Rumor Roundup: iPhone event post-mortem

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Chris Rawson
September 16th, 2013
Rumor Roundup: iPhone event post-mortem
Rumor Roundup: iPhone event post-mortem

Now that the iPhone 5s and 5c have been officially revealed, it's time for a rumor post-mortem.

The biggest thing analysts (and pretty much everyone else) got wrong? The supposed "low-cost" iPhone. For years analysts have expected Apple to come out with an "iPhone mini" that will address the lower end of the smartphone market and allow Apple to expand its market share. These analysts obviously don't pay attention to how Apple functions -- at all -- because grabbing market share at the low end of the pricing spectrum is pretty much exactly the opposite of how Apple rolls.

So when Apple instead released the iPhone 5c as basically the iPhone 5's guts in a plastic shell, and at a price far higher than the analysts were dreaming up, I wasn't a bit surprised. The derp sharks in the financial sector are circling, however, fully convinced that Apple doesn't know what it's doing and that DOOM can't be far behind.

Here's the other stuff the rumor blogs got wrong over the past few months.


New report claims Apple's 'iPhone mini' could launch next month (BGR)

  • Source: some analyst.
  • No iPhone mini launched in July.

iPhone 5S release reportedly pushed back to October (BGR)

  • Source: some analyst.
  • The iPhone 5S will be released in late September.

iMac Update to Haswell Expected in June or July as Shipments Sink (MacRumors)

  • Source: some analyst.
  • The iMac's last update was in November 2012.

Is Apple ditching the 'Black & Slate' color option on the iPhone 5S? (BGR)

  • Source: Paint fumes.
  • Note that while Apple switched the black iPhone 5s to "space grey," that's far from what this article claimed would happen.

Entry-level iPhone, Retina iPad mini to reportedly begin shipping in August (BGR)

  • Source: Digitimes.
  • 0/2 on this rumor. Shocker.

Will the Plastic iPhone knock the iPhone 4S out of this year's free iPhone pattern? (9to5 Mac)

  • Source: Aliens? Probably aliens.
  • The iPhone 4S is still being sold.

Apple rumored to launch fifth-gen iPad in Sept., new iPad mini to follow (AppleInsider)

  • Source: Digitimes.
  • Another Digitimes-sourced rumor that didn't pan out.

Rumored iPhone 5S production shots & specs: IGZO display, fingerprint reader, NFC, 12MP cam (9to5 Mac)

  • Source: "Unverified news out of China."
  • Look at all the stuff this article gets wrong: NFC reader, IGZO display, 12 megapixel camera, A6 CPU... real stellar stuff here.

Wildly unlikely report claims larger 4.3-inch display causing iPhone 5S delays (9to5 Mac)

  • Source: Some Taiwanese newspaper.
  • The new iPhones still have 4-inch screens.

Rumored iPhone 5S fingerprint sensor more likely to be in the screen, not the home button (9to5 Mac)

  • Source: Overanalysis of an Apple patent application.
  • The iPhone 5s fingerprint sensor is in the home button.

iPhone 5S & New Low-Cost iPhone To Launch On September 6 [Rumor] (Cult of Mac)

  • Source: "A 'very credible' source."
  • The iPhone event was on September 10.

Apple's 'iPhone 5S' to boast fingerprint sensor embedded in convex sapphire home button (AppleInsider)

  • Source: Some analyst that rumor blogs repeatedly trot out for a supposedly stellar track record.
  • The iPhone 5s home button is neither convex nor concave, but flat.

Piper Jaffray: 'iPhone 5C' may not include Siri, could replace iPhone 4S at bottom of lineup (AppleInsider)

  • Source: Some analyst.
  • The iPhone 4S is still around, and the iPhone 5C has Siri.

Low-cost iPhone predicted to boost both Apple's margins & international sales (AppleInsider)

  • Source: Some analyst.
  • This is a perfect example of an article where an analyst got the price of the supposed "low-cost" iPhone absolutely wrong.

