Apple Suppliers ‘Gearing Up for Mass Production’ of Updated iPad and AirPods

Companies in Apple's supply chain are reportedly "gearing up for mass production" of updated iPad and AirPods models, according to Taiwanese site DigiTimes.

Flexible PCB firms Flexium Interconnect and Zhen Ding Technology are gearing up for mass production for Apple's next-generation iPad devices, while Compeq Manufacturing and Unitech PCB supply rigid-flex boards for the forthcoming AirPods, according to industry sources.
The report says that both updates are expected to come at Apple's March 25 event, although reliable sources have indicated the event will focus on Apple's upcoming news and video services with no hardware announcements planned.

Minor hardware updates could come silently alongside the event or via press release around the same time, as DigiTimes's insights via the supply chain are likely limited to production timing rather than event specifics.

Hints of an updated low-cost iPad have been growing, with new iPad models appearing in a regulatory database back in January. Rumors have suggested the entry-level iPad could see its display grow from 9.7 inches to around 10.2 inches thanks to slimmer bezels, but we're not expecting to see Face ID and removal of the home button with this update.

As for AirPods, we've been hearing about an imminent update for many months now, with Apple's plans seemingly delayed as the company continues work on its AirPower charging mat. Updated AirPods would include a wireless charging case to work with the AirPower mat, as well as other upgrades including "Hey Siri" support and possibly new health monitoring features, a "grippy" texture, and maybe even a new black color option.

Related Roundups: iPad, AirPods 2

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Apple Planning Both 10.2-Inch ‘iPad 7’ and All-New 10.5-Inch iPad According to Proven Leaker

Throwing a wrench into rumors, the previously accurate Twitter account CoinX today claimed that Apple plans to release not only a 10.2-inch seventh-generation iPad, but also an entirely new 10.5-inch iPad without Pro branding. The tablets will not be released simultaneously, according to the tweet.



If accurate, Apple could perhaps be planning to release a slightly scaled back version of the existing 10.5-inch iPad Pro, which could allow it to fill a price point between the $329 lower-end iPad and the $799 and up 2018 iPad Pro models.

CoinX has an accurate track record, having previously tweeted the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR names of the 2018 iPhones before anyone else, in addition to the 2018 iPad Pro being 5.9mm thick and a few minor details about other Apple products. It is unclear where the information is sourced from.

The 10.2-inch iPad should end up being a larger-screen version of the existing 9.7-inch iPad, and it will likely be released within the next few weeks alongside minor refreshes to the iPad mini and iPod touch. It's unclear if any of the products will be unveiled at Apple's services-focused March 25 event.

The 10.5-inch non-pro iPad could be released later this year, perhaps alongside the next iPad Pro lineup.

Related Roundups: iPad mini 5, iPad
Tag: CoinX

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7th-Generation $329 iPad to Feature Unchanged Design With Touch ID and Headphone Jack

7th-Generation iPad to Feature Same Design, Touch ID and Headphone Jack
The seventh-generation iPad that Apple is planning to release alongside an updated iPad mini 5 will continue to use the same housing as the sixth-generation iPad, according to Japanese site Mac Otakara.

Prior rumors have suggested the device will feature a 10.2-inch display rather than a 9.7-inch display, but Mac Otakara says that it is hearing mixed rumors from suppliers. One supplier said that the display is "10 inches" but another said that the display size has not been changed.


Regardless of display size, the tablet is expected to continue to use a Touch ID fingerprint sensor rather than transitioning to Face ID like the iPad Pro models, and it will also still have a headphone jack.

Apple is expected to introduce both the updated seventh-generation iPad and a refreshed iPad mini at some point in the spring, perhaps right around the time of its March 25 event. Rumors have said the event will focus on software rather than hardware, but updates could be announced via press release shortly afterwards.

Mac Otakara says that it's likely both new iPads will debut at the same time, but the site did not provide any prospective launch timelines beyond mentioning that suppliers are preparing for a launch. Apple's current sixth-generation iPad sells for $329, and the new model is expected to be available at the same price point.

