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Rumor Roundup: Pre-WWDC jitters

By the time this is published, WWDC will be upon us. Strangely, most of the rumors over the past few days have had nothing to do with WWDC at all; they're instead focused farther in the future, and often on products or services that are totally unconfirmed.

As for WWDC itself, iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 are obviously going to be the major focuses of the event. No credible rumors have come out suggesting any new hardware will debut; Apple could always surprise us (and it's possible it already has prior to this article's publication), but it's not likely this time around.

Crazy 4-inch iPhone that unfolds into an iPad mini reportedly being tested (BGR)

This is the stupidest rumor I've heard in awhile (and that's saying something), and absolutely none of the products mentioned in this report sound remotely close to anything Apple might actually relaease. The unrelenting ineptitude of this rumor is explained by the source: analyst Peter Misek, one of the most consistently, preposterously wrong of all Apple analysts.

These next two quotes from the article show a lack of critical thinking that's become all too common in all rumor blogs, but especially epidemic at BGR:

1. "Misek is a very well-respected Apple analyst [...] and he probably has a slightly better knowledge of Apple's supply chain."

2. "The analyst does not always have a great track record when discussing unreleased Apple products."

So a "very well-respected Apple analyst" with "slightly better knowledge of Apple's supply chain" has a terrible track record with regard to unreleased Apple products. Sounds about right.

Apple's iWatch will pack the most important tech most smartwatches are missing (BGR)

Supply chain sources from China - always ever so reliable when it comes to unannounced Apple products - now claim the (still unconfirmed to exist) iWatch will have wireless charging capability.

Oh man, I am ever tired of hearing stupid rumors about the iWatch. I almost wish Apple would go ahead and release some kind of wearable device if only to stem the relentless tide of awful mockups like the one in this artlicle.

IDC lowers tablet shipment forecast, expects a 5.5-inch iPhone could cannibalize iPad sales (9to5 Mac)

IDC, the source of this forecast, sounded familiar. Then I remembered: these are the same geniuses who predicted Android market share would peak and decline in 2012 (which didn't happen) and that Windows Phone would surpass iOS by 2016. I guess we're meant to look the other way and only pay attention to their current screwball predictions, though. My mistake.

Rumored Split-Screen Multitasking Feature for iOS 8 Not Ready for WWDC Preview (MacRumors)

Alternative explanation: this rumored feature was never in the cards in the first place, and now that it's clear it won't be debuting after all, the rumor blogs are in full-on CYA mode.

Apple's smart home plan rumored to be a boring certification program (Engadget)

Oh, so instead of Apple building a handful of home automation devices itself, it'll be licensing the technology to third parties so they can do far more ambitious things with it? Yawn. Boring indeed. Total snoozefest. God, Apple, you might as well not even bother. Google is over there building self-driving* cars, and meanwhile you can't innovate your way out of a paper bag. Bo. Ring.

*only sort of, kind of self-driving, and only in Mountain View.

Alleged iPhone 6 Back Cover Shown Off in New Photo (MacRumors)

Considering there are absolutely no measurements included or any scaling information given, this photo could very easily be the casing for an iPhone 5, 5c, or 5s. Or it could be fake. Ahhh, never mind, let's just toss skepticism out the window and throw all of our CSI superpowers at this thing.

Apple Reportedly Asking Chinese Authorities to Crack Down on iPhone 6 Leaks (MacRumors)

I'm torn. On one hand, I feel like this is a bit heavy-handed and possibly Orwellian on Apple's part. On the other hand, anything that helps stem the tide of stupid mockups and blurrycam photos with their accompanying heady overanalysis can't be all bad.

Apple shouldn't spend too much energy pointing fingers at its overseas suppliers, however; it needs to get its own house in order, as well. Some of the most accurate leaks over the past couple of years have quite obviously come from within Apple itself.

If Apple managed to cut off the flow of rumors from both its own staffers and its overseas suppliers, it would be a devastating knockout blow to the cottage industry of TMZ-style hangers-on that have passed themselves off as legitimate technology news sources for the past few years. It's probably not going to happen any time soon - if at all - but a guy can dream.

Apple discussing iPhone payments service with high-profile retail brands (9to5 Mac)

Speaking of internal Apple leaks, here's what looks like yet another one, although the article predictably hedges its bets and says "the discussions are exploratory" and won't launch "in the near future."

But still, Apple: find the people responsible for these leaks and fire them.

Did Apple accidentally reveal the iPhone 6 during WWDC preparations? (BGR)

No. Just no.

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