The Macalope Daily: Zombie iPad rumors

The iPad mini rumors are back, but this time they’re confirmed!

(Actual confirmation not included. Void where prohibited by law.)

CNet’s Brooke Crothers says forget about the dumb ol’ iPad 3, a 7.85-inch iPad is coming in the third quarter!

Enough about the iPad 3 already. The first iPad to come in a smaller size is due for production in the third quarter, an Asia-based report says.

Now, anyone who knows anything about Apple rumors is instantly clued in by the words “Asia-based report” and knows that what’s coming next will completely take the helium out of this “report.”

Apple is likely to begin production of a 7.85-inch iPad in the third quarter of this year, Taipei-based DigiTimes said, citing sources, in a story dated Thursday.

How is it, Brooke, that you are not yanking the Macalope’s hoof with this? DigiTimes. Seriously. This, of course, would be the same DigiTimes that, among many other mis-reportings, was saying only a couple of months ago that Apple would announce the iPad 3 at Macworld | iWorld in January. Which would have been a neat trick, as the company hasn’t attended the event since 2009.

Amusingly, DigiTimes also reported at the beginning of the year that Apple had put the kibosh on making a smaller iPad.

Why, a discerning reader might have reason to think the current “report” questionable, as it simply un-does the un-doing of the original “report”! That is, if CNet had provided its readers any of this context.

Crothers doesn’t bother, however, to mention DigiTimes’s spotty record because who wants to be a rumor buzzkill?

And the price? It could go as low as $249-$299, the report said.

It could! It says so on the Internet in a “report,” so it might be true! Even if the source is wrong. All. The. Time.

Before Apple goes that low, though, an 8GB iPad 2 priced below $400 is expected on March 7, when the company also announces the iPad 3.

The Macalope is developing a theory about Apple rumors. Wanna hear it? OK, it goes like this: When trying to sell a rumor that you just pulled out of your butt, always reach in and pull out a slightly saner one, because it makes you look more serious. And you could probably use some more gravitas considering you just put your own hand up your butt twice.

The 7.85-inch iPad report confirms a string of past reports and word from CNET’s own sources.

Other things that Crothers has confirmed using this strict methodology include the Mayan apocalypse, that space aliens walk among us, and the undeniable superiority of the designated hitter rule.

That said, the idea of a smaller iPad confounds some Apple observers, particularly when no one less than Steve Jobs dissed the idea.

And the fact that your sources are a bunch of yahoos.

But times change.

Well, some things don’t change. Like people gullibly passing on the blathering of disreputable sources talking about supposedly upcoming Apple products. They’ve been doing that for years.

Amazon has shown that a 7-inch tablet can strike a chord with consumers. Moreover, the 7.85-inch iPad is expected to have the same 1,024x768 resolution of the iPad 2, meaning that no changes need to be made to apps to accommodate the smaller screen.

Right. Because people can just file the tips of their fingers down in order to be able to accurately hit smaller icons and buttons.

Well, no one ever said an Apple rumor had to make sense.

[Editors’ Note: Each week the Macalope skewers the worst of the week’s coverage of Apple and other technology companies. In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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