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Rumor Roundup, Episode 10: Google, start your photocopiers


With WWDC only recently ended and Apple's next event presumably months off, the Apple rumor cycle has hit the trough in its perpetually wavelike motion. Microsoft's Surface tablet pre-nouncement dominated tech headlines all week and Google's I/O conference starts tomorrow, so there was barely enough room to shovel in the usual B.S. about the next iPhone or an Apple-branded HDTV. But that doesn't mean some people didn't try.

Foxconn rumored to begin receiving Apple television LCDs in Q3 2012 (AppleInsider)

Asian news outlet! Analyst! Wonder Twin powers activate! Form of: B.S. rumor!

Two sources of Apple rumors combine to give us the same old line about an Apple HDTV coming out later this year. The fact that this has been going on since 2010 doesn't appear to deter people from donning sandwich boards saying "The Apple HDTV is nigh!" and roaming through Times Square mumbling about LCD suppliers.

China Mobile support likely to make Apple's next iPhone a 'true world phone' (AppleInsider)

Some analyst claims the next iPhone will be compatible with China Mobile's 3G network. Ignore the fact that analysts the world over were making the same claim about the iPhone 4S last year. *Jedi hand wave* The analysts are right this time. Really.

At least one person reading this right now is about to shout something like, "It's not a true world phone if it doesn't support T-Mobile in the US!" Keep hope alive, random T-Mobile enthusiast.

iPhone 5 case image leaks confirm final design? (MobileFun)

Hey, it's our old friend, the case image leak! It's been a long time since we've seen one of these, what with the iPhone 4S turning out to be virtually identical to the iPhone 4 and the iPad (3) almost the same as the iPad 2. We're supposed to believe these "leaked" images depict the overall design of the next iPhone, because some case manufacturer who reads the same rumor blogs as everyone else drew some mockups based on designs that have already been floating around for weeks.

Case manufacturers are a terrible source for information on next-gen Apple devices. They have a vested stake in getting the design right ahead of time -- those who have cases ready for a new iPhone as soon as it launches stand to profit handsomely -- but they are also able to turn on a dime and adapt to a new design relatively quickly. The last time one of these companies got it right was several months before the iPad 2 launched, and that was almost a year and a half ago.

Confirmed: The New iPhone Will Have A 19-Pin "Mini" Connector (TechCrunch)

TechCrunch "independently verified" that the next iPhone's dock connector will be changing to a smaller version. Unfortunately, if I'm reading the story correctly, TechCrunch "verified" this with case and accessory manufacturers -- none of whom have any legitimate idea what they're talking about several months away from the device's launch.

Hon Hai: Apple's iPhone 5 to put Samsung's Galaxy III to Shame (Patently Apple)

Foxconn's chairman supposedly got loose-lipped about a forthcoming Apple product -- again! Only this time it wasn't the mythical Apple HDTV. This time, a man whose multi-billion dollar business is completely dependent upon not irritating Apple by talking about unreleased products told people the next iPhone "will put Samsung's Galaxy III to shame."

Personally, I don't see how this is possible. Samsung's ads clearly state the Galaxy III is designed for humans. This implies the iPhone isn't, and since everyone reading this is a human (except you, X'lzborkg), by process of syllogism it's clear the Galaxy III is superior to anything Apple could design. Because all of you using iPhones are sheep, get it? Haha, oh Samsung. You got us good that time.

Predicting the next Mac desktops (Marco Arment)

iOS developer Marco Arment did some thoughtful analysis about forthcoming Mac desktops and predicted iMac updates with Retina Displays would come in October or November. "Multiple sources" corrected him, saying that while the next iMacs are coming out in the fall, they won't have Retina Displays.

From there, it was like watching hyenas pile on a zebra; "iMac refresh won't have Retina Display," the rumor blogs crowed from the rooftops one by one. And there was much (the opposite of) rejoicing.

If you follow the money trail, this won't come as a shock. Apple's portables have financially outperformed its desktops for years, so the company has more incentive to put cutting-edge features into the products people actually want to buy in the first place.

Here's my shot in the dark, completely uninformed guess for how the Retina Display rollout is going to happen:

  1. 13-inch MacBook Air (next refresh, early to mid-2013)
  2. 13-inch MacBook Pro (next refresh)
  3. 11-inch MacBook Air (next refresh, or maybe two refreshes from now)
  4. iMac (after all of the above get Retina Displays)
  5. Thunderbolt Display (six months after the iMac)

Feel free to correct me if you know better. And pass it on throughout the rumor blogs while you're at it, because that's more fun than playing "telephone" ever was.

Google, Apple Tighten Grip on Smartphone Market (Wall Street Journal)

This had to be my favorite rumor of the week, because it somehow managed to make Google look even more "Me too! Me too!" than Microsoft for a change. "People familiar with the matter" claim that Google will soon launch its own tablet, developed in concert with Asustek. The "low-priced" tablet is supposed to "dent the market share of Apple's iPad" according to these sources.

Well... good luck. And good job finally realizing your existing tablet strategy was the modern equivalent of the Soviets' Buran space shuttle: an inferior copy of an existing device, never destined for human use and consigned to collect dust in a far-flung warehouse.

Quick tip for the launch, Google: let people actually use the device after your onstage song-and-dance routine. Because although there are people out there who hate Apple with a fire so white-hot that it burns away every trace of logic, and there are disreputable outlets that happily employ them, those of us still capable of rational thought are liable to call shenanigans if your product announcement doesn't actually show the product in action.

Between Microsoft launching its own tablet and now Google, you have to wonder where that leaves guys like Dell, Acer, and Samsung. Poor Samsung! With three major players to choose from, how's it going to decide whose designs it's going to copy?

[Android enthusiasts, please direct flames to --Ed]

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