Analyst predicts iPhone 5S with Gold option, larger F2.0 aperture camera and 128GB high-end (9to5 Mac)

  • Source: Some analyst.
  • He got everything right here... except the fact that there's (still) no 128 GB iPhone.

Apple iOS 7 beta 7 to be released today (BGR)

  • Source: "Trusted sources."
  • Not only was 7b7 not released the day BGR said it would be, there never actually was a 7b7. Version 6 was the last beta before the Gold Master release. Embarrassing.

Apple's September 10 iPhone Media Event Said to Also Include New iPads (MacRumors)

  • Source: Bloomberg, and substances of unknown chemistry.
  • No new iPads showed up at this event.

Apple taking shipments of 'Set Top Boxes' ahead of Sept. 10 event, hints at new Apple TV product (AppleInsider)

  • Source: US Department of Homeland Security shipments (supposedly).
  • No new Apple TV hardware.

New Apple TV software likely coming next week, but don't expect fresh hardware (9to5 Mac)

  • Source: "People familiar with the company's plans."
  • No new Apple TV software.

Now, to tip my hat in the general direction of "fair and balanced," let's see what the rumor blogs actually got right in this cycle. The biggest one, of course, would have to be the iPhone 5c's case. That thing leaked so many different times that it frankly became tiresome seeing it pop up on rumor blogs every week. Tim Cook promised to "double down on secrecy" in 2012. It hasn't happened yet, apparently.


Leaked schematics reveal what case makers expect Apple's low-cost iPhone & 'iPhone 5S' will look like (AppleInsider)

Year after year casemakers get it wrong. Not this year, though.

Apple's Prototype iPhone 5S Based on New A7 Chip (MacRumors)

One among a myriad of hardware leaks that turned out to be true.

Report: iPhone 5S will support super-fast LTE Advanced (9to5 Mac)

"An alleged insider at SK Telecom" in South Korea turned out to be correct.

iOS 7 Beta Suggests iWork, iLife iOS Apps May Soon Be Free (MacRumors)

This is sort of right. New iPhone buyers now get these apps for free. Everyone else still pays.

The next iPhone's cool-factor: a slow-motion camera? (9to5 Mac)

Digging into the iOS 7 betas reaped some rewards.

Next-Gen iPhone Production Kicks Into Gear; Will There Be a Mid-Tier iPhone, Too? (AllThingsD)

Sourced from Peter Misek. Somehow still correct? Hold me, I'm scared.

Analyst's predictions for 2013: New iPhones to be in short supply, Haswell iMacs/MacBook Pros arriving, no new iPad mini (9to5 Mac)

Another rare case of an analyst getting it right.

Apple to Discontinue iPhone 5 Alongside Launch of 5S and Plastic Models? (MacRumors)

I remember scoffing at this report when it first came out. Oops.

New iPhone with biometric fingerprint sensor seemingly confirmed by iOS leak (9to5 Mac)

Another deep dive into the iOS 7 beta got some accurate results.

Will the iPhone 5S launch with a new 'champagne' color option? (BGR)

This seemed absolutely ridiculous when first announced. And yet here we are, in a world where Apple builds gold-colored iPhones. Ugh.

Apple said to have tested 64-bit 'A7′ chips for iPhone 5S, 31% speed increases reported (9to5 Mac)

This didn't make much sense at the time, but the iPhone 5s did indeed turn out to have a 64-bit processor.

Apple may differentiate 'iPhone 5S' fingerprint scanning home button with silver ring (AppleInsider)

These pictures screamed "fake" to me when I first saw them. Guess not.

What can we take away from this? The same thing we take away from every rumor cycle: analysts don't know what they're talking about when it comes to Apple. At all.

Here are the most common sources of Apple rumors, arranged in descending order of accuracy:

  • Leaked Apple hardware (with pictures)
  • Deep dives into iOS beta software
  • "People familiar with the matter"
  • "A trusted source"
  • A hermit in the Gobi Desert who's never heard of Apple
  • Some analyst
  • Digitimes
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