MacOS KenDensed: iOS Rumor Roundup, & the Crook that Stole Christmas

Ken Ray. No, really!The rumor mill and analysts are all about the iPhone 5, 7-inch iPads, and Apple televisions. Mac OS Ken’s Ken Ray takes them on at the end of 2011, along with a burglar that thought he could steal Christmas, but didn’t count on the power of Find My iPhone.

On iPhones, iPads & Munster Predictions
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster is pumped for Apple in 2012. The Mac Observer has Mr. Munster issuing an out-with-the-old-in-with-the-new note to clients saying he expects an iPhone 5 and an iPad 3 to rev revenue growth in the soon to be new year.

Quoting his note:

We expect buzz around a redesigned iPhone 5 to escalate in early 2012 until Apple launches it midway through the year. The iPhone 5, along with deeper penetration of cheaper iPhone models in more price sensitive markets, should drive higher-than-expected iPhone growth into 2013.

Two things: One… really? Apple’s gonna go back to a mid-year launch for the next iPhone? Because they kind of wrecked a whole quarter’s sales pushing to an October launch for iPhone 4S. Hard to see that being a one off.

Also we don’t have to wait ‘til next year for new iPhone speculation… more on that in a bit.

On the iPad front, Uncle Gene say more iPads may be the thing. Quoting his note again, “Our model currently assumes iPad 3 will simply replace iPad 2; however, if Apple expands the iPad lineup to both higher and lower price points, the new iPads could support growth well above our current estimates.”

Oh sure we could wait ‘til sometime in 2012 for speculation around the next iPhone to begin, but we don’t have to do, thanks to a new Boy Genius Report report. They’ve got a secret source said to be close to the heat who says Apple’s next iPhone will launch in the fall, which makes sense.

They also say that the Cupertino-company will use a rubber or plastic, like the material in the bumper it makes for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, in the new iPhone casing. BGR speculates that that material will be for the edge of the machine. But who knows? We probably have about ten months to wonder and wait.

Mini iPads: The Rumors Just Won’t Die
Just before the holiday hiatus there was talk from DigiTimes that Apple would launch a 7-inch iPad sometime in 2012. I, almost immediately, called Poppy-cock. Except for the possibility that Apple might want to jam such a — presumably — lower-cost device through the enterprise and education markets.

Cost is key in education. Plus kids have tiny little hands. Well, tiny kids do, anyway.


Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair will have none of it. No time soon anyway.

AllThingsD has Blair saying in a research note, “While we believe Apple has tested 7-inch screen prototypes for over a year, we don’t currently expect the company to release anything in the 7-inch size in 2012.”

And DigiTimes can cram it.

He didn’t really say that last part.

Steve Jobs, Blair points out, hated the idea of a 7-inch iPad with a white, hot heat. He said in 2010 that 7-inch tablets would hit the market “dead on arrival.” Of course, he didn’t live to se the release of Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which may not be as good as the iPad, but could hardly be deemed D.O.A.

Still, Blair thinks Jobs’ hot, hot, hate will hold over at Apple, at least for now.

So how will they address the low-cost, 7-inch market? Quoting Blair’s note:

We believe Apple is highly likely to keep the iPad 2 on the production line after the launch of iPad 3 and offer it at a lower price point in an effort to address demand at the mid-tier, what we view as the $249 to $499 range. We believe iPad 2’s price could drop to the $349 to $399 range with Apple offering a single 16GB model.

While good hardware may be a given as far as Wu is concerned, there’s still a fair bit of curiosity around who will build the thing and what it will look like, assuming such a thing as an Apple television set is actually to be built.

The suckiest part of all of the hardware talk: it all filters in through DigiTimes, which is a hair’s breadth away from saying it’s all made up by an overly excitable teenager.

I know. I’ve insulted overly excitable teenagers by likening them to DigiTimes. My bad.

May I take a moment to talk about why I pay attention to DigiTimes? Everybody else does, no matter how much I wish they wouldn’t or didn’t. To the point that DigiTimes stories that have just a slight basis in reality can rock the stocks of Apple and countless other companies — and that can affect their businesses.

That, by the way, is also why I pay attention to business stories. And there’s today’s peek behind the curtain.

So, despite misgivings about the source, I feel compelled to let you now that Electronista has the Digi-peeps saying that Apple television sets may go into production as early as early next year. Which starts early next week.

According to the piece on the piece, individual parts for the smartest of the idiot boxes should enter production before the end of March, with an eye toward shipping finished units in the spring or summer.

Then there’s a separate report cited by Electronista out of Korea that says not only has Samsung already started making chips for the Apple TV set, Sharp will crank out the unit’s LCDs in both 32 and 37 inch sizes. A mid-2012 launch stands at odds with conventional wisdom that has the device launching in late 2012 at the earliest, though applying the term “conventional wisdom” to a — so far — imaginary product may rip a hole in your psyche.

You might want some ointment for that.

DigiTimes is not done, by the way, nor is Electronista done with them.

A separate piece on a separate piece has Digi sources saying that three more companies could be making pieces and parts for Apple’s television: Advanced Semiconductor Engineering, Siliconware Precision Industries, and the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, or TSMC.

Does that cut Samsung’s chips out? Or just add to the number of chips and producers? The world may never know. Not this one anyway, though both brainy scientists and some religious mystics say every imaginable future actually exists in full in its own reality on another plane than ours.

Mind… blown.

You’re welcome.

Foxconn will probably build it, because Foxconn builds just about all of Apple’s stuff. The DigiTimes sources “also say that Apple is expected to finalize the TV hardware by the end of the second quarter next year,” and that “an Apple TV set will ship by the end of 2012,” which directly contradicts an earlier story from… what was that site? DigiTimes.

They’re like a disinformation bureau of their own.

I Gotta Go
You may feel you have to go to the new Apple Store in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal, but what if you feel you have to go once you get there? You know… go…

Fortune says, yes Virginia, there are public facilities at the Grand Central store… And no there aren’t.

Here are the answers received by Phillip Elmer-DeWitt:

  • Yes (from a senior Apple public relations staffer at the press preview)
  • No (from the same staffer a few minutes later)
  • Yes! (by urgent voice mail, after (he) wrote a headline that mentioned “no public toilets”)
  • No (from store security, when (he) asked to visit the facilities after the store had opened. The restrooms were for staff only.)
  • Yes (from the original PR staffer, who finally answered her phone. Store security was wrong.)
  • No (from store security and a pair of Genius Bar staffers two days before Christmas. Not even for paying customers.)

It’s New York. Find a corner to pee in. Seriously. Not seriously seriously, of course.

Merry Christmas. In Jail.
And finally this week, it’s got all the makings of a claymation holiday special. The Unofficial Apple Weblog has the story of the iPad that saved Christmas.

According to the story, “a family in California had their Christmas gifts stolen last week…” along with other stuff from their house. In a seemingly unrelated story, another California resident had his iPad stolen, though he was able to track the location of the device using Apple’s “Find My iPad.”

He called the police who went to the tracked address. There they found not only his pilfered iPad, but the stolen Christmas presents from the unrelated family as well.

In the claymation version of the story, the thief would confess that the reason for his bad behavior was that he’d not received the toy train he wanted as a child. He’d see the error of his ways and he’d be invited to a holiday feast either by the guy who’s iPad he stole, or the family he’d robbed of all of their gifts.

We are a long way from Chritsmas-Town. On our not so claymation planet, the robber is in jail on a 20-thousand-dollar bond.

And on that uplifting note we wrap up 2011. It feels as if I should say something profound.