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127 comments

brace yourselfs (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39897343)

mini ipads are coming

Re:brace yourselfs (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39897387)

yes.. maxi ipads were too cumbersome.

Re:brace yourselfs (4, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897579)

mini ipads are coming

I've calculated the size...57 % of A5, that makes for 158 x 112 mm (6,2 x 4,4 in). Mini indeed! But I don't know what ISO will say to Apple's attempt at redefining the ISO 216 sizes. I will have to write with smaller letters from now on.

It might actually make sense. (2)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897637)

The premium 9.7" 'new' iPad comes with the 2048Ã--1536 px display.

Apple could shrink down the iPad 2 to, say, 7" at 1024Ã--768 px.

Re:It might actually make sense. (2)

slazzy (864185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898199)

I love my kindle fire, I often put it in my cargo pockets and take it around with me. I'd much prefer to have an iPad for the app support and they always seem to have a better touch interface on the iOS devices. I hope to see a 7" iPad soon!

App support on Kindle Fire (0)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898563)

I love my kindle fire [...] I'd much prefer to have an iPad for the app support

Kindle Fire runs Android 2 and can install applications from unknown sources. And if you need applications that are exclusive to Google Play Store, there's a package for that too [addictivetips.com] .

Re:It might actually make sense. (1)

crutchy (1949900) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898803)

do they supply an iMagnifyingGlass with it?

Re:brace yourselfs (3, Insightful)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899505)

Already there - it's called the iPod Touch

Re:brace yourselfs (1)

FrootLoops (1817694) | more than 2 years ago | (#39900195)

They're called miniPads.

Or (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39897365)

These ones are cheaper to make, and may allow them to save money on a smaller battery.

Re:Or (3, Interesting)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897421)

I doubt it. Apple is all about user performance (for the envelope they target). You would probably see more real world dollars by keeping the stock battery and touting the 15-30% increase in battery life instead. 12 hour tablet? yes please!

Re:Or (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39897647)

Except they did it silently in the older model. What advantage do they get from a battery that secretly lasts longer in the budget model?

Re:Or (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899927)

It's not about the battery life so much as the advantage of having fewer CPU models in production simultaneously. Apple really likes to use the latest hardware they can, wherever possible.

Re:Or (0)

chuckugly (2030942) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899191)

My XOOM has been a 12 hour tablet for a long time.

Re:Or (3, Insightful)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899621)

You mean your XOOM has lied about its battery life for longer? Don't get me wrong, but my "10 hour" iPad made it across the atlantic and back, with 3 days in between, reading all the way on both flights (11 hours each), and doing some other stuff with it in between. That's because the "10 hours" is 10 hours of browsing, with a reasonably bright screen brightness, with WiFi on. Put it in flight mode, and turn the brightness down to read in the dark and it lasts for ages. By comparison, I've yet to see another tablet (the XOOM included), which by "12 hour battery" doesn't mean "we once managed to sneak out 11:31 by turning the backlight off, wifi off, and leaving it idle".

Re:Or (1)

chuckugly (2030942) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899775)

I can watch over 8 hours of video, or use it for about 12-14 hours, without recharging or putting it to sleep.

Re:Or (1)

tgibbs (83782) | more than 2 years ago | (#39901151)

As reported in TFA, the iPad2 is extraordinarily power-efficient when watching video, using less power than merely idling on the home screen. Anandtech timed it at 13.3h continuous video play. And that is the original model; the die-shrunk version goes 15.7 hours.

Re:Or (2)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899527)

A 57% die shrink is something any company would be happy to have - their costs go down as well. Also, as the main submission said, the power requirements are greatly reduced, which in Apple's case would be just as big a reason to upgrade - the 15-30% is nothing to scoff at.

Typically, if a company makes that sort of change, they also bundle in other changes - in this case, Apple could use a RAM that's die shrunk, as well as other newer or cheaper components.

Re:Or (5, Informative)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897521)

No mystery; From the article :

"the learnings (sic) Apple gains from building the 32nm A5 will pay off later this year as Apple ramps up production of a 32nm SoC for use in the next iPhone."

They're further developing their A5 and ramping up production by introducing it first in an existing product. Smart.

Re:Or (4, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897615)

Plus, since this chip is smaller, they can get more on a wafer. As long as the yields are good, they're already saving money on each chip.

