The tech industry and the press that covers it never ceases to amaze. The pace at which news breaks is breathtaking, and then immediately forgotten for the next big thing.
John Gruber singlehandedly set off the iPad 3 launching with a “September release schedule” rumor. This is amazing because the 2nd generation iPad has not been confirmed by Apple. Make no mistake, the 2nd gen iPad coming in 2011 is as sure as the sun rising tomorrow. As Gruber writes, Apple has set itself up for a predictable June iPhone and September iPod refresh. This makes sense as the iPod can capture the holiday season. According to Gruber, it’s worth it for Apple to cut the 2nd gen iPad lifecycle short so they can use the iPad to headline annual September announcements.
I would imagine Apple isn’t pleased about iPad 2 in March and iPad 3 in September rumors. For those following the tech industry, the original iPad has already grown long in the tooth. The 1st gen iPad is a do-not-buy since the iPad 2 is coming out any month now. With 2011 iPad 3 rumors, if there’s any credibility to it (besides pure hearsay at the moment), consumers would be wise to avoid the iPad 2 and wait for the iPad 3. This helps depress current iPad sales while allowing the competition (RIM’s PlayBook, HP’s TouchPad, Motorola’s Xoom, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab) to gain market share.
If it were any other company besides Apple, debating the next, next iteration of a product would not be front page news. This rumormongering is great for pageviews, as there is nothing better for pageviews than unsubstantiated claims. On the iPad 3, Gruber disclaims that “[he’s] really guessing” and not “being coy and actually releasing information.”
Nowadays, Apple makes the news as much for things it has not done as the things it has done. Before the iPhone and the iPad came out, they were perennial Apple keynote bait. Again, great for pageviews and filler blog posts. Apple has so much influence in the industry that its presence is everywhere even when it tries not to be. Looking at this year’s CES, tablets were out in full force (a year after the iPad came out and the competition took the tablet form factor seriously). Heck, the Verizon iPhone confirmations by mainstream media (wsj, nytimes, bloomberg, etc) dominated the end of CES coverage.
The tech press is ruthless in its turnover. Yesterday, burning oil platforms was big news. Today, it’s the iPad 3 and HP’s webOS. Tomorrow, it doesn’t even matter what it is, because it will be old news the second it is posted online. Unless of course it is something Apple has not announced. Then it will never go away.