Get Ready for Upcoming ARKit Apps With Deals on Compatible iPhone SE and iPad Models

Later today Apple will debut iOS 11, the newest software update for iPhones and iPads that will bring changes like a new control center, improvements to Siri, an upgraded user interface on iPad, and the ability to interact with certain apps using advanced augmented reality capabilities. The only way to take advantage of these ARKit-powered apps is with an iPhone or iPad that has an A9, A10, or A11 processor.

Thankfully, a few A9-enabled iOS devices are marked down this week, allowing anyone on older iPhones and iPads the chance to upgrade and get a peek inside Apple's augmented reality future. The first deal is at Walmart, where you can get the 32GB iPhone SE (with an A9 chip) for $129.00 on the retailer's prepaid Straight Talk cellular service. There are only a few Space Gray in stock of the 4-inch iPhone as of writing.


At Staples, there are a variety of ARKit-compatible models of the new 2017 iPads to choose from, including the 9.7-inch iPad with 32GB of storage for $299.00, down from $329.00. The iPad is available in Silver, Space Gray, and Gold. If you're looking for more storage, there's also the 128GB version of the same iPad on sale for $399.00, down from $429.00. The Staples discounts will continue until Saturday, September 23, while supplies last. Each of these iPads include Apple's A9 chip with 64-bit architecture necessary to run ARKit apps.

In other deals, Walmart has a slight discount on the Apple Pencil at $89.00, down from Apple's retail price of $99.99. Note that Apple Pencil is only compatible on iPad Pro devices, and won't work on the 2017 9.7-inch iPad. Check out our Deals Roundup for even more sales going on this week, which includes Bluetooth speakers from Anker and Jawbone, 12 percent off Apple Watch accessories from Twelve South, and $10 off orders of $50 or more at Pad & Quill.


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Apple’s Sizable Jump in Tablet Sales Wasn’t Entirely Driven by New Lower-Priced 9.7-Inch iPad

Apple recently reported sales of 11.4 million iPads in the June quarter, an increase of 15 percent compared to the year-ago quarter. iPad revenue was also up, but only 2 percent year over year, suggesting Apple was selling a lot of new lower-priced 9.7-inch iPads, which start at just $329 in the United States.


A new report by research firm Strategy Analytics, however, argues that isn't entirely the case. Apple's average selling price for iPads remained steady at $435 in the June quarter, down only one dollar from the March quarter.

That doesn't mean the new 9.7-inch iPad, introduced in late March, isn't popular. With a faster A9 chip and brighter Retina display than the iPad Air 2 it replaced, and for less money than even an iPad mini 4, the tablet provides good value with few compromises for customers at the low end.

What it does mean is that more expensive iPad Pro models likely sold well enough to offset the addition of a lower-priced iPad in Apple's tablet lineup. Apple launched new 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models at its Worldwide Developers Conference, a few weeks before the end of its June quarter.

"It's undeniable that lower pricing on the new iPad helped drive sales throughout the June quarter, but the ASPs tell a slightly different story," said Eric Smith, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, speaking with MacRumors.

"ASPs were steady from last quarter, showing that higher priced iPad Pro models also sold well, even though the new 12.9-inch and 10.5-inch models were out for less than a month in the June quarter," he added.

For historical perspective, the average selling price of iPads has typically been between roughly $415 and $450 since 2015, although it briefly rose to $490 in the year-ago quarter following the launch of the original 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

Wall Street Beat


Apple's sales of 11.4 million iPads far exceeded analyst expectations. The average Wall Street prediction was approximately 9 million iPads sold, according to Wells Fargo, with some analysts predicting as low as 7 million.

Strategy Analytics estimates that Apple took a 26 percent share of the global tablet market in the June quarter, up from 21 percent in the year-ago quarter. iPad remained the world's best selling tablet, ahead of Samsung tablets, which maintained an estimated 13 percent market share in the quarter.


Chinese company Huawei also saw explosive 42 percent growth in the quarter, with an estimated 3.2 million tablet shipments, according to Strategy Analytics. Apple, Huawei, and Amazon were the only tablet makers to experience growth in the quarter, with Samsung, Lenovo, and all other vendors facing declines.

It's worth noting that Apple doesn't disclose iPad sales on a model-by-model basis in its quarterly earnings results.

Given the new 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models were released towards the end of the June quarter, the tablets should have even more of an impact on Apple's tablet sales in the fourth quarter. Apple's 15 percent increase in iPad sales marked the product category's first unit growth in nearly four years.

Also See
: IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker for June Quarter

Related Roundup: iPad (2017)
Tag: Strategy Analytics
Buyer's Guide: iPad (Neutral)

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Microsoft Possibly Working on ‘Touch Cover’ Smart Keyboard For iPad

Microsoft appears to be working on a Touch Cover smart keyboard for at least one iPad model, according to battery information for products containing lithium-ion batteries shared on its website earlier this year.

Microsoft's Surface RT with Touch Cover

The documents were published in April, but they were only discovered now by German blog WinFuture, which tipped its information to The Verge. The product is clearly listed: iPad Touch Cover (Model 1719).

Microsoft previously sold Touch Covers for its Surface tablets that doubled as pressure-sensitive keyboards and protective covers.


Those covers magnetically click into place and provide protection for the Surface's touchscreen. They have a standard keyboard layout, shortcut keys, and a two-button touchpad that supports gestures.

It's unknown if the iPad version would be similar. All that's known is that it presumably has a lithium-ion battery, suggesting it could connect over Bluetooth. It could also work with an iPad Pro's Smart Connector, but that seems less likely.

Of course, Microsoft could have scrapped plans to release an iPad keyboard between April and now, or perhaps even earlier. For now, the single document is all we have to go on. We'll provide an update if that changes.

Related Roundup: iPad (2017)
Tag: Microsoft
Buyer's Guide: iPad (Neutral)

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