For the second week in a row, the iPad mini dominated the Apple rumor landscape. With much more credible sources now having weighed in on the matter, the device looks a little less mythical than it has before. It's still not "confirmed" until an Apple exec shows one onstage, but now that more trusted names in Apple news have thrown their support behind its existence, it seems like just a matter of time before that actually happens.
It's worth a reminder that Apple builds other products, with associated rumors trailing behind those products -- even (gasp) Macs.
Not the iPad mini
Mac mini supply drying up, could signal Ivy Bridge update (AppleInsider)
Multiple sellers of the Mac mini are starting to run low on stocks of the device. This could point to an upcoming refresh, but as AppleInsider notes, it could also just be a temporary downturn in supplies.
The iMac is supposedly getting an overhaul, with a thinner design and a laminated display similar to the one on the iPhone and MacBook Pro with Retina Display. The 21.5-inch model is said to be updated first, with the 27-inch following later.
"The details were published on Thursday by the hit-or-miss Taiwanese electronics industry publication DigiTimes," AppleInsider says. I guess DigiTimes no longer counts as "sometimes reliable" when they're only right once or twice a year.
Some analyst "strongly believes" Apple will unveil a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display later this year. If "strong belief" in something is enough to get things moving in the real world, then I strongly believe that when I wake up tomorrow morning I'll find Mila Kunis and a BMW G650GS motorcycle in my garage.
If 9to5 Mac's source is correct, Mila and I will be touring New Zealand's North Island by motorcycle for the next month. So long, suckers!
Earlier rumors that Apple had suddenly ordered a bunch of carbon fiber turned out to be only half-true (if that). Apple supposedly did make a big order for carbon fiber, but spread out over many years.
Supposedly "Scuffgate" drew the ire of Apple officials, and as a result quality control standards at Foxconn have tightened even further. Does anybody else remember how the first-generation iPod nano would get all scratched up if you even breathed on it? Good times.
"Multiple sources" claim iPhone 5 cases are coming to Apple Stores, so finally you can undo years of engineering and design effort in two minutes by wrapping your svelte smartphone in a thick rubber case.
Some analyst thinks Apple's going to build an iOS-based TV remote. He doesn't offer anything concrete to back up his assertion, such as evidence, but that's hardly important. What's important is figuring out how Apple's going to find time to build TV remotes when it's already so busy making HDTVs, watches, cars and fridge/toasters.
This isn't the first time we've heard of Apple courting TSMC for chip production, and it makes perfect strategic sense for Apple to get someone other than Samsung to build the "brain" for its iOS devices.
iPad Mini Design "Could Outshine the New iPad" (AllThingsD)
Some analyst claims the iPad mini will be more aesthetically pleasing than the iPad (3). I sure hope so, because between the extra weight and thickness giving me a hernia and the heat output giving my left hand third-degree burns, almost anything would be better than the new iPad.
Some analyst thinks Apple will sell 10 million iPad minis over the holiday season, and 20 million iPad grandes. As long as we're making up numbers out of thin air, why not go for broke? "BREAKING EXCLUSIVE -- Analyst reports Apple will sell 222 hojillion iPads in 2012 Q4 (developing)"
Supposedly a last-minute design change in the iPad mini's casing has case manufacturers scrambling to adapt. It seems that basing your case designs off of rumors and "sources from the Far East" may not be the wisest move after all.
Case manufacturers you may have actually heard of have accessories ready to go when/if the iPad mini hits the market.
"Industry sources" told The Guardian the iPad mini will be WiFi only, with no 3G/4G cellular option. That's all well and good, except...
A German retailer's computer system shows 16 different models of iPad mini, including ones with cellular options. It's possible these are guesses and/or placeholders, however.
A Best Buy planogram shows a kiosk devoted to iPad mini accessories.
Some analyst thinks the iPad mini will "take off like wildfire" in China. For once, an analyst may be right; I was going to say something snarky here, but after a bit of research it turns out average disposable income in China is a lot higher than I thought it was.
Given that bold predictions of an October 10 invite failed to pan out, I was all set to ridicule this one too -- right up until Jim Dalrymple of The Loop gave his "Yep" blessing to this bit of news. He hasn't been wrong yet, so I'll take him at his word on this one, too. Looks like the iPad mini may finally stop being an irritating myth and start being an irritating reality.
"Multiple sources" claim the iPad mini event "will have a strong focus on iBooks." If Apple pitches it as "Like a Kindle, but it can do all this other cool stuff too," that's a potentially compelling message for a lot of consumers.
One thing's for sure: the quality of spyshot photos has gotten a lot better over the past five years.
Assuming the rumored event date is true, at time of publication we're eight days away from the iPad mini's unveiling. I'm still not even remotely enthused by the concept of a device that's midway between an iPhone and an iPad, but that's probably because I already own both of those devices. People who don't already own a full-size iPad are probably going to give an iPad mini a serious look, especially if the price is right.