Related Roundup: iPad
Buyer's Guide: iPad (Don't Buy)

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Lower-Cost iPad and iPad Mini Refreshes Draw Closer as Apple Files New Models in Indian Database

Apple has registered two unreleased iPad models with the Bureau of Indian Standards, according to MySmartPrice.


The model numbers A2124 and A2133 were already registered with the Eurasian Economic Commission in late January alongside five other iPad models, but the Indian filing suggests that a release is drawing closer.


Apple is widely expected to refresh its 9.7-inch iPad and iPad mini in the coming weeks, with each tablet rumored to receive a spec bump, including a faster processor. The 9.7-inch iPad is also expected to feature a larger 10.2-inch display. It would be the first update to the iPad mini since September 2015.

It's unclear how and when the new iPad and iPad mini will be revealed. Multiple reports indicate Apple will host a special event on March 25 at Steve Jobs Theater, but the word is that the keynote will be focused on Apple's rumored subscription-based news and video services, possibly ruling out hardware.

Given that the iPad and iPad mini refreshes are shaping up to be rather minor, perhaps a press release will suffice. March has become a common month for updates to Apple's lower-end iPad models, so an announcement could be just weeks away.

Two new iPad Pro models are also expected in late 2019 or early 2020, but few details are known about them yet.

Related Roundups: iPad mini 5, iPad

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16-Inch MacBook Pro, 6K Apple Display, AirPower, AirPods 2 and More Predicted for 2019 [Video]

Last night, we saw the release of a extensive research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who laid out his timeline for product releases from Apple in the coming year. MacRumors videographer Dan Barbera recaps Kuo's predictions in this video which covers an extensive range of products including an all new 16" MacBook Pro, 6K Apple Display and much more.


Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

Kuo is well regarded in the rumor community due to a very good track record at predicting Apple's products. Kuo gathers intelligence from his contacts in Apple's Asian supply chain, translating the information he gleans into research notes for clients.

Our Coverage

We've updated our Upcoming Apple Products Guide based on this new information.


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Two New iPad Pro Models, 10.2-Inch iPad, and iPad Mini 5 Said to Launch in 2019

In a thorough research note outlining Apple's plans for 2019, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo describes his outlook for its next iPad lineup. According to Kuo, Apple plans to release two new iPad Pro models, a 10.2-inch iPad, and a refreshed iPad mini equipped with an upgraded processor later this year.


More details to follow…

Related Roundups: iPad mini 5, iPad Pro, iPad

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Apple Shipped 14.5M iPads in Holiday Quarter According to Strategy Analytics

Apple shipped an estimated 14.5 million iPads in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.


Apple no longer discloses iPad, iPhone, or Mac unit sales in its earnings reports, leaving us with these estimated figures, which can vary quite significantly between research firms. With the iPhone, for example, estimated shipments have ranged from 65.9 million to 68.4 million to 71.7 million for the quarter.

Apple reported sales of 13.2 million iPads in the fourth quarter of 2017, when it was still disclosing unit sales, so the Strategy Analytics data suggests that iPad unit sales have grown nearly 10 percent on a year-over-year basis.

Strategy Analytics estimates that the iPad's average selling price was $463, an increase of just over four percent from $445 in the year-ago quarter. This sounds unsurprising, as Apple raised prices with its new iPad Pro lineup in 2018, with the cheapest model starting at $799 compared to $649 in 2017.

Apple remained the world's most popular tablet vendor, easily topping Samsung's estimated 7.5 million tablet shipments in the quarter, according to Strategy Analytics. Amazon, Huawei, and Lenovo round off the top five with an estimated 5.5 million, 4.6 million, and 2.3 million shipments respectively.


On an operating system basis, however, Android tablets from multiple brands still commanded an estimated 60 percent of the market.

Apple reported iPad revenue of $6.7 billion in the quarter, a 17 percent increase over the year-ago quarter.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, iPad mini 5, iPad

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New 10-Inch iPad and Cheaper iPad Mini Coming ‘As Early As This Spring’

Apple is working on an updated version of the $329 6th-generation iPad and a new, cheaper iPad mini, Bloomberg today confirmed in an extensive report on Apple's future product plans.

