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Rumor Roundup: Pod people

Here we go again: Report claims Apple is testing a 65-inch iTV (BGR)

From the article: "If rumors and reports from Apple analysts are to be believed" - I'll stop you right there at the first sentence, BGR. They're not. They most certainly are not to be believed. You know this. Everyone knows this. Why are we still playing this game?

As for the "report" itself, how many times over the past few years have we heard some sketchy rumor like this one out of Asia claiming some tech supplier or other was getting ready to build HDTVs for Apple? Remind me, how many HDTVs does Apple sell now?

I thought so.

Everything to know about iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 (Roundup + New Details) (9to5 Mac)

Apple definitely has a serious leak in its software division. I hope the company finds out who it is, soon, and fires them with extreme prejudice.

And before anyone trots out the "intentional leak" conspiracy theories, considering the competition it faces from shameless copycats like Samsung, it makes absolutely no sense for Apple itself to deliberately leak information about its software initiatives several months in advance. Even in the incredibly unlikely event Apple were intentionally leaking details like this, it would do so through a more mainstream outlet like the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal, not an "Apple enthusiast site."

Barclays: Apple's 'iWatch' could include UV light exposure sensor (AppleInsider)

Some analyst throws another sensor on the wish list pile. For some reason, this gets passed along like it's actually newsworthy. It's all too apparent by now that calling yourself an "analyst" means these rumor blogs will eat whatever you toss on their plate without even pausing to sniff it first. Speaking of which...

Digitimes: Apple working on in-house baseband chip design to appear in 2015 iPhone (9to5 Mac)

Dear 9to5 Mac: the fact that you (and, admittedly, many others) are still doing straight reporting of the latest nonsense from Digitimes is very likely part of why mainstream publications still refer to you (derisively or not) as an "Apple enthusiast site."

Apple Reportedly Targeting Q3 2014 Launch for iWatch (MacRumors)

Another "report" sourced from supply chain sources, and an Asian publication, via Digitimes. Credibility doesn't get much lower than this. Unless it's sourced straight from Digitimes, that is. Speaking of which...

Apple Expected to Unveil iWatch in September as Suppliers Deliver Circuit Board Samples (MacRumors)

"[...] reports Digitimes." BZZZZT. This is three in a row that either came straight from or were tangentially associated with the least reliable source of Apple rumors on the planet. You rumor blogs do realise you're slowly transforming yourselves into the Fox News of the tech world, right?

Mass Production of 4.7-Inch iPhone 6 Set for July, 5.5-Inch Version Beginning in September (MacRumors)

Some Asian publication passes along the same rumors that everyone else has been harping on about for the past few months. Do they actually have any credible sources for this report? No, probably not. Does that matter when you're chasing pageviews? No, definitely not.

LEAK: Does this leaked image show iOS 8 on the iPhone 6? (BGR)

No. It shows that someone in China has a pirated copy of Photoshop.

Jony Ive shakes up Apple's software design group, iPhone interface creator Greg Christie departing (9to5 Mac)

Greg Christie is, in fact, retiring from Apple. The company itself has confirmed this. As for the "sources familiar with the matter" who claim that Christie's departure is due to "friction" with design lead Jony Ive? Not so much, at least according to The Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, and John Gruber of Daring Fireball. Gruber has several sources within Apple, and he has for a long time, so he's definitely in a position to know.

The obvious question here is whether 9to5 Mac's source was misinformed or 9to5 Mac simply misinterpreted what it heard. There is of course the possibility that someone simply wanted to drive more attention to what could have been a simple, boring "executive retiring, yawwwwn" story and decided to jazz it up. I'll take the traditional rumor blog mulligan and say I'm merely presenting this speculation "for purposes of discussion."

Apple's 2014 Product Roadmap: New iWatch, iPhones, iPads, Apple TV, and MacBooks Coming (MacRumors)

The intertubes were so badly clogged today with everyone rushing to re-blog the latest dreck from Ming-Chi Kuo that it pretty much overflowed everywhere. There was no escaping it. Despite all the things Kuo got wrong last year, he's still the darling analyst of the rumor blogs, who hang on his every word like it fell straight out of the trees in Apple's back yard.

With the exception of his musings on the iWatch, Kuo's predictions are either repeats of existing rumors or educated guesswork - anyone who pays attention to Apple rumors and the company's historical product roadmap could easily make the same predictions. The fact that Kuo makes such precise predictions only makes it that much more fun to revisit them months later and find out just how "accurate" he really is.

As for Kuo's reporting on the iWatch, his assertion that the top-end version will cost "several thousand" dollars is laugh-out-loud absurd. Yet I saw several people in my Twitter timeline - people I consider intelligent, rational human beings - actually taking this claim seriously.

It's times like these I feel like I'm surrounded by pod people.

Let me break this down for you. Apple makes two types of products: mid-range to high-end portable consumer electronics (iPod, iPhone, iPad) and mid-range to professional-range computers (Mac mini, iMac, MacBook Air/Pro, and the Mac Pro). One thing Apple does not make now, and has never been particularly successful at making in the past, is luxury items at luxury prices.

Apple has taken fitful stabs at that market with products that read like a litany of failures: the 20th Anniversary Macintosh, the $99 leather iPod case, the iPod Hi-Fi, leather iPad Smart Covers, and probably a few more utterly forgettable products. Every time Apple tries to break out of its "the (x) for the rest of us" mold and jump into the "I'm rich, bitch!" market, it falls on its face. But sure, an electronic watch that costs several thousands of dollars makes perfect sense for Apple. I'll take two... because I wouldn't want one wrist getting jealous of the other.

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