Reports had been circulating that Apple would be following up with a long-awaited unveiling for the next generation of its sized down iOS tablet at some point in late October.
Based on a new report from Reuters on Wednesday, that still appears to be the roadblock.
According to the international news agency, Cupertino is only going to be able to squeeze out a smaller supply of second generation iPad minis this year -- if at all. The article also hinted that we could still see at least an introduction before the end of the month.
And there really in lies the problem: that little glimmer of wiggle room, leaving the door open just ajar that we could possibly, maybe, probably (not really) still see an iPad mini 2 soon.
I would say I've had it with Apple at this point, but like in most one-sided (maybe even poisonous) relationships, I refuse to give up hope.
Some may say I'm stubborn. I would prefer to describe myself as a hopeless romantic. (We are talking about tablets here, right?)
Let me clarify my train of thought here.
Back when Apple first trotted out the iPad mini this time last year, the tech giant also shocked everyone with a surprise upgrade for the flagship iPad form factor -- just a mere six months after it had already been refreshed.
That immediately led to widespread speculation that Apple was speeding up its upgrade cycles, perhaps churning out two generations per year rather than just one.
How daft we all were for thinking (let's be honest, hoping) that was the case.
At the time, I wasn't in the market for buying a new tablet. To be even more blunt, I wasn't impressed by the iPad mini either. The $300+ starting price looked a tad outrageous compared to what we were seeing from Amazon and Google for similarly sized tablets. After beholding the beauty of the Retina display embedded on the iPhone 4 and higher, then tacked onto the iPad 4, the iPad mini's lackluster display almost came across as blurry in comparison.
I've never been a big fan of first generation Apple products either, dating back to the iPod mini released in 2004. Certainly, they usually look attractive and make a big splash, but performance doesn't usually match up until the second go-around.
But the form factor really got me. I've written about how smaller tablets are more warmly embraced by female consumers for a variety of reasons, but immediately I believed Apple had really hit a sweet spot with the 7.9-inch form factor.
That answer might not satisfy a lot of other analysts and critics who are probably shaking their heads at me when reading this.
Obviously I know there are just as good (already even better) as well as more affordable options on the market. Just last week I was even treated to a hands-on look at the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX with the man himself, CEO Jeff Bezos, at the retail giant's Seattle headquarters. The Android-based tablet's incredibly vivid display was the first piece of hardware in awhile that really made my jaw drop in awe.
Yet I won't hide the fact that I do have a particular affinity for the sleek and modern design synonymous with the Apple brand -- not to mention I've already bought into the ecosystem with an iPhone 5, a MacBook Air, and a good deal of digital content already purchased on iTunes.
Let's face it: My heart (and my wallet) remains with Apple for the foreseeable future.
Thus, I figured if I was going to splash that much cash down for a new tablet, then I could definitely wait six more months for the next upgrade, pretty much irrationally expecting the Retina display and other improvements for the same $329 price tag.
Fast forward to 12 months later, and now I'm just a pathetic mess, still holding out on a promise that was really made by no one that my wish would be fulfilled in a timely matter.
(Again, we are talking about tablets here, right?)