Rumormongering about an iPad Mini with Retina Display is sort of the perfect rumor for gadget blogs because one day between now and forever, when Apple inevitably releases said device, their predictions will come true. Dissatisfied with the iPhone tea-leaves, which suggest fanboys only have a cheap iPhone 5 to look forward to, the tech whisperers have a new white whale: The iPad Mini with Retina Display. The rumor, which has been circulating for months on the blogs dedicated to just mongering, has today made its way to a more mainstream outlets. Looking into a minor Apple TV update discovered in FCC filings, Marco Arment, the creator of Instapaper, concludes: "It’s obvious, in retrospect, what this is probably for: the Retina iPad Mini." Christopher Mims over at Quartz finds that believable enough writing: "Here comes an iPad Mini with a Retina display—aka the best tablet ever." And with that, the iPad Mini with Retina Display rumor was born.
It makes sense that this idea would catch on: Techies dream of crystal clear iPad Mini screens, even if they won't admit it. Despite having a screen that looks fuzzier than all the other Apple tablets, the iPad Mini has won the hearts of the tech snobs. These people claim the lack of a "resolutionary" display doesn't matter. But, as Mims notes, that light, little, computer-pad, would go from a techie favorite, to the best ever, if only it had the upgraded display. It would most certainly replace the iPad Mini as the New York Times's Nick Bilton's "Desert Island Gadget." (Recently the iPad Mini took the honor from his iPhone.)
But just because the people who care about technology yearn for Apple's best iPad ever, doesn't mean it will become a reality any time soon. Mims even puts out the following loud and clear disclaimer in his post: "To be clear, Apple has not announced a Retina iPad Mini." Apple doesn't comment on rumors, generally. But, all signs point to this not happening any time too soon. The mysterious sources haven't put this idea in the ears of bigger publications, as they often do leading up to a reveal. Prominent Apple blogger and leading rumor grader John Gruber, who many say has the ear of the iMaker, hasn't given this one his approval yet, either. The last Gruber had to say about pretty Minis linked to a November post doubting its arrival in the next year. Like many an Apple rumor, this one remains a blogger fantasy.
But, this is all a part of the Apple hype cycle. (And congrats to the iPad for getting itself a hype cycle!) The rumor economy thrives off of made-up products that represent what the techies want more than reality. Some of these ideas materialize, after years and years of mongering. (A bigger-screen for the iPhone, for example.) Some don't. (A lot of things, all the time.) When these things don't come true, the rumorers can always say "next time" and when they do we get an "I told you so!" In other words, an Apple rumor is a rumor, until it's not.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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