This week's Rumor Roundup is dedicated to Google, whose decision to kill off Reader made doing research for this article about ten times harder than it needed to be. Thanks, jerks!
This week was almost entirely nonsensical ravings about Apple's supposed "plastic/budget" model iPhone. Come for the unconvincing and possibly fake photos, stay for the empty-headed "analysis" of why this product (which no one has convincingly proven exists) will be Apple's DOOM.
"Keep in mind that this is a report and should be taken with a grain of salt," 9to5 Mac says. Funny, that headline seemed awfully low-sodium to me. And haven't we learned by now not to take seriously what any wireless carrier says about Apple's supposed future plans?
"The site still acknowledges that the shells could be Chinese copies," MacRumors notes. With that perfunctory nod toward the general direction of skepticism out of the way, MacRumors then gives us gems like "it does show enough of the sides and the inside of the rear shell to imagine what a blue plastic iPhone could look like" and this:
"The lower-cost plastic iPhone is likely to launch later this year in either September or October, presumably alongside Apple's flagship iPhone 5S. The plastic iPhone will offer consumers a more affordable iPhone choice, especially in markets where carrier subsidies are rare."
I am going to laugh so hard if September/October passes us by and this rumored product doesn't see the light of day. It's one thing to write about the thing in tones like, "Evidence thus far points to a likely launch," so on and so forth, but the rumor blogs are writing about this thing like it's a fait accompli. Kind of like how they've done with the iWatch, and the Apple HDTV, et cetera, ad infinitum.
Let's kick the worthless speculation up a notch with some photorealistic renders of an imaginary product! BAM!
Not to be outdone, 9to5 Mac points us to a video showing a mockup of a low-cost iPhone. This reminds me of nuclear brinkmanship during the Cold War, except the only thing under threat of mutually-assured destruction this time is readers' brain cells. Mutually-assured concussion.
Hey, speaking of which, what does BGR think about this highfalutin low-cost iPhone?
"Pictures of candy-colored entry-level iPhones with rounded corners have started circulating. Many [who?] have branded them hideous, crude atrocities." 
"[Apple] must make the entry-level model look so vulgar and cheap that most iPhone users will stick to the main line models, even if they have to pay a $200 to $400 premium." Hey, wouldn't it be easier just to, I dunno, not make the thing at all?
I mean, if you have a company that's known for creating premium products at a premium price, and they make money hand-over-fist doing so, and millions of people beat down their doors for the chance to own their products, and they win industry awards every year for their products, and (idiotic pundits aside) they're pretty much universally lauded as the epitome of innovation and quality in their field -- maybe that's the kind of company that doesn't deliberately go out of its way to make cut-rate junk in order to inflate its market share.
But that's assuming Apple is the kind of company that doesn't chase after cents when it could make dollars instead. And we all know that's not how Apple rolls, right?
(The preceding paragraph was written in Universe 347, where Apple's CEO is Steve Ballmer and hamburgers eat people.)
Oh, good, someone else at BGR is here with some hard-hitting "analysis" of why the budget iPhone has "Apple DOOMED" written all over it.
"Apple's plan to release a budget iPhone is clearly fraught with peril for the company" -- or it would be, if the company actually had any such plans. No one has proven that it does, but don't let me stop you from sounding silly anyway.
Is that headline vague enough for you? What could it possibly be about?
"Apple recently filed an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a new type of computer port that combines a memory card reader with a standard USB port."
PC vendor rivals (apparently): "OH NO, NOT A PATENT APPLICATION, YEAAARGGGH --"
"Digitimes' unnamed supply chain sources say rival computer makers are very worried over this new filing." Once it's passed through the Digitimes BS filter, this means Apple has no actual plans to pursue this technology, and PC vendors couldn't care less either way.
Oh no! Apple must be doomed this time!
I'll just point to Philip Elmer-Dewitt's epic takedown of this idiotic "iPhone 5 hated" meme and follow it up by saying that anyone who published this story without first pausing to engage their brain before putting fingers to keyboard should be ashamed of themselves.
Actually, it sounds a lot like Apple's "meltdown":
- Samsung's financial performance didn't match the fairy-dust predictions of dumbass Wall Street analysts, so they all scream "SELL, SELL" in a panic
- The media sharpens its knives and publishes 124,677 stupid "Samsung is DOOMED" articles over a 12-hour period
- Samsung shrugs and keeps making truckloads of money
Samsung, for its part, is still truly shameless, as it's now sunk to copying Apple's stock performance.
Philip Elmer-Dewitt asks the question, then goes about answering it. The conclusion: oh my glob, you guys, so wrong-headed. Phil E-D did all the work necessary to take this "analyst" down several notches, but the fact remains: someone, somewhere is paying Trip Chowdhry for advice on financial/economic matters. This seems like an idea on the same level as entrusting a 747's pre-flight inspection to a bicycle mechanic.
If you're considering financial investments of any kind, whether you're some guy with saved-up salary in a shoebox or a massive business conglomerate who's decided there's nothing cooler than a billion dollars, here's my own financial advice: do a Google search for the person you're looking to hire/contract/whatever for economic analysis. If their name comes up next to the kind of unpolished coprolites that "analysts" are so infamous for producing when it comes to analyzing Apple, I'd strongly urge you to reconsider taking a single word they say seriously. Yes, that includes the word "the."
There, I just saved your company several million potentially regrettable dollars. No need to thank me; that your signed and dated check to me is in the mail is thanks enough.