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MacRumors Roundups

MacRumors Roundups are an overview summary of the all the rumors and expectations about a particular product. With the fast paced nature of the Apple news cycle, it can be difficult for even the most dedicated reader to follow every new development.

The goal of each roundup is to simply answer the question of "What are you expecting" for any given product. That opinion is certain to change over time as new rumors are revealed, and the roundups will be updated regularly to reflect that.

Over time, we hope to ramp up to have more roundups on more topics.

iPhone 5c

The iPhone 5c is essentially a repackaged iPhone 5 with a new plastic enclosure. The new device is available in five different colors -- green, yellow, blue, white, and pink.


The phone uses the same A6 processor and rear-facing camera as the iPhone 5, but does contain a few upgraded parts -- such as an improved front-facing FaceTime camera and support for more wireless LTE bands.


The new iPhone 5c starts at (with 2 year contract) in the U.S. and is now available for order from Apple, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. Retail stores, such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Radio Shack and Target are also offering the iPhone 5c, and many have been discounting the price of the 16 GB model to or less with a two-year contract.


On Friday, October 25, Apple launched the iPhone 5c in 35 additional countries, including Russia, Spain, and Mexico, and a third wave launch took place on November 1. The iPhone 5c is now available in more than 60 countries, online, via Apple resellers, or through brick and mortar Apple Stores.


iPhone 6

Rumors about the next generation iPhone have been accelerating in recent weeks. The majority of iPhone 6 rumors have focused on the screen size of the device, which is expected to increase. The size of the iPhone's display grew from 3.5 inches to 4 inches with the iPhone 5, and with the next generation iPhone, the screen will grow even larger


Apple has been experimenting with a wide variety of screen sizes, with the most consistent rumors suggesting a range of 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches, bringing the next iPhone in line with competing Android and Windows phones that have all adopted larger displays.


Apple even acknowledged in an internal presentation that consumers want phones with larger displays. Based on that evidence, it seems pretty clear the company is planning to address the segment of market that desires larger phones.



iPad Air

The new iPad Air can be summed up with three words that repeatedly appeared in each rumor leading up to its introduction: thinner, smaller, and lighter.


While the third and fourth generation iPads were thicker than Apple's iPad 2, the new fifth-generation iPad uses screen technology that was originally developed for the iPad mini, allowing Apple to shrink its size in all dimensions and give the device its new iPad Air name.


The iPad Air actually takes several design cues from the iPad mini, featuring the same thin size and narrow bezels found in the mini while retaining its 9.7-inch Retina screen. The iPad Air measures in at just 7.5 mm thick and weighs just one pound, marking a significant reduction by all measures.


As with all of Apple's iterative updates, the iPad Air includes improved internals as well. The iPad Air comes with the same A7 chip and M7 motion coprocessor introduced in the iPhone 5s. Connectivity is also improved with faster MIMO Wi-Fi and support for more LTE bands on cellular models.


WWDC 2014

Apple's annual conference designed for developers will be held from June 2 to June 6 at the Moscone West convention center in San Francisco, California. While the event is focused on developer workshops, the company typically uses the opportunity to debut operating system upgrades and new products.


The first day of the Worldwide Developers Conference begins with a keynote from Apple, where the company shares information on operating system updates, new services, and new products.

During this year's event, Apple is expected to preview both iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 ahead of their prospective fall releases. Developers often receive immediate access to beta versions of the operating systems in order to begin working on new apps and features, with public launches coming later.


Apple also has multiple products on the horizon in 2014 that could be previewed or launched during the company’s keynote event. We may see the rumored 12-inch Retina MacBook, the Mac Mini, an updated Apple TV set-top box, or even the iWatch. We expect to have more concrete details as the event approaches.


iWatch



Apple has been rumored to be working on its "iWatch" smart watch for a while now, but the company has begun accelerating work on the project as it tries to expand its family of mobile devices to the wrist. Apple has already started work on trademarking the name in a number of countries in preparation for a late 2014 launch.


Because we don't yet know what an Apple iWatch will look like, the photos we've included in the roundup are either mockups or existing non-Apple products. For example, the red watch at the top of the page is the Lunatik iPod nano watch.


