Before we read any further into these claims, let me just reveal where they came from: DigiTimes. While the site has published a few accurate reports on upcoming Apple products in the past, most of its rumors are worryingly farfetched.
The latest claims sources in Apple’s supply chain have detailed the Cupertino company’s launch plans for 2012, promising three new iOS devices between now and the end of the year. One of those will, as you’d expect, be the sixth-generation iPhone, but before that, we will see a new, 7-inch iPad.
What’s more, that new iPad you just bought will apparently be replaced by an even newer one during the fourth quarter.
Sources claim that Pegatron Technology, an iPhone 4S assembler, has landed orders for the next-generation iPhone, and has already expanded its equipment and labor resources to produce the device, which will reportedly make its debut in September.
That’s just 11 months after the iPhone 4S got its unveiling, and it means Apple will shift its iPhone launch schedule yet again, albeit only slightly. The Cupertino company broke away from a traditional June unveiling last year to make its announcement in October, and it seems to make sense it would wait until October again this time around. But apparently not, according to these sources.
That 7-inch iPad mini we’ve all been waiting to see will reportedly make its debut before the new iPhone, with a launch this August. The report offers no information on the much-anticipated device, other than it will be produced by Foxconn, which already assembles almost all of Apple’s devices.
The most questionable claim in this report is concerning a fourth-generation iPad, which sources claim will make its debut during the fourth quarter of 2012. Again, there’s no information on this device — the report simply states that “a 10-inch iPad to be launched in the fourth quarter, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers.”
So, rather than the usual one new iPad per year we’ve seen since 2010, this year we’ll see three if those claims are correct. While it seems perfectly feasible that the iPad mini may finally make its debut before the year’s out, the suggestion that we’ll see yet another iPad during the fourth quarter seems ludicrous to me.
A similar rumor claiming Apple would release two iPads during 2011 began circulating shortly after the iPad 2 made its debut last March. Most of us quickly dismissed those rumors back then, and I’m going to do the same again with this one.