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Rumor Has It: Is the iPad Mini already in production?

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Rumor Has It: Is the iPad Mini already in production?

6:12 /

The 7-inch unicorn rears its mini head again, as we wonder whether August production means fall release. Also this week, sightings of an HP mystery tablet, a nano-SIM card might be in the new iPhone, and HTC may get into the phablet game.

KARYNE: Hey, Im Karyne Levy EMILY: And I'm Emily Dreyfuss. KARYNE: This is Rumor Has It! The show where we round up the week's biggest tech rumors. EMILY: And vote on what we think will actually come true. KARYNE: And remember: you can vote on all the rumors, too, so keep your eyes out for the poll in the interactive player, if you're watching on CNET. EMILY: With scorekeepers and eager consumers in somewhat of a consensus about a September 12th release for the iPhone 5, the rumor mill turns its attention to what the heck the new iPhone is going to be like. NoWhereElse, a French gadget site named that way I suppose because Parisian descendants of Sartre like their tech rumors with a side of existentialism, posted images of an allegedly redesigned iPhone nano-SIM card slot. You can see that the supposed iPhone 5 Nano SIM is considerably smaller than the Micro-SIM in the 4S. KARYNE: OK, it looks smaller. So is this Nano-SIM a new thing? EMILY: Yeah, that Nano-Sim is actually interesting. The European equivalent of the FCC has approved a Nano-SIM for phones in the future, but none are using any yet. And we dont know whether the commission chose Apples proposed design or a competing design from RIM (Dun DUN DUN) has yet to be announced. Can Apple build it into their new phone before the official guidelines are public? Does this mean the European agency chose Apples design? Not necessarily. KARYNE: And the bigger question is, does a smaller SIM mean the phone will be smaller? EMILY: Probably not. The reason to shrink the SIM is not so you can make a Zoolander-size iPhone, but actually just to free up space in the phones body to cram other stuff, like maybe a pico projector and a lipstick. KARYNE: Our second rumor is about a mystery HP tablet that's been showing its tablety head a couple times in the last three weeks. The tablet popped up in a photo on one section of HP's Web site; it also showed up in an HP commercial. It's like the "Where's Waldo?" of tablets! There's no word on whether the mystery tablet is actually something they're going to make, or if it's just a nonworking mockup to show that HP is in the tablet game -- but either way, nice one, HP. You're subliminaly reminding us that you exist in the tablet world! EMILY: Remember the HP TouchPad? I loved WebOS! Let's pour one out for our forgotten homie. EMILY: Heres our third rumor. DigiTimes reports that HTC is readying a large phone/tablet hybrid, aka a phablet, to compete with Samsungs Galaxy Note. The anonymous sources suggest the phone will sport a 5-inch display, have Android 4.0, a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, and will come out before November. Now there are two important notes to bear in mind when considering the likelihood of this rumor: first, HTC was one of the first phone makers to go big -- remember the Evo 4G, that thing seemed huge when it came out -- but now Samsungs phones tower over it, so trendwise this makes sense if HTC wants to keep up; secondly, the Taiwanese manufacturer needs a kick in its bottom line. In the second quarter it reported 60 percent lower profits than the same quarter last year. People love the HTC One X, but its not proving to be the break-out product HTC needs. KARYNE: But would it really be wise to pin its hopes on a phablet? How many people do you know who use the Note? EMILY: Let me think...zero. KARYNE: Our biggest rumor this week is about the long- awaited iPad Mini! Which you and I actually have a bet about! According to an analyst with NPD DisplaySearch, production of the 7.85-inch display slated for use on a smaller version of the iPad should begin in August. If this pans out, it means the iPad Mini is on schedule to be released at the end of 2012, which is what recent reports have indicated. EMILY: And don't forget the e-mail unearthed at the Samsung v. Apple trial from Apples head of Internet software and services, in which he wrote about how a 7-inch iPad was a great idea, and he had maybe even talked Steve Jobs into it! Its funny though, the email says: I expressed this to Steve several times since Thanksgiving and he seemed very receptive the last time. Cant you just picture him accosting Jobs in the elevator for the 6th time, and finally Jobs just says, Yes, yes, great, good idea! Leave me alone! KARYNE: Right? Not that we've ever done that... to our boss... to get this show. In any case, I'm still onboard with the iPad Mini. I think this rumor further supports that it'll come out in the fall. EMILY: Im sticking with hell to the no on this one. I think Apple will never make an iPad Mini and Ill get to humiliate you next month after you lose the bet. Do you guys agree? Vote while we go ask the people of San Francisco what they think... EMILY: And the CNET verdict is... KARYNE: Thanks to everyone who tweeted to us about the Rumor Has It launch party! We will be contacting the winners of the contest this week with more information. EMILY: Thats our show! Share your rumors at rumorhasit@cnet.com or call us at 1-800-750-CNET. And tweet to us! KARYNE: Tune in next week for more tech rumors.
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