple says its iPad Pro will be available to order online on Wednesday and arrive at stores later this week.

The 12.9 inch-screen tablet, which starts at $799 but costs more than $1,000 if buyers also want a keyboard and an optional stylus, will be available in more than 40 countries, including the United States, the UK, China and Japan.

Sales of iPads have been falling for several quarters as big-screen iPhones appeal to more consumers.

Apple sold 54.86 million iPads in the year ended Sept. 26 – a drop of 19 percent from a year earlier.

Since launching iPad with a 9.7-inch screen in 2010, Apple has released a mini version in 2012 with a 7.9-inch screen.

Apple unveiled the larger iPad Pro on Sept. 9, hoping to rival Microsoft Corp’s (MSFT.O) 12-inch Surface Pro 3 in attracting business customers.

Research firm Forrester projects that sales to businesses will represent as much as 20 percent of the overall tablet market by 2018, compared to 14 percent this year, as the market grows from 218 million units to 250 million units.

Written by Anya George Tharakan & Supantha Mukherjee of Reuters

(Source: Reuters)