The sun rises in the East, sets in the West, birds fly, fish swim, death, taxes, and new rumors of a miniature iPad. Ah, the inevitabilities of life. The latest set of rumors have been barfed forward by the Chinese blog NetEase and are getting a lot more play than you might expect. The smaller screen iPad, they say, will come out in the third quarter of this year and will retail at under $300. Now: that’s at least imaginable. But here’s where I start to doubt NetEase’s journalistic acumen: the new iPad, it says, will be launched to compete against upcoming Windows tablets.

Okay, guys. Sure. Fine.

If you want to go back a bit on this persistent mini iPad meme, Wired has traced two years of these rumors. Which isn’t to say the device will NEVER come out. Just to say that we have no really terrific evidence that it will.

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