If they changed the battery, I'd imagine that would require case changes as well as designing and ordering new batteries. All the tooling is already done for the current size battery, why change it?

People who buy the iPad 2 now just have a chance at getting better-than-advertised battery life.

Re:Or (1, Insightful)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898149)

They're further developing their A5 and ramping up production by introducing it first in an existing product.

Exactly. My first thought was that they will replace the CPU in all of their product line, and the iPad 2 was the first one that had run out of stock and thus required a new batch to be made. So rather than any tactical move to introduce it in the iPad 2 first, it was just the luck of the draw; the first cab off the rank.

It would make a more efficient production line if they didn't have to support 2 different die sizes of CPU. It is probably why they did this change quietly so that people didn't stop buying the existing stocks of the other models of iPad and iPhone while waiting for the new "version".

Re:Or (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898343)

I think it was definitely a tactical move. A die shrink is not a trivial process, and there are always going to be hurdles and low-volume issues and so on as you work on it, so Apple opted to test and refine the process using the iPad 2. When the process is mature and all the bugs and yield issues are sorted then they may move it to the iPad 3 line. For now, it would be unwise of them to jump right into a 32nm CPU for a product that they just launched selling as fast as they can make them (especially since there are some issues with "pink" tinted displays - there are those hiccups when a cutting edge component is ramped up to full production scale).

The iPad 2 makes a perfect scale-up testbed - it's last year's model and so is in much lower demand, but will still sell well enough for Apple to get good data on the new process since it's been discounted in price.

Re:Or (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899595)

Isn't the iPad3 based on the A6? I doubt that they're prepping the shrunk A5 for another platform - maybe they're targeting the iPhone and iPod Touch as well?

Die shrinks are more often than not cost reductions, although sometimes, they may be necessary for either improvements in power consumption or performance. I think this die shrink may have been used before in something else before the current A5 was quietly replaced. I doubt that Apple would introduce it in one of its flagship products w/o testing it out for bugs.

One thing Apple might do - introduce new Airbooks and other Macs based on the A5 and A6. I'd believe that porting OS-X to the A5 would be trivial, given that it's now more BSD based and more portable than NEXTSTEP used to be. Or if the Macs require a 64-bit CPU, they could even re-look @ the PPC again.

Re:Or (1)

Shmoe (17051) | more than 2 years ago | (#39900505)

The iPad 3 has an A5 with a quad core gpu called the A5X.

Re:Or (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#39900575)

No mystery; From the article :

"the learnings (sic) Apple gains from building the 32nm

I saw the (sic) and thought they had mispelled "lemmings". Need more coffee.

Well, I just checked... (4, Funny)

Razgorov Prikazka (1699498) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897399)

And they didn't change mine... Not even quietly.
Maybe if the leave the old big one behind, I can put it under my pillow tonight. Then, when the processor-ferry comes around, I will end up with some shiny coins as well!

Re:Well, I just checked... (5, Funny)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897517)

Only if you remember to brush your teeth with thermal paste.

Re:Well, I just checked... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39897661)

One processor ferry came and took all the processors from Hatteras to Ocracoke. Another one sank off the coast of the Philippines and all processors on board were lost.

OTOH, the processor fairy that visited me last gave me a 486 for my 386sx. That was a long time ago.

Re:Well, I just checked... (2)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 2 years ago | (#39900587)

OTOH, the processor fairy that visited me last gave me a 486 for my 386sx. That was a long time ago.


A long long time ago
I can still remember
How Apple used to make me smile

Bye bye big iPad CPU die
The new iPad is so quick
it's almost making me cry

Et cetera.

Re:Well, I just checked... (0)

rykin (836525) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897697)

Don't confuse this with the 4G update. This requires new hardware!

You mean the Processor-Fairy came on a Ferry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898919)

You mean the Processor-Fairy came on a Ferry?

I guess using a Bus was out of the question...

Sigh....

Re:Well, I just checked... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899401)

When the processor *ferry* comes a(g)round, it's gonna be one heck of a wreck in your bedroom!

30%? (4, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897427)

I find it very difficult to believe that a die shrink would improve battery life by that much. Given the amount of energy used by the screen and the radios, you could probably remove the CPU entirely and not see a 30% power reduction.

