Yup, the iPad 4 Rumors Have Begun

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iPad 3 rumors? Old and boring. The rumor mill is already moving on to talk of the iPad 4, which is apparently coming this October, six months after the supposed launch of its predecessor.

The source of this rumor, as expected, is DigiTimes, which reports that the iPad 4 will have “much upgraded hardware specifications and integrated applications” to better compete with Android and Windows 8 tablets.

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But let’s back up for a moment. Keep in mind that DigiTimes sometimes debunks its own rumors. A week ago, the site reported that Apple was making a 7.85-inch iPad to combat Amazon’s Kindle Fire, and then shortly after that, reported those rumors were false. And now, DigiTimes is saying Apple will cut the price of the iPad 2 to $399 when the iPad 3 launches, days after the site conjectured that the iPad 2 may sell for $299. DigiTimes rumors are not so much facts as educated guesses that become more accurate with time.

With that in mind, I have my doubts that Apple would release a fourth iPad so close to the iPad 3. To justify it, Apple would need a major selling point, and I don’t think simple spec boosts — like a faster processor — would cut it. As for “integrated applications,” I’m reminded of a report from last year that Apple would launch an “iPad HD” with apps for creative professionals, such as Final Cut or Aperture. The rumor didn’t pan out then, and it doesn’t seem much more plausible to launch a niche device now, when the iPad has mass market appeal.

It’s fun to observe Apple rumor madness, but I wouldn’t take this one too seriously.

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