7.85 inch iPad mini with new 19-pin dock connector will ship in November, just in time for Christmas (but will still be announced in September?). This follows numerous earlier reports. Apple is working on Mini Smart Cases and Smart covers that resemble its larger counterparts. Speaking of the big guy…
Finally and probably most controversial, Apple will be updating its full sized iPad line with a thinner design less than a year after release. The new, new iPad design will be tweaked with a new back side mic and a less hot thinner design. Sharp’s rumored late IGZO displays would have made the iPad thinner and less thick and power-hungry/hot.
“Apple’s current plan for the fourth-generation iPad is to release another relatively modest body tweak, which would keep the shape basically the same while introducing the new small Dock Connector, a rear-side microphone, and spec-improving/heat-reducing changes to the hardware inside. The rear-side mic might aid in noise cancellation or improve audio quality during rear video recording, and is apparently just like one found on the iPhone 5, between the camera and flash; prototype iPad minis apparently have a mic on the back in the same place.
Finally, iLounge states that everything could be released at one huge event or might be spread out:
The next iPad’s release date is a big question mark right now. As noted with the * above for the iPad mini, Apple could hold a special event just to announce the sub-8” tablet, and our source suggests that Apple might be ready to refresh the iPad at the same time.
iLounge goes on to hedge that bet however, saying that it would make more sense to see the new iPad at its traditionally-scheduled launch window of “early 2013″.
We and our source both feel that a late 2012 iPad refresh is unlikely given Apple’s track record, particularly the bad press/consumer anger that would follow if something replaced “the new iPad” so soon after its launch. This is purely speculation, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see the iPad announced at a low-key event at Apple’s Town Hall, with the fourth-generation iPad launching around the one-year anniversary of its predecessor.
Interesting rumors to say the least. I’m not sure how happy I would be about having a 6 month old, outdated iPad but if Apple is switching dock connectors, who wants to buy something with old fashioned 30-pins on it?