New iPhone, new new iPad, iPad mini, and other rumors recycled

New iPhone, new new iPad, 7-inch iPad, and other rumors recycled

The new iPhone hitting in September, a "10-inch" new new iPad hitting in Q4, and, of course, a 7-inch iPad mini coming in August got recycled and reposted on the interwebs today. Time was we could count on a red iPhone or iPhone nano rumor getting trotted out every holiday season. Clearly the iPad is the new thing, so fall iPad release rumors are the new retread. Or the new new retread. The source, not surprisingly, is randomly accurate rumor site, Digitimes.

Pegatron Technology reportedly has landed orders for a new-generation iPhone to be launched in September and a 10-inch iPad to be launched in the fourth quarter, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers.

A 7-inch iPad, which reportedly will be released in August, will be manufactured by Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry).

So let's break these down. In 2011 Apple shifted their previous summer iPhone release schedule to the fall, with the iPhone 4S (iPhone 4,1) launching in early October. It's not hard to imagine they'll keep to that schedule this year for the next iPhone (iPhone 5,1). Late September is close to early October, so that's not an impossible launch window.

It's harder to reconcile what they mean by a "10-inch" iPad when all iPads to date have been 9.7 inches. There are competing tablets at 10.1 inches, but not 10 inches. If they're suggesting Apple will introduce a new iPad line at 10-inches alongside the existing 9.7-inch line (much as many hope a new 4-inch iPhone joins the current 3.5-inch iPhone line), that's difficult to imagine. Benefits would be negligible. There's just not as much relative difference between 9.7 and 10 as there is between 3.5 and 4. And screen density (what puts the "Retina" in the "Retina display" marketing) would fall from 264 to 256 ppi.

As to a Q4 2012 timeline, last year several people (iMore included) heard that Apple was considering launching the iPad 3 in fall, 2011. Ultimately, due to costs and constraints on 2048x1536 Retina displays, iPad 3 retained the tradition spring position, and we got it in March, 2012. The advantage to a fall 2011 iPad 3 release was significant -- competitors were theoretically ramping up to challenge Apple with a new generation of tablets. An iPad 3 in fall of 2011 would have kicked the legs out from under these competing devices before they gained any traction. Turns out they didn't need any help from Apple, and in their race to get to market, they shipped unfinished operating systems with little to no app support.

This time around, there haven't been any credible rumors of an additional 2012 iPad launch. Since Apple now has a Retina display, LTE equipped iPad on the market, it's also hard to see any pressure on them to get an iPad 4 out early. (Windows 8 probably won't gain significant tablet traction until several months after launch anyway, if that.)

As to the 7-inch iPad mini, that's something Apple has in the lab, along with a lot of other products, and they'll release it when they feel they can go to market with it and sell 10s of millions, if not 100s of millions of units. Apple is, even more than a design company or software company, a go-to-market company. If Apple sees a huge opening for a 7-inch iPad this summer, they'll no doubt go for it. If not, it'll stay in the lab, maybe forever. Apple, as they've often said, are even more proud of the products they've chosen not to release.

It's always interesting to think about Apple's upcoming product roadmap, but in this case the rumors seem more than just a little recycled.

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

New iPhone, new new iPad, iPad mini, and other rumors recycled

7 Comments

Why do media sources even report this crap? This isn't even reporting, this is just regurgitation of someone else's junk. Every time I see a site post this stuff, I come closer and closer to removing their RSS, Facebook, & Twitter feeds from my life. To be a media source nowadays, it seems all you need to be able to do is cut and paste. Thanks for the additional commentary blowing these rumors out of the water, but why even post it to begin with? Anything coming from Digitimes & Pegatron should be regarded as garbage.

It's sort of a catch-22. So many sites report them that we get tipped on them over and over again, and people start believing them to be accurate information.
So far, we've erred on the side of analyzing them to determine likelihood.

Re: "(Windows 8 probably won't gain significant tablet traction until several months after launch anyway, if that.)"
"Vista Mobile Edition Ultimate"

In reply to Steve Smith, I guess the fault is mine. I enjoy reading and dreaming about future Apple launches. The information may be questionable but I still enjoy the ride. It's a bit like buying a lottery ticket. I don't expect to win, but I love dreaming about what would happen if I did.

I have a 7 inch Nook Color that I like specifically for reading. The form factor is really nice and much more book like than am iPad. Beyond that gaming,web surfing, watching videos are all better on a 9.7 inch iPad.i just got my first iPad on Friday but I had a 10.1 inch Android tablet for a year before that and I'm definitely all in on the bigger size.

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