Few specific details about the iWatch had been available, but new reports suggest the iWatch will have a flexible AMOLED display supplied by LG, which will come in two separate sizes, 1.3 inches and 1.5 inches, to accommodate different sized wrists.


iOS 8

The next iteration of Apple's iOS software for mobile devices is likely coming this fall. Apple generally pre-announces details during the summer, but a handful of rumors have already given us some information about what to expect.


iOS 8 is said to be heavily focused on health, and may integrate with the iWatch, Apple's much-rumored smart watch currently in development. The operating system will reportedly include a "Healthbook" app that pulls fitness-related information from both the M7 motion co-processor included in the iPhone 5s and sensors to be included with the iWatch.


Because iOS 7 included a complete visual overhaul of the operating system, iOS 8 is not expected to feature many design changes. Instead, Apple will likely focus on polishing existing features, improving Maps, Siri, and iCloud support, and perhaps bolstering the functionality of Touch ID through a new mobile payments system.


There's still relatively little tangible information available about iOS 8, but a recent rumor from 9to5Mac has suggested the major focal point of iOS 8 will be the iWatch and its accompanying health-related apps and abilities.


MacBook Air

Updated in June, the MacBook Air now features Intel's low-power Haswell processors, giving the notebook what Apple calls “All-day battery” life. The 11-inch MacBook Air lasts for up to nine hours, while the 13-inch model lasts for up to 12 hours, both with standard use.


With Mavericks, the most recent MacBook Air is able to last for more than 15 hours on a single battery charge, thanks to multiple power saving enhancements.


Though the energy-efficient Haswell processors give the MacBook Air impressive battery life, the speed gains are minimal. According to benchmarks, the new MacBook Air performs three to eight percent better than the previous generation.


MacBook Air is the industry leader for thin and light notebooks, and now with longer battery life, we've set the bar even higher. With faster flash, more powerful graphics and up to 12 hours of battery life, the new MacBook Air packs even more performance into the portable and durable design our customers love.


Apple TV

First introduced in 2007, Apple's set-top box has always been described as a "hobby project" for the company. Designed to provide consumers with access to movies, TV shows, sports, music, and more, the device has never been a top seller. Despite that fact, Apple has continually supported the Apple TV, introducing new versions on a regular basis.


Over the course of the last three years, Apple has taken an even greater interest in the Apple TV, heavily boosting its functionality through both content offerings and hardware improvements. In addition to content from the iTunes Store, the Apple TV now offers more than 20 different channels, ranging from HBO GO to Netflix, with further deals in the works.


Apple's growing focus on content deals, along with specific comments from Steve Jobs on the company's interest in the television arena, has spurred countless rumors questioning the future of the device. Speculation has suggested that the Apple TV could be expanded into a gaming device, a cable box replacement, a full-blown television set, or a combination of all three.


Though the exact future of the Apple TV is still up in the air, it is clear that Apple has ambitious plans for both the device and its ultimate role in the television industry. As Apple CEO Tim Cook has repeated multiple times, television remains an area of "intense interest" for the company.


MacBook Pro

Apple's 13 and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros were updated on October 22 with new Intel processors, designed to improve battery life and overall performance. While the 13-inch model gained a Haswell processor, the 15-inch version was updated with a Crystal Well processor, a variation of the Haswell.


With the new processors, the 15-inch model now offers eight hours of battery life while the 13-inch version offers nine hours of battery life, an overall increase from the seven hours of battery life of the previous generation.


The new 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro retains the same form factor as its predecessor, but the 13-inch version has been slightly redesigned with a slimmer chassis to match the thickness of the 15-inch model. Both Retina MacBook Pros are now 0.71 inches thin.


Along with new processors, the Retina MacBook Pros feature Intel's "Iris" integrated graphics, which are a big improvement over the previous Intel HD Graphics 4000. According to Apple, Intel's Iris graphics deliver 90 percent faster performance. While the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro features Intel's Iris 5100 graphics, the 15-inch model incorporates Iris "Pro" HD 5200 graphics. An NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M discrete graphics card with 2GB of video memory can also be added to the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro.


iPad mini

At its October 22 media event, Apple introduced its second-generation iPad mini, bringing a new Retina display as well as upgraded internals including the A7 chip and M7 motion coprocessor introduced in the iPhone 5s.


The improvements to the iPad mini have necessitated a slight increase in thickness and weight for the iPad mini, with the device now measuring at 7.5 mm thick and 0.73 pounds compared to 7.2 millimeters and 0.68 pounds for the original generation.


