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iPad rumorsIt’s that time of year again. Apple’s WWDC went by with no new iPad or iPad mini announcement, so the tech blogosphere goes wild. Because apparently they have nothing better to do with their time than report on iPad rumors (or second-gen Nexus 7 rumors or Nokia phablet rumors, or … well you get the idea).

I thought you might appreciate (or be amused by) a quick roundup, with commentary, on the rumors I’ve found.

Earlier this year, at least one “inside source” reported that the next generation iPad would be released in March of this year. Oops. Scratch that one.

How about some more realistic predictions? Digitimes predicted late last year that the release would be “mid-2013″ (leaving lots of room for wiggle), and they’ve firmed it up recently with a “third quarter” release.

Here’s my favorite prediction so far, from IBTimes:

TechRadar stated that mid-August launch of iPad Mini looks certain at the moment. But to be true we cannot be sure about it until Apple actually launches it in the market.

Uh, yeah. That’s usually how it works.

If more confirmation makes a rumor more reliable, iLounge editor-in-chief, Jeremy Horwitz, wrote back in January that we wouldn’t see a new iPad until October. That’s not too far from third quarter, right? So I think we can definitely state that we will see a new iPad sometime later this year, probably before the Christmas shopping season. Sound plausible? Good, ’cause I’m sticking with this one.

Sadly, for those of you waiting for the next-gen iPad mini, Digitimes says you’ll have to keep waiting. They think production will be postponed from September to November. I think I have to call “foul” on that one. No way Apple will wait until after the Christmas shopping season to release a new mini. After all, Amazon is likely to have a new Kindle Fire waiting in the wings, and Apple wouldn’t let their arch-rival get ahead of them, right? There’s just enough time between now and then for consumers, who only have short-term memory, to forget about the e-book case, which was really more about Amazon, even though Apple was the one actually on trial.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that there will be a second-gen iPad mini on sale before Black Friday.

What about look and feature set? Slimmer and lighter seem to be the prevailing opinion, which is probably safe, considering previous iPad releases. I see persistent reports that it will have little-to-no bezel, more like the iPad mini. Again, seems safe, so we’ll go with that one. Everyone seems to agree on a faster processor. Also pretty safe. After all, why release a new version that’s just the same as the old version?

Almost every iPad mini rumor I see projects a Retina screen, which again, seems likely. Not much reason to release a new mini without it.

Should I stop now to wrap up? New versions by the end of the year, probably in time for Christmas. Faster, lighter and with a better screen on the mini.

Seriously? I could have predicted that all in January, without reading any rumors or reports. Is rumor reporting actually adding anything useful to our human body of knowledge?

And now I return you to TeleRead’s regularly scheduled reporting on stuff that might actually matter.

 
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