Apple Introduces iPad Pro Featuring Epic 12.9-inch Retina Display

Apple® today introduced the all-new iPad Pro™, featuring a stunning 12.9-inch Retina® display with 5.6 million pixels, the most ever in an iOS device, and groundbreaking performance with the new 64-bit A9X chip, rivaling most portable PCs. The new larger iPad Pro is thin and light and provides all-day battery life. There are more than 850,000 apps in the App Store℠ designed specifically for iPad®, and the new iPad Pro will enable a new generation of advanced apps for everything from productivity, design, illustration, engineering and medical, to education, gaming and entertainment.

Apple today also introduced Apple Pencil™ for iPad Pro, a precision input device available for purchase separately, which makes drawing and sketching feel remarkably fluid and natural. The touch subsystem of the Multi-Touch™ display in iPad Pro has been redesigned to work with Apple Pencil to dramatically reduce latency and deliver incredible accuracy for activities like fine art illustration and detailed 3D design. Advanced sensors in Apple Pencil measure both pressure and tilt for a fast and fluid drawing experience, while a built-in Lightning® connector makes for quick and easy pairing and charging. Apple Pencil also works with popular apps like Mail, Notes, Procreate and Office 365 for iPad, offering new levels of creativity and productivity.

Apple’s new Smart Keyboard further extends the utility of iPad Pro, offering a full-sized keyboard in a thin, durable design so you can take it anywhere. The Smart Keyboard, available for purchase separately, attaches to iPad Pro’s innovative Smart Connector port, eliminating the need for a separate battery, on/off switch or Bluetooth pairing. The Smart Keyboard is covered in custom woven fabric and features keys that provide the accuracy, stability and satisfying key feel of standard keyboards, but is also easily foldable and can transform into a Smart Cover®. The Smart Keyboard also works seamlessly with new QuickType® features in iOS 9 to make typing even faster and easier.

iPad Pro is the most advanced and powerful iPad we have ever made. Its beautiful and large 12.9-inch Retina display has 5.6 million pixels and provides an immersive experience for content and apps. The iPad Pro is far and away the fastest iOS device we have ever made — its A9X chip beats most portable PCs in both CPU and graphics tasks, but is thin and light enough to hold all day. The innovative Apple Pencil and new Smart Keyboard enable users to customize their iPad Pro experience to the particular apps they use and the work they do, making iPad Pro ideal for everything from professional productivity to advanced 3D design.

— Phil Shiller, Apple senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing

Innovative Design iPad Pro’s 12.9-inch Retina display, with 5.6 million pixels and refined Multi-Touch technology, is the most advanced and highest resolution display ever in an iOS device. It delivers greater contrast, more uniform brightness and improved energy efficiency through photo alignment technology, oxide TFT and variable refresh rate. A new four-speaker audio design provides powerful, clear and rich stereo sound, and a refined unibody enclosure of anodized aluminum gives iPad Pro a sturdy feel with a thin and light design that is easy to hold.

iPad Pro delivers groundbreaking performance and energy efficiency, so you can tackle the most demanding tasks. Apple’s powerful new 64-bit A9X chip, with third-generation 64-bit architecture, provides desktop-class CPU performance and console-class graphics. Ultra-fast wireless connectivity keeps you connected wherever you go with 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO technology, support for a wide range of LTE bands and other fast cellular network technologies (DC-HSDPA, HSPA+).* All-day 10-hour battery life** delivers the efficiency that users have come to expect from iPad.

iOS 9, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, brings more intelligence to iPad with proactive assistance, powerful search and improved Siri® features, all while protecting users’ privacy. New multitasking features designed specifically for iPad allow users to do more at the same time, while built-in apps become more powerful with a redesigned Notes app, detailed transit information in Maps and an all-new News app* for the best news reading experience on any mobile device. The foundation of iOS is even stronger with software updates that require less space to install and advanced security features to further protect your device.

iPad Pro is expected in South Africa by the end of the year and if you have to ask the price you can’t afford it!

What to expect from Apple’s 9 September Media Event

There has been very little news leading up to Apple’s Media Event on the 9 September however the last few days revealed some interesting news which we will sum up below.

iOS 9

Apple announced iOS 9 at WWDC back in June but they always keep something back that relates to the new iPhone which will be the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus. Most of the updates in iOS 9 are performance related.

iOS 9 Golden Master will be released to developers after the even with the final software being released to the public on 16 September.

iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus

Apple will unveil the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Most of the rumours say that Apple will give both devices an updated camera along with Force Touch. Being a minor update to the iPhone there will be little in the way of new hardware. Most of the changes will come within iOS 9.

iPad Pro & iPad Mini 4

Apple is expected to release a 12,9inch iPad Pro and a updated iPad Mini that follows the design of the iPad Air 2, a A9 processor and improved display.