The new version of the iPad will feature a "roughly 10-inch screen," which would be slightly larger than the 9.7-inch model that is currently available. The device is also expected to have a faster processor and a Lightning port instead of a USB-C port.


Apple is also working on an iPad mini 5, a followup to the 2015 iPad mini 4. The iPad mini 5 will be cheaper than the existing model, but no other details were provided.

Prior rumors have suggested both the new iPad and the iPad mini 5 will feature Touch ID Home buttons rather than Face ID, which would be appropriate as both are seemingly positioned as lower-cost devices.

Code found in iOS 12.2 indicates the two new tablets could potentially offer support for the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard as well.

According to Bloomberg, Apple could be planning to introduce the new iPads "as early as this spring," which is in line with other recent information.

New iPad models were registered with the Eurasian Economic Commission earlier this month, something that is generally done shortly ahead of a product launch, and references to new iPad models have been found in iOS 12.2.

For the last several years, Apple has held an event in March, and the company could be planning to do the same thing this year. If that's the case, we could see the new iPad and the iPad mini 5 at some point in March.

As for the iPad Pro, Apple is said to be planning a major upgrade for 2020 with a laser-powered 3D camera for augmented reality purposes. No major changes are planned for 2019, and it is unclear if the iPad Pro will get a 2019 update at all.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, iPad mini 5, iPad

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New iPad Mini 5 Could Support Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard

Apple's upcoming refreshed iPad mini and next-generation iPad could feature support for the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, according to details shared today by developer Steve Troughton-Smith.

Troughton-Smith has been digging into the latest iOS beta for details on the new iPad models, and he says that all of this information should be taken with a grain of salt because he's not 100 percent sure on the details.


From what he's found, though, iPad models codenamed J210, J211, J217, and J218 come in two sizes, likely corresponding to rumored iPad mini 5 models and a refreshed sixth-generation iPad, which is said to be getting a larger 10-inch display, up from 9.7 inches.

Both iPad sizes appear to support a Smart Keyboard and Pencil, which makes sense as Apple proved its willingness to offer Apple Pencil support in its more affordable tablets with the launch of the sixth-generation iPad.

The new iPads appear to support Touch ID, so it sounds like the form factors will be similar to the existing models. Apple's iPad Pro models use Face ID, but with both the iPad and the new iPad mini likely to be positioned as more affordable devices, we're expecting Apple to stick with Touch ID.

Rumors have suggested both a new iPad mini 5 and an updated iPad will launch in early 2019, and we've seen signs of them in iOS 12.2 and through registration with the Eurasian Economic Commission. Apple has held a March event for the last several years, so it's possible we'll be seeing updated tablets right around then.

Related Roundups: iPad mini 5, iPad

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Apple Registers Six New iPad Models in Eurasian Database, Rumors Expect New 10-Inch iPad and iPad Mini 5

Apple has registered six unreleased iPad models in the Eurasian Economic Commission database this week, including models A2123, A2124, A2153, A2154, A2133, and A2152, according to the Indian blog MySmartPrice.

The filings are legally required for any encrypted devices sold in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia.


These models could represent new versions of the iPad mini and the 9.7-inch iPad, which may become 10 inches based on recent rumors.

Multiple sources have claimed Apple plans to launch a so-called iPad mini 5 and a new entry-level iPad with a 10-inch display, replacing the existing 9.7-inch model, including the China Times and supply chain-focused website DigiTimes. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also said a new iPad mini is in the works last year.


Eurasian Economic Commission filings like these have foreshadowed the release of new Apple products on numerous occasions, including multiple iPad and iPad Pro models, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, Apple Watch Series 2 and Series 4, AirPods, the 2018 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, and several other devices.

March is a common month for both Apple's first event of the year and iPad refreshes, so perhaps we'll see new models then.

Related Roundups: iPad mini 5, iPad

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