Tuesday October 14, 2014 9:22 pm PDT by Husain Sumra
Just about a day before Apple's October 16 media event, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a new report, saying that he expects supplies of iPad Air 2s to be constrained. His report also suggests that the 27-inch Retina Display iMac will have shipments begin before the end of the year and reiterates that the new iPad minis won't be a significant upgrade.
Of the new products, we think the market will be more interested in iPad Air 2. However, as the poor yield rate of anti-reflective coating cover lens has delayed mass production, we estimate 2014 shipments of iPad Air 2 of 7- 9mn units, lower than the 12mn units of the then-new iPad Air shipments in 2013. We thus expect iPad Air 2 to contribute less to the supply chain than iPad Air did last year. We also don’t expect the event to boost supply chain shares much.
Kuo goes on to once again suggest that a significant update to the iPad mini isn't likely due to the iPad Air's larger "contribution to Apple's sales and earnings" and that iPad mini is seeing limited development resources because Apple is working on a brand-new 12.9-inch iPad.
The 27-inch Retina Display iMac is likely to begin shipments before the end of 2014, with the 21-inch Retina Display arriving sometime in the second half of 2015. The delay between the two models, Kuo suggests, is because of how difficult it is to develop two different sized high resolution panels at the same time.
Finally, Kuo corroborates reports that new MacBook models will not make an appearance at the October 16 event as Apple is waiting on Intel's Broadwell chips before significantly upgrading its laptop line. This includes the rumored 12-inch MacBook Air.
Apple is holding its press event this Thursday, October 16 at 10:00 AM PT on its Cupertino campus. Besides new iPads and iMacs, Apple is also expected to announce the public launch date for OS X Yosemite. MacRumors will provide live coverage of the event.
Thursday August 21, 2014 8:51 am PDT by Eric Slivka
Back in January, we profiled growing concerns from owners of 2011 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro models over failing graphics chips and system crashes. While Apple has assisted some customers with logic board replacements, the issues have been known to reoccur after servicing and some users have been faced with expensive repair bills to address the problem.
With a Facebook group exceeding 2,200 members and a change.org petition requesting a more substantial response from Apple having surpassed 10,000 signatures, the issue appears to be a fairly widespread one, and now lawyers are getting involved in the situation.
Attorneys from Washington, DC-based Whitfield Bryson & Mason LLP have addressed the Facebook group, launching a survey to gather information from affected MacBook Pro owners as the firm considers a possible class action lawsuit.
Alerted to the pervasive failures concerning the 2011 MBP GPU’s, we commenced an investigation leading us to your community.
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The firm touts its experience with lawsuits against other technology companies including topics such as Google Buzz privacy issues, Lenovo IdeaPad hardware problems, and more. While it is not certain that a class action suit will be filed against Apple, it's clear the issue is a substantial one.
The discrete graphics chips used in the affected machines are from AMD, and Apple previously launched a replacement program for AMD graphics cards used in 27-inch iMacs from a similar time period. While the graphics chips used in the two machines are different, the iMac repair program indicates that Apple would be willing to launch a similar program for the MacBook Pro if it is able to diagnose the issue and be convinced the problem requires such a program. Typically such programs provide for free repairs and reimbursement for those who had previously paid for repairs to fix the issue.
Following this morning's release of Retina MacBook Pros with improved Haswell processors, OWC has procured both the entry-level 13-inch and and the entry-level 15-inch 2014 Retina MacBook Pro and provided a gallery of unboxing photos featuring the new devices.
As expected, the packaging on the updated versions is the same as previous-generation Retina MacBook Pros. The site did a quick teardown as well, revealing the internals of the new machines, which also appear unchanged.
Internal view of the mid-2014 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro
OWC also conducted some speed tests on the solid state drives of the two machines, testing the 128 GB drive of the entry-level 13-inch version and the 256 GB drive of the entry-level 15-inch model using QuickBench 4.0.
