By Jim Karpen on Sat, 03/03/2012
I'm really looking forward to next week's announcement, though I'm guessing that the rampant rumors have already revealed a lot of the details. 9To5Mac reported yesterday that they've learned that the pricing will be the same, and that there will again be a choice between 16, 32, and 64 GB models. This is counter to a rumor that had circulating saying there would be a slight increase in price. In fact, it would be unusual to see a price increase, because Apple almost always introduces its newer, more powerful models at the same or lower price than the previous generation.
Another rumor circulating comes via Samsung's investment bank and reported on OLED-Display.Net: a 7-inch iPad-mini is slated for later this year. The source again says something we heard earlier this week, that the iPad 3 may be in short supply initially because suppliers are unable to produce the displays in the quantities that Apple needs. It also reports that Apple may eventually shift to flexible AMOLED panels, but again the issue is how many they can produce. Simply put, Apple sells so many of its iPads that it's very difficult for suppliers to meet the demand. Which shows that Apple's decisions regarding its products isn't just based on factors such as performance and design, but is often simply influenced by the availability of components.
And related to next week's event, AppleInsider says that Apple has already begun decorating Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts with a large banner. The invitation read, "We have something you really have to see. And touch." Apple's invitations always hint at the theme of the event. The part about seeing seems clearly related to the anticipated retina display of the iPad 3. But some think it could be a reference to an Apple TV. Mashable has a crowd-sourced post that scrutinizes every facet of the invitation for clues to meaning behind the image and wording. One theory regarding "touch" was that the home button would be replaced by a gesture, especially since the image doesn't show a home button. But then pictures of the device emerged that showed the familiar home button.
Yahoo News also posted an article speculating on the clues in the invitation. One guess is that the reference to touch might suggest that the iPad will have some kind of "haptic feedback," such that you'd be able to feel textures or feel the keys being depressed on the onscreen keyboard. It wouldn't be unusual for Apple to introduce an unexpected new feature.
The website iPhone Hacks also spends some time decoding Apple's invitation. One point that many have mentioned is the absence in the invitation's image of the little dots that show your location in your home screens.
A lot of speculation also surrounds the app icons shown in the invitation's image. Cult of Mac has a satirical article suggesting what that particular selection of images might mean, as well as a somewhat tongue-in-cheek annotated analysis of the invitation.