Latest in Features

Image credit:

Rumor Roundup: Not to be believed


First off, apologies for the delay in getting the Rumor Roundup out this week. I had a technology tragedy in the family; my iPhone 4S prematurely kicked the bucket. It's been living on borrowed time since a bad motorcycle accident last November; I'd hoped it would last until Apple launched the iPhone 5S or whatever it ends up being called, but it was not meant to be.

Therefore, the time I'd normally have spent chugging vodka martinis while writing the Roundup was instead frittered away on wrestling with iCloud while I tried to get it to properly restore a backup to my shiny new iPhone 5.

Having just spent way too much money on a new iPhone 5, I'm certain the iPhone 5S will be on store shelves within mere weeks. You can take that one to the bank.

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

AppleInsider notes that the source, DigiTimes, is "a Taiwanese tech industry publication frequently skewered for its track record." This raises an obvious question, then: why are AppleInsider and every other rumor blog in the known universe still reprinting every piece of drivel that dribbles out of DigiTimes' "sometimes reliable" piehole? What other industries besides UFO chasers, ghost hunters, and Apple rumor blogs are so consistently unable to abandon sources of demonstrably poor evidence?

Why Apple would make a "low-cost iPhone," and what might be inside (Ars Technica)

This is less a rumor and more a pretty cogent analysis of the whole "low-cost iPhone" meme. It's worth a read if for no other reason than to read some refreshingly intelligent thoughts on the subject; it's certainly better than the "Apple has to make the low-cost iPhone suck" tripe that certain other publications are putting out there.

Next-Generation 15-Inch MacBook Pro Shows Up in Benchmarks (MacRumors)

While these benchmarks can be faked, they usually turn out to be accurate. I'm surprised this type of leak is still happening, though; it seems like it would be pretty simple for Apple to enforce a "Put Geekbench on any non-production machine and you're fired" rule... unless they just don't care.

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

If you take anything in beta software as serious evidence of future Apple retail decisions, please immediately make your way to the nearest emergency room, as you have clearly suffered severe head trauma.

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

The lede is buried so deeply in this article that I almost couldn't find it. Essentially, 9to5 Mac claims it's found code buried in iOS 7 that will allow a future iPhone, with hardware that supports the feature, to record video at 120 frames per second. When played back, this high frame rate gives the impression of "slow motion" videography -- think of all those nature shows that show a lion taking down a gazelle over the course of a couple minutes, or the cool intro to Reservoir Dogs.

If this feature does make it to an iPhone, expect a renaissance of "funny" YouTube videos that show some guy getting smacked in the crotch at normal speed, then again in agonizing slow motion.

Latest alleged 'iPhone Lite' plastic backs show different color shades (AppleInsider)

More alleged backside casings for the alleged low-cost iPhone. The fact that these colors don't match colors from earlier "leaked" casings could mean Apple is experimenting with hues, or it could mean everything we've seen so far is fake. (No points for guessing which explanation is more likely.)

Here comes the iPhone 5S: Foxconn ramps up hiring for next-gen iPhone (BGR)

Like most tech publications, BGR falls victim to the classic "Foxconn only makes Apple products" blunder.

Apple to Adopt IGZO Displays for Future iPads and MacBooks? (MacRumors)

This is another perennial rumor that has yet to pan out. On a long enough timeline, maybe it'll turn out to be true eventually.

Apple predicted to post almost no revenue growth in fiscal Q3 (BGR)

A bunch of Wall Street analysts predict that Apple is "only" going to make as much money this financial quarter as it did in the same quarter last year. That sounds pretty bad if A) You're an idiot, and/or B) you skip over the part where that means Apple would earn $35 billion in revenue over three months. But that is immaterial! We have no love for plateaus in Wall Street! Unless Apple's revenue is on a consistently exponential growth curve, the company is capital-D DOOMED.

Reportedly leaked Bluetooth roadmap hints at future iPhone, 'iWatch' features (AppleInsider)

From the popular rumor blog destination of Non Sequitur City comes this... "report" is the charitable word for it, I suppose. Bluetooth SIG has mapped out some features it wants to roll out, and somehow that translates to "future Apple products will do all of this stuff."

