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Rumor Roundup: The definition of insanity


Have you ever heard the saying, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?" Apparently none of the rumor blogs have, because they keep publishing the same sketchy rumors from the same terrible sources. Many of these sources (*coughDigitimes* *coughPeterMisekcoughcough*) have proven to be wrong so often that they've been publicly lambasted by numerous actual news outlets... but for some reason, "sources from the Far East" and "analysts" still account for two out of the three legs on the rumor blogs' increasingly shaky table.

Despite 'mounting' pressure, Apple not seen releasing 'iPhablet' until middle of next year (BGR)

This is a perfect example of a rumor with a truly terrible source. Here's your homework assignment, BGR: tell us the last time "analyst" Peter Misek made a prediction about Apple that actually turned out to be true. Go ahead, we'll wait.

In the meantime, the rumor itself doesn't make any sense. Apple is apparently feeling "pressure" from phablet sales. Apple. The company that sold 37 million iPhones in three months. The company running away with most of the profits in the smartphone industry. That Apple. "Pressure."

Rumor: Apple to feature sapphire crystal touch home button on 'iPhone 5S' (AppleInsider)

It seems like every year since 2008 we've had rumors trotted out claiming that Apple will be ditching the physical Home button on iOS devices. One year we hear they're ditching the Home button entirely; the next year we hear they're switching to a capacitive sensor. Year after year, the Home button is one of the few aspects of the iPhone that's remained essentially unchanged since day one. One starts to see a pattern...

iPhone 5S could be the first 'S' to feature a major hardware revision (BGR)

BGR falls into a classic trap: because "S"-type iPhones look externally identical to their immediate predecessors, that means they don't have major hardware changes. Ask anyone who used an iPhone 3G and switched to an iPhone 3GS what they think of that line of thinking. As for the rumor, some analyst claims the next iPhone will have a fingerprint sensor under the Home button. If that sounds familiar, it's because the rumor blogs were "reporting" exactly the same thing last year, from exactly the same analyst. Guess how many iPhone 5 handsets have fingerprint sensors? I'll give you a hint: it's an integer between -1 and 1.

iPhone 5S fingerprint sensor seemingly confirmed (BGR)

BGR continues the tradition of playing fast and loose with the word "confirmed." You'd think they would have learned by now that nothing is confirmed until it shows up in an Apple keynote, but apparently when some guy at PayPal (who reads the same stupid rumors as the rest of us) makes an oblique reference to Apple, that counts as "confirming" something.

Here's the actual quote from the guy at PayPal: "It's widely rumored that a large technology provider in Cupertino, Calif., will come out with a phone later this year that has a fingerprint reader on it." Maybe I'm the one who's slow on the uptake, but I'm not seeing any confirmation here. At all.

Retina iPad mini leak points to upgraded processor and cameras (BGR)

This rumor was so sketchy that no one else touched it. But BGR was on the case, re-blogging a story from MobiLeaks. A "tipster" sent MobiLeaks a "detailed render" and a laundry list of stats about the supposed next-gen iPad mini. It's the kind of "tip" we used to get at TUAW all the time, and it's something we've long since learned to avoid (or, occasionally, make fun of).

Not just another pretty face: Apple's iPhone 5S to see big internal overhaul (BGR)

If it seems like I'm picking on BGR this week, well... I am, a little. But only because they made it so easy this week. This story in particular is just plain ridiculous. BGR takes a bunch of high-resolution shots of ribbon cables and SIM card trays, paints it as some kind of exciting exclusive, and extrapolates that the next iPhone will have "a big internal overhaul."

This is, in principle, not much different from publishing a post comparing a spark plug from a 2014 BMW to a 2013 BMW and speculating that the 2014 model will have an all-new engine design.

I've said it before, but it's worth repeating: if these are the kinds of parts leaks we can look forward to from now on, then Tim Cook's statement about "doubling down on secrecy" starts to look a whole lot more believable.

Rumor: LG, Sharp & AUO gearing up to build displays for Apple's next iPad mini (AppleInsider)

"The rumor was reported on Friday by hit-or-miss DigiTimes" -- but let's re-blog it anyway, because hey, journalism! *jazz hands*

Corning launches Lotus XT Glass for high performance mobile displays, prime candidate for future iOS devices (9to5 Mac)

Guess how many times Corning's original press release mentions Apple?

Difficult Negotiations May Prevent 'iRadio' Launch at WWDC (MacRumors)

Shocker: widely-rumored streaming music service may not launch after all. Again. It's the same story every year:

  • 10 Apple will be launching a streaming music service later this year
  • 20 Negotiations with record labels have stalled
  • 30 GOTO 10

MacBook Air inventory begins dwindling ahead of Apple's WWDC (AppleInsider)

A delightfully old-school rumor here: one with actual research behind it. Instead of just lazily re-reporting the latest ravings from some "analyst," AppleInsider actually went to the effort of (gasp) verifying something. This puts the likelihood of this rumor being true head and shoulders above the typical nonsense from "analysts" and the like.

Rumor: Production of Apple's 33% lighter fifth-gen iPad to begin in July (AppleInsider)

Awww... and then AppleInsider blows that brief credibility gain almost immediately by re-reporting yet another B.S. story from "hit-or-miss" Digitimes.

Apple Reportedly Testing 1.5-Inch OLED Displays for Smart Watch (MacRumors)

MacRumors re-blogs Macotakara, which itself is re-blogging a Taiwanese newspaper, which cites a display maker source in Asia. Let's play Apple Rumor Telephone, the game where everyone loses!

New details on redesigned next-gen iPad emerge (BGR)

Here, "details" means "more nonsense from Digitimes, re-blogged without pausing even momentarily to evaluate the source critically."

Apple Raising Notebook Orders Ahead of Likely Launch at WWDC (MacRumors)

"Digitimes reports that Godzilla attacks are on the rise, with casualties in Asian factories estimated to rise 75 percent year-over-year." I think that's what the article said. I can't be sure, though, because as usual I stopped reading when I saw who the source was for this rumor.

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