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Rumor Roundup: 'Free donuts tomorrow'


A few weeks ago, I compared the world of Apple "analysis" and rumors to the worst possible game of Wheel of Fortune. Upon further reflection, it feels a lot more like the combination of a drunken game of darts and hanging an intentionally misleading "Free donuts tomorrow" sign in front of a restaurant.

A year after Apple announced its dividend, 'timing could be right' for another cash deployment (AppleInsider)

Some analyst thinks Apple is going to start paying out bigger dividends to shareholders in order to start chipping away at its giant pile of cash. But the real news comes in the final paragraph, courtesy of well-known A-list investor Warren Buffet. AppleInsider says that according to Buffet, "Apple's best strategy is to simply run its business well." No. Go on! You're pulling our legs, Warren.

Supply Chain Indicators Point to Poor February for Apple (MacRumors)

Some analyst (the same one from the rumor above, incidentally) says his "supply chain checks" indicate Apple had a "terrible" February. Of course, Apple CEO Tim Cook himself has said that these so-called supply chain checks often don't capture the full picture of Apple's operations, so why analysts continue to lend them so much weight is an open question.

Apple to use fingerprint sensor to enhance the security of NFC mobile payments in next iPhone? (9to5 Mac)

If this rumor sounds achingly familiar, it's because virtually every word of it was said about the iPhone 5 last year.

Apple predicted to announce plans for growing cash pile by April, will add $42B over 2013 (AppleInsider)

Another analyst says Apple will announce its financial plans for its US$137 billion pile of cash next month. He refrains from speculating much on what those plans might be, however. My bet? Apple launches its own constellation of GPS satellites to address problems with Apple Maps. Hey, it's more likely than the perennial rumor that Apple will buy Twitter.

Rumor: Intel could land 10% of Apple's 'A7' chip orders (AppleInsider)

Given that this story is sourced from Digitimes, you can safely change that 10% figure to 0%.

AAPL Analyst Short of the day: Jefferies' Misek downgrades on expensive low cost iPhone, own casing color prediction unlikelihood (9to5 Mac)

Peter Misek is wrong about Apple's future plans so often that a few weeks ago Cult of Mac did a breakdown of his incorrect predictions over the past few years. Yet for some reason, rumor blogs are still publishing his musings as though they're gospel.

IDC estimates Android will pass Apple for worldwide tablet market share in 2013 on the back of smaller/cheaper tablets (9to5 Mac)

This is the same IDC that, once upon a time, thought Windows Phone 7 was going to overtake iOS market share. How did that prediction fare?

Apple's HDTV reportedly delayed, iWatch may launch this year (BGR)

Peter Misek is at it again: the Apple HDTV is supposedly "delayed" yet again and due to launch "sometime next year," and he gives the iWatch a 50/50 chance of launching this year.

"Apple HDTV delayed until next year" is the headline that keeps on giving. It's like putting a readerboard sign in front of your restaurant that says "Free donuts tomorrow" -- you never need to pay off on the promise, because technically the board always says the donuts will be free at some future date.

Apple Reportedly Preparing to Announce Larger Dividend or Stock Buyback (MacRumors)

Yet another financial outlet claims to have the inside story on what Apple plans to do with its cash stockpile. With so many outlets reporting the same thing, that Apple plans to make an announcement by next month, it's hard to shake the feeling that the Internet's echo chamber is hard at work yet again.

Apple to diversify manufacturers for low-cost and legacy iPhones (AppleInsider)

Some analyst claims Pegatron will start taking over the lion's share of iPhone production from longtime manufacturer Foxconn. We've been hearing this same rumor for years now, and it's definitely starting to feel like yet another case of "free donuts tomorrow" from the rumor blogs. Speaking of which...

Apple's next-gen A7 processor reportedly being readied for production by TSMC (AppleInsider)

The number following the capital-A changes each year, but the rumor doesn't. Each year we hear that the A(x) chip will be built by TSMC instead of Apple's bitter rival Samsung. Each year, it fails to happen. That this story is sourced from "sometimes reliable" Digitimes seals the deal on the probable veracity of this rumor.

Apple proposes 'on-the-go' wireless charging via iPad Smart Cover with built-in battery (AppleInsider)

This patent is actually quite fascinating, suggesting that future iPad Smart Covers could act as portable, wireless chargers for the iPads they connect to. Given how thin the Smart Covers are compared to the iPads themselves, and considering that most of the internal volume of an iPad is its battery, it's questionable how much extra juice you'd get from a Smart Cover. On the other hand, as anyone who makes heavy daily use of an iPad knows, every last milliamp of charge counts.

Apple's 'budget' iPhone expected to have same 4-inch display as iPhone 5 (AppleInsider)

At this point, one gets the sense that these analysts are simply throwing darts at a wall in an attempt to divine the size of Apple's supposed "low-cost" iPhone. "The screen will be bigger! No, smaller! No, bigger! Wait, it'll be the same size!" It's a typical case of self-contradiction in the world of Apple analysis, and a perfect example of why hardly any of these so-called "analysts" are worth taking even the slightest bit seriously.

Apple's Retina iPad mini to follow debut of high-res Google's Nexus 7, report says (AppleInsider)

"Supply chain checks" supposedly reveal that Google will introduce a high-resolution version of its Nexus 7 before a Retina Display-equipped iPad mini reaches the market.

"When would the Mini be available? Could be third quarter or fourth quarter," one of the analysts said. Translation: "I dunno." *throws dart at a wall full of numbers*

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