With the standard QuickBench 4.0 test, the 15-inch machine (equipped with a Samsung SSD) saw top random read/write speeds of 524/567 MB/s, and top sequential read/write speeds of 584/555 MB/s. Large tests saw read/write speeds of 741/714 MB/s.
The 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, meanwhile, saw top random read/write speeds of 438/310 MB/s and top sequential read/write speeds of 593/547 MB/s with its Marvell-controlled SanDisk SSD using the standard test. Large tests saw read/write speeds of 723/374 MB/s.
Launched earlier today, the new Retina MacBook Pros feature upgraded Haswell processors, more standard RAM for entry-level machines (8 GB for the 13-inch model, 16 GB for the 15-inch model) and a $100 price cut for the high-end 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro. The refreshed Retina MacBook Pros are available at Apple retail stores and in its online store.
Sunday July 27, 2014 12:16 pm PDT by Richard Padilla
Apple may be planning to launch a slightly refreshed line of 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros complete with faster Haswell processors and 16GB of RAM standard, according to a photo said to have come from the company's Chongqing, China store (via BBS Feng, Google Translate).
The purported pricing chart shows two standard configurations priced at 14,288 yuan and 18,688 yuan, which is the same as Apple's current pricing for its 15-inch notebook line in China. If real, this pricing chart would indicate that Apple would keep its current pricing instead of offering each new model for less as done for the MacBook Air earlier this year.
The first configuration comes with a faster Intel Core i7 2.2 GHz processor and 16GB of RAM standard compared to the current 2.0 GHz Intel Core i7 and 8GB of RAM found on the current base model 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro. Meanwhile, the second configuration features a 2.5 GHz Intel Core i7 processor and the same 16GB of RAM, up from the current 2.3 GHz Intel Core i7 processor. Both models feature the same graphics, with the first configuration coming with Intel's Iris Pro graphics and the second coming with both the Iris Pro and NVIDIA's GeForce GT 750M.
A third high-end configuration priced at 23,688 yuan also appears on the chart, boasting a 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, 1TB of flash storage, and Intel's Iris Pro graphics plus a NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M.
All of the processors listed on the chart correspond to Intel's new line of Core i7 Haswell processors launched last week, perhaps indicating that an updated 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro line may be imminent. Apple's line of 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros should also see an update in the near future, as Intel also launched new Core i5 Haswell processors alongside its refreshed i7 Haswell chips.
A minor refresh of the Retina MacBook Pro line was originally noted earlier this year alongside a rumored 12-inch Retina MacBook. According to the latest reports, the 12-inch Retina MacBook may be pushed back to next year because of Intel's delayed Broadwell chips.
Macworld's Jason Snell provides a nice hands-on writeup about Apple's new OS X Yosemite. Snell focuses on the user-experience from a long term Mac user, focusing on the visual and usability changes of Mac windows. He notes the increased use of transparency and the varying implementation of title bars in many applications:
Overall, Snell feels that many of the design changes were done with Retina displays in mind:
For a while now, I’ve thought that 2014 would be the year that Retina spreads across the Mac product line. After spending time with Yosemite on both Retina and non-Retina systems, I’m more confident than ever in that guess. Yosemite’s new design feels like it was built for Retina displays: Thin Helvetica Neue replaces the long-serving but chunky Lucida Grande as the system typeface.
Apple first introduced Retina displays into the Mac line in with the Retina MacBook Pro in June, 2012. Since that time, Apple has been slow to extend Retina screens to the rest of their lineup.
The MacBook Air seems likely to be the next Mac to deliver a Retina Display. Signs point to a 12" Retina model later this year, and there has already been early evidence in Yosemite of Retina iMacs in testing.
Wednesday April 9, 2014 4:29 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple is set to release a slew of new products during the third quarter of 2014 according to KGI securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo, who often provides reliable information on Apple’s product lineup.
In a 2014 product roadmap, Kuo suggests Apple will introduce its first new product of the year, a lower-cost iMac, during the second quarter. Soon after, during the third quarter, Kuo predicts Apple will introduce an upgraded iPad Air and iPad mini, followed by an iWatch in two separate sizes, and a 4.7-inch iPhone.
