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Rumor Roundup: Psychic Friends Network

Back in the 90s, you couldn't watch TV after 10 o'clock at night without seeing at least one commercial for the Psychic Friends Network and/or Miss Cleo. I always used to wonder what happened to those guys after the bankruptcies and fraud investigations, but I think I've got it figured out: they all became financial analysts and Apple rumormongers. It makes perfect sense.

Rumor: Apple's expiring chip contract with Samsung will lead to TSMC-built 'A7' chips (AppleInsider)

Remember back in 2011, when TSMC started building A5 processors and Apple kicked Samsung to the curb? Remember when it happened again in 2012 with the A6? ...No? You don't remember either of those events? Weird. Neither do I.

More signs point to 2013 Apple 'iWatch' launch (BGR)

In this case, "signs" can be defined as some analyst's random ravings about Apple's future plans, with no evidence to support any of his claims. We'll hear more truly laughable stuff from this particular analyst later.

Apple to Begin iPhone Production This Quarter (Wall Street Journal)

Despite the mainstream pedigree of the Journal's name, this article brings absolutely nothing new to the table. Other rumors have already suggested virtually everything contained here: Apple may or may not launch the iPhone 5S in the summer, and it may or may not launch a "budget" model at the same time or soon thereafter.

"Kudos" to the Journal, however, for somehow managing to frame this as yet another problem for Apple. And a very special shout-out to the concussed analyst they interviewed who suggested that "Apple needs to take a page from Samsung and launch more products faster." It's so obvious now; the only way to "save" Apple is to copy Samsung. Why didn't anyone think of this before? Anyone without a history of massive head trauma, I mean.

The Latest Apple Scuttlebutt (Daring Fireball)

In contrast to most of the frankly absurd Apple rumors out there, this thread on Branch contains some very interesting analysis from several people who have offered very accurate insights on Apple in the past. Most intriguing is the rumor that Jonathan Ive's sweeping UI changes to iOS 7 have set the OS update behind schedule, and both resources and employees have been transferred from development on OS X 10.9 to help get iOS 7 out the door on time.

Rumor: Apple television with 'iRing' motion controller to launch this year (AppleInsider)

In direct contrast to the well-sourced and level-headed analysis of the previous item comes this... thing... which is easily the dumbest thing I've read all week. This "iRing" concept looks like something from The Onion, or a poorly-executed April Fool's gag. Instead, some analyst actually floated this as a possible future Apple product... and he did it with a straight face. Do you need any more evidence that these so-called "analysts" are not worth taking even the slightest bit seriously?

Fingerprint scanning tech predicted to be major component of Apple's 'iPhone 5S' & 'iWatch' (AppleInsider)

The same analyst responsible for this week's most ridiculous rumor reached into 2012's rumor bin and dragged out the old "iPhone will have a fingerprint sensor" chestnut.

Apple reportedly closing in on deal with record labels for 'iRadio' service, could sign within a week (AppleInsider)

How many years has it been now that Apple has been asymptotically approaching a deal with record labels for a streaming music service?

RUMOR: Apple to announce replacement for Mac Pro soon (MacDailyNews)

According to MacDailyNews, "Our source offered no information as to whether the 'Mac Pro replacement' would be a tower, mini-tower, or some other solution." The Mac Pro might even be a razor. It could have two blades! Or three! Or -- and we caution that we have not been able to independently corroborate this information -- the Mac Pro could have as many as five blades. If anyone can do it, Apple can.

Apple Notebook Refresh Expected Late This Quarter, But Only Modest Shipment Growth for 2013 (MacRumors)

Citing supply chain sources, Digitimes reports that you are not the father.

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