It might seem hard to believe, but analyst and the tech media alike are coelescing around the belief that Apple will release all three of its rumored, new devices — the iPhone 5, Mini iPad, and iTV — at tyne same event in September.
The interesting thing about this year’s iPhone 5 rumor cycle is that we had a dress rehearsal for it in 2011: most of the rumors we heard last year have been recycled in this year’s rumor mill as well. You’ll recall that a recurring theme in 2011 was that we would see iDevices co-released together. First, it was rumored that the iPhone and iPhone 4S would be released together, followed by rumors of the iPhone 5 and iPad 2 Plus/2S/HD/Mini. A few bold prognosticators even claimed we’d get all three at the same event.
For as completely out of character a multi-device release would seem for Cupertino, that’s exactly what is being rumored of September of this year.
Today’s iPhone reassures those of us who were disappointed by the iPhone 5-less WWDC: “don’t worry, reports are coming out that are telling us to just wait for the expected September event. The reports calling it a “crowded event” are noting that aside from a sixth-generation iPhone, we could see them unveil the long rumored iPad “mini,” and more; possibly including a new Apple TV.”
That’s three completely new iDevices being revealed in one event — an overhauled iPhone 5, along with two completely never-before-seen products in the Mini iPad and iTV.
It’s easy enough for a tech blog like Today’s iPhone to make that claim, but citing an Apple Insider piece was at least enough to follow the link to the lead story, and see where this rumor had started. The Apple Insider article is a bit more toned down, but it cites Gene Munster at Piper Jaffray: “Munster expects that Apple will introduce its smaller iPad at the same event that it will unveil its next-generation iPhone. He also expects that Apple will refresh its Apple TV set-top box, which he admitted ‘could make for a crowded event.’”
What’s refreshing in Munster’s analysis is the implicit acknowledgment that, by not announcing the iPhone 5 at the WWDC, Apple is now forced to consider how to release all of these new, landmark products in the final quarter of 2012. But with absolutely no actionable reports about production ramping up for Mini iPad or iTV parts, where is the evidence that these two devices are going to be co-released along with the iPhone 5? Aside from the fact that Tim Cook’s head would probably explode having to announce all three in one month — let alone one event — we would have heard something by now about production. All we’ve heard to date are rumors of the iPhone 5′s production ramping up.
Furthermore, when have we ever seen Cupertino release such widely diverse products at the same event? It simply isn’t the way they have ever done things, and for good reason: because Apple introduces all of its products with this larger-than-life aura, it requires them to let the products stand alone and garner the limelight on their own.
In my opinion, these rumors are bupkis.
I think what is more likely is that one of these three devices simply will not be released in 2012. While we see the announcement/release door closing with each passing day of 2012, Apple is getting set to start a new fiscal year, which begins on September 30th. For them, they’ve already released an iPhone this year — it was the first thing they did — along with the new iPad and the new MacBooks. Starting in October, the new year begins for them.
Just guessing at it, the iPhone 5 would appear to be the most developed of three products, followed by the Mini iPad and then the iTV as distant seconds and thirds. I would not be at all surprised if we saw the iPhone 5 in September, the Mini iPad in early November, and the iTV released sometime in 2013 — and who knows when.
By Michael Nace