An upgraded Apple TV set-top box will come somewhat later, as will the rumored 12-inch ultra slim MacBook and upgraded Retina MacBook Pros. Later, in the fourth quarter, Apple will introduce the 5.5-inch iPhone, which is said to be delayed due to issues with in-cell display technology. Along with his roadmap, Kuo also gives specific information on each of Apple’s upcoming products.
- iWatch: Kuo believes the iWatch will ship during the end of the third quarter, offering biometric functionality, integration with the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, and a "fashionable appearance." As has been previously suggested, he predicts the device will come in two sizes, with a 1.3-inch and 1.5-inch flexible AMOLED display. It will also include a sapphire cover lens, biometric recognition, an NFC chip, wireless charging, a 200 to 250 mAh battery, and a slim and light design. Kuo also believes that Apple will offer the iWatch at multiple price points, with the most expensive version costing upwards of $1,000.
- iPhone 6: Supporting previous iPhone 6 rumors, Kuo believes the device will come in two sizes: 4.7 and 5.5-inches, with resolutions of 1334x750 (326ppi) and 1920 x 1080 (401 ppi), respectively. Both models will come with an A8 processor, 1GB of RAM, LTPS display panels, optical image stabilization, and Touch ID. Kuo points to a 10 to 20 percent narrower bezel, a 6.5–7.0mm thickness, metal casings, and NFC integration. Mass shipments of the 4.7-inch version are expected in September, with the 5.5-inch version shipping later. Kuo suggests that only the 64GB 5.5-inch version will use sapphire displays.
- iPad Air 2: The second-generation iPad Air is expected to adopt Touch ID, an A8 processor, and an improved camera with a resolution of eight megapixels. Kuo believes the second iPad Air could come earlier in the year than the previous iPad Air, which was released in October.
- iPad mini with Retina Display: Like the iPad Air, a new Retina mini could gain an A8 processor and Touch ID, but Kuo believes it will retain the same form factor. He also suggests that the older iPad mini with Retina display could be sold at a lower cost.
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro: Kuo believes that Apple is indeed working on a 12.9-inch iPad, but he does not expect it to be launched in 2014.
- 12-inch MacBook Air: As rumored, Apple is believed to be preparing an ultrathin MacBook Air that incorporates a touchpad without buttons and functions without a fan. It is also expected to include a higher-resolution display.
- iMac: A lower-priced iMac is believed to be on the horizon, which Kuo says could help boost iMac shipments by up to 23 percent. It could be Apple’s first product launch of the year.
- Apple TV: Apple is not expected to launch a full television set this year, but an upgraded set top box with an App Store and motion control technology is expected.
While Kuo’s predictions do include many rumors that have previously surfaced over the past several months from a variety of sources, his roadmap gives a solid overview of what we might expect from Apple in 2014. We've also broken out several of his predictions into individual posts that can be found here: iWatch, iPad, iPhone 6, MacBook Air.
Apple has been expected to discontinue its standard MacBook Pros for quite some time in favor of an all Retina lineup. After Apple announced and subsequently released updated Retina MacBook Pros last October, the company cut the price of the entry level 13-inch Retina model to $1,299 - just $100 more than the non-Retina version.
The company is also expected to update its 13-inch and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros in the future with Intel's forthcoming Broadwell chips, however the exact timing of those updates remains uncertain and differs for both models. While chips for the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro are not expected to launch until the first quarter of 2015, chips for the 15-inch models are expected to be released at certain points throughout 2014. Rumors have also suggested that Apple is working on a 12-inch Retina notebook for the middle of this year.
Tuesday January 28, 2014 5:57 am PST by Kelly Hodgkins
Industry-wide notebook shipments will continue to decline in 2014, claims NPD DisplaySearch. Revised estimates predict shipments from all vendors, including Apple, will reach 134 million units, down from an earlier estimate of 152 million unit.