Either they fixed some other issues, or else the power savings are being exaggerated. Did the old processor have an extremely high sleep current, perhaps?

Re:30%? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39897523)

I find it very difficult to believe that a die shrink would improve battery life by that much. Given the amount of energy used by the screen and the radios, you could probably remove the CPU entirely and not see a 30% power reduction.

Either they fixed some other issues, or else the power savings are being exaggerated. Did the old processor have an extremely high sleep current, perhaps?

Read the article. Its not just a die shrink, but also a change in manufacturing (high-k + metal gate).

30% reduction while gaming (4, Informative)

MtHuurne (602934) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897599)

Page 4 of TFA states that the 30% was measured while gaming. Games typically put a high load on both the CPU and GPU; these are scenarios where the total power usage is high and therefore the screen and radios make up a smaller fraction of the power footprint.

Re:30% reduction while gaming (4, Funny)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898135)

You not only read the article, but made it all the way to page four? I salute you, sir.

Re:30% reduction while gaming (2)

iinlane (948356) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899331)

They also used screen brightness of 200nits, way below max.

Re:30%? (4, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897629)

The other reply to you pointed out that they changed the process a bit too.

But if you look at the benchmarks that were done, the biggest difference was running Infinity Blade II, which means heavy CPU and GPU usage. In that case, the CPU/CPU probably take up a sizable chunk of the system's power.

If you did a "sit on the home screen until the iPad shuts it's self off" test, I'd imagine you'd be right and the battery life wouldn't be that different.

Re:30%? (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899633)

What makes that hard to believe? Intel just cited pretty much the same numbers for their die shrink (95W became 77W - a 20% *peak* power reduction).

iPad 2.5 (2, Interesting)

ajcoon (964283) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897439)

The "quiet" nature of this change is likely to avoid attracting lawsuits from early adopters of iPad 2.0 that bought a (now) inferior product for more money.

Re:iPad 2.5 (1)

noh8rz3 (2593935) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897479)

that's not an issue. this is really more like an ipad2.1 - incremental upgrade. that sort of thing happens in tech.

Re:iPad 2.5 (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897817)

that's not an issue. this is really more like an ipad2.1 - incremental upgrade. that sort of thing happens in tech.

What you say is true, but Apple does it far less than some other companies (and I say that as an Apple user). You don't see their laptop processor speeds climb slowly every couple of months, for example - unlike, say, Dell.

Funny thing is, a lot of Apple fans thought the transition to Intel chips would bring about exactly that sort of change; but it did not happen.

Re:iPad 2.5 (4, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897943)

More like feared...

The smaller number of different models increases the liquidity of the used market, which is good for stabilizing prices, and also has an effect on depreciation. You can actually sell almost any 24 month old apple laptop for half what you paid for it. Can you do that with a dell? Or is your upgrade plan, "buy a new one and send us the old one and we won't charge you too much to recycle it."

Re:iPad 2.5 (4, Funny)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898495)

Yes, but let's be honest. That Dell probably wasn't anything special to begin with.

Re:iPad 2.5 (2)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899409)

The sad part is neither is the Macbook. It's a bloody computer and an obsolete one at that.

Pay 50% of the original value for something that likely has a completely dead battery which is not user replaceable? No Thanks. At least with an old Dell I can just slap in a new battery and it's otherwise still as good as it was when it came out.

Slightly Off-Topic: On Macs being overpriced (4, Insightful)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 2 years ago | (#39900185)

The sad part is neither is the Macbook. It's a bloody computer and an obsolete one at that.

I still constantly hear and read this. I'd go as far and say ever since Jobs rejoined Apple and introduced OS X this isn't the case anymore.
I'm a die hard nerd/geek with 13 years of Linux experience, and I love nothing more than a well-configured x86-Linux driven piece of hardware *and* ever since I stopped buying the most recent windows games - sometime back in 2001 or so - I allways go for the most bang for buck.

Why then is it that I'm typing this on a MB Air?

