If you're a follower of Apple product rumors you know that the slimmest of evidence is enough to get the grapevine a-buzzing – and Monday's report that Apple is planning to hold an event on October 15 to announce new iPads, iMacs, and maybe more is as anorexic a bit of speculation as they come.
The French website MacGeneration – "L'Essentiel du Mac en français" – reports (Google translation) that "According to the latest gossip" – les derniers bruits de couloir – Apple is planning an event on that date to announce that it is upgrading the iMac line to 4th Generation "Haswell" Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors, and that it may also unveil its new iPads at the same soirée.
The current iMac line was announced last October, with each model powered by a quad-core 3rd Generation "Ivy Bridge" Intel Core processors. The 21.5-inch iMac is available with a 2.7GHz Core i5-3330S or 2.9GHz Core i5-3470S, and is upgradable to a 3.1GHz Core i7-3770S. Its 27-inch big brother is available with a 2.9GHz Core i5-3470S or 3.2GHz Core i5-3470, and is upgradeable to a 3.4GHz Core i7-3770. An education-only 21.5-inch iMac powered by a dual-core, 3.3GHz Core i3-3225 was introduced this March.
According to MacGeneration, "les stocks d'iMac sont au plus bas dans les boutiques physiques" – iMac inventories are at their lowest levels in brick-and-mortar stores – which leads them to believe that Haswell upgrades are at hand. That's reasonable – the chips that would be the logical replacements for their current CPUs are certainly now available in Cupertinian quantities.
But iMacs are so last decade. What really gets the rumor mill cranked up – even if MacGeneration does not have a solid track record when accurately reporting les derniers bruits de couloir – is the possible appearance next month of new iPads.
As The Reg reported earlier this month, the latest iPad scuttlebutt is that a fully redesigned iPad 5 and a Retina display version of the iPad mini will be available for your holiday shopping pleasure this fall. That rumor set came from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, whose record on such scuttlebutt is better than most.
The iPad 5, Kuo says, will be powered by a Retina display–enabled A7X chip, meaning that it will share the same basic 64-bit architecture as does the A7 chip that he correctly predicted would appear in the iPhone 5s.
That chip is presumably built around the ARMv8 architecture, and should have enough oomph to power not only smartphones and tablets, but also laptops that don't demand the top processing power – laptops such as the MacBook Air, for example.
So here's The Reg contribution to the rumor mill – well, not even rumor, just baseless speculation. Remember those rumors in February 2012 about an OS X port for ARM? How about in May 2011 when the chipheads at Semi Accurate reported that Apple was contemplating a shift to ARM for its laptops, and an ARM-based MacBook Air was supposedly spotted in the wild?
If Apple does indeed hold a product-announcement event on October 15, and if indeed upgraded iMacs are announced, and if indeed those announcements are followed by the introduction of a new iPad and iPad mini, possibly CEO Tim Cook will, as the event seemingly draws to a close, channel his predecessor Steve Jobs, and say those three magic words: "One more thing..."
Could happen. After all, the chattering classes have been roundly raking Apple for a somewhat tepid iPhone 5c and 5s rollout last week, and a move from Intel to an Apple-designed ARM chip in Cook & Co.'s laptop line just might provide the stock price–boosting frisson lacking from Apple's most recent announcements.
Unsubstantiated? Certainly. Speculative? Definitely. But hey, let's not let the Gallic rumor-mongers have all the fun. ®