Lovely iPad Rumor of the Day: Apple Moving to 2 iPad Releases Per Year

iPad 5 Mockup

Image Source: Martin Hajek

I know, I know – new iPad rumors already – when we just saw the release of two new iPads a couple of months ago. Crazy, right? Well, maybe not so much. Today MacRumors and others are reporting on Wall Street analyst Brian White’s prediction that we’ll see 2 more new iPads released in March:

Our checks at CES indicate Apple will release the iPad 5 and the second-generation iPad mini this March. The iPad 5 is expected to be lighter and thinner than the iPad 4 that was released in October, while the form factor of the iPad mini should be similar to the first generation iPad mini that debuted in October.

Even more interesting is that over recent weeks Horace Dediu of Asymco discussed the possibility of Apple switching to a twice a year release schedule for at least some of its star products – and put forward some solid reasons why this is plausible. Then Graham Spencer at MacStories did some further research and analysis around Dediu’s case and posted his thoughts this week. He weighs up a number of factors to do with release schedules, international rollouts timing, spreading out demand peaks and troughs better over the course of the year and ends up saying his guess is that Apple will move to a twice a year release schedule for the iPad and iPhone in 2013, while pointing out that it’s a tough call and a very tough thing to pull off for Apple.

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Latest iPad Mini Rumor: Invites to Special Event October 10, Launch by Early November

iPad-Mini-Rendering

Image Source: 9to5Mac

It’s been a little while, while the iPhone took center stage, but the iPad Mini rumors are beginning to flow again. Today there’s a major new iPad Mini rumor courtesy of Philip Elmer-DeWitt at Fortune Tech.

It offers up some specific dates during this month and next in the iPad Mini launch timeline – including press invites for an expected unveiling event going out next week, on October 10. Their source is described as a ‘major Apple investor’ who in turn has heard these dates from ‘multiple sources’. Here’s the details on the rumored dates:

What our source adds is the specificity of a date: The press, he says, can expect invitations to go out on Oct. 10.

If the rumor is true, and if Apple follows its usual scheduling protocol, that would suggest a special event to unveil the product on Wednesday, Oct. 17, with a launch day of Friday Nov. 2 — plenty of time to capture holiday sales.

So that’s invites to an Apple event going out middle of next week, the event itself to be held a week later on October 17 and a launch day of Friday November 2. I haven’t seen a Yep or Nope from The Man Who Knows as yet on this one – so for now I’m going to continue hoping that the timeline for the iPad Mini might be a bit faster. I was thinking over this past weekend that I hope to see Apple’s event invite go out this weekend, then an unveiling event next week (say the 10th), and then a launch by around the 19th.

Then again, if the Fortune Tech source is correct then the iPad Mini launch will be the Friday that falls two days after Halloween. Now that could make for some fun late night / early morning lines.

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Unhappy with iOS 6 Maps? Good News: Looks Like Google Maps App Already Submitted to Apple

iOS 6 Maps Jokes

Image Source: Android Authority on Google+

If you’re unhappy with Apple’s own new maps in the iPad Maps app, you’re far from alone. Lots of users and tech reviewers are slamming the poor quality of the new Maps app, after Apple decided to ditch Google Maps in iOS 6.

There’s even a Tumblr site devoted to showing off some of the worst examples of the new Maps app getting things badly wrong. And Android fans are certainly having their share of fun with this subject – as you can see in the image at the top of this post.

Well, it looks like there may soon be some good news for anyone who would like to be able to use Google Maps again on the iPad. The Guardian reports hearing from their sources that Google has developed a maps app for iOS 6.

9to5Mac says they have also heard this, and more:

Separately, we heard Google has had a separate version of its iOS Maps app for quite a while that goes back years. Additionally, we learned an updated iOS 6 version has been submitted to Apple. It is awaiting approval, however, and that could take some time.

I’m nowhere near a heavy enough user of the Maps app to weigh in with any strong opinion on how good / terrible / mediocre the new iOS 6 Maps app is, but it sure seems as if there are some huge flaws being pointed out already. I do hope that if Google has submitted a separate maps app that Apple does the right thing and approves it without delay.

Of course you can still access Google Maps via the Safari browser on the iPad – at maps.google.com – but it lacks many of the native app’s features.

What do you all think of the new iOS 6 maps on the iPad? Would you use a Google maps app if and when they release one for iOS 6?

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Latest iPad Mini Rumor: Production Ramping Up in September for October Release

iPad Mini Mockup

The latest rumors reported by Apple Insider suggest that production for the iPad Mini (or iPad Air or whatever Apple decides to name it) is set to ramp up next month, in preparation for a launch of the new smaller iPad in October:

… fresh rumors say supply volume of the device are estimated to reach four million units per month beginning in September, giving the company enough time to prepare for the lucrative holiday season.

The report is based on sources at DigiTimes, which has a very spotty record when it comes to Apple rumors – but it does sound a lot like similar reports we heard from them about ramped up production for the new iPad at the tail end of 2011 and early this year, which seem to have proved accurate.

October seems quite a viable time for the release of the new smaller iPad too. One thing I know for sure – the more speculation I read on the size of the iPad Mini and how screen resolution and apps will work on it and how light it will be, and the more lovely mockups I see at iMore, the more ready I feel to buy it yesterday. As In, I really can’t wait to get my hands on this new smaller iPad now.

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iPad Mini May Be Called iPad Air, but It Looks More and More Like a Sure Thing

iPad Air

After a brief lull on the iPad Mini rumors front, things have kicked back in to a very high gear this week. In the last few days several of the leading ‘in the know’ sort of writers and sites have weighed in with new thoughts on and even lovely mockups of the much-anticipated new smaller iPad.

Here are a handful of things that have excited me the most on this front:

– John Gruber at Daring Fireball offered a fascinating post titled ‘Thinking This iPad Mini Thing Even Througher’ – where he offers his latest thoughts, analysis, and some slick math relating to the iPad Mini. One of the key points if that the device’s most notable feature may well be its lightness – with it weighing in somewhere around 250-300 grams. This would be a major selling point for the new smaller iPad:

Weight is a huge factor, maybe the factor, in one-handed use, and its too-heavy-to-hold-in-one-hand weight has always been one of the biggest knocks against the iPad-as-we-know-it. I’m thinking the iPad Mini will be not just thinner and lighter than the iPad-as-we-know-it, but remarkably thinner and lighter than its competitors in the small tablet market.3 Yet it will have a bigger display.

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New York Times Adds Fuel to the iPad Mini Fire

As if there weren’t already enough compelling indicators that Apple is looking to release an iPad Mini over the next half year or so, now The New York Times has weighed in and said their sources confirm the same sort of information we’ve been hearing from Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal and others over […]

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iPad Mini Rumors Gaining Strength Again

The iPad rumor that just won’t die – the one that says Apple will release a smaller iPad or an iPad Mini as it’s often called – has gained strength again this week. Reports from both Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal say the iPad Mini is coming this fall. Here’s a key slice of […]

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iPad Rumors: Siri Coming to iPad in iOS 6

According to 9to5Mac and their trusty trusted sources Apple will be bringing the popular Siri voice-assistant feature to the iPad in iOS 6, the next major update to the iPad’s operating system. iOS 6 is expected to be released this summer or fall – we’ll learn more about when Apple holds their WWDC keynote event […]

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