Quite frankly, because there is no alternative. It's Unix with most of the Bash & CLI toolstack preinstalled. It has a touchpad that for once isn't built by the techstandards of 1995 - i.e. doesn't suck like an industry-grade vacuum cleaner. It has a 64bit core 2 duo CPU and a battery life management built into the OS that was built by the exact same people that built the battery and the motherboard and everthing else inside it 1,3kg light aluminum enclosure.
Ok, there are, as of now, Ultrabooks out there that don't come with MS tax and cost less with simular performance. But when I bought this one, after long and carefull consideration, there wasn't an alternative.
A PC that doesn't even come close to the current cheapest Mac Mini in size, noise, ease of handling and performance costs upwards of 1000$ at least. The cheapest mac mini costs 600$. Even if I replace the HDD with an SSD it will still be no more expensive or even cheaper than a PC equivalent.

A different example: I recently got myself an HTC Flyer tablet - also after long and carefull consideration. The upsides were: Cheap (bargain offer), precisely the right size and no Apple AppStore / X-Code ADC lock-in. And it was the only one that could compete with Apple quality wise. Actually, i I find the HTC Flyer to have a more pristine enclosure than the iPads.
Yet again, I'm a computer expert and have very specific considerations to make when buying such a device.
The newest iPad comes at 479 Euros and is at least a generation ahead of everything else in the tablet world - if I were a mere consumer that would be a very attractive prospect and anyone would be hard pressed to find a better offer price wise.

Bottom line:
Apple is loosing karma by the minute with a lot of experts, for the reasons we all know - but the legend that their hardware is overpriced is simply that: A legend. Within the spec-range they choose to deliver and cater to, they are, in fact, quite a good value. Denying that is just being silly.

My 2 cents.

Re:iPad 2.5 (3, Funny)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#39900703)

Pay 50% of the original value for something that likely has a completely dead battery which is not user replaceable? No Thanks. At least with an old Dell I can just slap in a new battery and it's otherwise still as good as it was when it came out.

Apple went from a user replacable battery that lives through 300 charges to a non-user replacable battery that lives through 1000 charges and has a much better charge in the first place. After two years, my MacBook Pro battery is almost new.

Apart from that, if you can't replace a non-user replacable battery in a MacBook Pro yourself, what business do you have posting on Slashdot?

Re:iPad 2.5 (2)

rsborg (111459) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899553)

More like feared...

The smaller number of different models increases the liquidity of the used market, which is good for stabilizing prices, and also has an effect on depreciation. You can actually sell almost any 24 month old apple laptop for half what you paid for it.

Actually, a 2008 unibody macbook 13" (current models have "pro" moniker) still sells for ~$500-$750 on ebay [1]. I have one I bought new at the time for $1300... that's about 40 month old machine, and with OSX lion upgrades, modern SSD and memory upgrade it's as usable as a new one.

[1] http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=macbook+13+unibody+2008&_sacat=0&_odkw=macbook+13+unibody+-pro [ebay.com]

Re:iPad 2.5 (1)

swalve (1980968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39900831)

I'm not sure about the prices two years later, but four years later, my Dell is still going for a quarter of what I paid for it.

And half of a lot of money is still a lot of money. You could have just spent the half in the first place on a decent Dell that's spec'ed better. (If you ignore Velben-good, fake features like the wrought from a block of pure virgin aluminum, and polished by the tears of a unicorn.)

All that said, you are right, the tight control over the models does help the secondary market.

Re:iPad 2.5 (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897497)

Early adopters? Of an iPad that has been on the market for almost a year and a half? Uh, yeah. Ok.

Re:iPad 2.5 (1)

Jimbookis (517778) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897541)

Oh great why didn't they just do this with the iPad3 I *just* bought. It sure could do with a die shrink. Doing it on iPad2 seems arse about.

Re:iPad 2.5 (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897575)

Because this was for testing purposes? They aren't going to try a newly ramped-up process on what is a flagship product that has higher manufacturing costs and possibly risk lots of returns. They'll do it on the lower priced version that would be less costly if errors did pop up.

Re:iPad 2.5 (2)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899613)

Probably b'cos iPad3 is already used w/ the newest A6 that there is. I'm guessing that the A6 is on the same technology node as the new A5.

I doubt that they'd be using a brand new, untested chip on any high profile product. They might have used it in something else - say an AirPort - before putting it here.

Re:iPad 2.5 (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#39900721)

Because this was for testing purposes? They aren't going to try a newly ramped-up process on what is a flagship product that has higher manufacturing costs and possibly risk lots of returns. They'll do it on the lower priced version that would be less costly if errors did pop up.

