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Apple inventory snapshot suggests new MacBook Pros imminent, non-Retina iPad mini may live on - Page 2

post #41 of 72
Originally Posted by Harry Wild View Post
Hope they still will release an iPad Mini Retina with an A7X inside along with an upgraded wifi 802.11 ac.

 

I’d say expect A6X in the retina mini unless the A7’s GPU performs better.


Edited by Tallest Skil - 10/20/13 at 6:57am

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #42 of 72
That's ok a non retina ipad mini 2 is still better than the nexus 7 2nd generation with retina display.
post #43 of 72

$229 for the 1st gen Mini would mean Apple will get back that 80% share of the market.

post #44 of 72
a mac mini would make a very nice new mac addition.
post #45 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by quest01 View Post

That's ok a non retina ipad mini 2 is still better than the nexus 7 2nd generation with retina display.

But if another tablet has more pixels it means it's better, regardless of other attributes to the quality of the display, the actual performance of the system, how fast the OS feels on system, how many quality apps are available, or the battery life. It's best if we focus on a single metric of a single component to determine which is better and and which is worse overall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

$229 for the 1st gen Mini would mean Apple will get back that 80% share of the market.

That would be great but I am thinking a $100 drop for that product is too extremes since it's already that inexpensive. I could see $249 at a minimum, but even that seems too extreme for that product.

Also keep in mind that Apple killed both the original iPhone, the original iPad, and original Pod Touch when the next generation arrived. Based on that precedence I wouldn't be shocked if Apple did the same thing with the iPad mini; meaning there would be no lower priced 1st gen iPad Mini hanging around.
post #46 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkichline View Post



Apple has done this successfully in the past. They transitioned almost seamlessly from PowerPC chips to Intel and even more often from 32 to 64 bit. Recently they unveiled a brand new, 64 bit processor and I compiled my app to it in about 2 hours and submitted. What I'm saying is that Apple has the ability to jump chips, if they determined it was in their best interests. All the same software would still work with a little heads up for the developers.



The Surface RT failed because it's a terrible form factor. It's a tablet that required (basically) a keyboard to function but the keyboard requires you use it on a table. Defeats the purpose of a tablet. It also was released NOT supporting programs that would normally run on Windows and they had almost no developer support.



What I'm suggesting is NOT a tablet/laptop hybrid since that is the worst of both worlds. What I am suggesting is a device where Apple owns the processor architecture and has all the same programs and function of OS X because it *is* OS X.



I wouldn't use MS failures as a basis for if Apple should do something. Microsoft originally failed at the smartphone as well as the original tablet computer. Need I mention Zune or WebTV? Apple can do things MS can't and I'd like to see them show the tech world again how it's done.

 



OS X Arm would need Rosetta - that's the PC era Apple-is-behind way of doing things, and Apple says they're post that. Not going to happen anytime soon.

I'm not using MS failure*S* as a blanket comparison, I'm using the Surface RT failure because it has all the qualities you're suggesting. Same OS basis, but a different architecture (not 32 to 64, but a different architecture), landing it in a barren software ecosystem.
post #47 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by quest01 View Post

That's ok a non retina ipad mini 2 is still better than the nexus 7 2nd generation with retina display.
Better enough for the more expensive price? I guess I'm just biased because display is a big deal to me. Apple makes a retina mini it's game over for everyone else. Apple keeps the mini non retina for another year and they've just handed the competition a big gift.
post #48 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkichline View Post



I'm talking about running OS X on an ARM chip, not running iOS on a laptop. Apple could update Xcode and require a recompile with some tweaking to allow programs to run on it. Not saying they would do this, but a power sipping entry-level, lower poweed device would fit a niche.

 



The "niche" part of the equation would probably keep Apple away. Fragmenting for the sake of variety is not their approach. The Mac Pro is the only one, for a number of reasons, and was itself on the chopping block.
post #49 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

$229 for the 1st gen Mini would mean Apple will get back that 80% share of the market.
I would say $249 is the lowest they would go. But I'm thinking $279-$299 is more likely. If they don't upgrade the internals of the 1st gen mini then yeah I could see it cheaper. But if they upgrade it to A6 then I don't see how they hit such a low price point.
post #50 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by akqies View Post

But if another tablet has more pixels it means it's better, regardless of other attributes to the quality of the display, the actual performance of the system, how fast the OS feels on system, how many quality apps are available, or the battery life. It's best if we focus on a single metric of a single component to determine which is better and and which is worse overall.
That would be great but I am thinking a $100 drop for that product is too extremes since it's already that inexpensive. I could see $249 at a minimum, but even that seems too extreme for that product.

