On Wednesday, AT&T stores began a limited-time offer of a $200 discount on iPads if you buy an iPhone 5s or 5c on their installment plan and sign up for a two-year data contract for the iPad. Of course, you'll want to take into account that the iPhone 6 is expected to be announced next month. If you really want an iPad and will be happy with a current iPhone, then it seems like a good deal. AT&T is likely offering this deal to clear out inventory and to increase the number of iPad users subscribing to their data services. Note that this only applies to a purchase of a cellular data iPad, which costs an additional $130 over the WiFi model.
Apple is honoring the late Robin Williams with a short tribute on their website and a special section of the iTunes Store featuring his many movies and standup routines. The tribute reads, "We are deeply saddened by the passing of Robin Williams. He inspired us through his passion, his generosity, and the gift of laughter.
The iPhone 6 is said to now be undergoing "product validation testing," meaning that Apple is doing test production runs to see how successfully the new phone can be manufactured. According to the rumor, the yield rate is at 90%, which is good enough for Apple to begin mass production.
Bloomberg reported Tuesday that Apple's suppliers have now begun manufacturing the next iPad Air and iPad mini. Citing anonymous sources "with knowledge of the matter," the report says that the iPad Air could be announced as early as September, while the mini is expected to be available by the end of the year. In addition, Bloomberg says the new iPads will have an anti-reflection coating on the screen to make it easier to see in bright light.
In addition to the rumor last week that the much-anticipated iPhone 6 will be announced September 9, a number of additional details surfaced, nicely summarized by Jonny Evans on the Computerworld website. Macworld UK reported that the new phone will look more like a small version of the iPad mini than the iPhone 5s, with an edge-to-edge display and
Most of the buzz surrounds the forthcoming iPhones, but we'll also be getting new iPads this fall. Everyone is expecting them to have Touch ID and an A8 processor, but not much else was known. Now some photos allegedly showing the back casing of the iPad Air 2 have been posted online, and, if legitimate, provide a number of additional details.
Apple is continuing its "Powerful" campaign with a new "Dreams" ad showing many different uses of an iPhone, from monitoring weather and taking emergency calls to making jewelry, translating language, and painting a mural. It's similar to iPad ads in the past, but this time with music in the background instead of poetry, featuring "When I Grow Up” by Jennifer O’Connor.
You can now legally unlock your iPhone to use it with a different carrier or to be able to put in a different SIM card when you're traveling abroad. Such unlocking became explicitly illegal in January of 2013 when the Librarian of Congress, the official steward of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, chose to uphold a provision of the DMCA that made it illegal to unlock a phone. Consumers were incensed, and over 100,000 people signed a petition asking Congress to pass a law making it legal. Both the House and Senate unanimously passed the bill, and President Obama signed it on Friday. You can read more in this White House press release.
Buying a new iPhone is great, but two years later you're wanting a new one and can't wait until your contract ends. Several carriers are now accommodating the desire of fanboys to constantly be upgrading to the latest and greatest by offering plans with early upgrade cycles. And the big news is that Apple is reported to begin selling phones for these plans as part of a pilot program in Apple Stores later this month.
It's quite possible that Apple itself doesn't yet know when the iPhone 6 will be announced, since there are so many factors involved in ramping up production for the huge number of devices that Apple sells.