Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to This Week In Apple Rumors, our regular look back at all of the week's unconfirmed gossip, questionably-sourced reports, and blatant speculation about future Apple products from around the Web! Let's take a look back at what the various Apple blogs and websites were excited about in the past week, from October 14 - 20. Check out our previous edition of Apple rumors here, and for all the latest you can follow me on Twitter right here.
The iPad Mini Will Be Unveiled on October 23
Once again, months and months of anticipation are coming to an end on Tuesday: No, I'm not talking about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/October_23">Weird Al Yankovic's 53rd birthday</a>, but rather the Apple event scheduled for that afternoon, at which Tim Cook and his merry band of C-level executives are expected to unveil a smaller iPad, which you and I know as the "iPad Mini." Here's what we know: Apple has invited certain journalist-types to an event on October 23 in San Jose. The iPad Mini -- a smaller iPad, with a lower price tag than the iPad and a size comparable to that of the Kindle Fire or Nexus 7 -- is heavily rumored to be the star of the show. Apple has long been said to want to compete with Amazon and Google on low-end devices, and it needs a cheap tablet to do so: The iPad Mini is that tablet, and Apple certainly wants to get it out before you start dusting off your menorahs and mistletoe this December. The invite doesn't give many clues as to what to expect -- the "little" in "We've got a little more to show you" might refer to the relative smallness of the iPad Mini to the iPad, and some have suggested that all the colors could indicate multiple color choices for the tablet, too, à la the iPod Touch. Given all the buildup, however -- we here at This Week In Apple Rumors have been following iPad Mini rumors for over a year now, ever since it was just a glimmer in a Wall Street analyst's eye -- we are reasonably sure a smaller iPad is coming. In fact, we would bet all the money in our wallet, and the wallet itself, and also the piece of gum that is for some reason in our wallet, that the iPad Mini will make an appearance on Tuesday. That's right: I would bet you $7 and a piece of gum. That's how sure I am we'll meet a little iPad on October 23. Less clear, however: When is it coming out? (<a href="www.martinhajek.com">Thanks to Martin Hajek</a> for the photo of the iPad Mini with color on the front page).
When Will The iPad Mini Actually Be, You Know, Released?
Typically, Apple waits 9 to 10 days after its events to release the product it has just unveiled. You might remember that the iPhone 5 was introduced on a Wednesday and released the following Friday; ditto for the <strike>iPad 3</strike> new iPad. It's no surprise, then, that multiple reports -- from iMore, TechCruch, iFun, and the lamentably-named "Geeky Gadgets" -- say the release date for the iPad Mini is November 2, or the Friday that is 10 days after the October 23 Apple event. Makes sense, no? It would actually be more interesting if Apple <em>didn't</em> release the iPad Mini on November 2 than if it did. But then again: What better way to mark <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/November_2">David Schwimmer's birthday</a> than with the release of a brand new iPad? I can't think of one, and my guess is neither can Apple. November 2 is likely to be The One Where You Can Buy An iPad Mini For The First Time (by which I mean: the day it's available in stores and online). But here's a better question, friends: How much will this thing cost?
How Much Will The iPad Mini Cost (or, "How Low Can You Go, Little iPad?")
Apple wants its iPad Mini to take away sales from the Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7, each of which costs $199. And so again we find ourselves asking what is perhaps the largest mystery still surrounding the iPad Mini: How much are you gonna cost, Little Guy? <a href="http://9to5mac.com/2012/10/20/apples-smaller-ipad-to-likely-start-at-a-minimum-of-329-in-the-u-s/">9to5Mac says the price will start</a> at $329 for the base model; that conflicts the common thought that Apple would intro its iPad Mini at $249 to better battle the sub-$200 offerings from Google, Barnes & Noble and especially Amazon. Here's what we thought was going to happen, before 9to5Mac's Saturday spoiler post: <a href="http://www.schimanke.com/archives/3901-iPad-mini-Preise,-Groessen,-Konfigurationen.html">According to a pricing chart supposedly leaked out from a German retailer</a>, the price of an iPad Mini would start at $249, for an 8GB model with Wi-Fi only. The price goes up in increments of $100 as you double the storage size (16GB model is $349; 32GB is $449; 64GB is $549); the cheapest model with cellular data is $449 for an 8GB model. The chart also shows that Apple is only planning to offer its Minis in black (SCHWARZ) or white (WEISS), which throws some cold water on our Grand Polychrome Theory. $249 for an 8GB model would make the iPad Mini an attractive buy; At $199 for the Kindle Fire HD, Amazon would be quick to point out, of course, that its buyers get double the storage of an iPad Mini for $50 less; Barnes & Noble and Google, whose $199 tablets both come with 8GB of storage, would both also play the sub-$200 card. Apple will have to argue that there's something about its tablet that makes it worth $50 more than its competitors to be successful (something tells me it won't have a problem convincing its fans to buy these things in droves). At $329, however, you'd have to think it's a tougher sell, especially considering Amazon has an arguably better ecosystem of books, movies, and whatnot. Who will prove correct: The generally-reliable 9to5Mac (at $329) or a sketchy pricing matrix that supposedly comes from Germany (at $249)? We'd put our money (ALL PUNS INTENDED) on 9to5Mac, but we're hoping against hope for the sketchy German pricing matrix. Just this once.
What Else Will We See At The iPad Mini Event?
Two well-established, highly-credible outlets have confirmed that a new MacBook Pro with Retina screen will also be introduced on Tuesday. Both <a href="http://9to5mac.com/2012/10/19/estimated-prices-on-13-inch-retina-macbook-pros/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=%40Intvision">9to5Mac </a>and <a href="http://allthingsd.com/20121015/lets-get-small-13-inch-macbook-pro-retina-will-join-ipad-mini-at-apple-event/?refcat=news">AllThingsD</a> are reporting that a 13-inch model will apparently join the 15-incher; <a href="http://9to5mac.com/2012/10/19/estimated-prices-on-13-inch-retina-macbook-pros/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=%40Intvision">9to5Mac says</a> the price will be $1,699 for the base model; the 15-inch model starts at a gaudy $2,199, and if that $1,700 price is accurate, then we could really start to see the Retina MBP catch on with a wider audience. (If you are spending $2,200 on a laptop, you are either A) in a graphic or visual professional field, B) rich, or C) an Apple fanboy of the highest magnitude). Other new gadgets rumored to join the iPad Mini: <a href="http://www.redmondpie.com/new-imac-2012-will-reportedly-feature-a-new-thinner-and-lighter-design-logic-board-photo-leaks/">Redesigned iMacs</a> (no Retina displays, but updated processors and ports are purportedly on the menu) and <a href="http://9to5mac.com/2012/10/15/apple-also-planning-new-mac-minis-for-launch-alongside-smaller-ipad/">new Mac Minis</a> (so that headline writers can make execrable "Mini Series" puns). Side note: Yes, we will be making a miniseries pun, unless one of you can come up with a Mini Me, Minnie Mouse, or Tam-Mini Hall pun for us. That's all for This Week In Apple Rumors. Please join us again next week to see what kind of wordplay involving the word "Mini" we went with. And remember, if you can't wait a whole week, you can get all the latest rumors up-to-the-minute by <a href="twitter.com/gilbertjasono">following me on Twitter (and wishing me a happy birthday!) right here</a>.