By Harry McCracken | Thursday, February 18, 2010 at 4:07 pm
TheStreet.com’s Scott Moritz has an exciting exclusive: Northeast Securities analyst Ashok Kumar has learned that Microsoft is working on a Microsoft-branded phone based on its Windows Phone 7 Series OS. It’ll be manufactured by
HTC Asus, and software problems have postponed its release into 2011.
The story would seem to give new life to old rumors about a Microsoft phone, code-named project “Pink.” Except…Scott Moritz stories headlined as”exclusives”–usually crediting Kumar for the scoop–have a crummy track record of exclusively revealing stuff that turns out to be true. When I see them, my instinctive response is skepticism, not bland acceptance of anything in the story as gospel.
Shall we recap?
The upshot: At January’s CES show, Verizon Wireless announced it would sell Palm’s Pre Plus and Pixi Plus, starting later that month. (Of course, it’s conceivable that Verizon changed its mind, and if you want to get really technical, you might contend that the Pre Plus isn’t a Pre.)
The exclusive: Google plans to to sell an Android phone through retailers by the end of the year, bypassing wireless carriers, says Kumar:
The upshot: The Google phone is real, and it almost shipped in 2009. Moritz’s story says it will use a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip (correct) and speculates that it might be built by HTC (ditto). But it’s sold direct by Google, not at retail–and it’s offered with a rather non-disruptive T-Mobile contract.
The exclusive: Kumar says that the much-anticipated Apple tablet will use a chip from Apple’s own PA Semi division, not an Intel CPU:
The upshot: Bingo! (Of course, the real surprise would have been if the iPhone-like iPad did use an Intel processor.)
The exclusive: A new iPhone available on Verizon Wireless this summer will pack a Qualcomm wireless chip, Kumar says:
The upshot: We may not know for a few months if there’s anything to this one.
The exclusive: Kumar has learned that the Apple tablet will use Verizon Wireless for broadband–proven by its use of a Qualcomm chip:
The upshot: Less than a week later, Apple unveiled the iPad. Its 3G version will run on AT&T. I’m not sure if anyone who isn’t involved with manufacturing of iPads knows for sure if there’s any Qualcomm technology inside.
That’s three exclusives that turned out to be completely or partially bogus, one that was correct, and two (counting the new Microsoft one) that may or may not amount to anything. Even if you assume that both the Qualcomm iPhone and Microsoft phone exclusives will pan out, chances would be fifty percent that Moritz was right, and fifty percent that he was wrong.
Anyone want to explain why Moritz keeps relaying Kumar’s rumors as “exclusive” facts–and why TheStreet lets him do so?
(Previously on Technologizer: A year ago, I explained how to gauge rumors about Apple products. I wasn’t thinking specifically of Moritz’s stories–none of the ones here had appeared yet, and not all of them are Apple “exclusives”–but they’re good case studies.)