July 30, 2012

iPad Mini Rumors: September Announcement, November Availability?

Michael Harper for - Your Universe Online

The as-of-yet unreleased iPad Mini has officially moved from the rumor phase to the Rumor and Expected Release Date phase. All this for a product which may be completely fictional, like unicorns or the state of Delaware.

First, let´s get one bit of housecleaning out of the way. What this device lacks in “realness” or “existence,” it makes up for it in names and rumored features. As such, I´m going to stick with the most common “iPad Mini” when referring to this device, and will call it a “sub 8-inch tablet,” with a nod to the team at iLounge.

These are the most accepted aspects of this as-of-yet unreleased device and the easiest way to speak about them.

Now, what is that they say about smoke and fire?

In fact, noise for an impending iPad Mini launch (assuming it´s called the iPad Mini, of course) has become so loud that there are now two estimated release dates for the fictitious device.

Early this morning, iMore predicted that Apple will announce the smaller iPad very soon, say around September 12th.

According to iMore, Apple will give the most ambitious announcement yet, introducing the next iPhone, new models of iPod Touch and iPod Nano and the iPad “mini” to the world in one fell swoop. They also say the iPhone will be available 9 days later, on September 21, though they´ve yet to hear when Apple would make the iPad Mini and new iPod models available for purchase. With a few exceptions–notably the first iPad– Apple usually has their products available within 2 weeks of announcements. The iMore post also confirms a few other rumors concerning dimensions of this fabled device, saying it will be “exactly like the 9.7-inch iPad, only scaled down to 7.x-inches.” It´s also likely that if this product exists, it will launch with Apple´s rumored, new 19-pin connector.

Another iNamed website, iLounge, isn´t so fast to jump on the September train, however, saying the Rumored iPad Mini could get an announcement and product release of its very own in November. Jeremy Horwitz, editor-in-chief at iLounge, does admit that a November release is unusual for Apple, but said their sources “stood firm” on the target date. According to iLounge, Apple is also preparing newer, smaller iPad Mini Smart Covers, just as you´d expect.

Horowitz then goes on to speculate that Apple would announce the new sub 8-inch iPad at a much smaller event than the iPhone/iPod announcement in September, possibly at Apple´s own Town Hall. Apple could even announce the 4th Generation iPad at this event and have it ready for launch around the device´s 4th birthday. How very sweet.

The iLounge report agrees with the iMore report about Apple´s September iPhone launch, just before October to be exact. They also say Apple will launch a new, 4-inch iPod Touch and new cases for both the iPhone and iPods.

Apple, as you´ve no doubt already surmised, has not responded for a comment about these new, rumored, possibly fictitious devices.

This round of rumors is also significant in that multiple sources are now saying the iPhone will launch a few weeks earlier than had been previously expected, just before October. It also seems as if some have finally come together to agree that new iPods are also on their way, good news for those who want new music players with more oomph and a larger screen.