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Rumor Roundup: Watch this

A light week for rumors brought out the usual dross with an unexpected late-week bonus: a truly ridiculous story about the long-rumored "iWatch."

OS X 10.9 Activity Ramping Up as Speculation on Developer Preview Release Increases (MacRumors)

The next version of OS X, version 10.9, keeps popping up in various sites' visitor logs. In the past, this has been a reliable indicator that the next major version of OS X will appear on the market anywhere from a year to a few months later. Other reliable indicators: the rising and setting of the sun, the passing of seasons, common sense.

Rumor: Apple's next iPad mini to pack 324ppi Retina display (AppleInsider)

Some Asian publication (not Digitimes for a change) renews claims that a Retina Display is in the mix for the next-generation iPad mini. Considering the sheer number of outlets reporting this rumor, if the next iPad mini doesn't have a Retina Display, you can fully expect at least 1000 variants of the "Apple is DOOMED" meme to appear online within hours.

'Radio Buy Buttons' found in iOS 6.1 via newly jailbroken iPads, could mean new functionality coming (9to5 Mac)

In a classic case of overanalysis, 9to5 Mac found some random graphic assets in the iPad version of iOS 6.1 and let the speculation fly rampant from there. Even assuming these buttons are the real deal, I hope Apple plans on calling them something other than "radio buttons," because that name's taken.

Apple 'leaving money on the table' by not releasing big-screen iPhone (AppleInsider)

According to some analysts, Apple is "leaving money on the table" by not releasing a giant-screened version of the iPhone to compete against the ridiculously massive "phones" Samsung has on the market.

Here's a short list of hypothetical products that Apple is also leaving money on the table by not releasing them to a ravenous market:

  • Apple HDTV
  • iWatch
  • iCar
  • iFridge
  • iToaster
  • Apple Space Shuttle
  • 27-inch iPad
  • 7-inch MacBook Air
  • PowerBook G5
  • Sub-$1000 Mac tower

Apple reportedly tells French reseller that a new Mac Pro is coming in the spring (9to5 Mac)

Allegedly Apple told some random French reseller that new Mac Pros were coming this spring, and the first thing that reseller did was blab to the rumor blogs. Either this reseller is making stuff up to draw more attention (and customers) to itself, or the rumor is legitimate... and Apple probably won't be too pleased with them if it is.

Of course, since we already know that Mac Pro sales in Europe have to be halted in March for regulatory reasons, and Tim Cook has already sent a Tim-o-gram noting that the Mac Pro is getting a 2013 major overhaul -- our money would be on "legitimate."

Chinese Source Claims iPhone 5S and 5-Inch iPhone 6 to Launch in 2013 (MacRumors)

Another case of the usual vague "friend of a friend" reporting from China. Nothing new to see here.

Disruptions: Apple Is Said to Be Developing a Curved-Glass Smart Watch - NYTimes.com

Despite the sensational headline and the supposedly aboveboard authority of the Times, this article doesn't really bring anything new to the table. Two people who are supposedly "familiar with the company's explorations" claim that "Apple is experimenting with wristwatch-like devices made of curved glass."

I'm sure Apple experiments with lots of things, and the patents it applies for bear that out. Whether those products will ever find their way to store shelves is another matter entirely. I still think an "iWatch" is a niche product at best and a ridiculously useless bauble at worst, but that's without ever having seen leaked prototype components, much less a working model.

Naturally, given the provenance of this rumor, the Internet ran wild with it this past week, with several sites making it sound like the iWatch is all but inevitable. You know, just like they have with the Apple HDTV and a pile of other rumorware.

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