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Is that awesome or what? It's almost like saying "We believe that looking at the meteorological records for the past five years suggests that the weather will show a warming trend starting in late February."
Except that iPads have only been around since April 2010. "Over the past two years, the Spring event has been iPad updates," Munster notes. And you just can't deny that.
But he didn't stop there. "The average time between the [Apple announcement] events has been 123 days, about 4 months. The longest amount of time between events since the 3GS launch in 2009 was 216 days (about 7 months), which was the gap between the iPad 2 launch in March 2011 and the iPhone 4S launch in October 2011."
By this time our eyes are glazing over. Marsal summarizes: "Munster noted that the iPhone 4S may have faced some delays that extended the gap between launches. Therefore, given Apple's last event was October 23, 2012, a 4 month difference would suggest a late February event while a 7 month break would imply a late May event."
So what the heck is the bottom line here?
"We believe the most likely scenario is an event in between the two, i.e. March or April," according to Munster.
So. Something will be announced "pretty soon." But what?
"We believe Apple could update the full-sized iPad to a body style similar to the iPad Mini. Additionally, we believe that the iPad Mini could get a Retina display, although that may happen later in the year given the supply constraints Apple faced on the Mini in the December quarter."
The Rollup, too, believes absolutely, firmly and definitely that Apple could do those things, too. The question is: will it? And will it do so in April? Or March? Or in one of the other eight remaining months in 2013?
Thank heavens for precision statistical analyses.
Munster's highly conditional possibilities have already been transmuted by iOSphere alchemy into predictions bordering on fact. And while some may think it's good news that a new iPad may appear six months or so after the last one (the 4th generation iPad in October 2012), it's actually bad news.
"The launch of the iPad 4 last October angered people who'd bought the previous iPad which was on the market for just 7 months before being replaced," declares Simon D Thomas at 3G.co.uk. "However, it looks like Apple will now repeat the trend with the iPad 5 which is sure to insight further rage."
What's wrong with Apple? We want great products. And they, stupidly, give them to us. The only appropriate response is rage.
John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for Network World.
Read more about wireless & mobile in Network World's Wireless & Mobile section.