When this story came out first, it was reported that Apple moved the iPad 2 from a single core chip to a chip that is actual dual core with die shrink, but only one core used. That's what you would do if you want to "practice" the new process - the process might not be quite good enough yet to give enough yield for dual core chips, but enough for single core, and if they can't get enough they can still use the old chip (which is another good reason not to advertise the new chip).

Once the process is good enough, iPad 3+ or iPhone 5 will get the same chip but with two cores actually working, and iPad 2 will get the leftovers where one core doesn't work.

Re:iPad 2.5 (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39900897)

Because that runs the A5X?

Re:iPad 2.5 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39897565)

You need more for a lawusit than "waaaaaaaaaaah. I don't like it!!"

Re:iPad 2.5 (1)

DigitAl56K (805623) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898053)

Why? Didn't those people get what was advertised to them at the time?

Re:iPad 2.5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898129)

Just like all of the early iPhone 4 buyers got a messed up antenna like they were promised. Why would I want an iPad 2 with a CPU that drains my battery faster than iPad 2s being sold now?

Re:iPad 2.5 (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899617)

Just the opposite - from the above story

Re:iPad 2.5 (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39900369)

Because the iPad you have isn't faulty, and this upgrade isn't a fix for anything, it's an improvement.

You are not entitled to anything more than you bought.

Re:iPad 2.5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899949)

The iPad 2 meets the advertised specifications. This isn't changed if a revision improves it.

Re:iPad 2.5 (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#39900685)

The "quiet" nature of this change is likely to avoid attracting lawsuits from early adopters of iPad 2.0 that bought a (now) inferior product for more money.

That kind of lawsuit would have no merit whatsoever. However, a very good reason is that there is plenty of stock out there with the older processor. So since Apple doesn't tell anyone about the newer processor, you get either exactly what you paid for, or you get something better. You can't complain then. Same as people buying refurbished Macs sometimes get a bigger hard drive or more RAM than they paid for.

Re:iPad 2.5 (1)

tgibbs (83782) | more than 2 years ago | (#39901225)

People sue for all kinds of stupid things. But a lawsuit based upon the fact that some units only do as well as advertised, while others do a bit better, would be unlikely to get far.

At last! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39897505)

More power for all my fart Apps!

Re:At last! (1)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897683)

No, less power, for a longer "run" time.

Just the WiFi version (5, Informative)

Henriok (6762) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897515)

This only applies to the WiFi version, called iPad2,4. The CDMA and 3G versions are still using the older 45 nm version of the A5 processor.

Re:Just the WiFi version (1)

cnettel (836611) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897649)

And not all Wifi iPad2s, either. At least not among those currently in the channel, just so you don't go buying one for the sole purpose of getting the improved battery life.

Re:Just the WiFi version (0)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897651)

They don't sell 3G and CMDA versions of the iPad 2 anymore. If you want those, you have to buy used/refurb, or get a "New iPad" (aka iPad 3)

Re:Just the WiFi version (1)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897711)

Sorry, I was wrong. I thought they discontinued those, but apparently not yet.

Re:Just the WiFi version (-1)

puto (533470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898785)

And like most apple users I support as an AT&T employee you are clueless. There has never been a stop on the the ipad 2..... Just the Iphone 4 because it was crap, and still is crap.

Re:Just the WiFi version (2)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898843)

And just like most self-righteous jerks, you have a problem with reading comprehension. Check again, I never said the discontinued the iPad 2. I know they never discontinued the Wi-Fi version, but I thought they had discontinued the 3G versions. I was wrong, caught my own mistake, and posted a correction.

And you have no clue who I am, or what I know. And you come back with that BS. Stick your attitude.

Re:Just the WiFi version (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899345)

Karma is a bitch - imagine a day in the life of "puto" supporting with the average American consumer at AT&T. And probably having to communicate over a crappy AT&T cellphone connection, or with a crappy cellular antenna that's getting shorted out because the user is "holding it wrong" and missed out on the free bumper. Are they asking him deep intellectual questions, or RTFM material? Geez - I hope that some are bitching about the tethering policies. Is it a wonder that puto's crabby? Pluto - sign up for some courses at Udacity or something. Follow your bliss. (p.s. this goes for any of lurking Apple "geniuses" out there too.)

