Rumor Roundup: 'Well-respected analyst'
Here is the only rumor that came out this week that has even the remotest chance of coming true:
Apple Will Hold Fall iPad Event on October 22 (AllThingsD)
Continuing its proud tradition of not being full of crap (an increasingly rare thing amongst tech publications when it comes to Apple), AllThingsD has once again correctly pegged the date of an upcoming Apple event well in advance of an official announcement. I feel comfortable saying they got it right because Jim Dalrymple of The Loop gave this rumor a "yep," and unlike the armies of so-called "reliable" analysts out there, Jim is a source you absolutely can trust in these matters.
So what can we expect to see at this event? A fifth-generation full-size iPad that looks similar to the current iPad mini. The iPad mini itself will probably have a Retina display (unless it doesn't). According to AllThingsD, "the new Mac Pro and OS X Mavericks will likely get some stage time as well."
That's it. That's all there is to legitimate, well-sourced Apple rumors this week. We can all go home now. Well done, everyone.
Wait. What's that you say? This wasn't the only Apple rumor this week?
*checks RSS feed*
Oh. Please... Oh god no.
Gene "Where's My Apple HDTV" Munster has switched gears. He's no longer chasing the white whale of a mythical Apple device with a huge screen. Now he's chasing the white... guppy?... of a mythical Apple device with a small screen. He surveyed 799 people in the US and... and... and I'm going to stop right there, because this is in no way, shape, or form a legitimate news story. Asking people whether they'd buy a product that doesn't exist, then extrapolating sales data from that survey, is about as scientifically accurate and computationally relevant as astrology.
As I gaze into my own crystal ball, I see Gene Munster's future: two more years of rumormongering about the iWatch.
From the article: "Another report from a well-respected source suggests Apple is indeed finally getting ready to satisfy critics and launch a smartphone with a larger screen."
Oooh, sounds juicy. Who exactly is this well-respected source?
"Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek" --
*gasp, pant* Hoo, boy. Peter Misek. "Well-respected source." That's a good --
"Misek has had a few good calls regarding unreleased Apple products in the past," BGR lies, "and he is considered by many to be among the top analysts covering Apple right now." I'd like to know exactly who these "many" are, and I'd like to recommend that they head to their nearest hospital for chelation therapy immediately, because it's clear they've been eating all of the lead paint chips in the world.
Oh, and as for the rumor itself: The iPhone 5S has only been out for two weeks. Anyone who claims to know what the iPhone 6 will be like is selling something. It's your own fault if you take them seriously.
BGR is becoming increasingly adept at three things:
- Sensationalistic, wrong-headed "analysis" about Apple
- Taking analysts and their wild-assed guesses way too seriously
- Hilarious attempts at getting all CSI on "leaked" parts
Guess which one of the three this story is? Hint: it includes a titillating photograph of a ribbon cable.
Deutsche Bank makes what has to be the safest call made so far this year: iPads will continue to eat the PC market's lunch in 2014.
This just in: a gigantic ball of nuclear fire is predicted to crest the eastern horizon tomorrow morning. Sources indicate this enormous, intensely bright plasma sphere will bathe the planet in heat and light for as much as 14 hours before disappearing behind the western horizon. More on this shocking story as it develops.
"It hasn't even been three weeks since Apple's record-smashing iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c debut, but the rumor mill has already moved on to bigger and better things," BGR says. I don't know about "better," but the pile of BS is definitely bigger than it's ever been.
BGR gets things off to a hilarious start by once again suggesting that Peter Misek is a "well-respected Apple analyst." If such a thing even existed (it doesn't), Peter Misek definitely would not fit the bill. But I think we've beaten that dead horse enough -- kind of like Misek's Apple HDTV predictions, am I right? HEYOOOOO.
Some analyst says Apple is "toying with two different display sizes for its upcoming iPhone 6." Unlikely, but let's hear him out. First off, what's his source?
"...research in Apple's supply chain..."
Oh, is that the same supply chain that Tim Cook himself said is rarely, if ever, indicative of Apple's actual product pipeline? Just checking. How about these purported displays, then?
"..a 4.7-inch panel with 1,280 x 720-pixel resolution..."
Nope. Not a chance.
"...and a 5.7-inch display with full HD 1080p resolution."