One factor contributing to this decline is the expected Q3 2014 launch of Intel's upcoming Broadwell CPU. Intel confirmed in its latest earnings conference call that its Broadwell chipset will enter production in Q1 2014 and become available in the second half of 2014. Slowing PC demand and yield issues forced Intel to delay Broadwell by at least a quarter from its original timetable, with that delay likely contributing further weakness in the PC market. Intel's Haswell processor line, the company's current CPU family and predecessor to Broadwell, was released in June 2013 and landed in the MacBook Air during the same month.
DisplaySearch also cites the rumored 12.9-inch iPad, wearables and the convergence of mobile and desktop operating systems as market forces that could shift consumers away from notebook PCs.
At the same time, the expected launch of a 12.9” iPad from Apple could trigger growth in larger tablet PC screen sizes, leading to even more competition for potential notebook PC buyers. In addition, wearable devices and other new concepts are expected to compete for consumer spending during the holiday season and beyond. Finally, the trend toward user-interface fusion and operating-system integration will offer a more seamless working platform between mobile devices and PCs, which would further extend mobile device advantages for businesses.
Despite a declining market, Mac sales in the just-ending quarter were strong, increasing from 4.06 million units in Q1 2013 to 4.8 million in Q1 2014. Mac net sales accounted for 11% of the company's revenue for the quarter, up slightly from 10% a year ago.
Wednesday October 30, 2013 4:43 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple is working on a fix for new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros that are experiencing issues with the trackpad and keyboard, according to a recently posted Apple knowledge base page (via CNET).
Shortly after the revamped 13-inch MacBook Pros were introduced on October 22, users began complaining about a bug causing the trackpad and the keyboard to lock up at random during usage. At the time, it was unclear whether the issues were hardware or software based, but Apple claims to be working on an update to fix the lock up, which indicates a software-based problem.
Apple is aware of rare circumstances where the built-in keyboard and Multi-Touch trackpad may become unresponsive on 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display (Late 2013) computers and is working on an update to resolve this behavior.
Apple does not give a timeline on when a potential update might be ready, but to fix the problem temporarily, the company suggests that users experiencing issues should reset the keyboard and the trackpad by closing the computer's display for a minute before reopening it.
Tuesday October 22, 2013 1:34 pm PDT by Richard Padilla
After the announcement and subsequent release of Apple's new Retina MacBook Pros with updated processors and faster storage, the company has apparently discontinued the 15-inch non-Retina MacBook Pro which leaves only the 13-inch non-Retina MacBook Pro alongside the current line of Retina MacBook Pros.
The 13-inch non-Retina MacBook Pro being sold is of the exact same model and specification that was introduced in 2012, featuring no significant changes aside from OS X Mavericks coming pre-installed on the system. Priced at $1,199, the 13-inch non-Retina MacBook Pro is now just $100 cheaper than the Retina version. Apple has been long expected to discontinue its standard MacBook Pros in favor of an all Retina lineup and with a $200 discount on its entry-level Retina models, pricing is nearly on par with its former non-Retina offerings.
Apple today unveiled new 13 and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros, which have been updated with Intel’s latest processors for enhanced performance and significantly improved battery life. The entry-level 13-inch version is available for $1,299 while the entry-level 15-inch model is available for $1,999. Both models are available today from Apple's Online Store and at its various retail locations.
Wednesday October 16, 2013 11:39 am PDT by Juli Clover
Intel yesterday confirmed that it is delaying the production of its next-generation Broadwell processors on account of a manufacturing issue. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced the news during Intel's earnings call, stating that production on the chips will begin during the first quarter of 2014 (via PCWorld).
Intel's Broadwell chips are designed to be the successor to its existing Haswell chips, manufactured on a 14-nanometer process as opposed to Haswell's current 22-nanometer process.
Intel ran into some problems with the 14-nanometer process used to manufacture the chips and will have to fix them before it can resume production, CEO Brian Krzanich said during Intel’s earnings call on Tuesday.
