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Rumor Roundup: Don't bet the farm on it

This week, at least two publications got to have it both ways. One heavily criticised an analyst for his poor track record, then went on to use analysts as sources for several stories. Another posted erroneous information only to debunk its own rumormongering later that same day. It's a beautiful, double-dipping world out there when it comes to Apple rumors.

Rumor: World's largest carrier China Mobile begins producing advertising collateral for iPhone 5c, 5s (AppleInsider)

A sketchy photo of a single, easily-faked poster. Yes, this is how the world's largest mobile phone carrier in the world's most populous country will choose to advertise the availability of the world's most famous mobile phone.

Rumor: Apple working on 12" iPad with partner manufacturer Quanta (AppleInsider)

Asian source we've never heard of makes grandiose claims that Apple will pair with a manufacturer we've never heard of to produce a product that makes no sense at all. Sounds legit!

Gene Munster's iPhone launch estimates off by 5M units for the second year in a row (AppleInsider)

This is a pretty impressive deconstruction of one analyst's consistently wrong claims about Apple. Gene "Where's my Apple HDTV" Munster is just a symptom of a wider problem, however: a tech press that doesn't critically evaluate its sources nearly as often as it should. For proof of this, look no farther than the next story.

iPhone marketshare in China predicted to double in 2014 (AppleInsider)

This prediction comes courtesy of IDC. This is the same IDC that predicted Android would peak in 2012 and decline (didn't happen) and that Windows Phone would surpass iOS by 2016 (no seriously, they said that). ""It really comes down to this: We can easily point to Nokia being one of the biggest leaders over there [in emerging markets]," one of their analysts said last year. Again, these are actual words once uttered by IDC representatives. It's nice to think they might be right about Apple's prospects in China, but given their past track record, I wouldn't bet the farm on it. I wouldn't even bet a cow on it. Not even a steak.

Can Apple announce the rest of 2013′s products in just one event? (9to5 Mac)

Half the products on this article's list are either imaginary or unlikely to be worthy of mention at an Apple event. Apple didn't hold a special event for its recent iMac updates, and it's not likely to do so for "Haswell Mac minis" or "MacBook Pros with Haswell chips" either.

Apple has steadily been paring back the number of products it discusses at its events, now focusing on just a few key hardware products and its yearly OS updates. Any product that gets a basic spec bump simply isn't worth mentioning at these events anymore.

Once you eliminate the mundane items and the pure fantasy from 9to5 Mac's list, this is all we're left with:

  • Redesigned full-size iPad
  • New iPad mini
  • OS X Mavericks release
  • Mac Pro release

One event is enough to cover all that.

New video claims to show iPad 5 Smart Cover with smaller dimensions (9to5 Mac)

"While these Smart Covers appear to be legitimate, we remain skeptical of the design discrepancies between this cover and that of the one that ships on the iPad mini." These Smart Covers appear to be legitimate, eh? That's funny, because...

iPad 5 Smart Cover 'leak' likely just fakes from China (9to5 Mac)

Isn't it neat how 9to5 Mac was able to publish the earlier, erroneous report (with a dash of skepticism for flavor), then debunk its own report later that same day? It certainly netted them far more pageviews than they'd have gotten if they'd just ignored that erroneous report in the first place.

Retina display-toting iPad mini may not ship with 'iPad 5' this year, report says (AppleInsider)

You'd think that after its withering exposé on a financial analyst earlier in the week AppleInsider would know better than to trust a "supply chain analyst" as a source for a story like this. Guess not.

LEAK -- Retina iPad mini pictured in gold with Touch ID fingerprint scanner (BGR)

I don't believe these photos are real even for a second. Something about this just screams "Photoshop" to me.

Apple rumored to need Samsung for some A8 chip production (Engadget)

Korea Economic Daily claims Samung will produce 30 to 40 percent of Apple's A8 processors in 2014. A Korean publication reports that the largest Korean tech company will continue to supply core technology to the world's most profitable tech company. Hmm, nope, no conflict of interest here.

We're at least six months away from the A8 (or whatever Apple's next-gen processor ends up called) being produced in large quantities. How anyone can claim to know who will be building it, and the percentages involved, this early in the game and with a straight face, is beyond me.

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