With a Retina display, the new iPad mini's resolution has increased from 1024 x 768 to 2048 x 1536, matching the resolution of the full-size iPad but with the smaller screen pushing the pixel density to the same 324 pixels-per-inch seen on Apple's iPhone and iPod touch models.



iMac

Apple somewhat unexpectedly refreshed its iMacs on September 24, 2013, announcing the update via a press release rather at the October media event where the company debuted refreshed iPad and Mac models. The new iMac models feature Intel's Haswell processors (up to 3.5GHz) with the 21.5-inch entry level model also sporting high-performance Iris Pro integrated graphics.


The high-end 21.5-inch model and both 27-inch models come equipped with NVIDIA 700 series graphics, which offer twice as much video memory and 40 percent faster performance than the previous NVIDIA 600 series. The top-of-the-line 27-inch iMac can be upgraded with an NVIDIA GTX 780M graphics card with 4 GB of memory.


iMac continues to be the example that proves how beautiful, fast and fun a desktop computer can be. Inside its ultra-thin aluminum enclosure, the new iMac has the latest Intel processors, faster graphics, next generation 802.11ac Wi-Fi and faster PCIe flash storage.


All of the iMacs now come with 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and when connected to one of Apple's new 802.11ac base stations, wireless performance is three times faster than with 802.11n. 802.11ac supports a theoretical transfer rate of 1.3 gigabits per second, a huge improvement over the 450 megabits per second of 802.11n.


Mac Pro

Apple's professional-level desktop users have been waiting quite some time for a major update to the Mac Pro, and an update finally came on December 19 in the form of a radical redesign embracing a significantly smaller form factor, Ivy Bridge E processors, dual GPUs, fast PCI Express-based flash storage, and an emphasis on external expandability via Thunderbolt 2.


Apple's Mac Pro, which users were given a sneak peek at during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote in June, includes a unique cylindrical design that wraps all of the machine's components around a unified thermal core which absorbs heat from throughout the machine and disperses it through a vertically-oriented fan that draws air in from the bottom of the machine and vents it out through the machine's top.


At the heart of the new Mac Pro lies a single Xeon-class Ivy Bridge E processor with up to 12 cores, paired with dual AMD FirePro graphics chips for maximum performance. PCI Express flash storage offers data transfer rates of up to 1250 MB/s, while four-channel DDR3 EEC memory running at 1866 MHz delivers up to 60 GB/s of memory bandwidth.


Connectivity includes six Thunderbolt 2 ports delivering data transfer speeds of up to 20 Gb/s and daisy-chaining of up to 36 devices, four USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI 1.4 port, and two Gigabit Ethernet ports. With Thunderbolt 2 and the dual-GPU setup, the Mac Pro will be able to support up to three 4K displays. Wireless support includes the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard as well as Bluetooth 4.0.


iPhone 5s

The iPhone 5s is the same size and design as the current iPhone 5 but features improved specifications and is available in three colors: Silver, Gold, and Space Gray.


The iPhone 5s uses a 64-bit A7 processor which is as twice as fast as the previous generation. The new device also incorporates a "Touch ID" capacitive fingerprint sensor built into the home button that's capable of scanning sub-epidermal skin layers. Touch ID can be used to unlock an iPhone and authorize iTunes purchases.


The rear camera in the iPhone 5s has a new 5-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture and a sensor that is 15% larger than the current iPhone 5, as well as a dual-LED "True Tone" flash that will adapt to the existing lighting to provide better colors and more accurate skin tones. Other new camera features include Burst Mode, capable of capturing 10 pictures per second and automatically selecting the best shot, and Slo-Mo 720p video capture at 120 frames per second.


Apple launched the iPhone 5s in the US, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, and the UK on September 20, 2013. In the U.S., the iPhone 5s costs 9, 9, and 9 for the 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB models respectively with a 2-year contract. Non-contract, unlocked SIM free devices are available for 9/9/9. Pricing for other individual countries is available on Apple's online store.


iOS 7

Apple revealed iOS 7 during the WWDC keynote on June 10, featuring a brand new design and a number of new features. iOS 7 launched publicly on September 18th. Users can obtain the update either by connecting their devices to iTunes and clicking the "Check for Update" button or checking for over-the-air updates on their devices via Settings -> General -> Software Update.


iOS 7 is available as a free upgrade for the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, fifth-generation iPod touch (16GB/32GB/64GB) and the iPad 2, iPad with Retina display (third- and fourth-generation), and iPad mini. iOS 7 will come pre-installed on the new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c devices. Owners of the iPhone 5s will also find several new features that are specific to that device. These include: 64-bit support, Touch ID fingerprint sensing, Camera image stablization, Burst Mode and Slow-Mo video.


