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iPad 5 rumor rollup for the week ending May 29

John Cox | May 31, 2013
12.9-inch iPad hilarity, September mourn, the yet-cheaper iPad.

Hilarity is rare in the iOSphere, rumors being serious business. But this week a post at a Korean tech website, describing a 12.9-inch iPad maxi in the works, triggered hilarity at 9to5Mac for reasons that are unclear.

Also this week, Apple's downward spiral into cheapness continues, with predictions of a still-cheaper iPad mini due by year's end. And we now know when iPad 5 will be released: sometime after the release of the Next iPhone, which will take place in September.

You read it here second.

"Forget iPad Mini 2 as Much Cheaper iPad Mini to be Released in the Holidays, Says Analyst."~ Kristin Dian Mariano, International Business Times, with a headline that brilliantly distills a fairly complex, and speculative, analysis by two stock analysts into SEO-friendly click bait.

iPad 5 will have a 12.9-inch screen, which is "hilarious"
The Korean language website posted a story that cites anonymous "industry sources" who claim that the next iPad, tentatively dubbed "iPad maxi," will have a 12.9-inch screen.

There were two reactions in the iOSsphere. One was from rumor sites and tech blogs that repeated the story more or less uncritically. The International Business Times, not surprisingly, was one of them. 

Then there was the reaction by Ben Lovejoy at 9to5Mac who mocked the post. His headline: "Someone got punk'd: iPad Maxi rumor is hilariously making the rounds." 

"There are certain crazy rumors that begin with a wholly unreliable source, then take on a life of their own as they get repeated around the web," he cautions his readers. "Meet the iPad Maxi' ...Korean website ET News really is suggesting that Apple intends to launch a 12.9-inch iPad with this "tentative" name, and it really is being reblogged with straight faces ..."

Yet Lovejoy continues in the very next sentence to admit "It's not that the idea itself is impossible. In a post-PC world, there may well be a role for larger tablets, and given Apple's keen interest in the textbook market, a 13-inch iPad might have merit." Which, based on a rather laborious English version created by Google Translate, is exactly one of the points made in the ETNews story that Lovejoy dismisses so completely. (To his credit, Lovejoy links to the Google Translation of the original Korean webpage.) 

So what makes a "wholly unreliable source" to Lovejoy? He never says. The closest thing to an explanation is this: "But when a rumor comes attached to a name like that, you'd think there might be a little more upward movement on the part of various eyebrows ..."

This caused a bit of upward movement on the part of The Rollup's eyebrows. Lovejoy almost seems to be saying "this otherwise plausible rumor is bunk and hokum, not to mention crazy, because a) the website that posted it is Korean, or b) it's a website I've never heard of, or c) both."


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