OK, sightings of not-yet-released Apple products have iffy credibility. Those iPhone 4 reports resulting from a prototype being left in a bar turned out to be real, others proved to be bogus. Is this Taiwanese pop star giving us a sneak peek at a new product or just looking for free publicity?
Way back last summer, there were reports coming out of Taiwan that some suppliers were shipping parts suitable for manufacturing a mini-sized iPad to Apple factories. In the fall, one analyst claimed Apple had already developed a smaller model at the same time as the original iPad. Apple CEO Steve Jobs denied that there would ever be a mini iPad, but he’s lied before to throw the press off the trail of a new product. So there are reasons to believe this story is true. Not very good ones, but reasons.
Taiwanese popstar/racing car driver Jimmy Lin posted a photo on his blog of himself holding a standard iPad and what he called his “new toy iPad Mini.” Lin claims the gadget is a “prototype” and just the right size for his one-year-old son. Yes, the photo could be photoshopped—most of them can be.
The first question I thought of was: How likely is it that the notoriously secretive Apple would let a prototype of such a sensational product be floating around Taiwan? Wouldn’t it be shipped to Cupertino in a plain brown wrapper and kept under lock and key?
Reportedly, Lin is also the founder of a successful technology company, but I doubt that would induce Apple to give him such a coveted object to play with—especially without a non-disclosure agreement. So I’m not buying Lin’s story. But I will be looking for more updates from Taiwan on this “iPad mini.”