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Rumor Roundup: iPad mini-maxing


Last week, I noted that the relative dearth of iPad mini rumors painted a bleak picture for its purported October launch. Seemingly in retaliation, rumor blogs and mainstream outlets alike were bursting at the seams with iPad mini rumors this week.

First, let's clear the few non-iPad rumors out of the way.

Apple new Maps app hints company could extend service to Mac, PC browsers (AppleInsider)

Literally months after WWDC and the debut of Apple's new in-house Maps effort, AppleInsider finally noticed that entering in the address bar of an iOS 6 device will direct users to the Maps app, while the same URL on a Mac or PC directs users to Google Maps. They go on to speculate this could be indicative of Apple extending its Maps service to Mac and PC browsers.

What they never bother to answer is why Apple would be even remotely interested in doing that, or how redirecting to supports their thesis in the slightest. If anything, Apple redirecting OS X users to its smartphone rival's website during Mac-based searches makes the case that Apple sees its own Maps as a necessarily mobile-only effort.

Apple wants to move Macs away from Intel chips -- report (AppleInsider)

In another case of "definitive statement in headline does not match article content," AppleInsider dusts off another perennially nonsensical rumor suggesting that Apple is investigating alternatives to Intel chips for its Macs.

Any time you want to see the tech press's ignorance of computing architecture laid bare, look for a story like this one suggesting that the A6 chip -- with a Geekbench score around 1,600 -- would be in any way an acceptable substitute for even the most anemic Intel chips now powering Macs.

And suggesting Apple will abandon Intel for AMD isn't any more logical.

Apple seen as 'unlikely' to introduce new, inexpensive iPhone model (AppleInsider)

Some analyst thinks Apple's discontinuation of the iPhone 3GS means Apple's likely not interested in producing low-cost iPhones to make gains in the prepaid market. This contradicts at least a year of other analysts saying the exact opposite -- and turning out to be wrong -- but who's keeping score?

Yield rates for Apple's iPhone 5 in-cell touch panels improving (AppleInsider)

Some other analyst says Apple's iPhone production is finally starting to catch up to demand. This is a spectacularly easy call to make considering it happens every single year.

Apple Job Posting Hints At Major New System-On-A-Chip Design Effort (TechCrunch)

Apple seems interested in continuing to roll its own chips for iOS devices at the very least; the A6 is largely a custom job, and it looks like Apple wants to keep that trend going. TechCrunch unfortunately falls into the same logic trap of speculating this might have something to do with replacing Intel chips on the Mac; not going to happen, guys.

Supply of Apple's new iPod touch, iPod nano may be limited at launch (AppleInsider)

Considering every rumor blog out there is saying the screen is the limiting factor in the iPhone 5's production, and considering the iPod touch uses the exact same screen, this should come as no surprise. What's less clear is why the iPod nano's supply will be limited.

Rumor: iPad mini invitations set to be mailed out Oct. 10 (Apple 2.0 / Fortune Tech)

Event announcement October 10, event October 17, shipping November 2. Bold statements all. We'll see.

iPad mini production Brazil? (9to5 Mac)

Macotakara says iPad mini production has already begun. Their record wasn't all that great earlier this year, but they've been getting more positive hits lately.

AU Optronics reportedly building 'iPad mini' screens ahead of November launch (AppleInsider)

According to "sometimes-barely-ever-accurate Digitimes."

Is Sharp showing high-res iPad mini screens? (TechHive)

The actual story here has little if anything to do with Apple, focusing instead on new display technology unveiled by Sharp that may find its way into future Apple products.

Purported iPad Mini parts show full digitizer, frame and housing assemblies (9to5 Mac) (sounds legit!) showed some "iPad mini" parts, some of which 9to5 Mac thinks are suspiciously similar to the Kindle Fire.

Apple reportedly scrambling to get iPad mini production up to speed for launch (BGR)

BGR reports, with Business Insider as a source, on what some analyst said about an unannounced and unconfirmed product. We've crossed the event horizon of newslessness.

'iPad mini' cases made by Cygnett allegedly for sale in Australia (AppleInsider)

I like poking fun at case makers for how often they've gotten things wrong in the past, but the recent designs for the iPhone 5 and new iPod touch were on the ball. Cygnett sells loads of cases in this part of the world, though, so they can afford the hit if they turn out to be wrong.

Purported 'iPad mini' headphone jacks appear online (AppleInsider)

In earlier decades, people grasped at straws. Today, they grasp at ribbon cables.

iPad mini could face shortage due to tough-to-produce anodized unibody case (BGR)

Any time a new Apple product is just over the next hill past the horizon, Digitimes comes out with the same sky-is-falling headline: "Apple product (x) may be in short supply because of component (y)."

New iPad Shows Up in App Analytics Running A6-Based Chip (MacRumors)

An "iPad3,6" showed up in some developer's usage logs. That's totally different from the iPad3,1, iPad3,2, and iPad3,3 already out there. What does it mean? Is it the iPad mini? A moderate refresh of the iPad grande? The 2013 iPad? An A6-powered Mac Pro with Lightning connectors and a 7.85" display? A supply-constrained iPhone nano with inductive charging, NFC and a liquid metal case? A touchscreen iMac with Retina Display? The Apple HDTV? The iWatch?

Apple Suppliers Begin Producing Smaller Version of iPad (Wall Street Journal)

"People with knowledge of the situation" say the iPad mini is in production. For once, I hope they're right, and the product actually hits shelves. I don't know about the rest of you, but after two years of this nonsense, I'm sick and tired of iPad mini rumors.

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