Intel normally releases new chips like clockwork on an annual basis, and the manufacturing problems are a rare misstep for the company. Krzanich said there were problems with the "yield"—or the number of good chips the company gets per silicon wafer.
The Broadwell chips, which will eventually find their way into Apple's line of MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros, are said to be 30 percent faster and more power-efficient than Haswell, leading to even greater increases in battery life and performance. The inclusion of Haswell chips in Apple's MacBook Air boosted battery life to 12 hours on the 13-inch version and nine hours on the 11-inch version.
Based on Intel's prospective timeline with production beginning during the first quarter of 2014, Broadwell MacBooks could make an appearance at next year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, which is where the Haswell MacBook Airs debuted.
It is unclear whether Apple had planned to introduce Broadwell updates earlier, and whether Intel's delay will affect its future release plans. Apple's scheduled desktop updates, for its iMacs, will not be affected as they will incorporate updated Haswell architecture rather than Broadwell chips.
Apple has yet to release a Haswell Retina MacBook Pro, which is expected to come before the end of 2013 and should bring significant improvements to battery life.
According to Intel, the delay of Broadwell will not affect the company's next line of processors, Skylake, as the chips are based on new architecture. Broadwell, however, will have a shorter lifespan due to Intel’s manufacturing issues.
Thursday October 3, 2013 11:42 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple is shaking up the display market with a multitude of upcoming product debuts and enhancements, according to Korean site ET News. The site summarizes several known product rumors that will impact display manufacturers, including larger iPhone and iPads, an OLED iWatch, and IGZO displays for its MacBook lineup.
Multiple reports have suggested that Apple is working on both a larger iPhone and a larger iPad. ET News suggests that a larger iPhone will be at least 5 inches, in line with a September report from The Wall Street Journal indicating that Apple was experimenting with a number of screen sizes from 4.8 inches to 6 inches.
Several iPad changes are in the works as well, with Apple planning to introduce a Retina iPad mini and experimenting with a larger (possibly 12.9-inch) iPad. The Wall Street Journal has confirmed that Apple is experimenting with larger screen sizes for its iPad lineup and a Retina mini has been confirmed by multiple sources.
ET News further suggests that the iPad will be offered at multiple price points based on display, similar to the iPhone 5c and the iPhone 5s. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has made a similar prediction, stating that Apple has plans to introduce a low-cost iPad mini.
Rumors have previously indicated that Apple is considering a 1.5-inch OLED display for its iWatch, which will be produced by Samsung. Apple CEO Tim Cook previously stated that OLED displays were oversaturated, but Apple has hired at least one OLED expert in recent months.
Apple will also adopt AM OLED which the company has shunned so far to hold Samsung in check and for picture quality issue, etc. Yet, Apple recently began to develop associated technologies, adopting flexible OLED for its iWatch. Apple has drawn up a new OLED display strategy, hiring OLED experts from LG Display early this year.
As far as MacBooks go, ET News points to rumors that Apple is considering the adoption of IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) displays. IGZO is a semiconducting material that has forty times more electron mobility than the standard amorphous silicon, resulting in higher resolution displays with better reaction times and less power consumption. IGZO seems like a logical move for Apple as it works to improve both displays and device size and may be a future solution for a MacBook Air with a Retina display.
According to ET News, the implementation of these sweeping product changes will have huge impacts on display manufacturers in Korea. Japan Display is expected to diversify beyond Apple, leaving LG Display to increase its shipments to the company. Samsung Display is also expected to be a key Apple supplier in the months to come, with both Samsung and LG providing components for the iPhone, iPad, and MacBooks. Though rumors have suggested Apple is aiming to reduce its dependence on rival Samsung, it has been unable to find a supplier able to match Samsung's production capacity and quality.
Apple is expected to release the first of its major products during the fall months. A Retina iPad mini and a redesigned fifth-generation iPad mini are both expected to debut in the October/November timeframe. Other products, such as the iWatch, a larger iPad/iPhone, and MacBooks that incorporate new display technology could come in 2014 and beyond.
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