New whispers of a next-generation iPad “Mini” and iPhone 5 have just been uttered online, and they hint at new Apple hardware hitting market in early 2011. Now, before we go any further, we’re filing this speculation in our “rumors so shaky it hurts” file, so it’s probably a good idea to take all this info with a heaping spoonful of salt. According to the rumor, we’re due to see Apple launching a smaller iPad and moving up the launch window of the iPhone 5 up by several months.
Rumors of a smaller iPad with a 7-inch screen are surfacing. iLounge’s source claims the smaller iPad is “substantially finished and will be ready for announcement either later this year or early in 2011. Apple has been prototyping devices with screens of this size for a long time–quite possibly predating the original iPhone.” We always liked the idea of a smaller, cheaper iPad that’s more pocket friendly, so we hope this is true. But we’re wondering if Apple will do anything this year that might slacken the demand on the current iPad, which continues to sell very well.
Due to the antenna issues, Apple may be coming out with a fifth-generation iPhone sooner than many would have anticipated (early 2011). iLounge, like us, is discounting this rumor simply because the iPhone 4 remains in high demand despite all the negative publicity. Of course, while we’re spreading rumors, one might postulate that the next-generation iPhone the source mentioned is really the rumored Verizon iPhone.
The refreshed iPad speculation makes no mention of the camera (either front- or rear-facing) that we’ve been hearing will be released in the November/Fall timeframe, but does say that Apple is preparing a 7-inch version of the iOS-powered tablet device. The smaller iPad has apparently been in prototype testing for a while, perhaps even before the original iPhone was launched back in 2007. This rumor has some teeth to it, because there has been much talk about a new iPad model coming down the pipeline. We’ve also heard other rumors mentioning that the tablet idea was put on the table before even the iPhone.