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The emerging reality of Apple's leaked products

The magic of "One More Thing" is truly dead.

If there's anything that Apple's iPad mini event showed us on Tuesday, it's that the anticipation of an unknown product to be unveiled at the end of an Apple event has faded into the past.

With a wink and a nod, Tim Cook and Phil Schiller acknowledged the growing wave of Apple supply leaks during the event. A brilliantly written piece from Ars Technica notes that, while security is tighter than ever in Cupertino under Cook's watch, increasingly accurate rumors related to Apple's unreleased products are coming from further down the supply chain. As the Ars piece states:

Ultimately, the Apple employees we spoke to were willing to accept tighter security coming from the top, even when they disagreed that it was beneficial. But they also know that in today's world, where Chinese employees on the manufacturing line have cell phones and access to Internet connections, secrecy will get breached until Apple figures out how to improve security on the other side of the pond. Even then, leaks will never be contained completely.

With the iPad mini event, as with the iPhone 5 event before it in September, we knew exactly what we were getting -- right down to the US$329 price point for the iPad mini. Real surprises, such as the release of the fourth-generation iPad and the new form factor of the iMac, were few.

We at TUAW have a love-hate relationship with rumors ourselves, which is summarily condensed into Chris Rawson's weekly rumor roundups. It's like being spoiled for a favorite TV show or discovering that cache of unwrapped Christmas gifts in the back of your parents' closet.

As a consumer, I appreciate knowing what's coming down the pipeline. But, I will miss that that magical bit of unexpected wonder that Steve Jobs tapped into with the "one more thing," the not-knowing of what Apple will bring us next.

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