iOS updates are generally recommended for all users, but in the past, users of older hardware have found that performance of the latest iOS versions on their devices can be sluggish. If you are on older iPhone hardware (iPhone 4), you may want to wait to see how will iOS 7 runs on your device. Our discussion forums are a good resource for specific questions/answers, and we've also gathered some tips to help users discover less well-known features. Over time, we expect new apps and updates will start requiring iOS 7 to take advantage of the new features and interface.


iOS 7 was designed to be compatible with all existing iOS 6 apps, and user testing has found this to generally be true. If you rely on a specific "mission critical" app, it would still be prudent to make sure that that app runs before upgrading.


Thunderbolt Display

Apple's Thunderbolt Display is two years old now, having been announced in July 2011 but not shipping until two months later. Apple display updates have always been very hard to predict due to their erratic update cycle, and while Apple's October 22 media event or the Mac Pro launch seemed like an opportune time for Apple to launch an upgraded standalone display, no such product surfaced.



At the extreme end of possibilities would be a true Retina Thunderbolt display, offering four times as many pixels as the current Apple Thunderbolt Display, coming in at 5120 x 2880 pixels. A display at this size would be able to offer the same amount of screen real estate as the current display but with a much sharper appearance, using the same technology as in the Retina MacBook Pro.


A more achievable goal would be "4K" resolution of either 4096 or 3840 x 2160 pixels. Apple has touted its new Mac Pro as being able to drive three such displays simultaneously, leading to speculation that the company is planning to launch its own 4K display at some point in the relatively near future.


OS X Mavericks

OS X 10.9 Mavericks introduces a number of new features aimed at extending both battery life and responsiveness. Apple has promised 200 changes in Mavericks, including both minor cosmetic updates and major performance enhancements. The new operating system was released just after Apple's October 22, 2013 media event and is a free upgrade from the Mac App Store for all OS X Mountain Lion, Lion, and Snow Leopard users.



Mavericks has several new features developed for power users, with enhanced multi-monitor support and expanded finder capabilities. All users will experience improved power usage, a new iCloud Keychain function for secure cross-device passwords, and better Safari performance.


A new iBooks app and a new Maps app are both bundled into Mavericks, allowing users to read books and access maps within native apps for the first time. While Mavericks has not gotten the same drastic visual overhaul found in iOS 7, a number of skeuomorphic elements introduced with Mountain Lion have been removed.


Mac mini

Apple's Mac mini was last updated in October of 2012, gaining quad-core Core i7 processors, upgraded RAM, and Intel HD Graphics 4000. The desktop computer is now due for another update, which will include Intel's higher-performing Haswell processors and Iris integrated graphics.


While the Haswell processors will likely result in modest speed gains as seen in MacBook Air benchmarks, graphical performance should see solid improvements. According to Intel, its Iris integrated graphics are able to double or triple the performance of existing Ivy Bridge chips.



The Mac mini will probably see a minimum hard drive increase to 1TB, and will continue to offer traditional hard drives and Apple's Fusion Drive, combining a standard 1TB hard drive with flash storage for shorter boot times and quicker file access. Apple's recently introduced iMacs can be configured with faster PCI Express-based flash storage options (including the Fusion Drive), and it is likely the same upgrades will be offered for the Mac mini.


iPod nano

At its iPhone media event on September 10, 2013, Apple introduced a new Space Gray color option for its iPod lineup, replacing the previous black or slate option on the iPod touch, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle. The color was featured as part of the iPhone 5s introduction, but also quietly made its way into the iPod lineup.


No other changes were made to the iPods at or just after the event, but the minor color option change suggests that no additional updates to the products should be expected for some time.


Perhaps more than any other iPod product, the iPod nano has been the subject of significant experimentation by Apple, with the company trying out a number of different form factors based on a click wheel interface before moving to an iPod shuffle-shaped design centered around a multi-touch screen and eventually settling on a design more like a miniature iPod touch with the current seventh-generation models released in October 2012.



iPod classic

The iPod classic is the direct descendent of Apple's original iPod released in 2001 and offers the traditional click wheel interface introduced nearly a decade ago on the iPod mini before making its way into the fourth-generation iPod. With the iPod classic lacking iOS and touchscreen support, the device's main function over the last several years has been to provide customers with an iPod product option offering significant amounts of storage for their music collections. The current version of the iPod classic contains a 160 GB traditional hard drive, offering significantly more capacity than the 64 GB of flash memory found in the high-end iPod touch.


