Tag - Rumors
So it's episode 44 and we're calling it by the now obscure journalism term for the end of a piece – 30 – but it's about Error 53 and it's about 7.1mm thin. We don't think we can cram any more numbers in this, but that's never stopped us trying.
We spend a fair amount of time in this space belittling the predictions and pontifications of pundits around here (one in particular -- though we would like to stress that it is the sites that unfairly balloon his above-average-but-imperfect record into gospel-like status that we actually don't care for, not the man himself). We love deconstructing rumors (where needed), rooting out the source, watching it evolve and refine (or be walked back and forgotten), and let's not forget: even if it's clearly nonsense, rumors can be fun and entertaining. We feed on them.
Yesterday, we made the rookie mistake of saying that our previous Rumor Roundup column would likely be the last before Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference, which kicks off Monday. We're flattered that the rumor mill read that and said to itself "challenge accepted," but as a result here we are again with further revelations, real or imagined, of what is to come. Today, the rumors get a bit wilder -- including the notion of iMessage coming to Android, blue replacing "space gray" as a color option, and some drool-worth CGI mock-ups of what an OLED "function bar" might look like on a new MacBook Pro.
Rumors, while they are often at least somewhat inaccurate, very spoiler-y, and occasionally just not true at all (still no Apple Watch 2 ...), are born of a boundless optimism for the future and the thrill of mystery -- qualities that you just can't hate. This week, Rumor Roundup tries not to rain on the parade of the latest claims, reports, and speculation regarding a leaked part for next fall's iPhone 7, the possibility of refreshes in the MacBook family lineup, and at least one analyst who -- after finally giving up his dream of an Apple HDTV -- has now reshaped that dream to look like a car.
This week's Rumor Roundup includes a quick lesson on what a "confirmation" of the truth of a given rumor entails, as much to educate our readers on how to discern logical flaws as to instruct our competitors. This time, we have a likely -- albeit accidental -- confirmation that forthcoming iPads will support the Apple Pencil drawing stylus, and we have "confirmation" that the iPhone SE and iPhone 7 will look exactly as rumors suggest, because prototype cases made based on possibly-fake "specs" fit expectations. See how that works?
If a new schematic of the "iPhone 7" turns out to be true, iPhone buyers expected the traditional redesign of the device may be in for some disappointment. New "leaked" drawings that purport to show the chassis casing the next iPhone (at least the 4.7-inch version of it, presumably to be called the "iPhone 7") show a design nearly identical to the existing iPhone 6s, with only minor changes: very slightly thinner (previous rumors have suggested just one millimeter thinner), less-visible antenna lines, and what looks like a single (but slightly larger) opening for the camera.
We really wanted to talk about something other than the Apple-FBI dust-up this week, and so we tried our best -- but when the story takes a turn for the bizarre and dismaying, you have to face up to it at some point. First, however, Editor Charles and Managing Editor Mike calm themselves by chatting about the latest twists and turns in the world of Apple rumors, Mike's new Apple Watch and his initial impressions, the expansion of the Amazon Echo line with new accessories, and then penultimately all the new developments in the Apple-FBI dispute, before finishing off with William and his App of the Week.
Another week goes by, and rumors evolve, like clouds parting to hopefully reveal a clear day. We've been following the evolution of the rumors in order to show how scraps of information are gathered (and many discarded) in order to eventually piece together what may be enough credible information to form a viable look into what is likely to happen with Apple's future plans. Many of the original rumors and speculation never pan out, but as we get closer to an alleged mid-March Apple event, those clouds are starting to form identifiable shapes.
As you may have seen from our Rumor Roundups, there has been a lot of talk lately about an alleged new iPhone model that is thought might launch this spring. As is the case with rumors not based on hard evidence, the supposed specs of the device change nearly hourly, and resemble more closely someone's wish list than a practical or sensible device at times. Two things have stayed constant in the various versions of the rumor, however: a four-inch display, and that it is based on the idea of a revamp of the iPhone 5s.
Over the last few weeks we've been documenting the evolution of the rumors involving Apple's plans for spring and the period leading up to the Worldwide Developers Conference, not because they are silly -- though a few have given us a good office chuckle -- but because people tend to remember only the bits of guessing or insider info that people got right, rather than how much was flat-out wrong. This week, the focus of Rumortown is about the alleged iPad Air 3 coming in March ... or April ... and the iPhone 5se? That's so last week.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.4 ( -2.7 )
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R