Apple Watch & WatchOS 2

New rumours suggest that Apple will release a new range of Apple Watch Sport’s bands and Apple WatchOS 2. There have been some suggestions that Apple will release Apple Watch 2 however this seems hard to believe as there are still rumours of Apple Watch being released in some countries in the coming months. South Africa is not included in these countries.

Apple TV

The Big announcement is most likely to be the new Apple TV. The all new Apple TV is expected to have a full featured App Store and have Siri integration along with a touch-based remote. The new Apple TV is likely to also include a subscription based TV service. The subscription based tv service will not be available at launch and will likely not be available in South Africa.

The new Apple TV is suggested to retail for $149 and $199. Prices in South Africa will most likely be R2999 and R3999 due to the rise exchange rate.

App Store prices set to increase in South Africa

Apple have sent an email to developers informing them that there will be a price increase in four countries including South Africa. Below is the email Apple sent out. 

“Hi [Developer],

We sometimes need to update prices on the App Store whenever taxes or foreign exchange rates change. Within the next 36 hours, prices will increase in the following App Store territories:

  • Mexico
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Turkey

Because of the price increases, customers with auto-renewable subscriptions on the South African, South Korean, and Turkish App Store will need to resubscribe. However, although the prices are also changing for subscriptions on the Mexican App Store, we won’t interrupt those.

We’ll send an email to your subscribers in these territories shortly before their subscription renews to let them know that the price of their existing subscription will increase. The email also has a link that will let customers resubscribe, or in Mexico, turn their subscription off.

In addition, we’re also adding two new low-price tiers, Alternate Tier A and Alternate Tier B, for the Indian, Indonesian, Mexican, Russian, South African, and Turkish App Store. We’ll update prices for existing apps and In-App Purchases that already use the Alternate Tier A and Alternate Tier B price tiers on the Chinese App Store.

You’ll be able to review the new prices in the updated price-tier matrix in Rights and Pricing in My Apps within the next 36 hours.

The App Store team

Need iTunes Store credit? Purchase an iTunes Gift Card

Apple Launches Apple Music and Beats1 Radio

Apple has released iOS 8.4 update with the launch of Apple Music and Beats1 Radio in over 100 countries.

People with a South Africa iTunes account can get Apple Music for R59.99 per month.

A Family plan is also available for R89.99 per month, offering access to the streaming service for up to 6 people.

iTunes users on Windows or Mac will have to ensure that they are running the latest version of Apple’s software to access the new music streaming service. An update is expected later today.

Android support for Apple Music will be coming “this fall” (September – November 2015).

iTunes Radio is still available under the radio tab in the music app.

iTunes Match is still a service offered by Apple for customers who aren’t interested in Apple Music. 

Need iTunes Store credit? Purchase an iTunes Gift Card

What to expect from Apple in 2015

Since Apple stopped attending Macworld which is normally held in January we have seen very few product releases in the first half of the year from Apple. This year things might change. For starters Apple is expected to release the Apple Watch early in 2015 but we suspect Apple will draw this product launch out.

Apple Watch

Announced in September of 2014, the Apple Watch (or Watch) is Apple’s first wearable device and one of the first Apple products that may launch during 2015. Available in two sizes of 38mm and 42mm, the Apple Watch has a heavy focus on fashion and will be offered in six different casing materials with a range of interchangeable band options.

A lot still remains unknown about the Apple Watch, The price is still up in the Apple with Apple only giving the price of the low end Sports watch starting at $349. Battery life remains totally unknown with suggestions of Apple aiming for 18 hours.

In September at the unveiling of the Apple Watch, Apple announced that the Apple Watch would be available in early 2015. Tim Cook confirmed during Apple’s Financial Results meeting that the Apple Watch will ship in April. How long the Apple Watch will take to get to South Africa in not known but we don’t expect it to been before June.

iPad Pro

Yes you are reading that right, Apple are creating a 12inch iPad which will be called the iPad Pro or the iPad Air Plus. The iPad Pro in most likely to be announced in October with a possible preview in June.

iPad Air & iPad Mini

Apple generally updates it’s iPad line up in October so expect the same this year. The is very little news at this time about possible iPad updates. We will most likely get some more info after WWDC in June.

Some rumours have suggested that Apple will discontinue the iPad Mini but we don’t think this is likely to happen.

iPhone 6s

We have seen a new iPhone every year since 2007 so this year we predict that Apple will NOT release a new iPhone. Just kidding. It’s almost guaranteed that we will see an new iPhone this year and we expect to get some insight into what it will be like during WWDC in June.

12 inch Macbook

The is a significant amount of rumours suggesting that Apple will release a 12 inch Macbook with Retina Display that will eventually replace the Macbook Air. The new Macbook is rumour to come in iPhone colours.