BZZZT. I'm sorry, that's also incorrect. We have some nice parting gifts for you. Thank you for playing "Are You Smarter than a Dachshund?"
There's a word Apple executives like to use when they talk about Android devices: fragmentation. Apple chides the Android experience for trying to cater to too many devices, with too many different display sizes. Apple has already fragmented the iPhone experience once, by introducing an iPhone 5 with a different aspect ratio than the iPhones which came before it. It took months for app developers to adjust -- and now we're supposed to believe that Apple is going to do it yet again? Come on.
Every once in awhile, some analyst with no clue about how computers actually work trots out the idea of Apple building a Mac based on the ARM CPU architecture. This latest bit of technobabble comes courtesy of some analyst realizing, "Hey, Apple builds 64-bit CPUs for its iOS devices now. That means they'll be more powerful -- BINGO. Apple is going to build Macs with ARM CPUs."
The most powerful iOS device on the market right now, the iPhone 5S, gets benchmark scores that are just slightly over half as good as the least powerful Mac that Apple currently sells. ARM CPUs work outstandingly well for the purpose they're most suited to -- powering mobile devices with pared-down (or "optimized" if you prefer) operating systems, but they'd be terrible at running Photoshop CS6 on OS X Mavericks.
Please stop banging on this particular drum, because it's just making you look silly. Well, sillier than usual anyway.
BGR hits the laughable trifecta here, once again calling peter Misek a "well-respected analyst." (That's three posts in a single week with variations on that phrase. I smell a search engine optimized rat.)
"Adding more fuel to the fire, Cantor Fitzgerald's Brian White came away from a recent meeting with an unnamed Apple component supplier completely convinced that next year's iPhone 6 will finally sport a bigger screen." Excellent. Another Apple analyst with an incredibly poor track record has said the same thing as the other guy who hasn't got a clue what he's talking about. That's settled then. Absolutely set in stone.
Just how "much more" will the iWatch be, Brian?
"...a multi-purpose gateway in allowing consumers to control their home (i.e., heating/cooling, lights, audio, video, etc.)."
Well, isn't that special. It sounds exactly like the perennial analyst fantasy of Apple devices someday controlling everything in the house. You pull your iCar into the driveway and use your iPhone to unlock your front door. Siri-activated systems turn your lights on for you. You use an iRing to control your Apple HDTV. Touchscreens on your iFridge let you plan your grocery list. And we all have weekend vacations on the Moon, eat our dinners in pill form, and electricity is too cheap to meter.
Sometimes I wonder if these guys actually read any of the things they write.
Everyone's favorite Apple analyst has apparently been downgraded from "well-connected" to "typically reliable" according to this post. It's only a matter of time before he becomes "sometimes reliable," then "hit-or-miss." If he's lucky, though, he'll eventually manage to convince at least one blog to start calling him "well-respected" again.
Seemingly having learned his lesson from being wrong many times in the recent past, this analyst has shied away from the explicitly concrete claims he became so famed for and has instead retreated to the analyst default: broad claims about products sufficiently far off in the future that by then everyone will have forgotten how wrong he was when they fail to materialize.
But leave it to the rumor blogs to pass all this on like it came straight from Tim Cook's own diary. Already we're setting unrealistic expectations for 2014: a gigantic-screened iPhone, a 12-inch MacBook that will "redefine laptop computing," a low-cost iMac, and a sixth-gen iPad with a higher pixel density than the fourth-generation iPad -- or even the still unreleased fifth-generation iPad.
I said it last week, but it bears repeating: spreading this BS as though it's the truth is entirely counterproductive. Wall Street analysts are too dumb not to eat these stories like candy, so when none of these products actually make it to market next year they're all going to think it's because Apple has lost its touch.
I dream of a world where tech writers stop paying attention to these so-called "analysts" and cease spreading their fantasies dolled up as legitimate news. In this much better world, this weekly roundup would be much shorter, and I'd feel less compelled to be so dismissively snarky about it all. Because news about Apple would be just that: news. Actual news from legitimate sources. Not, "This guy got one thing kinda sorta right this one time, so we'll reblog absolutely everything he says from now on, no matter how far-fetched or demonstrably illogical it may be."
AllThingsD manages to write real news about Apple. So does Macworld, and Ars Technica, and The Loop, and an increasingly smaller handful of others. What's wrong with the rest of you?
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