Rumors Fly as Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference Draws Near

The rumors are becoming hot and heavy as we move toward Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference next week and the release of new devices this fall. The latest rumor on iPads, originating from DigiTimes, is that mass production of the next 9.7-inch iPad will begin July or August, with shipment scheduled for late September. The site again states what so many other rumors have said: that the form factor will be like the iPad mini, with narrower bezels left and right and an overall thinner and lighter design. The site, which gets its information from Apple's suppliers, says the next-generation iPad mini will arrive in November. The reason behind the timing is unclear, but could be because Apple wants to clearly separate the launches of the two models. Or it's possible Apple's suppliers simply don't have the capacity to ramp up production of both iPads simultaneously. Most of the rumors surrounding the next mini relate to the possibility of it having a retina display.

On the iPhone front, rumors continue to say the next iPhone will come in a variety of colors. However, it's not clear whether it's the expected iPhone 5S or the rumored low-cost iPhone that will be more colorful. In any case, we're at the stage of production when photos of components are starting to leak. The latest leak shows some components with a gold color, such as the volume rocker, suggesting they will be nestled in a gold-colored iPhone. You can see the photos on AppleInsider.

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Also, iDownloadBlog has leaked an alleged photo of a home screen of the forthcoming iOS 7. The icons appear to be the same as before, but have lost a layer of gloss. An artist's reconstruction of the poor-quality photo gives a good idea of how this will make the interface look flatter and less three-dimensional than iOS 6. Apple designer Jony Ive is said to favor this flatter appearance.

And according to The Wall Street Journal, Apple is moving closer to offering a streaming radio service, which bloggers typically refer to as iRadio. It would compete with subscription music services such as Spotify. The WSJ reports that Apple signed a deal with Warner for the rights to offer its library of music, having inked a deal with Universal earlier. But it's looking unlikely  Apple will announce iRadio at the Developers Conference next week, because the WSJ says Apple won't launch the service until it has signed deals with all top music labels. So far, Sony is holding out for more money, and it doesn't look like they'll reach a deal anytime soon.

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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.