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Apple iPad 3 countdown: how to tell if Apple is about to launch a new product

In the world of technology, rumours and speculation surround every company ahead of a new product launch, regardless of what the company says or does.

We’ve had no word from Samsung on the upcoming Galaxy S3, and yet we all love debating what it will and won’t have.

But the rumour mill is never more in overdrive than it is with Apple. The US tech giant only releases a few products each year, yet we talk about these non-existent devices until the cows come home.

This year, the two big products for Apple are the iPad 3 and the iPhone 5. As usual, we’ve had no word from Apple itself, but that has never stopped us before.

Apple’s silence over its products is an excellent marketing tool, fuelling the flames of speculation to build up a juggernaut of hype.

But we techies have got wise to Apple’s little techniques over the years. So how can you tell if Apple is about to launch a new product?

New cases go on sale

Ahead of any Apple product launch, manufacturers start clamouring to ensure their case or cover is the most up-to-date – ready for the latest iPhone, iPod or iPad.

They usually claim to base their designs on information given to them by an ‘Apple inside source’, and can be fairly accurate.

Of course, they don’t always get it right. Back in 2009, several cases for the new iPod Touch started appearing with a hole on the back. This led to excited talk of a camera for the new iPhone, which we didn’t see for another year.

Apple Developers Conference

It seems obvious, but a good estimation of an Apple product launch is at its Developers Conference in the summer.

This is a big event in the tech world, and the perfect opportunity for Apple to show its products to the world. Last year we only got iOS 5 and the iCloud, which was fine, but a little disappointing. So maybe this time around we can expect something a little more groundbreaking.