Rumor Roundup: All Digitimes, all the time
Let's say you like to bet on football games. I know the rules of football, I know the teams, and I can even name a few of the players, but in terms of predicting which team will win any given game, my guesses aren't much better than flipping a coin. Now, let's say I've been right a few times before, several seasons ago, and I helped you win some big bets. But let's also say that absolutely every single prediction I've made during this season has failed to pan out. Are you going to keep placing bets based on my predictions? If not, then congratulations: you're smarter than the average Apple rumor blog, which still seems to be all Digitimes, all the time.
While this tech is cool, associating it with the so-called "iWatch" is a pretty big stretch. Remind me again how many credible reports have come out indicating Apple is building this thing? No, I said credible reports. No analysts, no "sources from the Asian supply chain," and no "people familiar with the matter." Is it a number greater than zero? (Spoiler alert: no.)
I initially got excited by the pedigree of this rumor -- AllThingsD is one of the few remaining tech publications that's still right about Apple more often than it's wrong -- but then I saw the source of this rumor was often-wrong "analyst" Peter Misek, and my enthusiasm drained away pretty much immediately.
There are people at my day job who use PCs every day and don't know what Windows Explorer is when you ask them to navigate to it. I'm fairly certain those people still know more about Apple's future plans than Peter Misek does.
The source for this rumor is "unverified news out of China," which is of course the absolute best source for Apple rumors.
The most consistently disheartening part of my week is the two minutes of my weekly FaceTime call with my dad when he brings up whatever poorly-sourced dreck from the rumor blogs has been plastered all over Zite that week. I keep telling him not to pay any attention to this stuff, to let me jump on that grenade for him, but...
Some analyst thinks Apple shipped somewhere between 29 and 32 million iPhones during the last financial quarter. You know how I know Apple is doing okay, despite all the doom and gloom nonsense claiming the contrary? Three million iPhones is no longer the actual number of iPhones sold in a single quarter; it's a rounding error in some analyst's estimates of how many iPhones were sold. When the question is essentially, "How many iPhones did Apple sell: a crapload, or a metric crapload?" the whole "Apple = DOOMED" meme seems even dumber than usual.
This rumor is "wildly unlikely" (it even says so in the headline), but apparently not so wildly unlikely that it wasn't worth re-blogging anyway. As for the meat in this particularly unsavoury sandwich, Bloomberg claims Apple has changed the iPhone 5S to a 4.3-inch screen at the last minute. This proves one thing beyond doubt: Bloomberg has no idea how Apple operates, and they should not be taken seriously on the subject any longer.
The mint-green color of the plastic casing reminds me of mint ice cream, which reminds me of Jägershakes (mint ice cream plus Jägermeister plus an industrial-strength blender), which reminds me of Jägermeister, which reminds me of the most epic benders I've ever been on and the worst hangovers I've ever had, which has left me feeling nauseated. I could also be feeling nauseated because of the whole low-cost iPhone meme that simply will not die. It's hard to tell. Either way, I'm turning as green as that pictured case.
Note that this is a drop in year-over-year growth, not a drop in year-over-year sales. It's like saying your car's rate of acceleration has slowed; you're still going faster over time, just not speeding up quite as fast as you were before. Someone (like Business Insider, perhaps) will still find a way to transform these numbers into "Apple DOOMED" analysis, like the world's worst alchemists.
While the headline makes it sound as though BGR is on to something, really all they've got here is some analyst making pie-in-the-sky claims without any proof, along with the same-old/same-old predictions of semi-voluntary consumer lock-in to Apple's ecosystem.
With the obligatory snark out of the way, I will say that the whole "ecosystem lock-in" phenomenon is very real. After my iPhone 4S's untimely demise, I considered temporarily using a work-provided Android phone for a few months while I waited for the iPhone 5S to come out. That idea lasted about two minutes before I said, "Nope, nope, noooope," marched myself down to the local Telecom store, and bought an iPhone 5.
I'm starting to think AppleInsider is still calling Digitimes "sometimes reliable" just to troll us. The fact that the "hit-or-miss publication" (another of AppleInsider's favored euphemisms) is the source of this rumor tells you all you need to know about its possible veracity.
Assuming the sources for this article are accurate, this sounds like a product that's still in the very early stages of conceptual development and likely years away from public availability, if indeed it ever sees the light of day. All that adds up to at least 18-24 more months of an endless stream of articles about the stupid iWatch. So we've got that going for us, which is nice.
At least one of the TUAW staff is excited by the prospect of fingerprint sensors in the iPhone, but I really don't see the point. If it's a sensor embedded in the screen and is used to unlock the phone with your finger... well, so what? We already unlock our iPhones with our fingers. We've been doing it for six years. The supposition that the fingerprint sensor has something to do with NFC is even worse, because now we've got two technologies that Apple hasn't expressed much interest in combined. It's two terrible tastes that go badly together, like the polar opposite of a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.
"The often unreliable DigiTimes" brings us the first rumor relating to the eternally mythical Apple HDTV. 9to5 Mac says "the publication has been reporting some more believable stories as of late" -- which ones? Seriously, Digitimes and believable don't belong in the same sentence, except for the one I just wrote.
From the article: "At this point, it looks like we have no solid information about the release date, despite this report's claim of October 2013. DigiTimes has been extremely hit-or-miss, so it would be unwise to take this as complete verification." (emphasis added)
Digitimes is a joke. Not a funny joke, either. It's like one of those train-wreck standup comedy routines that seems to go on forever. Digitimes is the tech world's equivalent of Krusty the Clown: everyone seems to recall a time when they were once relevant, but no one can precisely remember exactly when that was.
"It is virtually impossible to completely ascertain the veracity of either the documents or the images," AppleInsider notes. Well, considering the documents look like something anyone could have thrown together in 20 minutes, I'm gonna go with "fake" this time.
Apple Tests Larger Screens for iPhones, iPads (Wall Street Journal)
"Whether the designs will make their way to market is unclear. [Apple] routinely tests different designs for its products as it refines them during development." Done. No need to read beyond this point.
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