Re:Just the WiFi version (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897679)

Perhaps the SoC has removed certain 'unnecessary' circuitry.

Splitting product lines? (2, Interesting)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897721)

If they're continuing to update the "old" iPad well after the "new" iPad came out, it seems logical to conclude that they intend to maintain two lines of iPads.

I can see some logic to this - the iPad 2 is becoming their "low-end" tablet, and the iPad 3 is becoming their "high-end" tablet. You'll note that the 32GB and 64GB iPad 2s were discontinued, but the 16GB (aka cheapest) models are still made. Most likely they'll keep trying to chip down the price of the iPad 2 to make it more competitive with the cheaper Android tablets, while producing higher-spec (and higher-price) iPad 3 models.

There's probably going to be some brand-shuffling going on. Most likely they'll rename them to "iPad" and "iPad Pro", mirroring their old MacBook / MacBook Pro branding.

Re:Splitting product lines? (4, Interesting)

MBCook (132727) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897897)

They're not. That would be confusing for customers, and Apple has always loved simplicity.

This is the way of the electronics world. This kind of thing is always going on, it's just Apple is watched so closely, that when a an internal model number changes it becomes news and someone benchmarked it.

There were at least 2 or 3 PSPs before the Slim. The XBox 360 had 3 or 4 models before the slim. There were also multiple versions of the PS3 and PS2 before their redesigns. Other than often coinciding with the game bundles changing or a price drop, the manufacturers don't tend to make a big deal of this.

As time goes on, it becomes cheaper and easier to manufacture on a smaller process. This allows combining chips, cutting back on heat control, etc; all making the units cheaper to produce. This always reduces power draw, the difference is since this is a piece of portable electronics (and they didn't reduce the battery size), the battery life increased.

Re:Splitting product lines? (2)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898649)

You bring up some valid facts, but you fail to make any valid conclusions:

1) They *already* released the "successor" product. This would be like Sony releasing the PS4, then a few months later releasing a new model of the PS3. If you treat the products as strict successors, it makes no sense - why continue not just to manufacture obsolete hardware, but continue engineering work on it?

2) "Two models" is simple enough to not confuse even Apple users, and in fact aligns much better with Apple's other product lines - you have two laptops (the MacBook and MacBook Air), three desktops (the Mac Mini, the iMac, and the Mac Pro), three "current" iPhones (the 3, 4, and 4S are currently produced), and four iPods (Shuffle, Nano, Classic, Touch (although you could argue that the Touch is just a non-cellular iPhone)).

It's not confusing to customers to have a "cheap" and a "professional" set of products, each with a few permutations of simple options (3G or Wifi-only? 16GB, 32GB or 64GB?). Compare the number of tablets made by other vendors - Amazon has three Kindle models. Asus has so many tablets I can't even find an exact count.

3) It does indeed become cheaper to manufacture via continual die-shrinks. You get less die space, lower power usage, and less heat. But again, it only makes sense to improve a product if you intend to continue selling it.

Re:Splitting product lines? (1)

reub2000 (705806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898815)

Well this is not a new model. This is just a die shrinkage. Maybe Samsung wanted to shut down it's 45nm fab to make way for an even more advanced fab?

But yes, this is in line with what apple has done with the iPhone. The previous model is sold as the bargain model. I wouldn't call it a different line. After the 4th generation iPod comes out, the 3rd generation iPad will take it's place as the value tablet.

Re:Splitting product lines? (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39900267)

This would be like Sony releasing the PS4, then a few months later releasing a new model of the PS3. If you treat the products as strict successors, it makes no sense - why continue not just to manufacture obsolete hardware, but continue engineering work on it?

Your point is not lost, but Sony did exactly that with new PS2 models with significant engineering advancements just prior to and long after the November 2006 release of the PS3 :

In 2006, Sony released new hardware revisions (V15, model numbers SCPH-77001a and SCPH-77001b). It was first released in Japan on September 15, 2006, including the Silver edition. After its release in Japan, it was then released in North America, Europe and other parts of the world. The new revision uses [...]

In July 2007, Sony started shipping a revision of the slimline PlayStation 2 (SCPH-79000) featuring a reduced weight of 600 grams compared to 900 grams of the SCPH-77001 (with Expansion Bay), achieved through a reduction in parts. The unit also uses a smaller motherboard as well as a custom ASIC which houses the Emotion Engine, Graphics Synthesizer, and the RDRAM. The AC adaptor's weight was also reduced to 250 grams from the 350 grams in the previous revision.

