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Rumor Roundup: A tale of three rumor blogs

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Occasionally it's instructive to take a look at how various rumor blogs react to the same rumor... such as the recent rumors of a new 4-inch iPhone model in 2015.

Unlikely supply-chain rumor suggests a new 4-inch iPhone model next year (9to5 Mac)

9to5 Mac follows its usual schtick of calling a rumor "unlikely" but still putting it in front of the masses anyway. They at least went the extra mile and tracked this rumor past the Japanese site that re-reported it; it appears that Digitimes is the original source of this rumor, which should have been a red flag to anyone trying to determine its accuracy.

This is about the closest the reporting on this rumor came to investigative journalism, however.

Sketchy Rumor Claims Apple Planning New 4-Inch iPhone for 2015 (MacRumors)

MacRumors calls this rumor "sketchy" in the headline, something they do only for the most plainly "not gonna happen" rumors. So some bonus points awarded for healthy skepticism. They didn't track this story down to its original source, however, so in the end his is just straight up re-blogging of someone else's re-blogging of a terribly-sourced rumor.

This is the most shocking iPhone 6s rumor yet (BGR)

Last (and definitely least), we have BGR with an overwrought, clickbaity headline. So far, so BGR.

Unsurprisingly, BGR also didn't bother tracking this story down to its original (terrible) source, and there isn't even a whiff of skepticism anywhere to be found in this piece. BGR basically re-reported this rumor as though it were established fact, then wrapped it in a candy shell of SEO garbage and hamfisted clickbaiting.

To sum up...

  • 9to5 Mac: Faint stabs in the general direction of skepticism and investigative journalism
  • MacRumors: A dash of skepticism, but still lazy re-blogging in the end
  • BGR: Straight-up tabloid behavior at its nauseating worst

In other words, business as usual.

Apple is already preparing for 2015's massive iPhone 6s launch – and so should you (BGR)

Source: Taiwanese website

Chance it's true: 30 percent

The greatest thing about these stories about how the production split will work out between Pegatron versus Foxconn is this: in the end, the breakdown of percentages doesn't matter one bit. We'll never hear or see anything like actual proof of these claims, so the rumor blogs can literally say pretty much whatever they want on the subject, for as long as they want, and it won't matter a bit if they're wrong. Which they will be.

In this article: rumor, Rumor Roundup
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