Rumor: New iPod touch coming September, followed by iPhone 5 and iPad mini

What a lineup of announcements, if true: updated iPod touch, iPhone 5, and iPad mini in successive announcements in September, and a tweaked version of the current iPad with retina display in October. The sources are security analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who gets his info from sources in Asia, and the Japanese blog MacOkatara. I hope they're right. First up is an iPad touch that will have some of the same features rumored for the iPhone 5: a taller device with a 4-inch display that uses the same in-cell touch technology as the iPhone 5 (making the device thinner and the display sharper). It also supposedly will be getting the same A5 processor as in the current iPhone 4S. It will apparently have a buffed aluminum case like the MacBook line rather than the current polished aluminum. You can read more on AppleInsider.

Ming-Chi Kuo is also saying that the iPhone 5 will launch in September followed by the rumored 7.85-inch iPad mini — and a tweaked version of the current iPad with retina display. I'm guessing that if the latter is true, Apple will finally be able to begin using the new IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) technology, a chief feature of which is that it consumes less power. Apple's current iPad was a bit of a kludge, which accommodated the retina display by adding a larger battery, thereby making the device thicker, heavier, and warmer. Not elegant, not Jobsian. So if this rumor is true, I'm guessing we'll see IGZO. Again, you can read more, and see a timeline, on AppleInsider.

The post on AppleInsider says that Apple will begin ramping up production of the iPad mini in August, and there are rumors that Foxconn is already hiring more employees in preparation for the production of the device.

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Clearly, Apple has some stuff in the works, and it's not all rumor: CEO Tim Cook himself said earlier this year that Apple would be rolling out a lot of great products this year. And it would be neat if Apple would top it off with a TV set.

These are exciting times, and everything continues to go right for Apple. How long can this continue? Apple will be releasing its quarterly earnings report at 5 pm eastern today. And the predictions of market analysts are all over the map this time. Many analysts have low expectations — which is unusual regarding Apple. They say that so many people are postponing buying an iPhone as they wait for the next model that it will significantly affect unit sales of the iPhone. Many are expecting sales of around 25 - 27 million.

Yet AT&T just issued their earnings report, and said that they had sold 3.7 million iPhones in the recently ended quarter. This was higher than many expected, so now some analysts are revising their target for Apple upward, with one predicting 30 million units.

Some feel that Apple's overall earnings for the quarter will be greatly buoyed by sales of the new iPad with retina display and the discounted iPad 2.

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Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.