Apple to Launch 12.9″ iPad Air; iPhone 16 to Drop Physical Volume Buttons!

Apple iPad Air Launch

Apple is set to launch a new iPad Air series in May, featuring two sizes: 10.9 inches and 12.9 inches, with the latter becoming the largest Air tablet in Apple’s history.

Currently, third-party case manufacturers have already listed protective cases for the 12.9-inch iPad Air on the Amazon e-commerce platform, awaiting the launch of Apple’s new product.

It is reported that the 12.9-inch iPad Air will adopt the same Mini LED panel as the iPad Pro. This panel uses a direct down backlighting method and can be considered an upgrade from ordinary LCD screens.

Mini LED technology reduces the size of traditional LED backlighting chips, achieving finer and denser backlighting zones. Coupled with Local Dimming control, it enhances brightness and contrast, thus improving visual perception.

It is worth noting that compared to traditional LCDs, Mini LED costs significantly more. For example, the cost of Mini LED for the 12.9-inch iPad panel used in the iPad Pro is approximately 3.7 times higher than that of a traditional edge-lit backlight LCD of the same size.

Therefore, the price of the 12.9-inch version of the iPad Air will increase significantly, making it the most expensive Air tablet ever.

Why introduce a 12.9-inch version of the iPad Air when there’s already a 12.9-inch version of the iPad Pro? What justifies calling such a large-sized iPad Air ‘Air’? Of course, the obvious result of this change is another price hike for the iPad Air. Apple’s current trend seems to involve price hikes without much innovation or change in products. However, price hikes aren’t solely determined by them; if the market doesn’t approve, consumers will force them to lower prices.

Apple iPad Air Launch

According to leaks, TSMC has recently secured a large order for Apple’s iPhone 16 series capacitive button system-in-package (SiP) modules.

These buttons will replace the physical volume and power buttons on the sides of the device, creating a pressure-sensitive Home button similar to those found on iPhone 7/8/SE2 models.

To better simulate the feedback of volume and power buttons, Apple will add an additional Taptic Engine motor inside the device.

This allows the “solid-state buttons” to provide extremely realistic physical button feedback, giving users the sensation of pressing on actual buttons.

Apple has always pursued a goal of completely eliminating holes, ports, and buttons from its devices.

Currently, the process of eliminating buttons seems to be progressing faster than eliminating ports. If the iPhone 16 Pro ultimately goes into mass production using capacitive touch buttons, based on market feedback, Apple may completely eliminate physical buttons on the iPhone 17 Pro.

Removing all physical buttons aligns with the trend of smartphones aiming for higher integration. Although touch buttons may sacrifice tactile feedback and usability, considering that precision isn’t crucial for volume and power buttons, users should be able to seamlessly adapt after some time. In fact, several years ago, Huawei attempted a more radical approach by eliminating physical volume buttons directly, which didn’t cause much inconvenience for users.

The news of ASML, a Dutch lithography machine giant, leaving the Netherlands was a cause for significant concern, but the situation has markedly improved now.

According to foreign media reports, ASML, a Dutch semiconductor equipment manufacturer, has signed a letter of intent with the city of Eindhoven in the Netherlands to expand near the northern airport, with plans to accommodate up to 20,000 new employees.

Earlier, the Dutch government announced a €2.5 billion plan to improve housing, education, transportation, and power grid infrastructure in the vicinity of ASML’s headquarters over the next few years.

In addition to infrastructure improvements, the Dutch government will take action to lighten the tax burden on businesses.

Previously, ASML had expressed intentions to expand or relocate elsewhere, with France and the United States being alternative locations.

Moving to China would provide comprehensive support! It’s suggested that ASML seriously consider its current value! Of course, it’s just something the U.S. won’t allow…

Apple iPad Air Launch

According to OPPO’s research, the average charging power of smartphones globally is 34W.

The survey also indicates that the average charging power of Chinese smartphones is as high as 50W. So, does your phone meet this standard? For users of domestic Android phones, it’s highly likely that their phones exceed this average.

Many domestic smartphone manufacturers have popularized fast charging technology. Even in phones priced around a thousand yuan, the starting power can reach 60W. In contrast, iPhone users may feel somewhat behind.

Taking the iPhone 15 as an example, although the entire series adopts USB-C ports and Apple hasn’t restricted charging power, there has been no progress in fast charging.

The maximum charging power of the new iPhone remains the same as its predecessor, at 27W (9V/3A).

According to tests on the iPhone 15 Pro Max, using a 20W charger takes 2 hours and 21 minutes to fully charge, a speed that may be somewhat unacceptable compared to other smartphones.

Indeed, it’s rare to see domestic brand smartphones with charging power below 50W nowadays. It’s really unacceptable for it to take 2 hours to charge a phone… How long does it take for everyone’s phones to fully charge nowadays? Nobody would complain about charging too fast!

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