By Jim Karpen on Wed, 05/09/2012
As is often the case, DigiTimes is today's source of the latest rumors regarding the iPhone and iPad. The Taiwanese site gets its insider info from Apple suppliers, but its reliability has been variable. Their latest report is that Pegatron will manufacture the iPhone 5, which will appear in September. They also say that Pegatron has a contract to manufacture a 10-inch iPad, which they say will be out in the December quarter. Plus, they're saying that Foxconn will manufacture a 7-inch iPad that will be launched in August.
I find it credible that Pegatron is ramping up for production of Apple products, since that's always a massive initiative, requiring considerable hiring and expansion of equipment. Such an initiative would be evident to many. And everyone expects the next iPhone in September or October. Whether we'll see a 10-inch iPad in the December quarter is questionable. It's unlikely that Apple would switch from 9.7 inches to 10 inches, but I'm guessing that the report means a new 9.7-inch iPad. The December quarter would be an attractive time to launch a product, to take advantage of the holiday sales. But Apple typically introduces a new version every 12 months, and it's hard to imagine a new iPad coming out before March of 2013.
As for the 7-inch iPad, I'm guessing they mean the rumored 7.85-inch model. I think it's likely that prototypes and preproduction units exist. But the question is whether Apple will bring it to market. I like iMore's take on the situation. They note that Apple likely has a lot of devices in the lab, and many of them probably won't end up being manufactured. iMore says that if during the summer Apple sees a market for a 7-inch iPad, they may go for it. But like so many other products, it could end up staying in the lab. Apple, they say, is proudest of the products they've chosen not to release.
That gets to the heart of Apple. They've always been very selective, and have always had a very focused product line. This has been a key to their success. So the answer, whether it's a 7-inch iPad or Apple TV set, is: maybe they will, maybe they won't. Even they don't yet know.