There were a few that made logical sense (front-facing Camera?), a few that sounded outrageous (HDTV tuner?) and a few that we were indifferent to.
At the end of it all, which of the rumors actually turned out to be true and which didn't?
Here's the scorecard:
The rumor mills got this one right. While a lot of names like iSlate, iGuide and iTablet did the rounds initially, we nearly settled on the iPad name later. Kudos to folks at MacRumors for pulling this one off.
9.7" diagonal display: There was no doubt about the iPad coming with anything other than a 10.1" display, especially after it was confirmed by Kaifu Lee, ex-President of Google China. Turned out to be slightly wrong.
No Camera: France Télécom VP Stephane Richard apparently confirmed the presence of a webcam. Though this was later officially retracted, it was believed to have been an indication. Turned out to be incorrect.
TouchScreen: Ex-Apple engineers who NY Times spoke about multi-touch keyboard with tactile feedback. They had claimed that the users would be "very surprised" about the way they interact with the device. While the touchscreen is no doubt multi-touch, the other predictions went awry.
No OLED Screen: The iPad was widely expected to come with an OLED screen. However, Barry Young, the MD of OLED Association squashed the rumors citing the low production capacity levels of manufacturers. And he turned out to be right in this case.
iPhone on Steroids: A source that Boy Genius Report spoke to revealed that the iPad had an "incredibly fast" ARM CPU which made it appear like it was an iPhone on steroids. This turned out to be partially correct. While Apple decided to equip the iPad with their own processor chips, there is no doubt that this is indeed a much faster device.
iPhone OS 3.2: While there were rumors about the iPad coming with iPhone OS 4.0 as well, the other speculation about iPhone OS 3.2 coming with an SDK for app developers gained wide traction and ultimately turned out to be correct.
No 3D Graphics: Ex-President of Google China Kaifu Lee claimed informed sources as saying that the Apple Tablet will come with 3D Graphics. While the iPad will indeed deliver improved graphics performance, it does not however come with 3D Graphics.
iWork for iPad: The NY Times got this one right. The iPad will indeed come with iWork designed specifically for the multi-touch touchscreen of the iPad.
Multiple Carriers: A lot of analysts speculated that the iPad will be available on multiple carriers. In fact, a couple of days back, it was widely reported that Verizon's quarterly 'kick-off' event was scheduled to coincide with Apple's media event. Quite unexpectedly, the device launched with AT&T's data plans.
Dual Model iPad: Fox News quoted sources as revealing that a dual-version Tablet was likely. As it has turned out, the CDMA iPad is not coming.
Yet another front where Kaifu Lee went wrong. The most expensive of the models will come at $829 less than the $1000 price tag.
The Wi-Fi version of the iPad is expected to launch in March while the 3G version will launch in April. Quite a few sources revealed component supply shortages would force Apple to delay the launch till June of this year. So incorrect on this one.
Dedicated Book Store:
Apple was expected to unveil a dedicated bookstore for eBooks. While we got it right, it was widely anticipated to be an exclusive deal with Barnes & Noble. That part turned out to be wrong as Jobs announced the iBooks app with books from five major publishers and more publishers in the future.
Overall, the rumors were a mixed bag. While we got few vital aspects of the Tablet wrong, we're surprised at the number of rumors and speculations that turned out to be correct or partially correct.
Is the Apple iPad, the Tablet you expected?