Rumor Roundup: Repetition
Many rumors this week were just repetitions: Apple's switching production from Foxconn to Pegatron (again), Apple's streaming music service is just over the horizon (again), and Apple's planning AirDrop file-sharing for iOS (again). On the other hand, at least there was a refreshing lack of any stories about the iWatch or anything from "sources in the Far East."
This probably isn't the best idea. Thanks to years of rabble-rousing from various media outlets over its factories' working conditions (exaggerated or not), Foxconn doesn't exactly have the best name-brand reputation.
This is the kind of headline that seems like it would come from a tech-themed version of The Onion, yet the rumor blogs bandied this item around like it was true and made any sense whatsoever.
None of them seemed to pause to ask the obvious: what's the practical benefit to the iPhone or its users of doubling the iPhone's resolution yet again? The pixel density is already at or near the threshold of human visual acuity, so doubling it once again (at a hit to battery life and increased production cost) doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
Pressure from whom, you may ask? Apparently some analyst thinks Apple will launch a lower-cost version of the iPad mini to "defend its market share" against competing tablets. Yes, because as we all know, Apple is all about market share. That's all the company cares about. Market share at all costs. Profits, user experience, product quality... these are all dust in the wind in the face of almighty market share.
I'll ask again: do any of these analysts actually pay the slightest bit of attention to the company they're writing about?
Whatever else you may say about Samsung, the company does make damn fine displays. As much as I disagree with the company's tactics with regard to smartphones, the HDTV sitting in front of me right now has one of the best displays I've ever seen, and it's a Samsung. If no one else is making displays at the quality or volume Apple needs for its products, then be happy Apple is willing to make compromises with its rival.
WWDC Expectations (The Loop)
Jim Dalrymple lays out what he expects to see at WWDC. In short: no new iPhone or iPad. Maybe some new Macs. The introduction of iOS 7 and OS X 10.9.
You know, we keep hearing that Pegatron is going to take a big slice of Foxconn's Apple pie. We've been hearing this same story for a couple of years. It keeps not actually happening. I'm honestly curious how many times this same story has to be re-posted before A) the event actually occurs, or B) people finally accept that it's just not happening. It's the same in principle as Apple's "streaming music" service... but more about that later.
On one hand, we have reports from an actual Apple supplier suggesting a production ramp up. On the other hand, we have some analyst jumping in with his Prognostication Dartboard and picking September as the launch date for the iPhone 5S.
The supplier report by itself was interesting. But once you throw some analyst into the mix, it's like putting actual sand in a sandwich.
9to5 Mac was at least gracious enough to amend its post when it became clear the "leaked" part was really just an existing iPad mini part. Not all of the rumor blogs were as diligent.
rumour: Apple Is Considering Launching An Ad Exchange (Business Insider)
From the article: "We can't confirm it. And, of course, the ad business is awash with rumours. (And, to give the full context, a couple of other sources we talked to said they'd heard nothing of the kind.)"
For some reason, the article doesn't end right there. For some reason, the article was published. For some reason, it was re-reported all over the place by the Apple rumor blogs. All of this despite a distinctive lack of proof, confirmation, or anything like basic fact-checking.
Here's a 180-degree contrast from the Business Insider story above. Rather than taking some guy's comments and reporting them without inserting critical thinking between fingers and keyboard, MacTrast actually went to the trouble to do some (gasp!) investigative reporting. In this case the investigation just amounted to calling a bunch of retailers to see if they had Mac Pros in stock, but given the current state of Apple rumors this almost approaches Pulitzer-quality journalism.
Some analyst makes a bunch of claims about upcoming Macs. Because he's been right before, it gets blogged about all over the place. Snark aside, none of the claims in this report sound particularly outlandish, so there's a decent chance it might be true.
Apple Is Said to Be Pressing for Internet Radio Deals (New York Times)
Next week's headline: Talks between Apple and record labels break down, stalling streaming music service.
This is likely something Apple has been planning for and working on for a long time. The fact that it hasn't been introduced yet suggests that Apple is doing everything it can to make sure the feature actually works before unleashing it on the public -- an approach the company might have considered for, say, iMessage.
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