This Week’s Cover of ‘The New Yorker’ Was Sketched on an iPad

This week's cover of The New Yorker has been sketched using an iPad and Apple Pencil, created by illustrator Jorge Colombo. The image depicts Brooklyn Bridge Park in Brooklyn Heights that Colombo frequents, with the artwork capturing a couple of basketball games and spectators at the park.

Apple CEO Tim Cook shared The New Yorker cover on Twitter this morning, with a quote from Colombo who mentioned his fear that one of the basketballs would fly near him and hit his iPad.

It’s one of my favorite places to hang out,” Jorge Colombo says, about the park he sketched, on an iPad, for the cover of this week’s issue. “I live down the street, in Brooklyn Heights, so I go there all the time, either to take the East River Ferry or just to relax by the water.

It is a magnet—people come from all of Brooklyn’s many neighborhoods just to take a selfie by the waterfront or picnic by the water. This was a risky drawing to make, though: I kept worrying that the ball would hit me or the iPad.”
The New Yorker also shared a video of Colombo's illustration process on its website this week. Apple's iPad and Apple Pencil have been celebrated as tools for artists in the past, with Apple recently highlighting Rob Zilla's NBA illustrations. Apple's tablet was even used to create the poster for Stranger Things on Netflix.


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Apple Rumored to Discontinue iPad Mini

Waiting for an iPad mini 5? You may be disappointed. BGR, citing a source close to Apple, claims the 7.9-inch tablet is being phased out. The report doesn't offer a timeline as to when the iPad mini will be discontinued, and its sources couldn't confirm if the iPad mini 4 will remain on sale for a period of time.


Apple is rumored to introduce a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro as early as the WWDC 2017 keynote on June 5, so it's conceivable to think the iPad mini could be axed then if the report is accurate. Apple's tablet lineup would then consist of the iPad Pro in 12.9-inch, 10.5-inch, and 9.7-inch sizes, and the new low-cost 9.7-inch iPad.

Apple launched the original iPad mini in 2012. Since the iPhone 6 Plus launched in 2014, it's been speculated that the 5.5-inch smartphone may be at least partially cannibalizing sales of the iPad mini, but Apple doesn't break out its tablet sales numbers on a model-by-model basis, so it's hard to say for sure.

Nearly two months ago, Apple discontinued the iPad mini 2 and stopped selling a 32GB version of the iPad mini 4. It also lowered the starting price of the 128GB iPad mini 4 to $399, which was previously the 32GB model's price point.

Japanese blog Mac Otakara claimed Apple would release a 7.9-inch iPad Pro in March with a Smart Connector, True Tone display, four speakers and microphones, a 12-megapixel rear camera with True Tone flash, and an improved processor, but it's already May and the rumor has yet to materialize.

Related Roundup: iPad mini 4 (2015)
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Buyer's Guide: iPad Mini (Caution)

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Apple Discontinues iPad Mini 2

Apple today discontinued the iPad mini 2, which launched in November 2013 and was most recently sold for $269 in the United States. Apple's cheapest tablet is now the new 9.7-inch iPad, which starts at $329, while those preferring the 7.9-inch size can purchase the iPad mini 4 with 128GB of storage for $399.


Apple's tablet lineup has now been narrowed down to the iPad Pro in 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch sizes, a low-cost 9.7-inch iPad, and the iPad mini 4. Rumors suggest Apple is also readying a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro with an edge-to-edge display, which could be unveiled at a future Spring event, WWDC 2017, or even later.

Related Roundup: iPad mini 4 (2015)
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Buyer's Guide: iPad Mini (Caution)

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iPad Mini 4 With 128GB of Storage Now Starts at $399, 32GB Model Discontinued

Apple today announced that the iPad mini 4 now offers more capacity for the same price. The tablet has not been updated beyond the price change.


Specifically, the 128GB model now starts at $399 for the Wi-Fi model and $529 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model, while the 32GB model has been discontinued. The tablet remains available in Silver, Gold, and Space Gray.

Related Roundup: iPad mini 4 (2015)
Buyer's Guide: iPad Mini (Caution)

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Tim Cook Says ‘Exciting Things’ Coming to iPad as Tablet Sales Continue to Drop

While the iPhone 7 Plus helped Apple achieve record-breaking earnings results last quarter, iPad sales remained on a downward trend.


Apple earlier this week reported that it sold 13.1 million iPads in the first quarter, which encompasses the holiday shopping season, down from 16.1 million in the year-ago quarter. As noted by Jason Snell at Six Colors, that's nearly half as many iPads as the 26 million that Apple sold during the same period in 2013.

Apple isn't the only tablet maker suffering from declining sales. The overall category continued to shrink by between 9% and 20% worldwide compared to the same quarter a year ago, placing pressure on Samsung and other vendors, according to the latest estimates from research firms IDC and Strategy Analytics.


Price remains a "key sticking point" for consumers looking to adopt high-end tablets such as the iPad Pro, which has created room for smaller vendors to capitalize on low-priced tablets, according to Strategy Analytics. Lenovo, for example, shipped an estimated 4.2 million tablets and grew 21% year-over-year in the quarter.

"2-in-1 tablets are a hot market segment but price remains a key factor in consumer behaviors around PC and tablet replacement devices, which is evident in lower shipments of iPad Pro and Surface Pro 4 devices in the quarter," said Eric Smith, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics.

IDC said the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini, rather than the iPad Pro lineup, continued to account for the majority of Apple's tablet shipments. For every ten slate tablets shipped, Apple sold only one iPad Pro, the research firm said. Apple does not officially break out iPad sales on a model-by-model basis.

Apple said it underestimated holiday demand for the iPad quarter, and that compounded a supply issue with one of its suppliers. Apple also drew down channel inventory by 700,000 units, so its results are not as bad as they look. Last year, Apple increased channel inventory by 900,000 units as the iPad Pro launched.

Apple also said the iPad has an 85% share of the U.S. tablet market priced above $200, so the tablet is doing exceptionally well in the premium segment that the company has targeted. iPad also undoubtedly remains the world's best-selling tablet, with a comfortable lead over its rivals, based on industry estimates.

Samsung was Apple's closest competitor with an estimated 8.1 million tablets shipped in the quarter for 12.8% market share, according to Strategy Analytics. Lenovo, Huawei, and Amazon rounded off the top five with an estimated 4.2 million, 3.7 million, and 3.4 million shipments in the quarter respectively.


As always, it is important to acknowledge that these are estimated figures, and that shipments do not necessarily reflect sales. There are also significant discrepancies between the IDC and Strategy Analytics datasets—particularly as it relates to Amazon—so treat the numbers with a proverbial grain of salt.

Apple has effectively marketed the iPad Pro as a computer in the post-PC world, but the company's second annual decline in iPad sales led Apple podcaster Marco Arment to raise an interesting question: what if the iPad isn't the future of computing?
What if, like so much in technology, it’s mostly just additive, rather than largely replacing PCs and Macs, and furthermore had a cooling-fad effect as initial enthusiasm wore off and customers came to this conclusion?
One thing is for certain: consumers are not upgrading their tablets nearly as often as smartphones. In order to reignite iPad sales, Apple will have to add compelling new features that entice the large base of existing iPad owners to swap out their current "good enough" tablet for a new one.

"We've got some exciting things coming on iPad and I'm optimistic about where things are headed," said Apple CEO Tim Cook. "Customer satisfaction is through the roof. iPad Pro at 99%. So I see a lot of good things and hope for better results."


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