Apple coverage has alternated back and forth between the iPhone and the HomePod in recent months, but it looks like another product line will soon steal the spotlight. This week, French blog Consomac spotted filings which indicate that Apple has been granted approval by the Eurasian Economic Commission for two new devices identified as A1954 and A1893. The devices are described in the filings as “tablet computers,” suggesting they are new iPads.
Although new iPads with Face ID functionality are rumored to arrive before the end of the year, there’s a good chance that the devices referred to in these documents are far less exciting. As 9to5Mac explains, all signs point to the “tablet computers” being mundane refreshes of the standard iPad line, rather than brand new iPad Pros.
When it comes to Apple products, filings often turn up days or weeks prior to the actual unveiling of the devices. For example, mentions of the iPhone 7 and AirPods appeared just two weeks before the keynote in 2016. Plus, the latest MacBooks were discovered in the EEC database in May before making their debut at WWDC in June.
If the trend continues, the new iPads would be revealed within the next several weeks, which would be months before either WWDC 2018 or the inevitable iPhone event this fall. Consomac believes that this is a sign that Apple will hold a special press event in March to show off the new tablets, but it seems far more likely that Apple will simply roll out the refreshed iPad models without any fanfare, as it has on multiple occasions in the past.
In the end, this is all speculation based off of vague filings, but don’t be surprised if a couple of updated iPad models quietly find their way on to Apple’s online store within the next month or so, perhaps with lower price tags.
Apple has requested and received permission from the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) to market previously unknown iPad models, reports Consomac (via AppleInsider), a regulatory step that typically signals a release of new hardware within one to two weeks. Dated February 19, the EEC’s list mentions A1893 and A1954 models of Apple tablet computers running iOS 11, models that do not correspond with existing iPads.
The EEC filing provides no further detail on the A1893 and A1954 models, but it should be noted that Apple typically releases two versions of each iPad: One with cellular capabilities, the other without cellular, and each with its own model number. Consequently, there’s a decreased likelihood of those model numbers representing both an iPad and an iPad mini, or two different models of iPad Pro. As Consomac notes, the filing also contains additional tablet models preceded by CC, and iPhone models starting with AA, which do not conform with standard Apple model naming conventions.
Apple updated the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and replaced the 9.7-inch iPad Pro with a 10.5-inch model last June. The company generally does not replace devices until at least a year after initial introduction. References to an unreleased “Modern iPad” in beta versions of iOS 11.3 are thought to reference a fully redesigned iPad Pro model with Face ID, akin to the iPhone X.
Bandai Namco Entertainment just announced that it is releasing yet anotherSword Art Online mobile game. This one will be releasing worldwide on both the App Store and Google Play and is called Sword Art Online: Integral Factor. IT takes place in the year 2022 when Akihiko Kayaba has developed a full dive VRMMORPG titled Sword Art Online. Once logged into, you can’t log out until you complete the game and a game over means dying in the real world. You play as a former beta tester for the VRMMORPG who is trapped inside now. Watch the announcement trailer for it below:
This is releasing worldwide in English in addition to more languages and you can pre-register for it now. The game will be free to play as expected. Pre-registrations let you pick a specific OS per email or account. You can pre-register with a Facebook, Twitter, or email address for the iOS or Android version of Sword Art Online: Integral Factor.
Pre-registrations net all players 2500 Arcana Gems. This is the in game currency. You will also get 2 in game stickers, a 4 Star Asuna Skill Record, and 2 original avatars. Pre-register for it here. The Skill Records are items that can be set on the protagonist for customization. I had assumed there would be a Sword Art Online mobile game to coincide with the release of the console game Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet that releases in the next few days but it looks like Integral Factor will take a bit more time to release.
Who would have thought that Psyonix, the people who released the awesomeStar Fox-esque on-rails shooter ARC Squadron on iOS more than five years ago, would go on to create one of the most popular multiplayer games in the world. Yes Rocket League, the giant-soccer-played-with-cars game which feels like it’s on every single platform BUT mobile, is a bonafide smash hit. Now Psyonix is looking to build off their partnership with Mattel and their Hot Wheels brand that saw Hot Wheels cars and cosmetic items added into the game early last year. This time around they’re bringing things out of the digital world and into the real world with a Rocket League branded RC car set and play arena. Here’s a mockup of what that might look like.
So if Rocket League isn’t on mobile why am I talking about this here? Because those little RC cars will be controlled via Bluetooth using your smartphone or tablet. The set will include a little charging base for charging each vehicle as well as a ball equipped with IR sensors so it can keep track of the score whenever it’s knocked into one of the goals. Honestly I just want the cars to drive around with using my iPhone, but mimicking the arena of Rocket League is pretty cool too. It’s not going to come cheap though, as the set, which is officially called the Hot Wheels Rocket League RC Rivals Set, will cost $ 179.99 when it arrives this holiday season. In addition, the set will include codes for downloading special in-game items in Rocket League, so that’s some added value I guess?
The set will be shown off this weekend during the New York Toy Fair 2018 so I’m hoping to see what the actual cars are like in action. What do you think, too rich for your blood? Or do you love Rocket League enough that you’ve gotta have it no matter the price?