Eddy Cue, Apple’s SVP of Internet software, told a packed auditorium on Sept. 12 that a brand-new version of iTunes – iTunes 11 – would be released in late October; funny, a number of other reports are saying Apple plans to hold another media event around the same time to unveil a brand-new “mini” iPad. Could it be possible that these two events are actually one?
Timing The iTunes 11 and iPad Mini Release Dates
Jeff Robbin, Apple’s VP of consumer applications, showed off iTunes 11 at Apple’s iPhone event on Sept. 12.
“We’ve got a beautiful new edge-to-edge design where you can really focus on your music,” Robbin said. “When you click on your album, it expands in place and iTunes automatically analyzes the album cover to provide this beautiful themed experience.”
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The redesign makes album artwork more beautiful and navigation substantially easier and more seamless, with easier playlist manipulation, new features like “Up Next,” and an all-new mini player with built-in search and playlists. In addition, like the App and iTunes Stores on the iOS platform, Apple has redesigned the iTunes Store for the Mac and PC to appear more like the popular iOS stores.
“The new iTunes will be available in late October,” Cue said. “We think you’re going to love it, and we can’t wait for you to get your hands on it.”
Apple has not provided a specific release date for iTunes 11, but considering how many believe Apple will release the iPad Mini this month as well, it would make a great deal of sense for Apple to announce the release dates of iTunes 11 and the iPad Mini at the same event.
On Monday, CNN Money reported that a major Apple investor, citing “multiple sources,” pegged the unveiling of the new iPad Mini for Wednesday, Oct. 17, with invitations to be sent out one week prior on Oct. 10. CNN Money said “this is a rumor we have no reason to believe except it comes from a major Apple investor,” but after its report was published, news sites started coming out of the woodwork with photos of alleged parts and reports of mass production on the iPad Mini coming out of Apple’s Asian and Brazilian component suppliers.
The new reports of the iPad Mini’s release date line up well with what we previously believed about the new tablet. Prior to the Sept. 12 event, sources close to Apple predicted the company would unveil the iPad Mini at a separate event in October.
It all started with a blog post from John Gruber of Daring Fireball, who was one of the first to discuss Apple developing its mini tablet. On Aug. 23, Gruber ruminated about the likelihood of the iPhone 5 and the iPad Mini sharing the same stage.
"I'm thinking it makes more sense for Apple to hold two events," Gruber said. "First, an iPhone event, focused solely on the new iPhone and iOS 6. Then, the iPhone ships nine days later, and there's another wave of iPhone-focused attention as the reviews come out. Then, in the first or second week of October, Apple holds its traditional "music event", exactly along the lines of the events at which they've been debuting new iPods for the last decade."
Shortly after Gruber's post, The Loop's Jim Dalrymple, who is known for his trademark "Yep" to confirm Apple rumors, reposted Gruber's quote and added a line of his own, a longer one this time.
"Oh that Gruber is a smart fellow," Dalrymple hinted.
Shortly thereafter, news sites like PC Magazine, USA TODAY and Fox News all reported that Apple would hold separate events for the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini. Nearly two months later, we still believe the iPad Mini will be unveiled this month, especially given the recent influx of alleged prototype images and reports of mass production.
If Apple releases event invitations on Oct. 10, then it’s safe to believe the Oct. 17 event will also tell us when iTunes 11 will come out. It’s possible Apple will release iTunes 11 that same day, or wait one week to release the platform on Wednesday, Oct. 24. If Apple plans to also release the iPad Mini, the company will probably choose to publicly launch the device two days later on Oct. 26. This seven- and nine-day timeline matches the timelines for the past three major Apple events, including the iPhone 4S, new iPad, and iPhone 5.