Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

The brief life and quiet death of an Apple iPad rumor

August 29, 2013: 9:19 AM ET

A report from Bloomberg's Tokyo desk makes the rounds.

Screen Shot 2013-08-29 at 8.59.24 AMFORTUNE -- In the wee hours of Aug. 28, Bloomberg's Tokyo desk reported that Apple (AAPL) was planning to open a store in the city's upscale Omotesando district, its first store in Tokyo since 2005.

That was a story of only passing interest to anyone who doesn't live in the neighborhood. 

But buried in the piece's B-matter, almost as an aside, was a paragraph that quoted a person familiar with Apple's plans for a Sept. 10 special event. According to this source, Apple plans to release not just new iPhones in two weeks, but also new iPads.

New iPads on Sept. 10?

That would constitute big news in the world of professional Apple watchers. And like Mark Twain's famous lie -- the one that travels halfway around the world before truth can put its boots on -- the iPad rumor mades the rounds, starting with a 5:55 a.m. Pacific piece by MacRumors' Erik Slivka. 

The rumor lived for nearly six hours -- long enough to make hot breakfast reading in Silicon Valley -- before The Loop's Jim Dalrymple, a Halifax-based blogger with unusually good sources in Cupertino, put a three-word stake through its heart at 11:45 PT:

"Nope. No iPads."

By then Bloomberg had moved an edited version of the Tokyo Apple Store story from which the iPad reference had been quietly removed.

The market for Apple's shares, which had bigger things to worry about Wednesday, didn't seem to care.

In an update, MacRumors' Slivka noted that the same rumor slipped into an Aug. 19 Bloomberg item, where it still lives on.

NOTE: A few hours before Dalrymple's post, 9to5Mac's Mark Gurman had pointed out that Bloomberg Tokyo's iPad story contradicted an earlier report by "very-well-sourced" Bloomberg West that said Apple would unveil new iPads sometime after the Sept. 10 event. Apparently Tokyo doesn't read West's reports, and vice versa.

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About This Author
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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