This is clearly worthy of its own discussion.
MG, regarding iPad Mini leaks... there's a quote from Charlie Wilson's War that comes to mind... "As long as the press sees sex and drugs behind the left hand, you can park a battle carrier behind the right hand and no one's gonna fucking notice."
Everyone's getting hot and bothered about the next iPhone, but no one is noticing the iPad Mini. Either means they're REALLY keeping it under wraps with maybe a longer lead time on launch, or it doesn't exist
I think there is definitely enough iPad mini smoke for iPad mini fire. iMore and Bloomberg reporting it (NYT said it would be cheaper than the full-sized model), and Eddy Cue's email from the Samsung trial. However, there's no legitimate part leak evidence.
Perhaps Jordan's right with his Charlie Wilson quote. However, not all Apple products get leaked early in parts. Take pretty much every iPod ever (maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think so compared to recent iPhones and iPad 2 and 3). Also take almost every Mac ever into account.
It just seems different.
- First iPad didn't leak. Launch was 2 months after announcement.
- iPhone 5 parts leaked four months before announcement/release
- iPad mini is surely within 4 months of launch and nothing has leaked.
-Only pattern here is first generations not leaking, but it makes no sense in this scenario.
There have been some parts leaks rumors for the "Mini iPad" but none that I trust yet.
One set has rounded edges without a camera on the back. The other set is shaped like a current iPad 2/New with camera (and only by case makers).
Apple can't announce existing product lines and then ramp production. Sales would plummet in the in-between time. So that's why iPhone 5 has to ramp now. So there's enough to ship.
Original iPhone parts? No one cared. The iPhone was shown in all its glory 6 months ahead. Original iPad had no part leaks prior either. It had a delayed ramp up too. Jan announce -> March availability.
Remember that with Apple, the simplest answer is usually the best answer. The iPad mini is a brand new product that likely will appeal to a whole new segment of customers, those who haven't bought an iPad because of price or size. Since its going after new customers it can launch it any time it wants...as long as it's in time for Christmas.
So I think parts aren't here because they haven't ramped production yet.
Regarding what Arn said about parts, the screen will definitely be easier. Literally changing the cut size on existing machines will take care of that. All of the other internal components will be the same aside from battery. Casings are new as well. So two months for battery and casing? I think it's possible.
Also, with November launch which seems to be the window indicated above, any manufacturing issues become a big deal (see white iPhone 4). One component doesn't work out and Apple misses a holiday shopping season. Seems a little high risk for a supply-side guy like Tim Cook.
And keep in mind, a $250-ish Mini iPad would sell like gangbusters the world over.
It was a half year after announcement before Apple caught up with original iPad demand. That's a lot of sad little boys and girls on Christmas morning.
The biggest reveal will be when Apple actually reschedules the holiday shopping season. "We've got something really exciting to show you. It's the second week of January. We call it Brushed Metal Friday. We think you're going to love it."
Could it be a tactical announce in September but a ship date in December? Pre-orders Nov 15-ish. Market-supression-wise, the person who would wait for a 7" iPad possibly wouldn't have bought a full-size iPad anyway -- they'd have bought a Fire or a Nexus. Long lead time might put some pinch in current iPad sales but it would also keep buyers from moving to Android as they wait.
They wouldn't have bought a Fire or Nexus (not saying that to be a jerk, it's just the reality of the current market -- neither are anywhere near good enough yet).
iPad mini is a hundreds of millions of units play. Apple's isn't targeting the narrow slice of "we'll put up with it because it's small" Amazon or Google tablet market, they're targeting the huge swathe of "I'd have bought an iPad if only it was much lighter and cost around $200" market.
If Apple does nothing in the category, Fire or Nexus could one day/year become good enough to get share, and that's probably a motivator.
That said, I think Mike's premise is excellent: "Here's the iPad mini, you can order soon and we'll ship it to you in time for the holidays" could work.
I haven't seen Apple pre-announce a product with a huge lead time that wasn't the first of its kind for the industry. The iPhone, let's be honest, was the first phone of the phones we know of today. The iPad invented the modern table. Pretty much the only exception I can think of is the iPhone 3G which was over a month.
Thanks for your feedback! Team Branch