We expect that the current iPod classic will simply be discontinued at some point in the future rather than being updated, but it is unclear exactly when that event would occur. Speculation has suggested that Apple is looking to wait until it can offer the iPod touch in a 128 GB capacity before it discontinues the iPod classic, but that jump has yet to take place.


The current generation of the iPod classic was introduced in September 2009, and while the product's demise has been rumored a number of times over the past several years, Apple has so far continued selling it in silver and black color options at the same 9 price point.


Back in early 2011, Toshiba introduced a 220 GB 1.8-inch hard drive that could have allowed Apple to increase the capacity of the iPod classic, and tightening supplies very soon after led to speculation that the device could see an update or discontinuation. By September 2011, Apple had removed its click wheel iPod games from the iTunes Store. No such games had been added to the store since February 2009, but the complete removal of the games section from the iTunes Store fueled rumors that the iPod classic would soon be discontinued. Ultimately, however, no changes were made to the device or its availability.


iPod shuffle

What's new? In short, not a whole lot. At its iPhone media event on September 10, 2013, Apple introduced a new Space Gray color option for its iPod lineup, replacing the previous black or slate option on the iPod touch, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle. The color was featured as part of the iPhone 5s introduction, but also quietly made its way into the iPod lineup.


No other changes were made to the iPods, but the minor color option change suggests that no additional updates to the products should be expected for some time.


Apple's iPod shuffle has gone through several design changes since its introduction in January 2005, with the current form factor having been introduced in September 2010. Priced at and offering 2GB of storage, the only changes made to the device over the past three years have been in color options.



iPod touch

At its September 2013 iPhone event, Apple quietly introduced a new Space Gray color option for its iPod lineup, replacing the previous black or slate option on the iPod touch, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle. The color was featured as part of the iPhone 5s introduction, but also quietly made its way into the iPod lineup.


No other changes were made to the iPods, but the minor color option change suggests that no additional updates to the products should be expected for some time.


The current fifth-generation iPod touch was introduced in September 2012, with shipments beginning the following month. The launch marked a significant enhancement for the iPod touch, moving to the same 4-inch Retina display found in the iPhone 5 while also upgrading to a dual-core A5 chip and adding a "Loop" wrist strap and an improved 5-megapixel rear camera, all in a thinner design than the previous generation.



AirPort

Apple's AirPort Express is its entry-level AirPort base station, designed to be easy to use and affordable. Priced at , it offers dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi along with AirPlay for wireless music playback and wireless printing.


At 9, the AirPort Extreme is Apple's mid-level base station, offering dual-band higher-speed 802.11ac Wi-Fi, printer and hard drive sharing, and a stronger signal due to its high-rise design and six antennas.


Apple's AirPort Time Capsule, priced at 9 to 9, is essentially an AirPort Extreme with a built-in hard drive that facilitates automatic wireless backups using Apple's Time Machine software. It offers 802.11ac and all of the features of the AirPort Extreme, with the addition of a 2 or 3 TB hard drive.


All of Apple's AirPorts include a built-in Network Address Translation (NAT) firewall to create a barrier between a network and the Internet, along with password encryption and closed network options.



Archived Roundups

Black Friday 2013

Black Friday, which takes place on November 29 this year, is a major shopping holiday in the United States. During the event, retailers around the country drop their prices on thousands of items, hoping to lure shoppers to their stores.


Apple products on the cheap are highly desired, and this year, retailers are offering some fantastic deals. We’ve gathered up a list of all the retailers offering discounts on iPhones, iPads, iPods, MacBooks, and more. Each entry lists the item and the savings off of the price that the store normally sells the product for.


As it is still early, we are expecting additional information on other notable Black Friday sales to surface, from retailers like Apple. We will continue to update this roundup to add deals as they become available.


The best deals thus far are from the major retailers, as seen in the chart below (which includes gift cards). Target is offering the best price on the iPad Air at 9 (9+0 gift card) while Walmart has a 9 iPad mini available. Walmart also has the best deals on both the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c. It remains unclear which stores might offer the Retina iPad mini, but if Target has stock on hand, they will be available for 9 with a gift card. Make sure to check out our detailed guides on where to get the best prices on Apple's lineup of iPads and Macs.