Also keep in mind that Apple killed both the original iPhone, the original iPad, and original Pod Touch when the next generation arrived. Based on that precedence I wouldn't be shocked if Apple did the same thing with the iPad mini; meaning there would be no lower priced 1st gen iPad Mini hanging around.
But Apple has kept the iPad 2 around as a low cost option. It's possible they would keep a non retina mini around as sort of the gateway to iPads and for education or businesses that don't require a retina display.
post #51 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by kustardking View Post

OS X Arm would need Rosetta - that's the PC era Apple-is-behind way of doing things, and Apple says they're post that. Not going to happen anytime soon.

I'm not using MS failure*S* as a blanket comparison, I'm using the Surface RT failure because it has all the qualities you're suggesting. Same OS basis, but a different architecture (not 32 to 64, but a different architecture), landing it in a barren software ecosystem.

Careful saying it would need Rosetta as that will get many people to point out the success of Rosetta for PPC apps on Intel chips before they were transitioned. It needs to be noted that Apple went from slower PPC chips (which were even slower in notebooks due to heat thresholds that imposed even more limitations) to faster Intel chips which made nearly every PPC run better under emulation on an Intel Mac then it did under a PPC Mac of the same category.

This would be the exact opposite of having ARM emulate Intel apps which tells me Apple has no intention of doing it. The only saving grace here is the Mac App Store would could allow for a very easy transition for apps to be recompiled to run natively on ARM. This still doesn't alleviate either the primary issue with ARM chips or the popular app suites, like Adobe and MS Office, that would have to emulated for years to come.

Finally, if Intel wasn't working so diligently on reducing power usage in their chips I might think if it was a possibility. Perhaps if we start to see Apple create a more powerful chip that really starts to creep into desktop OS territory (perhaps for a Home Server Product) then I might change my mind, but that doesn't seem likely to happen.
post #52 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

But Apple has kept the iPad 2 around as a low cost option. It's possible they would keep a non retina mini around as sort of the gateway to iPads and for education or businesses that don't require a retina display.

Sure, but that the iPad 2, not the iPad 1, which has nothing to do with my point about Apple's history with iOS devices.
post #53 of 72

Darn I was hoping for a mac mini in 2013.  I guess it could still happen.

Doodle Dice iPhone puzzle game: A fun, free physics-laden collection of dice games.  Greatest app made yet?  Perhaps young man... Perhaps.
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Doodle Dice iPhone puzzle game: A fun, free physics-laden collection of dice games.  Greatest app made yet?  Perhaps young man... Perhaps.
Reply
post #54 of 72
Quote:
It needs to be noted that Apple went from slower PPC chips (which were even slower in notebooks due to heat thresholds that imposed even more limitations) to faster Intel chips which made nearly every PPC run better under emulation on an Intel Mac then it did under a PPC Mac of the same category.

This would be the exact opposite of having ARM emulate Intel apps which tells me Apple has no intention of doing it. The only saving grace here is the Mac App Store would could allow for a very easy transition for apps to be recompiled to run natively on ARM. This still doesn't alleviate either the primary issue with ARM chips or the popular app suites, like Adobe and MS Office, that would have to emulated for years to come

 

You beat me to it.  Aside from the lower computing performance of ARM vs x86, there is also the large number of users using Parallels/Fusion/VirtualBox to run Windows (or in my case Solaris & Linux) on their Macs.  This currently isn't actually using emulation, but rather running native processor code, which is why they perform quite well.  They'd have to be re-written for ARM in order to operate and would have to do on-the-fly code translation (a-la Rosetta).  Bochs & VirtualPC were available to run Windows for PPC-Macs in this way, but they were only moderately usable (I'm being quite generous) on the hardware at the time.

