Tag Archives | Rumors

Oh no, Facebook is Shutting Down! Umm…

File this under the so-ridiculous-its-sad-people-believe-it department: sometime around dinnertime Saturday on the East Coast, somebody thought it funny to start the rumor that Facebook would be shutting down on March 15. A Twitter search shows that people actually are taking this seriously, sadly enough. Sorry to disappoint but Facebook is not going anywhere, especially after that $450 million cash infusion from Goldman Sachs…

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Oh, Ashok…

I was about to make some pithy comments about the latest rumor du jour surrounding the next generation iPad — which now apparently is a 7-inch model with a camera — and its source, the attention-crazy Rodman & Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar — but Daring Fireball’s John Gruber beat me to it . Let’s face it, Kumar’s track record in predicting anything about Apple sucks, and that’s putting it nicely.

As just a recap of what this guy has predicted or said, and gotten wrong, in no particular order: Verizon and Apple teaming up on a tablet; Qualcomm’s chips were to power the iPad; the iPhone was a dud; ah well, I think you get the point.

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Next-Gen iPhone Finder Found

My pals (and former PCWorld/Macworld colleagues) Brian Chen and Kim Zetter have quite a scoop over at Wired.com: They’ve located the guy who says he found Apple’s next-generation iPhone prototype in a Redwood City, California bar. According to a statement issued by his lawyer, he’s a 21-year-old taking a break from school who teaches kids to swim, has volunteered at a Chinese orphanage, and helps raise money for medical care for orphans in Kenya. And he’s sorry he accepted a payment from Gizmodo in return for access to the phone.

From the moment this story hit, it was obviously inevitable that we’d learn who this guy was–sooner or later, one way or another. Kudos to Brian and Kim for (two of the best tech reporters I know) for breaking the story.


A Brief History of Past Apple Leaks, and What Apple Did About Them

Is Gizmodo’s “big reveal” of the next-generation iPhone–weeks or months before Apple planned to let Steve Jobs do the job–unprecedented?  Yeah, pretty much. Products from other companies show up prematurely all the time (here’s a look at HP’s slate PC). But I can’t remember a site anyone pays attention to getting extended, unapproved hands-on time with an unreleased Apple product–let alone anything as significant as a new iPhone.

(Gizmodo, incidentally, has now explained how it got the phone and identified the poor Apple employee who left it behind at a Silicon Valley bar. It also says that Apple has asked for the phone back, and that it will comply.)

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Xbox 360 Slim Gets a Big Fat Rumor

Supposedly pictured here is the motherboard for the Xbox 360’s next revision, which hardware aficionados have pinned as evidence of a console redesign.

The photos, which appeared on Chinese message board A9VG, are noteworthy for a couple reasons, as pointed out by Gamespot: It’s a smaller motherboard than ever before, it combines computer and graphics processors on a single chip and it has a SATA interface port instead of Microsoft’s proprietary hard drive port, suggesting that storage will be housed inside the console.

Put all this together with different shapes, sizes and screw locations, and you’ve got a compelling case for the Xbox 360 Slim — if the photos are real, of course.

Brushing aside idle speculation from analysts and, ahem, bloggers, this is not the first actual rumor of a slimmer Xbox 360. In 2008, TG Daily reported that after Microsoft brought its 65 nm “Jasper” chips into production that year, a 45 nm process would be next in line. The rumor held that Microsoft would release a redesigned console, with GPU and CPU on a single chip, in 2009. Obviously, the timing didn’t pan out, but the rest of the report just got a new lease on life.

Technical details aside, a redesign wouldn’t be a surprise this year, with Microsoft planning to release its motion-sensing camera, codenamed Project Natal, during the holiday season. With that extra peripheral taking up space on TV stands, new console buyers could use the extra room. Besides, the Xbox 360 is starting to look a little bulky next to the PS3 Slim.

If Microsoft is planning to launch a slimmer Xbox 360, don’t expect to hear anything official until just before the console goes on sale. In the meantime, do expect the usual fuzzy product shots and cryptic claims from anonymous sources.


Exclusive: TheStreet.com’s Tech Exclusives Are a Crapshoot

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?

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The Speculative Prehistory of the iPhone

Remember the very first iPhone–the one that sold for $249, had an iconic click wheel, a cool slide-out keypad, and a unique two-battery design–and which ran on Apple’s very own nationwide wireless network? No, not the iPhone that Steve Jobs unveiled at Macworld Expo San Francisco on January 9th, 2007. It didn’t have any of those features. I’m talking about the one that was an ever-changing figment of the collective imagination of bloggers, reporters, analysts, and others who wrote endlessly about the iPhone in the months before anyone outside of Apple knew much of anything–including whether or not the phone existed at all.

I’ve been thinking about that era of blissful ignorance lately. Coverage of Apple’s supposedly-upcoming tablet device (allegedly to be known–maybe–as iSlate) is building to a similar crescendo. Just as with the iPhone, the tablet is already the subject of gazillions of words’ worth of rumors, reporting, guesswork, wishing, and hoping.

Can we learn anything about Apple tablet pre-coverage from the pre-coverage of the first iPhone? I think so. So I revisited much of the early iPhone scuttlebutt for this article. Herewith, choice bits from a bunch of old stories, with summaries of what they got right and wrong…and then some overall thoughts.

The art sprinkled through this story consists of concept iPhones rendered by fans and other interested bystanders prior to the real iPhone’s debut. I’m entertained by them all–but please note that none look even a little bit like the phone that Steve Jobs brandished at Macworld Expo.

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What Will Be at WWDC: Your Predictions!

Apple WWDC PredictionsApple will announce a new iPhone at next week’s WWDC keynote. It’ll sport a faster CPU, more storage, and a high-res camera that’s video capable, and will introduce a new case material. Rumors that it might include built-in iMovie or do multitasking, however, are false.

Also wrong: The scuttlebutt that Apple will launch a tablet computer at WWDC. In fact, there won’t be any new personal computers at all. The company will, however, unveil a new iPod Touch. And, of course, it will formally introduce Snow Leopard upgrade for OS X.

Those, at least, are the collective predictions of the folks who participated in Technologizer’s WWDC Prediction Challenge. We fielded a survey (via the wondrous PollDaddy) that let folks guess at what Phil Schiller and other Apple execs will tell us next Monday. We’re saying that any prediction that was made by a majority of respondents counts as a Technologizer prediction. We’ll report on them below–and follow up after the Monday keynote (which we’ll be covering live–join us!).

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