Another refinement of the slimline PlayStation 2 (SCPH-90000) was released in Japan on November 22, 2007, As well some cosmetic changes, the design of the hardware has been overhauled, incorporating the power supply into the console itself; this also reduces the total weight to 720 grams (25 oz). SCPH-90000 series consoles manufactured after the third quarter of 2008 (indicated by date code 8C) incorporate a revised BIOS, which disables an exploit present in all older models that allowed homebrew applications to be launched from a memory card.

(Wikipedia)

Also... and just IMHO, the things Sony does almost never seem to make any great sense... perhaps Sony is not the best example of what companies do or should do.

Re:Splitting product lines? (0)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898745)

There's probably going to be some brand-shuffling going on. Most likely they'll rename them to "iPad" and "iPad Pro"...

It amazes me how geeks can completely misunderstand how the most successful tech company in the world operates. I find it even more baffling when most of the comments in the thread clearly explain what is going on.

Tick Tock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39897801)

Did Intel buy Apple, or are they just copying the strategy of the most successful desktop processor manufacturer?

running out of magic (4, Funny)

LodCrappo (705968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39897855)

obviously, since jobs death they are working with a limited supply of magic. until an entire new generation of unicorns can be grown and harvested, there simply isn't enough to fill the old full sized CPUs.

why can't the mac pro get a bump?? (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898121)

come it's been at the same price and same hardware for a over a year??

At least up the ram, HDD, or video card.

Cooling (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898173)

Apple just had a cooling issue with one of their products, and now they are shrinking the surface area of a product?

Re:Cooling (4, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898377)

Apple just had a cooling issue with one of their products, and now they are shrinking the surface area of a product?

A die shrink reduces thermal output, lowers voltages, increases battery life.

Surely we went over all this with Ivy Bridge?

Re:Cooling (1)

iinlane (948356) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899371)

Actually, we did! At stock clocks the ivy bridge consumes less power an produces less heat. This is especially true for underclocked laptop versions.

Re:Cooling (2)

swalve (1980968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39900867)

Yes, but it also concentrates the footprint of the area generating the heat, requiring more and more exotic heat spreaders.

Re:Cooling (1)

tgibbs (83782) | more than 2 years ago | (#39901241)

As reported in TFA, the die-shrunk version runs a bit cooler. Which if you know your thermodynamics, is pretty much inevitable if it has lower power consumption.

Samsung processor (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898285)

The irony is, it's the same processor running the galaxy s III. http://www.phonearena.com/news/Processor-on-next-Apple-iPhone-to-be-produced-via-Samsungs-32nm-process_id29024 [phonearena.com]

Re:Samsung processor (4, Informative)

allanw (842185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898325)

Same process, not same processor. And besides, Samsung's foundry is completely separate from their mobile business.

This is the third Apple related article today (0)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39898317)

Isn't it time for another Creationist vs. Science debate?
My mac mini died years ago. Thank God.

bonch was paid to post this (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898611)

bonch [slashdot.org] is a professional 'social marketing influencer' who is paid to post stories which promote Apple and slander their competitors.

Here are some of the shill's most recent submissions:

  • Apple Quietly Updates iPad 2's Processor
  • Google Faces FTC Fine For Safari Privacy Breach
  • NY Times: EU May Reopen Google Street View Inquiry
  • Google Supervisors Knew About Wi-Fi Data Harvesting
  • FTC Escalates Antitrust Investigation Against Google
  • Nintendo Hurt By New Rivals
  • Nintendo Reports First Ever Operating Loss
  • GPL Use Declining Faster Than Ever
  • iPhone Tops Sales Charts Of U.S. Carriers
  • iPad 3 Confirmed To Have 2048x1536 Screen Resolution
  • Apple Clarifies iBooks Author Licensing
  • Google Begins Country-Specific Blog Censorship
  • Why Android Isn't Gaining On Apple In The Enterpri
  • Android Malware May Have Infected 5 Million Users
  • Apple Beats Android In U.S. Marketshare
  • Apple Reports Record-Breaking Quarter Results

In the words of a paid commenter, Apple is breaking records and 'clarifying' its self to Authors, whilst including incredible new technology in its' tablets. Meanwhile, Google is being investigated by multiple governments, censoring, is full of viruses, and losing market share, Nintendo is failing when compared to the iPhone, and Free Software is a dying corpse that should be abandoned in favor of iPad apps.

bonch, why don't you disclose that you were paid to post this?

