It’s a rumor that got a lot of play over the weekend, and for good reason. Two separate, unaffiliated web sites are reporting that Tuesday, March 24 will be the date of an upcoming official Apple (s aapl) event, at which announcements would include new hardware updates.
The sites in question are World of Apple and My Apple Guide, two sites with little in common except their lack of a track record of breaking this kind of big news. World of Apple, you may recall, is the source of some recent screenshots of the latest build of Snow Leopard, but My Apple Guide, according to many, including World of Apple themselves, has historically not had a lot of success with rumors.
What makes it solid, as pointed out by Ars Technica, is the reporting of the same date by two separate Apple news entities. Both are informed by “anonymous sources,” so the possibility exists that the same person (or people) is taking them both for a ride, but Ars reporter Jacqui Cheng is pretty confident that when specific dates get leaked, it’s probably likely that Apple employees have been informed of a real event.
Both sites agree not only on the date of the event, but also on the nature of it, although neither is particularly clear on the specifics. Apparently, the event will be like Apple’s notebook event of last October, but this time the focus will be on their desktop lineup, and will include updates to the Mac mini, the iMac and the Mac Pro. It makes sense to see a desktop event come on the heels of a notebook one, and all three machines are due for an upgrade, so it does seem a very plausible rumor.
Personally, I’ve long suspected that Apple, while appearing not to like or approve of the ecosystem of rumor sites that have sprung up around its existence, is very much aware that that network is in fact a large part of their success as a company. Accordingly, they would engineer leaks when it was timely and advantageous to do so. Something like this strikes me as that kind of engineered link, because the rumor is specific on date, but mysterious on content, leaked to two sources, and to ones that are just far enough away from the spotlight to be noticed and picked up by larger outlets, but too far away to be taken as truth right away.
Apple benefits from early press about events like these, so I wouldn’t be surprised if these anonymous “sources” are a clever PR effort. I just hope the March 24 date sticks, because Papa needs a new Mac mini.