Although there are many rumours we believe this will be a minor upgrade with a name change for Apple.

Apple’s Desktop Line Up

Apple seem to have lost interest in their desktop line up with very few design upgrades. Don’t expect much more than some processor upgrades along with some new Retina displays. All minor upgrades.

Many people have been waiting for an upgrade to the Mac Mini which hasn’t been upgraded for over 2 years. The changes that we made in late 2014 were almost a downgrade. It would be great to see a Mac Mini that looks like the Mac Pro in 2015 but don’t hold your thumbs.

Apple TV

2014 saw a great deal of rumours about the Apple TV but those rumours has slowed down. Recent rumours suggest that Apple will update the Apple TV in 2015. We expect to see the App Store come to the Apple TV with some gaming support.

iOS 9 & Mac OS X 10.11

Apple has been updating iOS and OS X very year, 2015 will be no different. Traditionally Apple previews both iOS and OS X at WWDC in June with iOS becoming available some time in September and OS X in October. We know very little about iOS and OS X at this point but expect some new features but no real major design changes.

iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 Price in South Africa

Core Group has announced the recommended retail pricing for the new iPad mini 3 and iPad Air 2 in South Africa.

The company said that the iPad mini 3 and iPad Air 2 will be available soon at selected partners, including Apple Premium Resellers (iStore and Digicape) and selected Apple authorised retailers and resellers.

16GB 64GB 128GB
iPad Mini 3 Wifi Only R5 499 R6 899 R8 299
iPad Mini 3 Wifi + Cellular R7 299 R8 699 R9 999
iPad Air 2 Wifi Only R6 699 R7 999 R9 499
iPad Air 2 Wifi + Cellular R8 499 R9 999 R11 299

Apple Announces iPad Air 2

As previously rumored, the new full-sized iPad features a slimmer profile compared to the previous generation but largely retains the same physical design of the first gen iPad Air. It does, however, come in the gold color option that Apple previously only offered on iPhones.

Apple says the new iPad Air is 18% thinner than the previous generation thanks to improvements to the display manufacturing process. The display also introduces an anti-reflective coating that Apple says makes iPad Air 2’s display 56% less reflective.

The iPad Air 2 includes an A8X chip that Apple says includes 2nd-gen 64-bit architecture and 3 billion transistors for 40% faster CPU and 2.5x faster GPU performance.  The new device also includes the M8 motion tracking chip and barometer previously available on iPhone. In addition, iPad Air 2 gets an updated 8 megapixel iSight camera with 1.12u pixels, f/2.4 aperture, and 1080p video recording capabilities. Other specs include up to 2.8x faster WiFi performance with 802.11ac with MIMO and increased support for up to 20 LTE bands.

iPad Air 2 is expected to reach South Africa before December. iPad Air 2 Pricing in South Africa is unknown but it’s fair to assume the price will remain the same as the iPad Air.

Apple sends out invites for 16 October event

Apple will be holding a media event on Thursday, October 16 at the Town Hall auditorium on its Cupertino headquarters campus, with the company today sending out media invitations for the event. The event begins at 10:00 AM Pacific, and the invitations carry the tagline “It’s been way too long”.

We’re expecting new versions of the iPad Air and the iPad mini. The new Air will be slightly thinner, but come with theA8 processor, new M8 chip from the iPhone 6, Touch ID, enhanced camera features, an improved screen design, and, of course, a gold color option. It’s likely that the new Mini will pick up some (if not all) of the Air’s new features. Hopefully at least the gold.

Apple has been racing to finish up the redesigned OS X Yosemite alongside new laptops and desktops with higher-resolution screens. It’s likely that Yosemite will be released for free on the Mac App Store on the day of the event, as this will follow patterns of previous years. Along with the launch of Yosemite their will be updates to iTunes, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, and iPhoto which will be renamed Photos.

In terms of hardware, sources say that Apple is preparing both a new iMac and a 12-inch MacBook with Retina displays. The latest indicators point to, at least, the MacBook being short on supply, so perhaps the MacBook discussion will be saved for a later date. Another Mac potentially to be updated next week: the Mac mini.

Next Apple Media Event: 21 October 2014

Although it hasn’t been confirmed we are taking a guess at when Apple next media event will be.

Apple traditional has done it October media event on the second last Tuesday of the month. This year that happens to be 21 October.

What to expect from this event?

We will see the final preview of OS X Yosemite which will become available to the public after the event.

It’s hard to say what will happen so far away but you can be sure we will see some updated iPad’s, iPad Mini’s and an upgrade to the iMac. There is a possibility of an upgrade to the Mac Mini or a completely new Apple TV

Let us know what product you would like to see updated in the comments section.