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iPad 5 rumor rollup for the week ending March 26

Deducing the shipment date, T-Mobile clues, ballpoint pens, price cuts

By , Network World
March 27, 2013 04:17 PM ET

Network World - In the iOSphere one doesn't need sources for rumors. Just unhinge one's imagination, propose a couple of untenable hypotheses, and deduce.

This week, supply chainers deduce the shipment date for iPad 5; T-Mobile announced availability of iPhone 5 and bloggers deduce that, amazingly, the carrier is very likely to eventually have a future iPad; save those ballpoint pens because you'll be able to use them on the Next iPad; and savor the prospect of iPad mini price cuts.

You read it here second.

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"And those familiar with Apple's pricing strategy know that the $329 price [for iPad mini] wasn't about trying to squeeze an extra ten percent over and above the $299 mark, but rather that Apple didn't want a $299 iPad mini to make the $499 flagship iPad look overpriced by comparison," Robison explains. "The $329 price almost said 'Please don't buy me, consider the full size iPad instead.'"

Jake Robison, StableyTimes.com, explaining how Apple ensured the iPad mini's success by pricing it so people wouldn't buy it, and how it will make the Next iPad mini even more successful by giving it something no iPad or iPhone has previously received: a price cut.

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iPad 5 will ship in Q4 2013

So much for shipments blossoming in April, which was - and will remain until April 30 - one of the other rumors.

Digitimes rounds up the usual industry sources, anonymous of course, who say that they don't expect Apple's orders for new, 9.7-inch touch panels to swell until the July-September period. Since it takes time to assemble these into finished iPads, that proves that iPad 5 won't go on sale until the October-December period.

Once you understand the Mysteries of the Supply Chain, these kinds of deductions are a snap.

The thinking here is the by-now-oft-repeated rumor that iPad 5 will use the same thin film display technology that Apple introduced with the iPad mini in October 2012. "Which would mean that Taiwan-based thin-film supplier TPK would be among one of the main suppliers of the technology, as it has been for the iPad mini," Digitimes helpfully points out.

But.

"However, Apple recently adjusted shipment estimates for its iPad and iPad mini products in 2013 to 33 million and 55 million, respectively, said the sources." These sources are apparently reading other blogs and tech sites, which have been repeating for weeks and analysts claim that Apple has reduced its orders for full-size iPads and increased them for iPad mini.

By the bizarre economics of the iOSphere's understanding of the Apple supply chain, the fact that Apple might sell more iPad minis with TPK's touch panels is ... bad news for TPK. Apple "expects the iPad mini to sell substantially better during the year, which would be less thin-film type material area shipped per a[n] Apple device for TPK, added the sources."

Apparently the only thing worse than not winning a contract to supply Apple is ... to win a contract to supply Apple.

"Meanwhile, Samsung Display is reportedly trying to snatch back panel orders from Apple by offering the company reduced panel prices for the iPad mini after losing out on shipments in 2012 as a result of disputes between Samsung Electronics and Apple," according to Digitimes.

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