Rumor Roundup: Silly season
Just because the holiday season is upon us, that doesn't mean people have stopped idly speculating about non-existent Apple products or ruminating on the company's impending downfall. Far from it! In fact, if you take the pundits seriously (but seriously... don't do that), the Apple HDTV is definitely coming out in 2013. And if it doesn't, Apple is definitely doomed. Somehow.
Brightcove's CEO went on a lengthy speculative bent about what the Apple HDTV might be, what it might look like and how it could save the world from the depredations of
SPECTRE Comcast. There's just one problem: The guy is totally making stuff up. He has no proof for anything he's said, especially this knee-slapper: "There's every reason to expect the new product to launch in 2013." Just like there was in 2012, 2011, and 2010.
I could say the Apple HDTV will have a built-in beer dispenser and be as accurate as this guy.
Apple predicted to build cheaper 'iPhone for the masses' (AppleInsider)
Gene Munster took time off from his perennial ravings on the Apple HDTV and instead directed his attention to another nonsensical chestnut: the el-cheapo "iPhone for everyone." Once again, I find it incredible these people are actually paid to write this stuff; Apple doesn't sell cheap crap just to expand its market share. Tim Cook has blatantly said so, multiple times, as did Steve Jobs before him. Apple does not care about market share. It cares about high profit margins and customer experience, in roughly that order. Period.
Here's another analyst blinded by market share to the expense of every other number that matters, such as revenues, profits and a company's cash on hand. No, Android is "winning" because more people are buying Android-based handsets than iPhones. This is a very old argument -- one that's been done to death and is one of the most epic clichés in all of tech right now -- and it never stops being funny.
Apple in Talks With Foursquare About Data-Sharing Deal (Wall Street Journal)
Apple may be getting ready to make a deal with Foursquare to incorporate crowdsourced data into its Maps app. Unlike the majority of Apple rumors, this one actually makes logical sense; it would certainly be a swift means of improving data in Apple Maps. I think we can all agree that's something that needs to happen as quickly as possible.
Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC has long been rumored to supplant Samsung as the major provider for Apple's A-series "system on a chip" for iOS devices, and further rumors now suggest the company may be considering building a factory in either New York or Oregon. Samsung, who currently supplies A4, A5 and A6 chips for Apple, supplies many (if not most) of those from a factory in Texas.
Some analyst, citing "Asian supply chain sources," claims the next-gen iPad mini will launch earlier than expected. Sounds legit! Except for the part where he "notes the information is of little use as no rumors have surfaced pertaining to the next-gen mini's release." Well, that's... a relief? I guess that's one word for it.
The meat of this story is pretty much all there in the headline. It manages to bolster some rumors (Apple testing HDTV prototypes) while slamming others (panel suppliers already selected, launch imminent). The lesson here? Until we start seeing actual leaked parts, don't buy the HDTV hype.
Some analyst says that unless Apple introduces a low-cost iPhone or HDTV, it's pretty much doomed. This raises a serious question: with so many analysts all saying the same stupid thing at once, is it possible something got into their food supply? Something... sinister? Get Langley on the line, we need a field agent to investigate this immediately.
Nexus phones have been such a huge success so far that Google is reportedly going the same route that Microsoft has with its Surface tablet -- another doorbuster product -- and preparing to launch yet another in-house developed smartphone likely to compete with its own partners far more than it will with Apple's devices.
Well... good luck, Google.
"Hit-or-miss" blog Mac Otakara claims a thinner, lighter full-size iPad is due in March according to "people familiar with the matter." Mac Otakara does occasionally get its rumors right -- far more often than DigiTimes does at any rate -- so it'll be interesting to see if this one pans out. If it does, stay tuned for the epic nerd rage from all the people who bought fourth-gen iPads.
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