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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.

iPad Air for $479 Plus $100 Gift Card & Other Great Black Friday Deals on iPhones, iPads

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It's time to start planning your Black Friday shopping, with some great deals available on November 29, the day after Thanksgiving. In fact, some deals are starting on Thanksgiving this year. Among the websites tracking iPhone- and iPad-related deals are iMore and IntoMobile. One of the best deals on the iPad may be Target's, which is offering a $100 gift card with any iPad purchase. Plus, they're lowering the price of the price of the 16GB WiFi iPad Air to $479. So that means that, in essence, you're getting the iPad Air for $379.



Review Roundup: Retina iPad Mini

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As with the iPad Air, the early reviews of the new iPad mini with Retina display are stellar. Overall, the consensus is that the new iPad icontinues to lead the other smaller screen tablets. 

Associated Press: The $399 price of the iPad mini might too pricey for those on a budget, says the Associated Press, and in that instance recommends one of the other tablets or the first-generation mini. "But if you're looking for a top-notch experience, you can't go wrong with the new Mini, even with the higher price tag."



A Look at iPad Competitors

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I dropped my iPad mini about a month ago, cracking the screen. It took a couple weeks to get it repaired, because the local person I took it to ran into some unexpected difficulties. I used my first-generation Google Nexus 7 for those two weeks, and it was painful. It's a great device, and Android is great software. If I had never owned an iPad, I'm sure I'd love the Nexus 7. But it was inferior to my iPad. The screen was smaller, which made it less convenient to read web pages and email. Aspects of the user interface confused me. And I couldn't find apps that I needed. Overall, it just didn't seem as refined or elegant or friendly as my iPad.



Rumor: iWatch Screen to Come in Two Sizes -- 1.7 and 1.3 Inches

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The Korea Herald today published a report saying that Apple's iWatch will come in two sizes: 1.7 inches for men and 1.3 inches for women. The information comes from a Taiwan conference presentation by a market supply chain analyst who cited sources from within Apple. Of course, nothing is officially known, though Apple CEO Tim Cook has indicated that new products are coming. The article also says the watch will possibly have a flexible display and could launch as early as the end of this year (which seems a bit optimistic).



iTunes Store Has Page to Donate to Philippines Typhoon Relief

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You've no doubt heard about the terrible typhoon in the Philippines and the desperate straits faced by the many thousands of people there who have been left without food and water. Apple has made it very easy for you to contribute to a Red Cross relief fund.



iPad Mini with Retina Display Now Available

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The new iPad mini with Retina display is now on sale in the online Apple Store. It became available early this morning, and then Apple sent out a press release later in the morning. The Apple Store shows shipping times as 1–3 business days for the 16GB and 32GB models, and 5–10 business days for the other models. According to the press release, if you want to buy the new mini by going to an Apple Store, you'll need to buy it online and then pick your purchase at the Apple Store. The press release says it's also available via authorized resellers such as cell phone carriers. A post by AppleInsider says that Apple Stores hadn't yet received stock of the mini as of this morning.



Rumor Cycle Begins Anew: 13-Inch iPad Coming in 2014?

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Now that the new iPads have launched, it's time to begin the next rumor cycle. And already there are increasing rumors Apple will introduce a larger-screened iPad in 2014. According to a post on AppleInsider, drawing on a Chinese website, the new iPad is in a late stage of testing and will have either a 11.4- or 12.9-inch display. The rumor has been around for several months, and even the Wall Street Journal has reported that Apple was working on an iPad with a display slightly less than 13 inches. Of course, when Apple announced the iPad Air, many speculated that the name change was part of a plan to introduce an "iPad Pro," following the naming conventions of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.



Next iPhone Said to Have Larger Display, Curved Glass

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On Sunday Bloomberg gave a big boost to the incipient rumor cycle surrounding the next iPhone, reporting that Apple is developing two new iPhone models slated for next fall that will have curved displays of 4.7 and 5.5 inches. Bloomberg's source? "A person familiar with the plans." As always, there's no way of knowing how accurate this information is. And often Apple itself doesn't decide on a particular model until later in the process, after testing a variety of prototypes. But it does seem credible that Apple will develop a larger iPhone, since the mobile industry is definitely tending toward offering a variety of sizes. Given that Apple is offering different-sized iPads, it's reasonable they'd take this step with the iPhone.



iPad Mini Being Delayed Due to Screen Manufacturing Issues

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Apple still hasn't announced a release date for the new iPad mini with Retina display. The only word so far is what they said last month—that it would be available in late November. It will be interesting to see if the mini does indeed launch then. According to a report on AppleInsider, based on an article in a Korean publication, one of the suppliers of the display (Sharp) is having problems making the display, which is causing the mini to be delayed. This is in line with earlier rumors, but this article finally gives more details. It says that LG is also making the displays, and isn't having problems. However, the article says that another report said that LG, is also having problems. AppleInsider says Apple may need to turn to its rival Samsung to also manufacture the displays in order to meet its needs. It's possible the mini will still launch in November, but will be in limited supply.



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.



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