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Rumor Roundup: An accidental toot in an elevator

The week of an Apple product launch is usually pretty light on rumors, because this is the point in the news cycle where there are plenty of real stories to report on instead. There's also a mountain of manufactured controversy drawing attention to the Apple products that exist today and away from the hypothetical and inevitably controversial Apple products of tomorrow. Still, a few rumors did manage to squeak out this week, much like an accidental toot in an elevator.

EXCLUSIVE -- Apple testing iOS 7.0.1, preparing iOS 7.1 - iPhone 5s supply 'severely constrained' (BGR)

BGR continues to stretch the credibility of the word "exclusive" with the first word of this article:

"It's no secret Apple is working on newer versions of iOS 7 even before iOS 7 is released to the public."

EXCLUSIVE: Water wet, sky blue, BGR dumb.

Space Gray coming to an iPad Mini 2 near you? (9to5 Mac)

"The question mark at the end gives us our powers of legitimacy!" is what I imagine goes down in the 9to5 newsroom every time a headline like this gets published.

Snark aside, the first half of this post is the only kind of rumor that doesn't make me reach for my slappin' gloves: photographs of physical evidence supporting the article's claim. The second half of this post burns away all that good will, however; some guy's renders of potential Apple products are so far away from being legitimate evidence that it calls the accuracy of the rest of the post into question.

New report suggests iPad 5 and Retina iPad mini could get fingerprint scanners (BGR)

I somehow knew before I even clicked the link above that this would be another trash piece citing Digitimes as a source. Nothing that comes from Digitimes is a "report" -- calling anything from Digitimes a "report" is the same thing as calling the resultant miasma of gas from a farting dog "perfume."

iPhone 5c could spell serious trouble for Apple (BGR)

APPLE IS DOOMED. This time, it's doomed because Apple is apparently selling too many iPhone 5c handsets.

From the article: "If U.S. consumers tilt this strongly towards the cheaper option even with only a slight price gap, it is clear that a truly affordable iPhone would have triggered a stampede." Which, by what passes for "logic" at BGR, would have meant that Apple would have been in "tremendous peril" instead of "serious trouble."

The brain damage train chugs along: "So it seems that Apple opted to launch the cheaper iPhone... well, why? [...] What was the point of the 5c, the world's most expensive value model?"

The 5c is essentially the guts of last year's iPhone 5 in an array of colorful, plastic shells that differentiate it both from the high-end iPhone 5s and every iPhone that's come before it. It fills the "mid-tier" pricing slot that the iPhone 5 would have filled otherwise, while the iPhone 4S is now the "budget" model iPhone. That's the point of the iPhone 5c. Duh.

"It's hard to see Apple making this move that is so weirdly blurry under Steve Jobs." So true. Steve Jobs would never have split Apple's product lines into a simplistic consumer/pro tiered model where even the consumer models were both more expensive than and superior in build quality to the low-end budget models littering the marketplace. NEVER WOULD HAVE HAPPENED ON STEVE JOBS'S WATCH.

Tim Cook may regret dismissing low-cost smartphones as 'junk' (BGR)

"The most striking takeaway from Thursday's big Bloomberg Businessweek interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook was that he views smartphones that are priced in the $300 to $450 range as 'junk' that Apple wants nothing to do with," BGR says. I read the same article, and I don't even remember this line, so "the most striking takeaway" is a bit over the top. In other words, exactly what I expect from BGR.

"Cook should realize that people in emerging markets who are buying cheap smartphones aren't simply destitute peasants who will never be able to afford Apple products." Pretty sure Cook said it was the devices that were cheap and junky, not the consumers. But by all means, keep grinding that severely blunt axe.

"[Cook] is seemingly shrugging off low-income consumers in countries such as China, India and Brazil whose economies have been growing fast" -- in other words, "I think Tim Cook and Apple should be chasing market share instead of profits. WHY WON'T THEY LISTEN TO ME?!"

"In theory, Apple could have developed a smartphone that was cheaper to produce and could have priced it at between $350 to $450 to make it more affordable to people in these three markets," BGR continues. Boy, these rumormongers certainly are smarting from getting burned by the iPhone 5c's price, aren't they? Turns out that swallowing years of analyst BS about "low-cost iPhones" and an "iPhone mini" has made them all look like utter fools, so the natural reaction is to criticize Apple for not conforming to their desired narrative.

The penultimate line of this article is priceless: "I've learned to not second-guess Apple's business decisions over the years because the company has absolutely shown that it knows what it's doing." Re--he-he-he-heaaaally? What was the point of the hundreds of words that preceded this sentence, then? If I were just a normal reader looking for insights, I'd be really pissed off reading a line like this at the end of an article that so clearly contradicted its sentiments. However, since I deliberately look for this kind of lazy hypocrisy in tech writing so I can pin it to the wall and laugh at it, this kind of thing makes my whole day instead.

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