The rumour mill

Macworld Australia Staff
11 October, 2013
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The Dating Game

We like dates at the Rumour Mill. A bit like Carl Icahn and Tim Cook, really. But no, we don’t actually mean those sort of dates (although they’re nice too, of course… Anyone interested? Crickets…). We mean tangible, circle it in your diary, this is when it’s going to happen dates. And this week, we have another one floating around the cybersphere. Actually, floating sounds a little nebulous. While there’s been no official word from Apple in confirmation as yet, everyone seems pretty darned certain that Tuesday 22 October is the date that we will all get to say hello to the company’s latest tablets. The fifth-generation iPad and the Retina display iPad mini are expected to be revealed, but the word is that we could also get to see the official launch of the new Mac Pro, first unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, as well as the newest OS X operating system, Mavericks.

The China Syndrome

Speculation has been rife about a deal being cemented between Apple and one of the world’s largest telecoms, China Mobile, for quite some time now. The mooted deal fuelled much of the chatter pre the iPhone 5c launch, with some analysts suggesting c’ could even stand for China, and that the phone had been designed with that massive and undertapped market in mind. Those rumours turned out to be at least slightly off base (it seems the ‘c’ did simply stand for ‘colourful’, after all, and Chinese consumers are currently more partial to the 5s) and there has been no ringing of bells accompanying Apple and China Mobile moseying up the aisle together. But that doesn’t mean it’s all over, merely as Apple explained in August that they were still sorting out some “commercial and technical issues”.

Now, it appears as if those issues may have been resolved. Bloomberg has noted an Apple job listing on its China website that intimates the Cupertino California company will soon launch the iPhone on China Mobile’s network. Apple is looking for a manager to “support and drive the carrier approval of mobile phones”. Most significantly the job description asks for experience with TD-SCDMA, “China Mobile’s own third-generation standard that isn’t used by other carriers,” notes Bloomberg.

Don’t Look Now

And here’s one rumour that, like Shrek, is a bit of an onion (not parfait) – it seems one thing, but as you peel away the layers, you find a whole slew of other little rumours underneath. The base story revolves around supply chain research conducted by NPD DisplaySearch, which suggests that in the very near future Apple is intending to overhaul the displays of nearly all of its product line. ”Rapid developments in technology and manufacturing of LCD and OLED displays have challenged Apple’s leadership in display adoption,” contends David Hsieh of DisplaySearch, while noting that “the company has invested in the supply chain and intervened in the technical direction of its displays“. Hsieh’s research leads him to the following speculations:

appledisplays

Layer Cake

So, from the above grid, we can infer that DisplaySearch (at least) believes Apple is working on a bigger screened iPhone – positing that a 5.7in screen could see the light of day in the second quarter of next year.

We can also throw some fuel on the fiery rumour that a bigger iPad is in the works too – a 12.9in one to be precise, giving tablet takers a whole 3.2 extra inches to play with.

Then just for the hell of it, DisplaySearch also chucks in a couple of possible sizes for Apple TV screens – yes, guessing the two different sizes for a product that has never actually been seen yet. In any form. Crazy bold guys…

And, we haven’t had an iWatch rumour for at least… ooh, two minutes, so up steps DisplaySearch to the plate to tell us that one could well be plucked from the Apple orchard and whisked off to wrists everywhere by the end of next year. And it’ll be between 1.3in and 1.6in. Apparently.

The Big Country

Adding to the prospect of a bigger screened iPad on the horizon, is a report from Macworld.co.uk. The site has been talking to analysts who have had their interest piqued by the presence of a 64-bit chip in the iPhone 5s. “Apple may have launched the iPhone 5s with a 64-bit processor in order to encourage developers to begin populating the iOS App Store with 64-bit optimised apps ahead of a future 13in iPad device,” according to Ben A Reitzes, an analyst with Barclays Capital. The website went on to acknowledge that rumours of a larger iPad have been circulating for some time, pointing to a Wall Street Journal report from July that suggested Apple was already testing such a device, as well as the larger screened iPhone referred to by DisplaySearch above.

And… that’s the Rumour Mill for the week ending 11 October 2013.

by Macworld Australia staff

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