The Apple rumour mill

Macworld Australia Staff
27 September, 2013
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A big pill to swallow

Rumours are still circulating regarding Apple’s possible plans to release a larger iPad. Some of us can’t really see the point in a bigger tablet – so unwieldy – but your correspondent is the same person who once told market researchers Trivial Pursuit would never sell, so what do I know? (Seriously, it just seemed too expensive.)

Those with a little more insight – i.e. our good friends over at MacRumors – are these week suggesting that development of the horse-sized pill (aka larger tablet) is progressing apace, that an obvious use is for business presentations and supplier Quanta Computer is onboard for a slice of the action. Its source is China’s United Daily News website, which points to a tablet that’s a whole foot across (30.48cm to us metric folks), while over at The Wall Street Journal (where it seems size matters), the suggestion is of an iPad that will measure 13in (33.02cm) diagonally.

There is some surprise at the idea of Quanta being involved, as its usual role is in the sphere of the MacBook Airs, with Foxconn and Pegatron being the go-to guys for tablet production. Perhaps all the bad press those two latter companies have had of late has taken the sheen off their association with Apple?

Not mulch truth in this one?

One intriguing suggestion hitting the cybersphere this week was the idea that Apple ponied up truckloads of cash (however much that might be) to delay the release of the very popular Plants vs Zombies game on Android. Version 2 of the game was released on iOS only last month and on Android earlier this month… but only in China. The latest reports have the full Android version of the game being released in October.

The whistleblower spreading this scurrilous suggestion was one Frank Gibeau, head of EA Labels, the company that owns the game’s developer PopCap Games. And his remarks were disseminated by gaming site Giant Bomb.

Plants vs Zombies 2 has been a monster hit for Apple, with reportedly 25 million downloads of the iOS version to date, and frequent top 10 ratings for both strategy and adventure games according to analytics site App Annie. But as Eddie Makuch, at has noted, Apple is vigorously denying that this ever happened. A company spokesman said that the story was simply “not true” and no money changed hands.

Developer PopCap, meanwhile, is staying well out of it… ”We can’t comment on internal meetings,” said a representative.

And that’s not the last word. EA Labels has now issued a statement (noted by PocketGamer and passed on by 9to5Mac), assuring everyone the whole thing was an unfortunate misunderstanding and nothing of the kind happened. Ever. Honestly. So there you go. Nothing to see here. Move along…

Lost in space

Space Gray has clearly got legs. The mysteriously named (where in space is it grey?) colour picked as one of the three options for the new iPhone 5s (and seemingly the most plentiful variety) has now been attached to the rumoured next iteration of the iPad. Regular Geelong leaker of all things Apple, Sonny Dickson has posted some photos this week, allegedly of the next-generation iPad, with silver and ‘space gray’ shells.

iPad 5

The photos seem to corroborate the suggestion from C Technology earlier in the week that both the next full-size iPad and the next generation iPad mini will come in the same three colours as the recently released iPhone 5s – space gray, silver and gold. Maybe Martin Hajek’s concept featured in last week’s Rumour Mill wasn’t that far-fetched after all.

Chinese takeaway

Before the launch of the two new iPhones and iOS 7 there was much talk about Apple’s designs on the Chinese market. As The Financial Times ( pointed out on 11 September, “Apple has been losing market share steadily in China to traditional rivals such as Samsung Electronics and emerging Chinese competitors. It currently ranks seventh after local rivals Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo and Xiaomi.”

iPhone's piece of the Chinese smartphone pie expected to double in 2014

But that could all be changing… as is clear from the graph above. reports that iOS’s share of the Chinese market is on track to double in the next few years. The article references a report by IDC.

And rumours are still flying thick and fast that Apple is set to announce a long-awaited deal with China Mobile in the not too distant future. But, as smartly points out, “as with any Apple-related rumour, nothing is ever a guarantee until an official announcement is made.” Couldn’t have put it better ourselves,

Up, up and away

Are you one of those frightfully impatientortant travellers that simply can’t spare the time to turn your devices on and off while those pesky pilots are doing things like, well taking off and landing their planes?

If so, keep your shell-likes turned towards any announcements issuing forth from the US Federal Aviation Administration next week. Word is that it will be receiving advice from an, er, advisory committee that may lead to a relaxing of restrictions on the use of personal electronic devices (PEDs) during take-off and landing, says

One of those lobbying for change is the Senator for Missouri, Democrat Claire McCaskill, who told USA Today, ”Given the technological advancement of both PEDs and critical air navigation and flight control systems since the rules were put in place, updated protocols for safe use of PEDs on board commercial flights are long overdue.”

And where the US leads, many still follow. So, if the FAA decides it’s now OK for you to go right ahead with your mission to raid the resources of yet another village in Clash of Clans on your iPad, even though the plane in which you are sitting is taxiing and about to raise its nose skyward… then soon it may be OK in Australia too.

And that’s the Apple Rumour Mill for the week ending 27 September 2013.

by Macworld Australia staff


One Comment

One person was compelled to have their say. We encourage you to do the same..

  1. working dog says:

    People couldn’t see the point of the iPad either “its just a big iPod”
    To me, that was a fantastic concept, rather than a criticism!
    I’ve been pestering apple for a 13″ or even 20″ iPad since I got my first 10″er…
    (We have 4 now)
    I have two 30″ cinemas for work and the small screens are keyholes to me.
    The touch interface is the future of computing… even heavy lifting pro work…
    now a 46 inch apple touch table (like my old drafting table) would really be something!

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