Rumors Update 8-9

Well the rumors are flying all over the place concerning new Apple gear coming in the next months so let’s recap.

1. Verizon iPhone in January. Built by Pegatron (not a joke or an evil Decepticon), with literally millions of devices to be built in December for a January release event. Now the rumor source, Digitimes, has a hit or miss rep for rumors. However, the strength behind this rumor seems to be the contacts at the various suppliers that would have to be involved in the ramp-up of a new iPhone launch. And often, suppliers are the best source of Apple rumors. Digitimes ends their article with some speculation about a new metal back for the iPhone to resolve the antenna issue.  In addition, TechCrunch on Sunday states a similar version of the rumor with their sources indicating that Qualcomm (primary source of CDMA gear) has received an order for millions of CDMA chipsets for Apple for December. So the rumors are really coming from the same place. The wildcard in this convergence of rumor mongering is that the Verizon CEO is going to be the headliner at CES. With no Apple attended MacWorld event to compete against, could Verizon use this event to unveil the iPhone 4 on Verizon (adding to the mix that it will be an LTE phone as well?)? It’s arguable at this point that a Verizon iPhone would be as big a reveal as the first iPhone the hype has gotten that big. Ironically, it was the iPhone reveal at MacWorld 2007 that completely overshadowed CES that year. And Apple is more and more a consumer electronics company.

The only problem with all this data is that it’s killing MoD chances of being right about a Verizon iPhone on sale in November. In addition, our iPhone on T-Mobile rumor is looking less and less likely. Although T-Mobile did have great news for Wall Street in terms of smartphones users (going from 2.1 million to 6.5 million)

2. The 7 inch iPad. Now this rumor has twice surfaced in two weeks. First it was iLounge, then it was Digitimes again with the added detail that the new iPad would use ARM‘s latest chip core A9.  Now the new processor makes sense, as does the addition of a FaceTime camera. New resolution for the screen is also a good bet for the next iPad. However, a 7 inch iPad? Now if Apple could make it extremely simple for application developers to scale up or even down their iOS apps, then this rumor might have some legs. MoD does not believe that is the case. So we don’t see Apple this early into the iPad’s life cycle reducing developer momentum by added the confusion of two different requirements. If the price drop was considerable, Apple does have room for a $349 type device. If the software thing was manageable, then a 7 inch iPad would make certain amount of sense. Especially, if the new iPod Touch stays at $199 or even creeps down to $149.

MoD has no predictions on this, but we have to agree with the commentary from Ars Technica on this rumored product, it sounds very unlikely.

3. iPod Touch. iLounge also added to their rumor a new iPod Nano, and a new iPod Touch. Everyone at this point is expecting an iPod Touch with a FaceTime camera and video camera with the ability to use iOS iMovie. Leaked images from Suppliers seem to confirm those two new features. In addition, there was a flood of rumors Friday that the iPod event would be held early this year and it was happening on August 17th (the iPod event has been in September).

This all syncs up with the MoD predictions, but this was really the easiest thing to predict.

3. iPod Shuffle touchscreen version? This rumor only real legs is related to a 1.7 inch touchscreen image that has appeared that is connected to Apple. Now if Apple could somehow create a rugged/protected way to have the iPod shuffle have a small screen for navigation that might recharge some sales for the device. Can Apple produce that and keep the device at the same tiny price point? iLounge is alone out there on a limb with these rumors. So they could garner some major cred points with a win. No blog has stepped up with any real rumors on a new iPod Nano.

MoD made zero prediction on this.

4. AppleTV. Back to Digitimes with this rumor who is saying that Apple will make a new AppleTV device. Now this rumor is different due to Digitimes’s assertion that Apple will use a new AMD chipset called Fusion for the device. Now, the initial rumors for this device described it as an iPad without a screen which would make it an ARM processor with video capabilities similar to the iPad. The Fusion chipset family features listed on the AMD site seem to fit what would be needed for an Apple TV (low power usage, HD and 3D video), but why Apple would veer away from their homegrown ARM variants is unclear. But the rumor again is so very specific (so outside the mainstream thoughts on the AppleTV) that the info has to have come from somewhere, and it’s not like anyone else had been suggesting it. It maybe out of left field, but it’s Digitimes very own left field right now. Digitimes is projecting an early 2011 release for this device that came with the original Engadget story.

MoD was going for an early 2011 January release, so we are still on target. AMD gear inside would be a huge surprise.

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  1. August 13th, 2010

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