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Rumor Roundup, Episode 9: 'Coming soon'

With plenty of actual news saturating the Apple-focused internet, it was a relatively light week for rumors. But almost every time Apple holds an event of some kind, the week that follows is a cavalcade of criticism about what Apple launched and speculation about the products that didn't show up.

During the week following WWDC, when people weren't busily speculating that the irrepairable new MacBook Pro would be the root cause of the zombie apocalypse, they were frothily predicting the onset of more Mac updates. Onward to this week's Rumor Roundup.

iMac Update Might Be Coming Sooner Rather Than Later (MacRumors)

Taking a second trip to the well of Geekbench results from unreleased iMacs, MacRumors speculates that iMac updates are due in the relatively new future. The site doesn't provide any evidence of this beyond noting that Primate Labs, which maintains Geekbench, believes the benchmarking scores are accurate and not fakes.

Before WWDC, multiple rumor sites assured us that the entire Mac lineup would be seeing updates. In the end, only the MacBook Air and Pro got updates. The iMac is arguably overdue for an update, but whether its next update will see the Retina Display coming to the iMac is less certain.

Apple expected to launch 13" Retina MacBook Pro by early Oct. and Rumor: Online battery test log points to possible 13-inch Retina Display MacBook Pro (AppleInsider)

Some analyst claims we'll see a 13-inch version of the MacBook Pro with Retina Display in October. Normally I'd put this down to typical analyst shenanigans of throwing multiple ideas against a wall and seeing what sticks, but this same guy correctly predicted the demise of the 17-inch MacBook Pro -- a claim I thought was complete B.S. Supposed battery testing info from an unreleased MacBook model seems to back up the analyst's assertions -- assuming they're accurate.

To borrow a phrase that analysts love to use when it comes to the Apple HDTV, a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display is a matter of when, not if. Despite the caterwauling from certain sectors of the internet (including our own backyard) over its lack of upgradability, Apple has drawn a line in the sand with the new MacBook Pro. It sees beautiful but sealed boxes as the future of computing, and it's inevitable that (most of) the rest of the Mac lineup will follow suit.

Some Apple stores reportedly planning store-wide meetings next week (AppleInsider)

"People familiar with Apple's plans" claim Apple is planning on holding an all-hands retail meeting soon. Uncharacteristically, this claim doesn't come with a rash of speculation about some unreleased, mythical Apple product. Instead, the speculation seems more mundane, that this meeting is intended to introduce Apple Retail to its new boss, John Browett.

Apple's Ping to End With a Thud in Next Release of iTunes (AllThingsD)

Sources tell AllThingsD that Apple's halfhearted attempt at social networking, Ping, will be end-of-lifed in the next major update to iTunes. Reactions to this news range from "Duh," to "What's Ping?"

Now that Facebook has its peanut butter in Apple's chocolate, Ping has gone from neglected and irrelevant to utterly redundant. If you're a serious fan of Ping -- there must be at least one, right? -- be prepared for the service to appear nowhere other than semiannual "Top 10 Apple failures" lists.

Apple's next iPhone could see weaker demand, upgrade cycle to blame (BGR)

Some analyst brandished garlic and a crucifix toward AT&T's CEO and subdued him long enough to ask whether AT&T planned to offer early upgrade discounts to the millions upon millions of people who've bought the iPhone 4S. Brace yourself: AT&T said no.

Somehow, this means no one in the rest of the world that isn't the United States and hasn't sold its smartphone soul to AT&T for two years won't buy the iPhone 5. To put it lightly, that's a bit of a stretch. To put it more heavily, that's a completely stupid claim, one worth revisiting for laughs once Apple sells a bazillion iPhones in 2013.

Full disclosure: My telco contract doesn't expire until November, so I won't be buying the next iPhone until then. Fuller disclosure: That's when it's probably launching in New Zealand, so no skin off my, er, nose.

3D renders of next iPhone parts good enough to fool many (9to5 Mac)

Virtually every rumor site exploded with news of supposedly leaked photos of the next-gen iPhone, fully assembled and in glorious color. But the weirdest thing happened: 9to5 Mac, of all sites, skipped the speculation and actually asked the guy who posted the photos what was up. Turned out these widely dispersed and breathlessly speculated upon photos were simply skillful 3D renders based on parts leaks and rumors.

Though they're confirmed fakes, I certainly won't complain if the next iPhone looks like those photos. As for the rest of you Cinema 4D and Photoshop fakery aficionados? The gauntlet has been thrown. If you want to fool most of the Apple-loving internet, this is your new standard.

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