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Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.

Apple Stores to Offer iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c repairs

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AppleInsider has reported today that Apple will soon begin offering in-store repair of displays, volume buttons, vibrating motor, rear-camera, and speaker system on the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. They'll also replace the home button on the iPhone 5c but not the iPhone 5s, because of the Touch ID.



Target Offering At Least $200 Gift Card for Any iPad Model

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Target is offering a special promotion through Saturday, November 9, that will get you at least $200 for your old iPad. That includes the first-generation iPad, with Target's offer likely being much more than you'd get for it on eBay. This offer is in-store only. They're referring to their offer as a "trade-in," but you can use the gift card for any purchase at any Target store. Your iPad must be able to power on, and the screen must be without scratches. They appraise your iPad at their mobility kiosk, and depending on which model, they may offer you more than $200. Click here to find a Target store near you.



Retina iPad Mini May Be Coming Nov. 21 or 22

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The iPad Air is truly a big hit, and now speculation is focusing on when the iPad mini with retina display will become available. Apple only said "late November" when they announced the new device. MacRumors reported last week that the Target website is listing an availability date of November 21. We don't know, though, if that's simply an educated guess or if it's based on information the retailer has from Apple. 



Early iPad Air Reviews Are Superlative: "Best Tablet on the Market"

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Every review of the new iPad Air I've seen gives the new device high praise, most often speaking in superlatives.

Bloomberg News: Bloomberg calls it the "best tablet on the market." The review describes the small size but in addition notes the iPad's usefulness for productivity via the free office apps. Bottom line: "With the rise of quality tablets from Google, Amazon and others, it’s no longer the only choice. But it’s still the best choice."



iPad Air Launches Today: Get $20 Off at Walmart, with Price Matching by Best Buy, Staples & Apple

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Today's the day the iPad Air goes on sale, and I came very close to clicking the Buy button this morning on Apple's site. I'll likely go for it, especially once I've had a chance to see one. If you're interested in the 16GB entry-level model, the best deal is at Walmart, where you can get a discount of $20, making the price $479. Plus, 9To5Mac is reporting that Best Buy, Staples, and Apple will all match this price reduction. The Best Buy and Apple offer is in-store only so far, whereas Walmart and Staples list the $479 price online.



T-Mobile to Offer New iPads for $0 Down and $26/month for iPad Air, $22/month for Retina iPad Mini

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T-Mobile continues to move ahead with giving customers great options. A couple days ago they announced a free data plan, and now, according to 9To5Mac, they've announced they'll be offering, for a limited time, the new iPads for $0 down and 24 months of payments. The monthly cost for their 16GB iPad Air with cellular data connectivity will be $26.25 per month and $22.08 per month for the retina iPad mini with cellular connectivity. It's almost like getting an iPad for free. For example, if you were to go with a 16GB Verizon iPad Air, you'd pay $630 for the device and $20/month for 1GB of data. With T-Mobile, you'll pay $26/month for your iPad and get 200MB of data per month for free. If you can get by with 200MB of data, the monthly charge isn't that much different from Verizon's, so in a sense you're getting the iPad for free.



Free Data Plan from T-Mobile for New iPad

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I like free. And that's what T-Mobile is charging for their base iPad data plan for new customers, according to Apple's website. You get 200MB per month. What happens if you go over that limit? It's not yet known, but they'll be holding a press conference today to give more details. You can check out their network coverage here to see if this might be a good option for you. Apple's page also shows the rates for the other three major carriers. AT&T starts at $14.99 for 250MB. Sprint's price is also $14.99, but you get 1GB of data per month. That's certainly the best deal if you need more than 200MB. Verizon's base plan had been $30 for 2GB, but they're now offering 1GB for $20. 



Wrapping Up Apple's Event Today Announcing New iPads and More

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Once more, Apple has created a lot of excitement with their event today announcing new products. Perhaps the biggest surprises were the availability of the new version of the Mac OS (Mavericks) for free, the availability of the iWork suite (Pages, Numbers, Keynote) for free with the purchase of a new device, the higher price on the iPad mini, the speedy A7 64-bit chip for the mini, and the new name for the iPad: the iPad Air. Apple's move toward free software is unprecedented in the industry.



Low-End iPads Include iPad 2 and Original iPad Mini

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I still can't get over the fact that Apple raised the price on the mini. They almost always introduce the new model at the same price as before. So the lineup as they head into the holiday season for the low-end 16GB WiFi models is: $299 for the iPad mini, $399 for the iPad mini with retina display, $399 for the iPad 2 (which they're continuing to sell as their low-end iPad), and $499 for the iPad Air. Price wise, I think the best deal is the new iPad Air, and I can imagine it'll be a big seller.



iPads Enter Era of 64-bit Processing

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Apple touted the new A7 64-bit processor when it launched the iPhone 5s, and while some commentators said it was a revolutionary breakthrough, some critics said it was a gimmick that wouldn't mean much in terms of user experience. The critics were wrong. Subsequent testing has indeed shown that the iPhone 5s is the "world's fastest smartphone." Everything simply works faster, from running apps to downloading videos. So it's big news that Apple is now using the chip in the iPad.



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