This week, the iOSphere's fill-in-the-blanks rumoring explains how an explosion at a manufacturing plant that is not yet actually building anything can delay not only the Apple iPad 3 but the iPad 2.
Even though another rumor recycles 3-month-old rumors that the iPad 3 is already in production or will be pretty quick before those wild and crazy Chinese start celebrating the New Year.
In other rumors, a single sentence ignites a speculative frenzy about the 7.85-inch iPad 3, and an obscure component from a parts reseller reveals a "major hardware redesign" for the next iPad.
You read it here second.
"The new [iPad 3] part, when compared with iPad 2, shows a different arrangement in internal circuitry, hinting a major re-design."
~ Mike Webb, Cydia Blog
iPad 3 will be delayed due to explosion at Shanghai plant
A Reuters news story reported that a Shanghai, China plant owned by a subsidiary of Pegatron Corp., one of Apple's suppliers, "was rocked by an explosion" last weekend, injuring 61 workers, a third of them hospitalized.
Reuters: "The Pegatron plant was slated to produce back panel parts for the iPad 2, according to China's Yi Cai Daily. Pegatron declined to disclose details of the plant's customers but a source with knowledge of the matter said the facility would be partly used to make products for Apple." Pegatron's CFO, Charles Lin, told Reuters, "the factory has not started operations yet. Part of the facility is still under pre-operation inspection and part is running trial production."
Nowhere does the Reuters story mention "iPad 3." But for the iOSphere, that's simply an invitation to fill in the blanks.
Which a host of tech Websites promptly did.
At the aptly named Gadgetsteria.com, Mike Norris struck an appropriately alarmist note, in a blogpost headlined "Pegatron Plant Explosion Injures Dozens, Could Affect iPad 2/3 Production."
With no additional information about what the not-yet-operational plant actually would be building for Apple in the future, Norris interpreted the explosion as "possibly affecting ongoing iPad 2 production as well as upcoming iPad 3 production too."
Norris misquotes the Reuters' story and added "iPad 3" as pure free-form speculation: the plant, he writes, is "currently testing production for an 'unspecified product' (read: ipad 3)." The phrase "unspecified product" doesn't appear in the Reuters story.
That's the problem with the LameStream Media: they keep letting facts get in the way of rumors.
Get ready for a 7.85-inch iPad 3 model
The ever-fecund Digitimes triggered a tsunami of tspeculation with a single sentence, predicting a 2012 iPad with a 7.85-inch screen.
"Apple is likely to launch a 7.85-inch iPad prior to the fourth quarter of 2012 in addition to a new iPad scheduled to be released at the end of the first quarter, according to sources in the supply chain."
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