Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

The Gray Lady arrives at the iPad mini party fashionably late

July 16, 2012: 7:52 AM ET

The New York Times is the most recent major publication to get briefed on Apple's plans

iPad and iPad mini: A rendering.

FORTUNE -- Whoever they are, those unnamed people "with knowledge" of Apple's (AAPL) new product plans cited in Monday's New York Times have been busy lately.

Two weeks ago, identified as "two people familiar with the plans," they appeared in Bloomberg Businessweek. The next day "people familiar with the situation" showed up in the Wall Street Journal. On John Gruber's Daring Fireball they flew in as "little birdies" from Cupertino.

No matter what the venue or the handle, the message is the same: Apple is preparing to extend its dominance of the tablet computer market with a 7.85-inch model that would complement its current family of 9.7 inch iPads.

Having shown up fashionably late, what do the Times' Nick Wingfield and Nick Bilton bring to the party? These tidbits:

  • The new iPad will be priced "significantly less" than $499. (It better be, since Apple sells last year's full-size model for $399.)
  • That Apple's first tablet prototype in the mid-2000s had a 7-inch screen. (This is presumably the one Steve Jobs famously dismissed as too small for great apps.)
  • That while Apple is building a new iPad to cut off the air-supply of Amazon's (AMZN) Kindle Fire, Amazon is working on a larger Fire to compete with the old iPads.

NOTE: If someone privy to Apple's product release schedule wants to tell me something I haven't heard, they can reach me here.

See also: Apple's iPad mini rumor mill kicks into high gear

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Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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