New Apple iPad production kicks off, with rumoured daylight-friendly screen

New Apple iPad production kicks off, with rumoured daylight-friendly screen

Summary: Apple next generation of iPads won't be launching to hungry consumers it's enjoyed in previous years.

TOPICS: Tablets, Apple, Mobility

With iOS 8 unveiled, an iPhone 6 launch date set, and an iWatch waiting in the wings, Apple is now thought to have started up production on two new iPad models, both set to arrive before Christmas.

According to Bloomberg's sources, Apple has already started manufacturing the forthcoming 9.7-inch iPad, presumably the next generation of the iPad Air. The device should be unveiled by the end of this quarter or during the early part of the following one, Bloomberg reports. It adds that numbers of the larger model may be capped by "manufacturing complications related to the use of a new anti-reflection coating", intended to help readability in daylight.

Also on its way is a new 7.9-inch iPad mini, likely to be available by the end of the year.

The timing, if correct, shouldn't be a surprise, since it falls in line with the November timeframe for iPad releases that Apple moved to with the 2012 launch of the fourth-generation iPad and the first iPad Mini. 

The next generation of iPads will however launch to a markedly different environment to previous years', following consecutive quarters of significant year-on-year declines. This year's third quarter iPad sales of 13.3 million were down nine percent from 14.6 million a year earlier, while the second quarter sales for 2014 fell 16 percent year to 16.35 million.

Tech analysts believe Android phablets are eating into tablet sales across the board; however, the decline in iPad sales has been bigger than many Wall Street analysts expected for Apple's second biggest product category behind the iPhone.

Apple chief exec Tim Cook has said he's not worried about soft iPad sales and has repeatedly pointed to the company's greater focus on the enterprise, where tablet penetration remains relatively low, and on China.

Declining tablet sales may also partly explain its recent tie-up with IBM aimed at bring more iPhone and iPad devices to the enterprise.

And if phablets are eating up tablet sales, Apple's 5.5-inch display iPhone 6 may help it take a slice of that market. Apple has reportedly set the product launch for 9 September.

Besides hardware though, iOS 8 is expected to be one of the biggest updates to its OS in recent years, addressing several gaps that have emerged between it and Android, including allowing third-party keyboards, widgets, and data-sharing between apps, which overall spell a less locked-down approach to iOS.

Apple is also rumoured to be releasing an iWatch this year.

Read more on this story

Topics: Tablets, Apple, Mobility

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • OS X Yosemite will be the icing on the cake....

    • And loking at sales it's safe to assume

      nobody's eating cake anymore...
      • Re: nobody's eating cake anymore...

        Find a Mac and sign up to the Public Beta program for free and give OS X Yosemite a test drive.

        You will be in for a surprise.
        • Pffft

          Pffft. Nothing special. Real innovation is going on in new systems, not in tweaks to stodgy old platforms.
          • Re: Pffft....

            Have you even worked with it. Judging by your comment you haven't even ever used OS X let alone Yosemite. Get back to me when you have some credibility.

            Until then Button it. Fool.
        • Spoiling the surprise...

          The surprise is that using OS X Yosemite feels more like Windows 7 now. I'd say that's a definite improvement. The tighter integration with iOS apps is also a nice tweak. Still, I don't see OS X gaining much share from these changes. I use both Win 7 and OS X, yet I still prefer doing most of my tasks in Win 7.
          • I use both Win 7 and OS X

            By far I prefer doing most of my tasks in OSX
          • I'm with BillDem

            I use all the major OSs and prefer Windows (although for me its 8.1). There just is not anything compelling to draw me to OSX. Now that was not the case when XP and Vista were the new Windows OSs but 7 and now 8 has drawn me back to Microsoft. Have not tried out Yosemite yet, waiting for the final release. When that comes and if it really impresses me, might move back to that as my primary OS. I"m OS agnostic that way.
            Rann Xeroxx
          • such as?

            What do you like about Windows over using OS X? Only thing I found better was the ability to scale fonts system-wide -- do miss the 125% DPI setting. Don't miss the updates which failed to install on Windows, and the rest....

            Currently, I am Windowless, using Chrome OS and OS X, and now and then Ubuntu. Someday -- well maybe, someday, I will get a device with Windows or WinRT and a WP9 ... will see. Win7 was OK.
  • Ya gotta love it when

    A blogger takes a bunch of rumors and reports on them as if they were all facts.
    • Re: A blogger takes a bunch of rumours....

      He is not alone !
    • That's what bloggers do

      As a matter of fact, that's the whole *point* of blogging.

      It is not, by way of contrast, journalism.
      x I'm tc
      • Getting a little tired of that excuse

      • By that definition, I think all journalists are bloggers now.

  • Once again Too Little Too Late

    With so many companies on all sides of the Apple Wagon Circle so far ahead in terms of innovation and Technology breakthroughs Apple has again been left at the bottom of the fruit barrel for for that can only stomach Apple. It is a matter of appetite for some while most of us are looking for the best bang for buck.

    It is really foolish to pay premium price for bottom of the barrel idea's which may never eventuate into any form of reality.

    I like to go for technology already here and there is so much to choose from, but if you must have apples be sure to check if you have got tech-scurvy . It is a killer on your wallet and your loss of prestige around your comrades.

    Good luck boobing for apples. I hope you get one.
    • Boobing hey?

      Sounds like a great pastime! Count me in!
      • There are typos and then there are Freudian slips.

        BTW, I plan on boobing for a new iPad Air II in a few short months. Also on my 2014 upgrade agenda is a new iPhone 6 (not quite decided yet on the screen size yet) and an iWatch.

        If the new MacBook Air with the Intel Broadwell chipset is available this year, I will purchase that also. This is shaping up to be one great but expensive Holiday season.
    • How so?

      "With so many companies on all sides of the Apple Wagon Circle so far ahead in terms of innovation and Technology breakthroughs..” — impost

      I don’t know what you’re talking about, but let’s look at a biggie: Samsung's S5 reply to the iPhone 5S. (Did you see the way Samsung even copied Apple’s numbering?)

      The Samsung has four 32-bit cores, which are slower than the iPhone’s two 64-bit cores. (Is anyone other than Apple making a 64-bit phone yet? If they are, I haven’t heard of it. And before some clueless person says “64-bit is useless with less than 4 GB of RAM, read up on it!”)

      The Samsung has a bolted-on fingerprint scanner (presumably for feature parity) but it requires you to slide your finger over a slit-shaped reader - not just put your thumb on the Start button. Very old-school, Samsung, and very bad.

      Where is the biometric data stored? On the Apple, it’s stored on the System-On-a-Chip (SoC) in hardware encrypted form (that is, in the “secure enclave” which is unique to the Apple 64-bit SoC), Samsung just store the biometric data in general, software-encrypted storage.

      What on earth has anyone else done in the smartphone arena that comes close to Apple’s innovation?
    • Boobing at the Apple store?

      They could become more popular than the medical weed shops if they offer this.
    • Not a Apple fanboy but...

      Your statements about Apple are ludicrous. Apple makes fantastic hardware, always has (you'll pay for it but people seem to be willing to). Just like Microsoft has seen the writing on the walls with PCs and moved toward touch and mobile devices, Apple will evolve past any downturns in tablet sales. They have a good track record of perfecting existing markets. Their phone segment is posed to make them billions this year.
      Rann Xeroxx