By Harry McCracken | Thursday, December 29, 2011 at 12:26 pm
The great thing about the Apple rumors published at Taiwanese component-news site DigiTimes is that you never know what you’re going to get. Sometimes it has scoops that really are scoops. Other times–many times–its rumors are strictly fictional. You can neither trust it nor ignore it.
Today, DigiTimes has a story I know I like, whether or not it amounts to anything. The site says that a source tells it that Apple is going to release two new iPads in January, with super-high-res screens. But the part of the rumor that’s entertaining is that DigiTimes’ source says that Apple will announce its new tablets at Macworld/iWorld–the conference formerly known as Macworld Expo –which is being held starting on January 26th in San Francisco.
For those who came in late, Apple famously pulled out of Macworld after the January 2009 edition, saying that it no longer needed Macworld–or, really, conferences at all–to communicate with its customers. As a former employee of Macworld’s organizer, IDG, and a fan of the show, I was disappointed by the decision. But I couldn’t argue with the thinking behind it.
Nothing has happened in the interim to make DigiTimes’ new rumor sound more likely. The iPad 2 went on sale on March 11th, so announcing new iPads in late January sounds a tad early. And even if Apple does want to announce them around then, I can’t think of a reason why it would want to do so at Macworld/iWorld. The company is simply more comfortable running its own events its own way. Piggybacking on Macworld/iWorld would provide no particular PR boost, and would make Apple look indecisive.
Then there’s the little fact that the Macworld/iWorld schedule doesn’t seem to leave any time open for an Apple keynote. Nor do I see space on the show floor for a giant Apple booth. (Conspiracy theorists may choose to believe that IDG is covering up Apple’s plans with dummy events on the schedule and a fraudulent floor map.)
And just to make DigiTimes look even more erratic than usual, its new rumor involves a retraction of another (unlikely-sounding) rumor it was reporting just a few days ago: That Apple would soon be releasing a 7″ iPad.
If, all evidence and logic to the contrary, Apple does show up at Macworld/iWorld, I’ll be tickled. Decisiveness and finality are all very well, but so are old traditions. But for now, the idea seems all but utterly implausible. The chances it’ll happen? I’d say they’re about .000000000001%.