Re:bonch was paid to post this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39898857)

everything I submitted were true. Apple did post record-breaking sales, iPad does have 2048x1536 resolution, FCC did investigate Google. That makes me a journalist.

-bonch

Re:bonch was paid to post this (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899299)

According to Wikipedia:A journalist collects and distributes news and other information.
So, it seems you call yourself journalist.

On the other hand a spammer pretty much fits the same definition.

Are you paid to post? Aren't paid posters required to disclose the affiliation?

Re:bonch was paid to post this (3, Interesting)

Graff (532189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39900495)

According to Wikipedia:A journalist collects and distributes news and other information.
So, it seems you call yourself journalist.

On the other hand a spammer pretty much fits the same definition.

There are lots of journalists that specialize and only report on a certain type of news. There are journalists that specialize on the automotive industry or politics or finance or technology.

The tech industry is hurting so there's negative stories about tech companies, apple is one of the only tech companies doing well so there's a bunch of positive stories about apple. If it was 15 years ago the situation would be flipped and we'd here people complaining about conspiracies AGAINST apple.

Not that there aren't paid shills but I think in this case it's unlikely that bonch is one. He's posted plenty of stories that aren't just pro-Apple/anti-Apple's competition. Sure he has a focus but that's probably just journalistic specialization. Now if he started seriously spinning Apple's failures in a positive light or the competition's successes in a negative light then you'd have some meat for your theories.

Re:bonch was paid to post this (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39900595)

That makes me a journalist.

Journalists disclose their affiliations, write balanced stories and try to write things of interest, entertainment and/or benefit to the reader, not some undisclosed third party.

You do none of these things.

You appear to be an astroturfer fraudulently and dishonestly pretending commercial propaganda - paid advertising - is objective news. It isn't, no matter how much you wish it was.

Re:bonch was paid to post this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39901059)

That makes me a journalist.

Journalists disclose their affiliations, write balanced stories and try to write things of interest, entertainment and/or benefit to the reader, not some undisclosed third party.

You do none of these things.

You appear to be an astroturfer fraudulently and dishonestly pretending commercial propaganda - paid advertising - is objective news. It isn't, no matter how much you wish it was.

Not if they are fans of the Bronx scum. Or Muncheater Snited. ;)

Re:bonch was paid to post this (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39900829)

cool, here is a quick primer on journalism. Basically, journalists at real newspapers are 'at war' with the ad people. The New York Times and other august institutions have strict editorial firewalls between journalists and business. Each side thinks the other is trying to drive their institution into the ground and doesn't understand the whole mission of the organization. As a journalist, you should be thinking that companies are trying to ruin you by spending money on your opinion. You should buy test equipment at random stores instead of getting 'review units', refuse any gifts from companies, and seek independent sources where possible. Most journalists wouldn't even have dinner on the tab of a company they're writing about; as a journalist, you should strive not to accept so much as a coffee in the cafeteria. Any direct payment is likewise inappropriate.

It's difficult to make money as an online journalist, because, for example, Slashdot does not pay for submissions, nor for comments. Investigation and critical research is not really supported directly. That means journalism is dying. I applaud you for seeking to stay a journalist in spite of this fact. Thank you for keeping up a noble and very important profession, and I hope you will agree that despite the financial difficulties, the public good is very well-served by the fourth estate.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Estate

Welcome to it.

Re:bonch was paid to post this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39901419)

Who pays you to be a crybaby faggot?

Quietly? (1)

superdave80 (1226592) | more than 2 years ago | (#39899261)

Apple has quietly replaced the iPad 2's A5

How loudly should they replace them? Should they stand on rooftops and yell, "WE ARE REPLACING THE GODDAMN PROCESSORS IN THE IPAD!!! THAT IS ALL!"

Re:Quietly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39899453)

How loudly should they replace them?

The screws on those things are probably pretty tiny. I think that if they had music blaring, it would be distracting enough that it would make it harder to open up all the cases.

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