updated 11:45 am EDT, Mon July 30, 2012
Fate of iPad mini less certain
An iLounge source is backing claims that a new iPhone will be launched around mid-September. The person is somewhat vaguer, only hinting at a date around the third week, but that would be consistent with a rumored September 21st target. The source adds that Apple is working on two or more cases for the device: this includes one similar to the current Bumper case, expected to ship at the same time as the new phone, and another which could supposedly have a major impact on the accessory industry.
The person differs from iMore in suggesting that a smaller iPad won't be ready to ship at the same time as the new iPhone, and could arrive as late as November, even potentially getting its own launch event. Apple is also allegedly working on smaller versions of the Smart Cover and Smart Case for the tablet. Regarding iPods, there is said to be no indication that a new Nano is coming, but the source does expect a new iPod touch, featuring a larger display and a better processor. Traditionally Apple has avoided updating the iPhone and the Touch at the same time, but it may not have any choice since it made virtually no changes to the Touch last year.
Regarding a fourth-generation full-sized iPad, the person claims that Apple is planning to keep body design relatively unaltered, mostly introducing the next iPhone's smaller dock connector as well as its additional rear-facing microphone. Inside, the tablet is predicted to get specification improvements, and changes that should reduce the heat issues people have seen with the third-gen iPad. The secondary mic is also said to be showing up on prototypes of the smaller-scale iPad.
Unusually the source says that Apple could be prepared to refresh the full-sized iPad at the same time as the smaller one is announced, but the person does say this is unlikely. Apple normally updates products on an annual basis, and might anger customers by debuting a new flagship iPad so soon after its predecessor's arrival.