“My 2013 New Year’s resolutions: Stop taking analysts’ nonsense seriously, stop sourcing from Digitimes, and do some basic fact checking and/or engage common sense prior to publication.” —None of the Apple rumor blogs
2013 is off to a blazing start, with all kinds of juicy, poorly-sourced and ultimately dumb rumors to deconstruct.
“Digitimes has shed more light on” are the opening words of this post. Let’s just stop right there. Digitimes never sheds light on anything except tech blogs’ inability (or unwillingness) to consider the credibility or validity of their sources. For example, when I consider the source of this story and its infamously poor track record, I find it slightly more likely that Apple will move Mac mini production to Antarctica.
“Digitimes reports that” — same story here. Poorly-sourced rumor, zero proof. This isn’t even the first time this claim has been made; the past few iOS devices were supposedly going to feature this type of display panel, if “sources” like Digitimes are to be believed (hint: they’re not).
“Digitimes expects Apple to unveil” blah blah, yadda yadda. I’m pretty sure (thanks to “people familiar with the matter”) that Digitimes cobbles together its stories by letting a cocker spaniel loose in a room full of colored scraps of paper with random tech buzzwords and dates scribbled on them. Whichever papers the dog eventually soils are gathered and presented to the tech community — and, sadly, almost always accepted as gospel.
For a change of pace, here’s a story not sourced from Digitimes, which lends it an air of credibility. Apple has been rumored to be moving away from Samsung for processor production for quite some time, and considering the bitter rivalry between the two companies, it makes perfect strategic sense.
Man, this one exploded all over the internet this past week. It’s as though the collective common sense of the Apple blogging community suddenly went on vacation to Patagonia. Rumors of an Apple-branded “smart watch” began almost the instant the invitingly wearable sixth-generation iPod nano debuted in September 2010. “You could totally wear that as a watch!” people mused, and the illogical leap to “Apple might be building a watch!” wasn’t far behind.
Two years later, there’s no credible evidence that Apple is building a smart watch. Two things decidedly point in the other direction, in fact. First, Apple abandoned the wearable form factor for the iPod nano’s 2012 redesign. Second, nobody freaking wears watches anymore. A “smart watch” is seriously the dumbest idea ever, and if Apple made this product tech blogs would be climbing over one another to shout about how Apple is DOOMED because it’s focused on obsolete technology. “What’s next,” someone like Dan Lyons might say, “an Apple-branded buggy whip?”
“Hey, you numbskull, I might actually buy and use a smart watch,” you’re already furiously typing in the comments below. Congratulations. You’re the one percent. No one else cares.
“BREAKSCLUSIVE: Apple developing and testing new products, software.” As my colleague Richard Gaywood points out, you need only play Opposites Day with this story to see how completely meaningless it is.
Gene “The Apple HDTV is coming out this year for sure” Munster thinks Apple’s future lies in “wearable computing” — things like the mythical Apple-branded “smart watch” or something similar to Google Glasses.
Just as a fun exercise, look at the hypothetical smart watch in the picture associated with that AppleInsider article and ask yourself what problem, if any, the device solves. “I can see my messages on it!” you may say. Yes… and then you have to get your iPhone out of your pocket to reply to them. “I can control some of my phone’s functions with it!” You can do the same thing with the remote controls built into the headphones. “Um… I can tell time on it?” Well, you got me there.
Some analyst thinks the next iPhone will come in multiple colors and have two different display sizes. He doesn’t offer any proof other than a vague allusion to “supplier checks,” and at least half of his assertions make no sense at all — why in seven hells would Apple launch an iPhone 5S with two different display sizes? “Market share expansion” is apparently the answer to this question according to the analyst, with the smaller-screened phone offered as a lower-cost option.
You analysts are seriously going to beat on this “low-cost iPhone” drum all year long, aren’t you? And somehow, you’re going to keep getting paid for that. The mind reels.
This sounds credible at first glance, but keep in mind this is coming from the same site that was “almost certain” the iPhone 5 and next-gen iPad would have fingerprint reading tech. Time will tell if the “sources familiar with Apple’s plans” actually are familiar with those plans at all.
Any time a story like this comes out, where Apple is rumored to buy “Company X you may actually have heard of,” it’s essential to keep one’s excitement in check and take a “wait and see” approach. Apple was rumored to be in talks to buy Twitter so many times that it became almost a monthly ritual for awhile. Aaaaand… Apple never bought Twitter, and probably never will.
Whether or not it makes sense for Apple to acquire Waze for its crowdsourced mapping data, I’ll believe it when I see it.