We get it, guys. You want to be able to claim "FIRST!" when it comes to predicting future Apple products. But at least be sensible about it.

....and here are your plastic iPhone volume controls in Green, Red, Blue and Yellow (9to5 Mac)

Aside from that very definitive headline and a giant photo of random assorted bits of plastic, here's the entirety of the article:

"All of these could be knockoffs of course as we've said countless times since news of the plastic iPhone is months old and Chinese companies are already confirmed to be building Android knockoffs."

Translation: It could be fake. In fact, it probably is fake. Whatever, lulz. *publish*

Apple looks to expand iOS device supply chain beyond Foxconn in 2014 (AppleInsider)

Some analyst makes a claim we've heard many, many times before: Apple is diversifying its suppliers and won't rely solely on Foxconn for overseas manufacture of its products. Somehow, this oft-repeated but never realized meme is still considered newsworthy.

Rumor: Apple buys into chip fab, plans to build its own silicon (AppleInsider)

No joke, the original source for this story is a site called "SemiAccurate." I literally laughed out loud.

More Claims of No Retina iPad Mini Until Early 2014 (MacRumors)

Let me save everyone some time: absolutely none of these Asian publications have any freaking clue whether the next iPad mini will have a Retina Display or not.

Rumor bloggers: stop reading the tea leaves and go outside.

Apple 'Aggressively' Hiring for Smart Watch Project, Looking Toward Late 2014 Launch (MacRumors)

This is neither the first time we've heard that Apple is "aggressively hiring" for this entirely hypothetical product, nor the first time that the always in-motion launch date has slipped farther outward.

Here's a question: if Apple had never released the watch-like fifth-gen iPod nano, would we be buried under a mountain of stupid "iWatch" articles all these years later?

Apple Reportedly Signs Deal with Samsung for 14-nm A9 Chips Starting in 2015 (MacRumors)

Anyone who claims to know what Apple will do two years in the future, and whom it will be doing it with, is selling something. It's your own fault if you buy it.

Report: Upgraded spec, lighter iPad Mini expected later this year, 'almost bezel-free' Retina version next year (9to5 Mac)

"If today's Digitimes report is to be believed," this article begins. Let me stop you right there. It's Digitimes. Of course it's not to be believed. Come on.

iPhone 5S production now definitely starting this month. Maybe. (9to5 Mac)

"Hey, let's post this analyst's deranged ravings, then spend half the article pointing out how often he's been wrong in the past. It's sure cool to have your cake and eat it too, isn't it?"

Microsoft's Surface team working on 'translucent aluminum' smart watch - report (AppleInsider)

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer: "Transparent aluminum?!"

Captain Montgomery Scott: "That's the ticket, laddie."

Apple reportedly proposing TV ad skipping for upcoming services/products (9to5 Mac)

Even assuming this source is accurate, this seems like a technology that absolutely will never, ever see the light of day. I mean, try to imagine a universe where this actually happens:

Apple: "Hey, Hollywood guys. Let's let users skip ads when they view them on devices we sell. They'll love that. We'll compensate you for the ad revenue you lose as a result. Everybody wins."

Greedy as hell media companies: "YES. Totally, let's do it. We trust you implicitly, Apple. We are more than willing to put our annual budget for hookers and blackjack entirely in your capable hands."

Digitimes claims initial 'iPhone 5S' shipments to be constrained as fingerprint sensors hit low yield-rates (9to5 Mac)

9to5 Mac does readers everywhere a kindness by putting its dubious (to say the least) source in the headline, thus sparing most of us from having to spend even a fraction of a second deciding whether or not to take the story seriously.

I've said it before, but it bears repeating: I promise that if we all stop paying attention to Digitimes, they will simply fade away.

Report: Apple mulling $280M purchase of PrimeSense, the Israeili 3D body sensor firm behind Microsoft Kinect (9to5 Mac)

No gesture-driven interface will ever match my personal vision of the future until flipping it the bird causes it to shut down whatever system it's connected to. And, for what it's worth, the company has already vehemently denied this rumor.

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr