iPad Mini Rumor Roundup
October 3, 2012

iPad Mini Rumor Roundup: Size And Event Confirmed?

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online

The iPhone 5 is here, Maps has been thoroughly and publicly shamed and shares of Apple have touched the $700 peak before resting once again near $670. Now all that´s left on Apple´s agenda for the rest of the year– that is, if the tech press is to be believed– is release the new iPad Mini, already. So far this week, there has been a potential date for the Great Unveiling tossed around, a few supposed “leaked images,” and to top it all off, yet another confirmation of sorts from the Wall Street Journal. Yes, it looks like this iPad Mini thing could be real after all, and may even send those Apple Line Campers back to their favorite glass cube for another piece of Apple deliciousness.

Right out of the gate, Phillip Elmer-Dewitt, editor for Fortune magazine, mentions that the rumored date for the iPad Mini launch might be totally bogus. Of course, there have also been far fewer leaks of this new product as there were in the weeks and even months leading up to the iPhone 5 launch, so we in the tech press will take whatever we can get.

Citing an unnamed APPL investor with alleged “multiple sources,” Elmer-Dewitt writes not only will Apple release this new, miniaturized tablet of 7.85 inches, but they´ll be sending out invites to members of the press as early as next Wednesday, October 10th.

Should this rumor pan out and Apple stick with their traditional schedule, this would place the event the following Wednesday, October 17th. Elmer-Dewitt´s source also claims Apple could start shipping these things a little more than 2 weeks afterwards on November 2. Apple, of course, had no comment about the day of the alleged event, especially considering they´ve never said anything that would hint towards the company building a smaller iPad.

The Wall Street Journal still believes in this smaller iPad, however, issuing a report on Wednesday which claims Asian suppliers have already begun “mass production” of these new devices in order to get ahead of an expected demand. The Journal has now fine-tuned their earlier confirmations, saying the iPad Mini will arrive in that greatly rumored 7.85-inch size with, sadly, a lower quality screen than the one found on its big brother. Familiar Apple partners LG and AU Optronics will be providing this screen to Apple and, according to the Journal, they began cranking these screens out last month. DigiTimes last month claimed that AU Optronics would be responsible for shipping out 500,000 of these displays to Apple by the end of September and had been producing the same screens since June.

Just as in nearly every iPad Mini story, the Journal also cites competition from Amazon´s Kindle Fire HD and Google´s Nexus 7 as prime reasons for Apple to get ahead of this market now.

So what will this alleged, rumored tablet look like? If Ukranianiphone.com is to be believed, not too much different than the current, larger iPad. The Web site claims to have obtained parts of this new, unreleased product, including a touch screen and 2 housing pieces for the components. 9to5Mac.com has the pictures of the components that show a headphone jack on the bottom of the device, like the iPhone 5, as well as spaces left for the 3G or 4G radios.

The screen in these pictures looks closer to the Kindle Fire HD display, however, so these images could be questionable.

So far, it seems many are comfortable with admitting the existence of the iPad Mini, its 7.85-inch screen and an end-of-the-year launch. Other variables, such as battery life, 3G or 4G radios and, most importantly, price, remain a mystery.

Apple did leave plenty of room for things to happen in October during their iPhone 5 and iPod event last month which could present them with a nice opportunity to tie everything together neatly, including the shipment of 30-pin to Lightning adapters, a new version of iTunes, and possibly even a better explanation for their switch to an 8-pin connector.

Now, we play the waiting game.