Rumor Roundup: 'An area of intense interest'
Last week was pretty dead as far as rumors so, and this one was only marginally better. For the most part rumors focused on furious speculation regarding what Tim Cook could have meant when, in a recent interview, he called TV "an area of intense interest." That naturally led more credulous bloggers to speculate that the long-awaited Apple HDTV is just over the horizon (as it has been for several years now), but that's not to say it's the only harebrained subject the rumor blogs hit this week.
Some analyst came out with three "predictions" that would almost be hilarious if they weren't predictions that literally dozens of other analysts have been making for years. First, a low-cost iPhone designed to address the mass market of... um... people who aren't already buying iPhones.
This analyst conveniently ignores Apple's entire product history of producing lower numbers of high-margin, high-profit goods rather than going for market share with low-cost junk, and his next two predictions aren't any more intelligent: an Apple HDTV and a MacBook Air running iOS instead of OS X. Because that device would make any sense at all.
Here's my prediction for 2013: absolutely none of this guy's predictions will come anywhere close to coming true.
Some other me-too analyst dragged out the same tired meme as the other one: Apple will produce a low-cost iPhone to address "emerging markets" and go after the low-end smartphone market. It makes perfect sense, because if there's one thing Apple's famous for, it's cutting corners and costs in order to go after the low-end market. Wait. No.
The iPhone 5 is barely out of its diapers, yet we already have purported images of "iPhone 5S" parts surfacing. MacRumors at least takes pains to explain that this could easily represent a prototype part; it could also be a slightly tweaked version of existing parts used in the iPhone 5.
That didn't stop people from leaping to the conclusion that the next-gen iPhone will debut six months after the iPhone 5's launch, though. Some cited the quick six-month turnaround between the "new iPad" and its fourth-generation successor as precedent, but the one thing Apple seems to be getting good at lately is turning precedent on its head. Especially if it's the one establishing the precedent in the first place.
Not soon after we heard rumors (later confirmed, apparently) that Apple would start selling T-Mobile compatible iPhones in the States, at least one analyst was quick out the gate with a prediction of how many millions of iPhones the long-spurned mobile network would sell in the first year. The magic number, pulled from... somewhere... is 5 million.
How he came up with that number is anyone's guess. Let's see... I'm currently surfing on a cocktail of painkillers designed to help me cope with injuries I sustained in a motorcycle crash a few weeks back, so let me consult the Fates and see what they say... A HA! Apple will sell 6 million iPhones on T-Mobile next year. Take that, analysts!
After Tim Cook's remarks during an interview this week that television was "an area of intense interest" for Apple, speculation ran rampant over what he could have meant by that. The analyst responsible for the linked article is an example of speculation farthest afield from anything making logical sense.
A big, bulky, low-margin product like an HDTV, which people will only replace or upgrade once or twice a decade, is somehow "more in tune" with Apple's strategy than a small box, an accessory, an almost throwaway little thing like the current Apple TV puck? Someone hasn't been paying attention to Apple's "tune" at all, apparently.
Hey! Finally, a rumor that actually makes sense and has proof, with screenshots and everything. Apparently the latest Apple TV beta "finally" enables Bluetooth functionality that has, until now, lain dormant and unused inside the device. It's a tiny leap forward -- all this does is let you use wireless keyboards to navigate and search for content -- but it could potentially open the door to all kinds of interesting accessorizing with Apple's little hobby box in the future.That's all for this week. Since Tim Cook doesn't have any major interviews scheduled for next week (that we know of), it's probable the rumor well will be a little drier next week.
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