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Rumor Roundup: Actually intelligent analysis

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Manufacturing Mold for 'iPad Pro' Rear Shell or Dummy Unit Shown in New Photo (MacRumors)

Source: Terrible photo

Chance it's true: Who knows

From the article: "Few details can be discerned from the relatively poor quality photo [...] simple design of the mold suggests this may be an unofficial mold being used create dummy units for manufacturers."

So not only is this photo so poor that it's difficult to glean any details from it, it's also not even a photo of the actual mold for the device itself, but something used to generate mockups. Hard-hitting news here. I look forward to seeing next week's MacRumors top story: "Some guy in Palo Alto uploaded bootlegged iPad Pro schematics into his 3D printer. You won't believe what happened next!"

AppleInsider's take on the same story is skeptical to the point of snarkiness, which I definitely appreciate. From the article: "Aside from being rectangular and sporting rounded corners, the mold does not bear any hallmarks of an iPad [...] it could simply be a mold for a lunch tray." Amen to that.

On Charging the Purported USB-Only MacBook (Daring Fireball)

Source: Actually intelligent analysis

Chance it's true: Who knows

John Gruber has some smart analysis on what the allegedly MagSafe-deprived next-gen MacBook Air might offer for a charging solution. None of the options he offers sound particularly appealing; in fact, all of them seem like they come with so many tradeoffs that any one of these "solutions" if actually implemented would inspire Epic Nerd Rage™ immediately following the device's announcement.

"Apple is sacrificing too much in the name of thinness!" the geeks will decry. They'll be right, of course, but Apple's core customers - normal people, in other words (not the so-called "Apple faithful" that the press likes to go on and on [and on and on] about) - will line up in droves to buy them.

And now, four different takes on a terribly-sourced rumor.

Samsung Supposedly Wins Orders to Produce Apple Watch Components (MacRumors)

Source: Digitimes

Chance it's true: 3720 to 1 (never tell me the odds)

The only trace of incredulity in this report is in the headline. The story itself is straight re-reporting of the most godawful Apple rumor source ever spawned from the blackest pits of inaccuracy and anti-journalism. You wouldn't know it by how seriously MacRumors treats the subject matter, but Digitimes has an accuracy record that can best be described as laughably sad.

Fake Apple Watch at CES for $27 as sketchy report says Samsung making innards of real thing (9to5 Mac)

Same terrible source, moderately better reporting. From the article: "As ever, the less than reliable source cites only vague 'industry sources' " That's the extent of 9to5 Mac's skepticism on this non-story story. More hilarious than that is their recounting that "analyst estimates of year-one Apple Watch sales range from 10M to 37M units."

There's a 27 million unit distance between the bottom and top end of analyst estimates for Apple Watch sales. If you needed any more proof that analysts have absolutely no clue what they're talking about when they talk about Apple, there it is.

Samsung, ASE tapped to build Apple Watch's S1 processing module - report (AppleInsider)

AppleInsider doesn't offer even the hint of a whiff of skepticism. This is 100 percent straight re-reporting of a "source" that got exactly one correct rumor in 2014. One among countless stupid, poorly-sourced or just outright made-up rumors. Big, ironic thumbs up to AppleInsider.

Samsung is reportedly making a secret new chip in the Apple Watch (BGR)

This will surprise absolutely no one who's been paying attention, but BGR also reported Digitimes' drivel as though it were engraved on stone tablets carried by Tim Cook himself.

What to take away from this: we've apparently reached a trough in the rumor cycle where these rumor blogs think everyone has forgotten what a titanic failure of a source Digitimes is. I can't speak for anyone else, but I certainly never forget.

Apple planning Apple Pay expansion into Canada as soon as March (9to5 Mac)

Source: "People familiar with the matter" - possible internal Apple leak

Chance it's true: 90+ percent

Like the UK, Canada is an obvious next step for Apple's international rollout of Apple Pay. Despite a widespread e-payment infrastructure where I live (New Zealand - I can count on one hand the number of times I've paid for something with cash in the past three years), I seriously doubt we'll see Apple Pay make its way here in 2015. Even 2016 seems optimistic. (No, I'm not bitter. Okay, maybe a little bitter.)

Recent iPod Shuffle Shortages Due to Supplier Changes, Not Imminent Discontinuation (MacRumors)

Source: "People familiar with the matter"

Chance it's true: 100 percent

There's always a big risk associated with pre-emptively erecting a tombstone over an iPod. Back in the dark days when TUAW used to regularly publish rumors just like everyone else, we struck out on calling the death of both the iPod classic and the shuffle. And that story came from a source we actually trusted (at the time - never again after that).

I can't remember the last time I actually saw an iPod shuffle in the wild, and I think mine is at the bottom of a box in the bottom of my closet. But Apple will probably go on selling the thing until it can't source components for it anymore.

Apple to release iOS 8 update next week (BGR)

Source: "People familiar with the matter"

Chance it's true: 75 percent or so

For some reason, BGR gets a lot of tips of the variety "iOS update such-and-such will drop on such-and-such date." Unlike so many of their stories about Apple, these ones often turn out to be correct.

Apple's rumored 12" MacBook Air may aggressively target mobility with USB 3.1 Type-C (AppleInsider)

Source: Actually intelligent analysis

Chance it's true: Seems pretty good, actually

I'm a big fan of Daniel Eran Dilger's work. It's always well-written, well-researched, and well-thought-out. This piece is no exception. The case he makes for USB 3.1 Type-C in the next MacBook Air is pretty damned convincing. Highly recommended read.

In this article: features, iOS 8, Mac, rumor, Rumor Roundup, Watch
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