 

Another consideration is that Apple doesn't own the underlying code for Rosetta; they licensed it from Transitive.  Transitive has since been purchased by IBM and their only remaining product is the PowerVM Lx86 software.  That tells me that the code is still designed specifically for POWER (as in PPC) to x86 translations.  Whilst there was a SPARC to x86 translator, it wasn't well received and died pretty quickly on the vine.

 

All in all, I do think that Apple will eventually switch to ARM for their Mac line, but I believe that's several years out at the earliest.  They'll probably wait for the "new computing" model that tablets and smart phones are introducing to evolve and mature (quite) a bit and for legacy software requires to diminish and cycle out more naturally.

post #55 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkichline View Post

I'm talking about running OS X on an ARM chip, not running iOS on a laptop.
Sometimes people have problems grasping this. Considering what we know about the current A7, Apple could easily hit the performance levels of a 2011 Mini or Mac Book AIR. However I could see Apple crafting an OS/X that allows iOS apps to run in a window.
Quote:
Apple could update Xcode and require a recompile with some tweaking to allow programs to run on it. Not saying they would do this, but a power sipping entry-level, lower poweed device would fit a niche.
It most certainly would fill many niches. A box to do low power server duty would be one example. Vastly extended battery life's in a laptop would be another.
post #56 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


Sometimes people have problems grasping this. Considering what we know about the current A7, Apple could easily hit the performance levels of a 2011 Mini or Mac Book AIR. However I could see Apple crafting an OS/X that allows iOS apps to run in a window.
It most certainly would fill many niches. A box to do low power server duty would be one example. Vastly extended battery life's in a laptop would be another.

The A7 and Arm cpus are closing fast at 100% improvements per year.  vs Current Intel cpu improvement rates.

 

What this means now or next year or two years time...?

 

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #57 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by kustardking View Post


I think this would confuse the form factors, and give most people a lot of pause. It's TOO MANY options.
Not really a problem considering how limited Apples lineup is right now. In fact one could make an argument that Apple could fill gaps in its line up that have been around for years.
Quote:
Also, the difference between OS X and iOS is the software ecosystem. iOS == Arm ecosystem, OS X == x86 ecosystem. OS X on Arm == no software.
That is baloney. Apple could modify developer terms demanding a fat binary or alternative build for users of its App Store. Open source would build no problem. As always commercial apps not in the App Store would be on their own.
Quote:
And if you hadn't realized, OS X on Arm was already market tested. It was called the Surface RT. Fail.
Surface RT has absolutely nothing to do with OS/X on ARM. Also Surface RT has nothing to do with Linux on ARM nor BSD on ARM all of which are coming along nicely. I might also suggest that the Surface device was a tablet, we are talking about alternative laptops and desktops here.
post #58 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by kustardking View Post


OS X Arm would need Rosetta - that's the PC era Apple-is-behind way of doing things, and Apple says they're post that. Not going to happen anytime soon.
This is baloney. The concept of fat binaries must escape you and along with that Apples control over the App Store. It literally takes a fraction of a day for developers to target a new architecture. It is often referred to as a cross compile.

Here is another fact for you, every iOS app gets compiled t run on i86 if the developer runs that App on the simulator.
Quote:
I'm not using MS failure*S* as a blanket comparison, I'm using the Surface RT failure because it has all the qualities you're suggesting.
Only in your warped imagination. Nobody is even thinking about a surface like device.
Quote:
Same OS basis, but a different architecture (not 32 to 64, but a different architecture), landing it in a barren software ecosystem.
Again not even a consideration here. How much of an ecosystem did iPad have when it debuted? Or for that matter iPhone. You are focusing on issues that simply aren't a problem.
post #59 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I’d say expect A6X in the retina mini unless the A7’s GPU performs better.
A7 already appears to be a lower power device so just on that basis I can see it in the next Mini.
post #60 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Here is another fact for you, every iOS app gets compiled t run on i86 if the developer runs that App on the simulator.

I'm not saying you're wrong as I really don't know either way but that seems counterintuitive to me. Compiling for x86 could introduce new issues and not weed out any AArch issues. I'd think it would compile for AArch with Simulator iOS being an emulator app.
post #61 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

A7 already appears to be a lower power device so just on that basis I can see it in the next Mini.

In the next iPad Mini? The one due out next week to the next few months? That seems like an unlikely timeframe to me. I agree with previous poster that it's still years away in terms of equatable performance and SW before this would be feasible.
post #62 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

The A7 and Arm cpus are closing fast at 100% improvements per year.  vs Current Intel cpu improvement rates.
That 100% improvement per year won't last long, however A7 is looking to be an extraordinary advancement for Apple. Mind you this excellent result happens at 1.3 GHz, since many foundries have been demonstrating running ARM cores at well above 2GHz, there is no telling how fast Apple can run the A7. Add a bit more I/O, possibly in the A7X variant, and the processor could power a wide range of hardware.

Many people have been comparing core performance to Intel hardware, more so Intels top end hardware! The problem is this, A7 already out performs ATOM and probably a number of AMD chips. It is a leading processor considering its real competition. Could it power other devices at a higher clock rate? That is almost a certainty, for Apple it means far lower cost devices at very good margins.
Quote:
What this means now or next year or two years time...?
It is up to Apple really but let look at it this way, they have options. Options gives them leverage with the likes of Intel.
Quote:
Lemon Bon Bon.
post #63 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by akqies View Post

I'm not saying you're wrong as I really don't know either way but that seems counterintuitive to me.
I'm not sure why you think that. On suggestion; Apples developer materials are free, take a look at XCode and the SDK documentation. They hide very little from developers for released materials. They have lots of options. Further they have yet to really leverage everything that LLVM and CLang can do or them.
Quote:
Compiling for x86 could introduce new issues and not weed out any AArch issues.
Actually it does introduce issues, some of which may be gotchas. For example simulator apps have access to more RAM.
Quote:
I'd think it would compile for AArch with Simulator iOS being an emulator app.
That isn't the way it happens though.
post #64 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

I’d say expect A6X in the retina mini unless the A7’s GPU performs better.

 

I see a lot of people assuming that the A7 (not A7X) could drive a retina iPad without any problem based on some raw GPU benchmarks that shows the A7 performing better than the A6X.

 

Well I'm not so sure about that. I'm not a GPU expert, but I don't think that pushing 4x the number of polygons is the same thing as pushing 4x the number of pixels. The latter might require more parallel processing in the form of a multi-core GPU, such as the ones found in  the A6X (or A7X).

 

An A7 could perform worse than an A6X if it runs into bottleneck issues because of the large number of pixels it has to push on an iPad.

post #65 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by akqies View Post

In the next iPad Mini? The one due out next week to the next few months?
Next week is a possibility. That would be an iPad Mini.
Quote:
That seems like an unlikely timeframe to me. I agree with previous poster that it's still years away in terms of equatable performance and SW before this would be feasible.
The chip already runs at a low enough power level to drive an iPhone so that issue seems to be solved. I'm not sure what you mean by equatable performance as the A7 whips the older A series chips in almost every way. As for software A7 is already fully exploited by iOS and for the most part old apps run fine on the chip.

By the way the strongest motivation for Apple here is marketing. Being able to say they have already transitioned all of their tablets to 64 bits is marketing gold. It will give Apple a comfortable lead for a year or more.
post #66 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by VL-Tone View Post

I see a lot of people assuming that the A7 (not A7X) could drive a retina iPad without any problem based on some raw GPU benchmarks that shows the A7 performing better than the A6X.
Actually the GPU isn't an overall win.
Quote:
Well I'm not so sure about that. I'm not a GPU expert, but I don't think that pushing 4x the number of polygons is the same thing as pushing 4x the number of pixels. The latter might require more parallel processing in the form of a multi-core GPU, such as the ones found in  the A6X (or A7X).
The behavior of the processor would vary with apps. Beyond that Apple could easily change the clock rate of the GPU cores in the A7 as opposed to making an A7X. The discussion is frankly a little premature considering nothing has shipped yet. The A7 however brings a lot to the performance table with only a few regressions in the GPU. How much the more dramatic the other GPU improvements are, have already been seen in many apps so it looks like Apple has seen a good balance of improvements. Beyond all of this you have to understand that a Retina in a Mini might not mean a 2X density increase in pixels.
Quote:
An A7 could perform worse than an A6X if it runs into bottleneck issues because of the large number of pixels it has to push on an iPad.

It could no doubt, but Apple wouldn't put a plan into place that resulted in dramatic reductions in iPad Mini performance. Just see an overall potential increase in performance with A7, and the value of moving to 64 bit as soon as possible.

As an aside there is some mystery with respect to a RAM array embedded in A7, some of us think it is a frame buffer to support the GPUs. Apple could resize that array for other screen sizes. This might not yield an A7X but maybe an A7-0.5X. Of course this is guess work but the point is there are many ways to address A7 processors in a Mini.
post #67 of 72
Why, but why did they dump the MBP 17" ?
I worked on a dozen of them since 2002 and
cannot consider 15"
post #68 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

Maybe they'll drop the price of the models that are in "good inventory" while they come out with newer models to replace the existing ones at the current prices? Just a possibility, but not a high probability.

It is a high probability for the mini. That is exactly what they do for the larger iPads and see no reason why they won't keep the current mini around and lower the price point. That allows them to go down market with a known good product that has been value engineered to lower COGS, etc. So not only do we get a new and better mini, but we get the current one at a new lower price. So the 1st gen mini will probably be around the price everyone though Apple had to hit under $300 to be a success. Of course Apple did just fine at the current price, but they will do even better expanding the total addressable market for iPad with a lower priced entry model.

Good times ahead IMHO... 1smile.gif
post #69 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Next week is a possibility. That would be an iPad Mini.
The chip already runs at a low enough power level to drive an iPhone so that issue seems to be solved. I'm not sure what you mean by equatable performance as the A7 whips the older A series chips in almost every way. As for software A7 is already fully exploited by iOS and for the most part old apps run fine on the chip.

By the way the strongest motivation for Apple here is marketing. Being able to say they have already transitioned all of their tablets to 64 bits is marketing gold. It will give Apple a comfortable lead for a year or more.

I thought you were referring to the Mac Mini with the A7 on the next release hence my comment despite writing iPad Mini in my reply. My bad.

As for A7 next week in the iPad Mini it's possible but I don't recall Apple even jumping a generation in an iDevice. The closest example is the iPod Touch but it also skipped a year of being updated so it still maintained the A-chip that was behind the iPhone.

I'd think Apple would do the same thing with the iPad Mini to the iPad otherwise why even start a generation behind in the first place. Clearly they are planning these updates year in advance.

That leads be to believe the most likely outcome for a Retina iPad Mini this year will be an A6X.
post #70 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by VL-Tone View Post

I see a lot of people assuming that the A7 (not A7X) could drive a retina iPad without any problem based on some raw GPU benchmarks that shows the A7 performing better than the A6X.

Well I'm not so sure about that. I'm not a GPU expert, but I don't think that pushing 4x the number of polygons is the same thing as pushing 4x the number of pixels. The latter might require more parallel processing in the form of a multi-core GPU, such as the ones found in  the A6X (or A7X).

An A7 could perform worse than an A6X if it runs into bottleneck issues because of the large number of pixels it has to push on an iPad.

I read comments often how the GPU is good enough for a Retina display but I rarely does anyone address the important factor regarding memory bandwidth.
post #71 of 72

Does anyone know what happens to the stock on-hand that Apple does not sell when a replacement comes out?

post #72 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleGreen View Post
 

Doesn't the iPad mini have the same pixel count as the iPad 2?

 

If Apple were to introduce a Retina iPad mini, I assume it would have the same pixel count as the bigger Retina iPad. This means a higher resolution screen for the mini.  I wonder if such screens are available and what they would cost Apple.

 

Anybody have any knowledge about this?  Please share.

 

Pixel count and resolution are related terms; both independent of display surface area. It's pixel density which varies (inversely) with the display surface area.

 

The mini simply used the display panels from the iPhone 3G cut to a larger size. A retina mini would likely use iPhone 4/5S display panels with a comparable 4x jump in pixel density.

 

Expect the mini to look exactly like the display on the iPhone 5S only larger.

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