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Digitimes: 14 inch Asian MacBook Air, in April, no more 64GB iPads, iPad Mini in Q3, Retina display shortages

Over the past 24 hours, Digitimes has posted a series of reports each a bit more outlandish than the ones previous to it.  They’ve been right on some stuff in the past but lately it doesn’t seem like they are even paying attention anymore.  Our colleagues at other Apple blogs have been posting every one of these so let’s run them down.

Last night/this morning: Apple ‘considering’ a 14-inch MacBook for Asian Market.

Currently, 14-inch panels are the mainstream specification of the Asia notebook market, while consumers in Western countries prefer 15-inch models. In the global market, 14-inch models have an about 20-25% market share, but in Asia, the market share is about 35-40%, an indication of Asia consumers’ fondness for 14-inch models, the sources noted.

So Apple is going to make a .7-inch bigger MacBook (vs. 13.3 is current) specifically for the Asian Market?  Makes no sense.  Apple won’t even make an iPhone for China Mobile’s 600 million subscribers.  We’re not doubting that Apple could change its size matrix, we just don’t think they will do a special size just for Asia.

Within hours, Digitimes said:

Apple is expected to launch new MacBook Pro notebooks with an even thinner and lighter design than existing models in April, at the soonest. When paired with the company’s upcoming Mountain Lion operating system as well as Apple’s MacBook Air models, the product lines are expected to create a significant threat against notebook players’ ultrabooks, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.

Apple is expected to launch upgraded 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros in April with initial shipments estimated to reach 900,000 units.

Mountain Lion is currently scheduled for “late summer” as when it will be cut loose.  Also, Digitimes among others, said that Intel’s next processors weren’t coming out until June.  So Apple is going to release a new MBP a few months before new processors?

Tonight it got even more abstract:

The first report this evening said that Apple was going to release an 8GB iPad 2 and a 16GB and 32GB iPad 3.

As Apple has scheduled an event on March 7, sources from its upstream supply chain pointed out that the company is expected to launch two iPad 3 models – a 16GB version and 32GB version. In addition to iPad 3, Apple is also expected to unveil an 8GB iPad 2, allowing the tablet PC series to cover different segments and to defend against Windows 8-based tablet PCs, the sources noted.

RIP iPad 64GB?  No. We’ve already seen the parts numbers.

And finally, they are bringing out the 7.85-inch iPad that they hit and missed on all of last year (as well as the more than double size iPad battery).

The planned launch of the 7.85-inch iPad is apparently to take on Amazon’s US$199 7-inch Kindle Fire as well as a comparable model from Barnes & Noble, although Apple already took up nearly a 60% share of the tablet PC market in 2011, indicated the sources.

The price of the 7.85-inch iPad is likely to be set at US$249-299, since Apple is also expected to release an 8GB iPad 2 for US$349-399, and has lowered the price of the 16GB iPad 2 to US$449, the sources noted.

There have been other rumors of 8-inch iPads from reliable sources such as the WSJ. On the flip side however, Steve Jobs, in response to the 7-inch Galaxy Tab, went on a rant about how 7 inch screens are worthless:

Sure, Jobs also said that no one wanted to watch video on an iPod screen but this rant was pretty significant and multi-faceted.

And what will be the resolution of this display be? Retina.5?  It wold be hard to imagine 1024×768 making a comeback after next weeks announcement.  And 2 different iPads in one year? Doesn’t sound like something Apple would do.

Digitimes also thinks Best Buy’s iPad sale is “Apple lowering prices on iPads” and will have shortages of retina displays for Q2

We’re not sold on any of this low hanging but highly unlikely fruit.

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